DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 445

CF-RHW as a roadside attraction near Rosswood, British Columbia.
Photo: Unknown photographer © 01 October 1970 - via Ken Newman
C-FRHW at Vancouver - CYVR, British Columbia.
Photo: John Kimberley © October 1982 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-FRHW visits Ketchikan, Alaska.
Photo: Don Dawson © August 1984 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-FRHW at Seal Cove, Prince Rupert.
Photo: Fred Barnes © 07 June 1990 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-FRHW at Seal Cove, Prince Rupert.
Photo: Karl E. Hayes © September 1999

c/n 445

CF-RHW

C-FRHW

x

• CF-RHW Trans Provincial Air Carriers Ltd., Prince Rupert, BC. Delivered 08-Aug-1964.

• CF-RHW Later re-named Trans Provincial Airlines Ltd.

Accident: Rosswood, BC. 01-Oct-1970. The aircraft collided with trees due to power loss occasioned by a fatigue fracture of the exhaust. Force landed beside a mountain road due engine failure”.

• C-FRHW Re regd to Trans Provincial Airlines Ltd. Circa 1971. Into receivership 19-Mar-1993. Canx 24-Sep-1993.

Accident: 7KM east of Smithers, BC. 12-Jun- 1981 As the pilot was trying to climb to overfly a ridge, the Otter started to lose altitude. Application of more power failed to arrest the rate of descent. The aircraft contacted the surface and travelled a short distance before stopping. The pilot believed he had encountered subsiding air.

Accident: Hepla Lake, BC.04-Mar-1986. The Otter had just taken off from Bank's Island off the BC coast, en route to Seal Cove, Prince Rupert, carrying seventeen empty fuel drums. A cylinder cracked just after take off, resulting in a dramatic loss of power from the engine, and back-firing. The pilot wisely decided that there was insufficient power to manoeuvre and elected to land on the lake surface that remained ahead. At the end of the lake, the Otter's wing struck a tree and the aircraft veered right into the tress and struck a stump on the shore. (See further info. below).

Total time: 18,829 hours circa Mar-1993.

• C-FRHW Hallmark Leasing Corporation, Vancouver, BC. A leasing company of Mr. Trevor Ross. Regd 24-Sep-1993. Canx 04-Oct-1993.

• C-FRHW Leased to Waglisla Air Inc., trading as Wagair, Prince Rupert, BC. Based Bella Bella, BC. Regd 04-Oct-1993. Canx 16-Nov-1995.

• C-FRHW Leased to Inland Air Charters Ltd., based at Prince Rupert, BC. Regd 12-Dec-1995.

• C-FRHW Central Flyway Air (Venture Air), Thompson, MB. Regd 19-Apr-2006, 22-May-2006 & 23-May-2006. Canx 02-Mar-2011.

• C-FRHW Kississing Lake Lodge (Wings over Kississing) Steinbach, MB. Based Thompson, MB. Regd 02-Mar-2011.

 • Current

Otter 445 was delivered to Trans Provincial Air Carriers Ltd., Prince Rupert, BC on 8th August 1964 registered CF-RHW. The company was re-named Trans Provincial Airlines Ltd. Otter RHW was to fly for the company for nearly thirty years, serving the mainland of northern BC., and also the Queen Charlotte Islands. Its first incident occurred at Rosswood, BC., on 1st October 1970 when it collided with trees due to power loss occasioned by a fatigue fracture of the exhaust. It was repaired and re-registered C-FRHW. It met with another accident on 12th June 1981, seven kilometres east of Smithers, BC. As the pilot was trying to climb to overfly a ridge, the Otter started to lose altitude.

Application of more power failed to arrest the rate of descent. The aircraft contacted the surface and travelled a short distance before stopping. The pilot believed he had encountered subsiding air. Again it was repaired.

Another incident occurred at Hepla Lake, BC., on 4th March 1986. The Otter had just taken off from Bank's Island off the BC., coast, en route to Seal Cove, Prince Rupert, carrying seventeen empty fuel drums. A cylinder cracked just after take off, resulting in a dramatic loss of power from the engine, and back-firing. The pilot wisely decided that there was insufficient power to manoeuvre and elected to land on the lake surface that remained ahead. At the end of the lake, the Otter's wing struck a tree and the aircraft veered right into the tress and struck a stump on the shore. In the usual wording of the accident report, it was “substantially damaged”. The 'wreck' was bought back by Trans Provincial Airlines from the insurers for $5,000. It was airlifted by helicopter from the accident site and put on board a barge, and taken to Vancouver where it was rebuilt by Aeroflite Industries. It returned to service with Trans Provincial Airlines and continued flying for them until the company encountered financial difficulty and went into receivership on 19th March 1993.

Otter RHW was flown to Vancouver along with C-FKLC (255) and put into storage. At that stage of its career, RHW had a total airframe time of 18,829 hours, testifying to a very busy existence along BC's Pacific coast. It was sold by the receiver of Trans Provincial Airlines in September 1993 to Hallmark Leasing Corporation of Vancouver, a leasing company of Mr Trevor Ross, who had imported the Burmese Otters back into Canada. The Otter was then leased to Waglisla Air Inc., trading as Wagair, to whom it was registered in October 1993. It was prepared for service and painted in Wagair colour scheme at Vancouver, where it was noted in February 1994 prior to its return to Seal Cove at Prince Rupert, where it entered service with Wagair. After Wagair ceased trading, the Otter was leased to Inland Air Charters Ltd., in December 1995, also based at Prince Rupert, which means that RHW has been based at this location for the last forty years. The aircraft is fitted with a larger than usual propeller, taken from a Grumman Albatross, which gives better performance on take off. With Inland Air Charters, the Otter (or a Beaver, depending on the load) is used on a scheduled service from Seal Cove, Prince Rupert to Kitkatla and Oona River, as well   as on charters to the many native villages in the area.

. The Otter continued in service with Inland Air Charters based out of Prince Rupert, BC., until March 2006 when it arrived at AOG Aircraft at Kelowna, BC to have some work done on return to its lessor and before sale to a new owner. The Otter, on straight floats, landed on Duck Lake and was then put on beaching gear and brought to the AOG facility where over the next few weeks it had the BARON STOL modifications incorporated. It was then registered to its new owners, Central Flyways Air Inc. Trading as Venture Air, of Thompson, Manitoba on 19 April 2006. It left Kelowna on its delivery flight on 24 April 2006 and John Olafson was privileged to be present and he describes the scene: “I followed C-FRHW on its very interesting journey from Kelowna Airport to Duck Lake. The machine they use to move floatplanes is ideally suited to this task and the operator did an incredible job of safely moving the Otter to the lake. Its first obstacle was a very rough cattle guard to cross and a dusty trip through a cattle ranch, then a crossing over a railway whose crossing was dismantled, followed by a trek through a ginseng farm and finally to the lakeshore where it was fuelled and then launched and flown out. A very rough trip but expertly carried out by the AOG crew. Some places along that ‘road’ the Otter was banked over at close to 45 degrees. A few poplar trees had to be sacrificed along the way. A job well done and another Otter goes back to work”. John’s excellent photos of this and many other Otters can be seen on www.airliners.net and www.dhc3otter.com.

To be updated.

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