DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 425

C-GLCR in the early days, at Squaw Lake, Schefferville.
Photos: Normand Denis © July 1981
N2899J at her regular docking spot.
Photo: John Kimberley © July 1992 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
N2899J arriving back from a trip.
Photo: Neil Aird © 06 September 2004 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
N2899J at her regular docking spot, fourteen years after the piston image above.
Photso: Robbie Shaw © 08 June 2016
N2899J departs Lake Spenard / Lake hood.
Photo: Robbie Shaw © 14 June 2016

c/n 425

G307  N17684  C-GLCR

N2899J

x

• G307 Ghana Air Force. Delivered 28-Dec-1961, based at Takoradi Air Base.

1973 Withdrawn from service and put up for sale.

• N17684 Joseph V.Masin of Rodenkirchen, West Germany.

Entries preceded by dates are extracts from Canadian Department of Transport Archives.

26-Apr-1974 Allotment of C-GLCR, DHC-3 msn 425 for Air-Craftsmen Ltd., Rothesay, NB.

• C-GLCR Air-Craftsmen Ltd., Rothesay, NB. Reserved 26th April 1974.

06-Aug-1976 temporary Certificate of Registration & Flight Permit to ferry Saint John, NB – Goderich, ON. and return (It is suggested this would be for painting at the Sky Harbour facility at Goderich).

19-Aug-1976 Permit above amended to return Goderich  – Schefferville, QC.

20-Aug-1976 Certificate of Airworthiness issued.

23-Aug-1976 Application for Certificate of Registration by Air Gava Ltd., on lease from Fonds Nordic Ltée., Schefferville, QC.

• C-GLCR Les Fonds Nordic Ltée., a leasing company. Regd 30-Aug-1976.

30-Aug-1976 Certificate of Registration issued to AirGava Ltd., on lease from Fonds Nordic Ltée., Schefferville, QC

• C-GLCR Air Gava Ltée., Schefferville, QC. On lease from 30 Aug 1976.

29-May-1979 Certificate of Registration re-issued to Air Gava Ltd., Schefferville, QC.

Accident: 62 miles NNE Schefferville Lac a McCabe, 62 miles NNE QC, 12-Nov-1979. Broke through ice after landing and suffered wing damage. Pilot, Joseph Alain Michel Bradette and three passengers uninjured.

Total time since new as recorded in Canadian Department of Transport archives.

16-Aug-1976 - 1,167 hours

15-Jul-1977 - 1,502 hours

13-Aug-1978 - 1,881 hours

04-Aug-1979 - 2,161 hours

14-Aug-1980 - 2,567 hours

• C-GLCR Cancelled Canadian Civil Aircraft Register, 12-Feb-1982.

• N2899J 40 Mile Air, Tok, AK. Regd 12-Feb-1982.

Accident: Dan Creek nr McCarthy, AK. 28-Oct-1984 On a flight from Chitina, the aircraft hit a downdraft while landing on the gravel airstrip, landed hard and struck the wing on the runway surface. The undercarriage was pushed into the fuselage. Flown out after temporary repairs.

• N2899J Bering Air Inc., Nome, AK. Regd Dec-1986.

Airworthiness date: 04-May-1993.

• N2899J Rusts Flying Service Inc., - Rustair, Anchorage, AK. Regd 26-Mar-1990.

Power plant: Converted to a Vazar turbine in June 2000, the work being performed by Island Flight Support Inc., Victoria, BC.

Incident. Location unknown. 28-Jun-1993. Cylinder failed through rocker arm boss on exhaust side. Engine lost power. A precautionary landing was made.

Service Defect Report (SDR) 05-Sep-1993. (Possibly flying for Era Aviation Inc.) Aluminium and brass were found in screen at 100-hour inspection. Removal of cylinder revealed that crankshaft flyweights were striking rear crankcase face at raised areas between cylinders. Crankshaft end play measured .023 inch and flyweights prevented further aft movement of crank. Partial failure of front main bearing is suspected. Bearing was not replaced at last overhaul

Service Defect Report (SDR) 17-Jan-1994 Number 1 cylinder exhaust valve guide became loose in cylinder. Movement created aluminium and bronze material that was detected in oil screen.

Current

Otter 425 was delivered to the Ghana Air Force on 28th December 1961 with serial G307. It was the eight 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. The Otters continued in service with the Ghana Air Force until 1973 when they were withdrawn 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 425 was registered to Joseph V. Masin of Rodenkirchen, West Germany as N17684. 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. Marks C- GLCR were reserved for Otter 425. Whereas most of the ex Ghana Air Force Otters were flown back to Canada, 425 was put into a crate and shipped to St. John, where it was rebuilt and civilianised.

When this work was completed, a ferry permit was issued on 6th July 1976 for a flight from St. John, New Brunswick to Goderich, Ontario for painting and then return to St. John. There was then a change of plan, when the Otter was sold to a leasing company, Les Fonds Nordic Ltée., for lease to Air Gava Ltée., and on 19th August 1976 the Otter was delivered from St. John to its new base at Schefferville, Québec and entered service with Air Gava Ltée.

C-GLCR was involved in an incident on 12th November 1979, landing at Lake McCabe after a flight from Schefferville. After landing on the frozen lake (temperature at the time was -12C) the pilot taxied the ski-equipped Otter towards the shore. As the speed of the aircraft decreased, it broke through the ice and settled in four feet of water, damaging a wing. Although it was reported that there was ten inches of blue ice on the lake, the quality and thickness of the ice closer to the shore was much less, and it was subject to water currents. The pilot was unaware of the difference in the ice conditions.

The Otter was repaired and returned to service with Air Gava Ltée, and continued flying for the company in northern Québec until 1981, when Air Gava encountered financial difficulties and ceased trading. C&S Enterprises Ltd., aircraft brokers, of Ontario were appointed to sell Air Gava's fleet of aircraft, including its three Otters, C-FQMN (184), C-GLFL (329) and C-GLCR (425). “Steal these bank repossessions” proclaimed their advertisement. LCR had at that stage of its career a total time of 2,971 hours, was on floats, and with a new Certificate of Airworthiness had an asking price of $155,000 Canadian. The Otter was sold to 40 Mile Air of Tok, Alaska on 12th February 1982, registered N2899J. It flew for 40 Mile Air in its Air Gava colour scheme, orange overall with a white cheatline. It met with an accident on 28th October 1984 while landing on the gravel airstrip at Dan Creek near McCarthy, Alaska on a flight from Chitina. The aircraft hit a downdraft, landed hard and struck the wing on the runway surface. The undercarriage was pushed into the fuselage. The wind had been gusting to 20 knots. Temporary repairs were effected on site and the Otter was then flown to Seattle for permanent repairs, after which it resumed service with 40 Mile Air.

In December 1986 N2899J was sold to Bering Air Inc., of Nome, Alaska and flew for this company until sold to Rusts Flying Service Inc., based at Anchorage Lake Hood, in June 1989. It was repainted into Rusts colour scheme, and throughout the 1990s flew for the company, becoming one of the most well-known Otters in Alaska. It was operated as a piston Otter, mostly flying tourists, hunters, fishermen etc during the summer months. After more than a decade of service as a piston Otter with Rusts, the company arranged for it to be converted to a Vazar turbine in June 2000, the work being performed by Island Flight Support Inc., at Victoria, BC. It then re-entered service with Rusts as a turbine Otter.

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