DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 405

9423 at CFB Trenton - CYTR, Ontario.
Photo: Neil Aird © 10 June 1972
C-GUTW ready for a turbine conversion, at Vancouver - CYVR, British Columbia.
Photo: John Kimberley © October 1991 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-GUTW on the Fraser River at Vancouver South.
Photo: John Kimberley © May 1992 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-GUTW in air-to-air study.
Photo: Henry Tenby © July 1992 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-GUTW with Vista windows fitted.
Photo: John Wegg © May 2002 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-GUTW departs the Fraser River at Vancouver Airport.
Photo: John W. Olafson © 04 June 2014
C-GUTW all quiet at Victoria Harbour terminal.
Photo: Lenn Bayliss © 11 August 2017
C-GUTW heading out for Vancouver, yet again.
Photo: Lenn Bayliss © 12 August 2017

c/n 405

9423 • C-GUTW • (HK-3050X)

C-GUTW

x

• 9423 Royal Canadian Air Force. Delivered 20-Dec-1960. Designated as CSR-123.

Initially allocated to No.6 Repair Depot as a spare and put into storage at Dunnville, ON.

18-Oct-1961. Assigned to 438 Squadron, St.Hubert, near Montréal, QC.

Aug-1962. Allocated to 116 Air Transport Unit (ATU), supporting a United Nations mission in New Guinea.

08-May-1963. Arrived back in Canada, when it was  put into storage at the Canadian Pacific Airlines depot at Lincoln Park.

Jan-1964. Transferred from Lincoln Park to Saskatoon and remained in storage.

24-Apr-1964. Re-joined 438 Squadron at St.Hubert.

Sep-1965. Again selected for UN duty, this time with 117 ATU in Kashmir.

Apr 1966. Returned to Canada to 6 Repair Depot, Trenton, ON to be prepared to return to RCAF service.

04-May-1966. Assigned to 102 Communications Unit, at CFB Trenton, ON.

24-Aug-1966 Assigned to 4 Operational Training Unit (OTU), also at Trenton, ON.

Jul-1968. 4 OTU was re-designated 424 Squadron at Trenton, ON.

Accident: Location unknown. 23rd May 1969, a 'B' category crash in the course of a training detail on floats. It suffered a heavy landing , taxied to the shore and beached after which it was taken to Mountain View depot where it was repaired by 6 RD.

09-Jul-1971. Assigned to 400 Sqd Downsview, ON and also flew for 411 Sqd. Some of its more interesting details are mentioned below.

08-Oct-1981. The aircraft was ferried to Mountain View depot and put into storage and then  put up for disposal through the Crown Assets Disposal Corporation.

Total airframe hours: 5,874.

• C-GUTW Nahanni Air Services Ltd., Norman Wells, NT. Regd Feb-1983

• (HK-3050X) Aerolineas de la Orinoquia & Amazonia Limitada. Proposed purchese early 1984 but NTU.

• C-GUTW On lease to Goose Bay Air Services Ltd., Goose Bay, NL Regd June 1984. Canx 24-Jul-1985.

• C-GUTW On lease to St Louis Aviation Inc., St Jean sur- Richelieu, QC Regd Jul-1985. Canx 03-Jun-1986

• C-GUTW Nakina Outpost Camps and Air Services Ltd., Nakina, ON. Based Toronto, ON. Regd 14-Jul-1986. Canx 14-Jun-1991.

• C-GUTW Harbour Air, Richmond, BC. Based Vancouver, BC. Regd 14-Jun-1991.

Incident. Vancouver River, BC. 26-Sep-1991. Aircraft suffered a cracked cylinder head  at 2,500 ft and aircraft returned safely to base.

Power plant: During the winter of 1991 /1992, the aircraft was converted to a Vazar turbine by Harbour Air at their Vancouver hangar.

Total airframe time; 16,148 hrs at Sep-1999.

Current

Otter 405 was delivered to the RCAF on 20th December 1960 with serial 9423. It was allocated to No.6 Repair Depot as a spare and put into storage at the Dunnville, Ontario depot. On 18th October 1961 it was assigned to 438 Squadron at St.Hubert, near Montréal. It suffered minor damage on 9th July 1962 at Winnipeg on a cross country training flight. The following month, 9423 was selected for duty with 116 Air Transport Unit (ATU), supporting a United Nations mission in New Guinea, and was flown to Trenton to be prepared for deployment. It would accompany 9424 (407). Both of these Otters were provided with amphibious floats and painted all white with large UN titles. They were loaded on board RCAF Hercules and departing on 30th August 1962 flown to Biak, New Guinea where they were re-assembled and entered service with 116 ATU. On 31st January 1963 9423 received minor damage to the port float when a truck reversed into it, but that was repaired. On 27th April 1963 the two Otters were again loaded into RCAF Hercules for the long trip home. Both were flown to Calgary, arriving on 8th May 1963, where they were put into storage at the Canadian Pacific Airlines depot at Lincoln Park.

In January 1964, 9423 was transferred from Lincoln Park to Saskatoon and remained in storage there until 11th March 1964, when it went to 6 Repair Depot, Dunnville for repaint and to be prepared again for RCAF service. On 24th April 1964 it re-joined 438 Squadron at St.Hubert. Its service  with the unit however was short as the following year, in September 1965, it was again selected for UN duty, this time with 117 ATU in Kashmir. Also selected for this duty were 9406 (365) and 9422 (404). These three Otters were flown by RCAF Hercules to Lahore in Pakistan, 9423 being the first to arrive on 5th October 1965. The three Otters were returned to Canada in early April 1966, to 6  Repair Depot, Trenton, to be prepared to return to RCAF service. On 4th May 1966, 9423 was assigned to 102 Communications Unit at Trenton and on 24th August '66 to 4 Operational Training Unit (OTU), also at Trenton. In July 1968, 4 OTU was re-designated 424 Squadron at Trenton and 9423 flew for the Squadron until damaged in an accident on 23rd May 1969, a 'B' category crash in the course of a training detail.

During a handling test, the student was briefed that the next take-off from water would be a cross- wind take-off followed by a cross-wind landing. With climb flap set and airspeed at 65 knots, the throttle was retarded to simulate an engine failure. The student then depressed the nose and commenced a turn into wind. The instructor realized that a turn from 300 feet could not be safely completed and attempted to apply power. The engine did not respond immediately and a heavy landing resulted. The Otter was taxied to the shore and beached. 9423 was taken the following month to the Mountain View depot, where it was repaired by 6 RD. On 9th July 1971, after a period of storage following the repairs, it was assigned to 400 Squadron at Downsview, also used by 411 Squadron.

While based at Downsview, as well as local duties, 9423 made a number of long-range trips, including several to the Arctic. The 411 Squadron history shows a fine photograph of 9423 on amphibious floats flying over Fort Prince of Wales at Churchill. The following month, from 13 to 15th August 1973, it made a trip from Downsview-Sioux Lookout-Fort Albany (searching the Albany River and portage points for a canoe expedition)-Moosonee-North Bay-Downsview. In the summer of 1977, 9423 accompanied by 9415 (393) flew up to Spence Bay to provide re-supply for Army engineers who were building a new runway. A Hercules or Buffalo would deliver supplies to Shepherd Bay and the Otters would in term deliver the supplies to Spence Bay.

9423 continued in service with 400 Squadron until 8th October 1981 when it was ferried to the Mountain View depot and put into storage. It was put up for disposal through the Crown Assets Disposal Corporation, one of several Otters to be sold at auction in February 1982, advertised for sale with total airframe hours of 5,874. The purchaser of the Otter was Nahanni Air Services Ltd of Norman Wells, Northwest Territories to whom the Otter was registered C-GUTW in February 1983. Nahanni Air Services had also purchased two other ex-Canadian military Otters 9406 (365) which became C-GUTL and 9421 (402) which became C-GUTQ. A company in Colombia agreed to purchase all three Otters from Nahanni Air Services. The proposed purchaser had the exotic name of Aerolineas de la Orinoquia & Amazonia Limitada and early in 1984 paid a deposit and obtained Colombian registrations for the three aircraft. C-GUTW (405) was to become HK-3050X. The three Otters were made ready for delivery but the final payment was never made and nothing further was heard from the would-be purchaser.

Instead UTW went on lease from Nahanni Air Services to Goose Bay Air Services Ltd., based at Goose Bay, Labrador in June 1984. It flew for this company for summer 1984 and was then flown to St.Jean, Quebec where it was prepared for sale by St.Louis Aviation. It was noted at St.Jean on 2 January 1985 still in its Canadian Armed Forces colour scheme but without any military markings and with registration C-GUTW on the tail. It was eventually sold in July 1986 and registered that month to Nakina Outpost Camps & Air Service of Nakina, Ontario. Here it joined Otter CF-MIQ (336) and for the next five years would fly from Nakina, serving the Ontario bush country. Colour scheme during this period was white overall with a red cheatline.

Otter UTW was eventually sold to Harbour Air Ltd., of Vancouver and arrived in Vancouver on delivery on 6 June 1991. It had been acquired by Harbour Air to replace its Otter C-FQRI (326) which had crashed the previous month.  As it was urgently required in the circumstances the cheatline was changed to yellow and it received Harbour Air fuselage titles and entered service based out of Vancouver on floats. An incident was recorded on 26 September 1991 at Vancouver River. While cruising at 2,500 feet, the number one cylinder head cracked. Engine oil created smoke, some of which drifted into the cockpit but the Otter returned safely to base.

During the winter of 1991 / 1992 UTW was converted to a Vazar DHC-3T turbine Otter at the Harbour Air base at the Vancouver International Airport, becoming the company’s first turbine Otter. It was also painted into the full Harbour Air yellow and white colour scheme, with Fleet Number 302. It was destined to fly for Harbour Air for many years on its scheduled services along the BC Pacific Coast, sometimes based out of Prince Rupert, when Harbour Air maintained a base there, and when that was closed, flying from the Vancouver base. As at September 1999 UTW’s total time on the airframe was 16,148 hours. During winter 2000 / 2001 the Otter received the panoramic window conversion at Vancouver and then continued flying as an active member of Harbour Air’s very busy fleet of turbine Otters.

A few incidents have been recorded on Cadors:

10 April 2014.  UTW from Victoria Harbour to Vancouver Harbour. Aborted take-off due to power indications and taxied back to the dock.

15 July 2015.  After landing at Victoria Harbour on a flight from Vancouver Harbour and then turning in a strong westerly wind, the water rudder cable broke. The Otter drifted safely back in to the harbour and requested assistance from the Coast Guard to facilitate docking. The Coast Guard towed UTW to the dock.

12 July 2017.   Helijet S-76 helicopter C-GHJJ was on flight JBA712 from Victoria Harbour to Vancouver Harbour when it descended into published VFR transit routes without timely contact or co-ordination. It conflicted with Otter UTW which was on a southbound VFR route from Vancouver Harbour to Victoria Harbour.

19 January 2018.  Dash 8 C-GWEN of Westjet Encore was on flight WEN 3157 from Victoria to Vancouver, with an IFR arrival into Vancouver on the ILAND 4 STAR.  Otter UTW was en route from Vancouver Harbour to Victoria Harbour, VFR opposite direction at 2,000 feet on a Tower frequency. Some ten miles from Victoria the Otter began a climb to 2,500 feet. The Dash 8 responded to a traffic alert and TCAS Radar Advisory and climbed. Traffic had not been passed to the Dash 8 by air traffic control but the Dash 8 crew had the Otter in sight, but responded nonetheless to the TCAS alert. The Otter had the Dash 8 in sight prior to starting its climb.

Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005), now with added and updated information which Karl has supplied for the benefit of the website.