DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 410

C-FVVY when serving with Propair.
Photo: Anthony J. Hickey © April 1993 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-FVVY gets converted for Kenmore fleet at Kenmore Air.
Photos: Kenneth I. Swartz © 08 August 2016
N709KA in service now with Kenmore.
Photo: Todd Boettcher © 31 August 2017
Photos: Todd Boettcher © 01 September 2017

c/n 410

9427 C-FVVY

N709KA

x

• 9427 Royal Canadian Air Force. Delivered 30 Dec-1960.

Initially allocated to 6 Repair Depot at Dunnville, ON., as a reserve aircraft.

14th February 1961. Assigned to the Central Experimental & Proving Establishment (CEPE) at Uplands, Ottawa, ON.

30th March 1961. Returned to 6 Repair Depot at Dunnville, ON.

30th November 1961 Assigned to 111 Communications & Rescue Flight at Winnipeg, MB.

18th April 1962. Returned to 6 Repair Depot at Dunnville, ON.

6th September 1962. Assigned to 438 Squadron, St. Hubert, near Montréal, QC.

Accident: St. Hubert. 13-Feb-1965. During a training flight involving a simulated engine failure on landing the engine actually failed to respond to input and a heavy landing ensued. Suffered a wrinkled fuselage and damaged landing gear.

Feb-1965. Again, returned to 6 Repair Depot at Dunnville, ON, but instead of the aircraft being repaited, it was decided to sell it in its damaged condition.

19th May 1965. Struck off RCAF charge.

• CF-VVY Northward Aviation Ltd., Edmonton, AB who rebuilt it. Based Yellowknife, NT. Regd 1967

• CF-VVY Northern Wings Ltd., (Les Ailes du Nord) Based Sept Îles, QC.  Regd 1975, moving to its new base at Sept Iles, QC.

• C-FYYV Northern Wings Ltd., (Les Ailes du Nord). Based Sept Îles, QC.  Re regd date unknown.

• C-FYYV Air Fecteau Details unknown.

• C-FYYV Propair Inc., Rouyn-Noranda QC. Based Chibougamau, QC. Regd 04 May-1982. Re regd 13-Sep-1989. Canx 26-May-1999.

Accident: Riviere Macho, QC. 21st February 1989. On landing, the pilot lost control and the Otter crashed into trees. It was repaired and resumed service with Propair.

Accident: Kuujjuarpik, QC. 14-Apr-1996. The Otter, on wheel-skis, was landing on a gravel strip. The aircraft tipped over on its nose and then fell back, smashing the rear wheel-ski into the fuselage. A brake fault was to blame.

• C-FYYV Big River Air Ltd., Fort Smith, NT, Regd 26-May-1999, Canx 28-Nov-2008.

Power-plant. Converted to a Vazar turbine Otter. Winter of 1999 / 2000 by Big River Air at their Fort Smith base.

• C-FYYV Leased to Air Wemindji, 2001 / 2002. Actual dates unknown.

• C-FYYV Returned to Big River Air Ltd., Fort Smith, NT. Unknown date.

• C-FYYV Air Roberval Ltée / Air Roberval Ltd., Roberval, QC. Regd 28-Nov-2008. Canx 16-May-2009. & 09-Aug-2009. Regd 28-Sep-2009. Canx 07-May-2014. Regd 22-Oct-2014. Canx 12-Jul-2016 on export to USA.

• N709KA Kenmore Air Harbour Inc., Kenmore, WA. Regd 25-Jul-2016.

Current

Otter 410 was delivered to the RCAF on 30th December 1960 with serial 9427. It was the last Otter delivered to the RCAF. It was allocated to 6 Repair Depot at Dunnville as a reserve aircraft, but on 14th February 1961 was assigned to the Central Experimental & Proving Establishment (CEPE) at Uplands, Ottawa where it served until 30th March 1961, before returning to Dunnville. On 30th November 1961 it was assigned to 111 Communications & Rescue Flight at Winnipeg, returning again to storage at Dunnville on 18th April 1962. Finally, on 6th September 1962 it was assigned to 438 Squadron at St. Hubert, near Montréal.

9427 flew for 438 Squadron for more than two years, until damaged in an accident on 13th February 1965 in the course of a training flight. During final approach at St. Hubert, at two hundred feet above the ground, the captain retarded the throttle to simulate engine failure. The flaps were in the take-off position and gusty winds prevailed. The captain allowed the aircraft to be flown such that a high sink rate occurred. In an attempt to regain control, the throttle was advanced but the  engine did not respond in time. Upon impact with the runway, the fuselage was wrinkled severely and the landing gear was forced up through the fuselage. The Otter was returned to 6 Repair Depot, but instead of repairing the aircraft, it was decided to sell it in its damaged condition. It was struck off RCAF charge on 19th May 1965.

The damaged Otter was purchased by Northward Aviation Ltd., of Edmonton, who rebuilt it, and  it was the registered to Northward Aviation in 1967 as CF-VVY, based at Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. It continued to fly for Northward Aviation until sold to Northern Wings Ltd., (Les Ailes du Nord) in 1975, moving to its new base at Sept Îles, Québec and serving the communities on the north shore of the Gulf of St.Lawrence. The registration was amended to C-FVVY. Northern Wings Ltd was a subsidiary of Québecair, and in 1979 its Otters were transferred to Air Fecteau Ltée, another Québecair subsidiary. Air Fecteau amalgamated with another carrier to form Propair Inc., to which VVY was registered in May 1982.

The Otter continued in service with Propair until it crashed at Rivière Macho, Québec on 21st February 1989. On landing, the pilot lost control and the Otter crashed into trees. It was repaired and resumed service with Propair. It suffered another incident at Kuujjuarpik, Quebec on 14th April 1996. The Otter, on wheel-skis, was landing on a gravel strip. The aircraft tipped over on its nose and then fell back, smashing the rear wheel-ski into the fuselage. A brake fault was to blame. VVY was repaired and continued flying for Propair until sold to Big River Air Ltd., of Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, to whom it was registered on 26th May 1999, replacing Otter C-GKYG (261), which the company had flown up to then, on lease.

VVY was flown as a piston Otter by Big River Air during the summer of 1999, and over the following winter of 1999 / 2000 was converted to a Vazar turbine Otter by Big River Air at their Fort Smith base. It was flown by Big River Air during summer 2000, flying hunters, fishermen, tourists etc. The company also has a base at Yellowknife, the Otter alternating between Yellowknife and Fort Smith. During winter of 2001 / 2002 the Otter went on lease to Air Wemindji, mostly flying native trappers in northern Québec. It then returned to Big River Air, again alternating during the summer months between Yellowknife and Fort Smith. It was also used on skis during the winter months, supporting hunters as well as exploration work.

In February 2004, VVY left the Northwest Territories and headed east to Québec, where Big River Air were to operate the Otter to replace Orenda-powered Otter C-FEYY (19) , which had been grounded when the Orenda project collapsed. Routing was from Fort Smith-Lynn Lake-Red Lake- Hearst-Chibougamau, where it arrived 5th February 2004. VVY was based at Chibougamau and most of its flying was for the Ashton Mining Company, a diamond prospecting operation. The Otter supported the exploration camps out in the bush, flying in groceries, equipment and personnel. This was a large scale operation, which also had two Buffalo Airways C-46s. On one occasion, one of the C-46s became stuck in the snow. The Otter flew in snow-blowers to release the C-46. The Otter continued with these operations in Québec for the remainder of 2004.

Otter VVY continued flying in Québec for some years. During winter 2005 / 2006 it was operating out of Temiscamie River, to the north of Chibougamau. In December 2007 a company called Air Roberval Ltée was formed, with its main base at Roberval, Québec but with subsidiary bases at Temiscamie, Schefferville and Pourvoirie Mirage LG-4. This was a different company than the company of the same name which operated Otters (135 and 348) in Québec years before. The new Air Roberval was formed to provide bush services in remote northern Quebec and in 2007 it purchased Big River Air, thus acquiring Otter VVY which was registered to Air Roberval on 28 November 2008. Air Roberval also operated Otters LPM and NFI and continued to serve the Québec bush country with its fleet of Otters in the years that followed.

In March 2015, while still operated by Air Roberval, Otter VVY was advertised for sale through brokers C&S Enterprises. It had a PT-6A-34 engine with 24,580 hours on the airframe. It was on EDO 7170 stretched floats, with wheel gear also available, and had the BARON STOL conversion. Asking price was US$995,000. It did not sell at that time but continued in service with Air Roberval, until a sale was agreed the following year, in July 2016 to Kenmore Air Harbor Inc., of Seattle. The Otter was flown across the country by an Air Roberval crew and its registration to Air Roberval was cancelled on 12 July 2016. It was registered N709KA to Kenmore Air Harbor Inc., on 25 July 2016.

After overhaul, N709KA entered service with Kenmore Air on 30 December 2016, part of its large Otter fleet, providing scheduled floatplane services from its base at Kenmore Harbour Seattle to points on Vancouver Island. It was to be operated in its existing colour scheme at first, until the opportunity arose to paint it into Kenmore’s own scheme.

ull 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.