DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 424

C-GNLA of LabAir, but sporting Goose Bay Air Services basic colour scheme.
Photo: MAP © Date unknown - Karl E. Hayes Collection

c/n 424

G306 • N17683 • (C-GLCQ)

C-GNLA

x

• G306 Ghana Air Force. Delivered 28-Nov-1961. Based at Takoradi Air Base.

Note: The following registration, CF-ZFM for c/n 424 was allotted to Lambair Ltd., The Pas, MB. on 21-Apr-1971 who were considering a deal to purchase seven of the Ghanaian Otters. However the deal did not proceed and the allotment was withdrawn by Department of Transport 30-Apr-1971.

• G306 Ghana Air Force. Withdrawn from service in 1973.

• N17683 Joseph V.Masin of Rodenkirchen, West Germany as N17683. Regd date unknown.

• N17683 Air Craftsmen Ltd., St.John, NB. Canx 15 Jul-1974

• (C-GLCQ) (ntu) Reserved 26-Apr-1974.

• C-GNLA Newfoundland Labrador Air Transport Ltd., (NLAT), Corner brook, NL. Regd Sep-1974.

• C-GNLA Labrador Airways Ltd., Goose By, NL.  (Labair). Regd circa Jan-1977.

• C-GNLA Newfoundland Labrador Air Transport Ltd., (NLAT), Corner Brook, NL Canx 18-Aug-1982.

Accident. Nain, NL. 20-Apr-1978. The aircraft took off from the ice which covered Nain Harbour. After take off, the pilot raised the skis for a landing on wheels on the airstrip at Nain. Following a normal touchdown, when the pilot applied the brakes, the Otter veered left and started to nose over. It came to a stop in a nose-down attitude and then fell down hard onto its tail.

• C-GNLA Goose Bay Air Services Ltd., Goose Bay, NL. Regd date unknown. Canx 14-Aug-1986.

• C-GNLA Provincial Express Inc., Goose Bay, NL. Regd 23-Nov-1988.

Accident: Shapio Lake, NL. 16-Aug-1990. After touchdown on the lake, the left float flooded and the Otter rolled over and sank. It was damaged beyond repair.

• C-GNLA Canx and deleted from register 17-Feb-1992.

Destroyed

Otter 424 was delivered to the Ghana Air Force on 28th November 1961 with serial G306. It was the seventh of an order for twelve Otters, all of which were packed into crates and shipped to Ghana, where they were re-assembled and entered service. They were based at Takoradi Air Base. During 1970, Lambair of Manitoba negotiated with the Ghana Air Force with a view to purchasing a number of their Otters, including 424, and marks CF-ZFM were reserved, but no deal was concluded and G306 remained in service with the Ghana Air Force.

The Otters were withdrawn from service in 1973 and put up for sale. As explained in relation to number 418, eight of the Ghana Air Force Otters were acquired by brokers Masin Aircraft of Cologne and Otter 424 was registered to Joseph V. Masin of Rodenkirchen, West Germany as N17683. These eight Otters together with a former US Army Otter which Masin Aircraft had acquired, were sold to Air Craftsmen Ltd of St.John, New Brunswick, a company which specialised in buying, refurbishing and selling on ex-military Otters. On 26th April 1974, Air Craftsmen Ltd., reserved Canadian marks for all nine Otters, although some of these were not taken up, and the aircraft were ferried to Canada using their American registrations. Marks C-GLCQ were reserved for Otter 424, although these were not taken up and the Otter was flown from Ghana to St. John using its US registration N17683, in company with N17682 (422, ex G305). Both of these Otters routed from Cologne to Prestwick on 27th June 1974 and then onwards via Iceland and Greenland to St. John.

After it had been refurbished and civilianised, Otter 424 was sold to Newfoundland Labrador Air Transport Ltd., (NLAT) of Corner brook, Newfoundland to whom it was registered C-GNLA in September 1974. It joined Otter C-FZYL (262) in NLAT's fleet. The two Otters flew out of South Brook, Newfoundland on floats during the summer and from Deer Lake during the winter. NLAT became a subsidiary of Labrador Airways, but was sold off in January 1977. Labrador Airways however retained these two Otters as part of their fleet, based at Goose Bay. Accordingly, in January 1977, C-GNLA was registered to Labrador Airways Ltd and in June 1981, it was registered back to Newfoundland Labrador Air Transport Ltd., when that company bought the Labrador Airways Otters. In August 1982 the Otters was registered to Goose Bay Air Services Ltd., who took over operation of the Otters at Goose Bay.

C-GNLA was involved in an incident at Nain, Labrador on 20th April 1978. The Otter took off from the ice which covered Nain Harbour. After take off, the pilot raised the skis for a landing on  wheels on the airstrip at Nain. Following a normal touchdown, when the pilot applied the brakes, the Otter veered left and started to nose over. It came to a stop in a nose-down attitude and then fell down hard onto its tail. There had been ice accumulation on the wheel brakes. It was repaired  and returned to service and in November 1988 it was registered again to Labrador Airways Ltd.

On 27th June 1990 at Chaulk Lake, Labrador the Otter blew the head of a cylinder in the cruise and made a forced landing on the lake. The cylinder was changed at the scene and the aircraft returned to base. The operator in the incident report is given as Provincial Express Inc., (Pro-Ex), a division of Labrador Airways. The Otter continued flying for Labrador Airways until it was damaged beyond repair in an incident on 16th October 1990 at Shapio Lake, Labrador. After touchdown on the lake, the left float flooded and the Otter rolled over and sank. The registration C-GNLA was cancelled in February 1992.

Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)