Otter 417 was delivered to the Provincial Government of Québec in April 1961 as CF-PQH, based at Québec City. After five years of service, the Otter was destroyed in an accident on take-off from Aguanish in the Natashquan region of the Province, on 7th August 1966. The take-off was made from a river, just above a waterfall. On board were the pilot, two passengers from the Department of Resources and four hundred pounds of cargo. The distance from the point of take-off to where the aircraft struck trees on an island was about two thousand feet. However, with a slight turn to the right, the river area continued for about a mile. The river was 400 feet wide, narrowing to 200 feet near the island. The land on the island and river sides was rocky and covered with brush and trees.
The pilot stated that after take-off power was applied, the left float raised and a turn started to the right. The left float then made contact with the water, and the Otter turned to the left. Additional power was applied and he attempted to turn again to the right. He perceived a lack of power from the engine and realised at this point that he could not avoid the island. He applied full throttle and raised the nose as far as possible prior to the crash. As soon as the aircraft came to a stop, the three on board got out, but the Otter was engulfed by fire and completely destroyed.
Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)