DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 452

CF-DIO at Shannon - EINN, Eire.
Photo:Unknown photographer © 17 September 1972 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
CF-DIO at Chibougamau - CYMT, Québec.
Photo: Details later © - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-FDIO in Waasheshkun Airways colours.
Photo: Karl E. Hayes © May 2001

c/n 452

JW 9102 • CF-DIO

C-FDIO

x

• JW 9102 Ordered new for Tanzania, with this serial number. On RCAF books for acceptance testing, training and delivery, at Camp Borden, ON with this serial number.  Delivered to Tanzania on 28 February 1966.

• JW 9102 Tanzanian Air Force / Jeshi La Wananchi La Tanzani: JWTZ. Delivered 25-Feb-1966. Based at Dar es Salaam.).

• CF-DIO Bannock Aerospace Ltd., Toronto. Purchased Apr-1972. (Note also quoted as sold 17-Sep-1972).

• CF-DIO Traders Group Ltd., Toronto, ON. Regd 07-Nov-1972.

• CF-DIO Leased to Komo Construction Inc., QC. Nov-1972.

Accident on the Eastmain River, QC on 25th January 1973. while on wheel-skis, described as “misjudged altitude; hard landing; substantial damage.

• CF-DIO Dolbeau Air Service Inc., Lac Cache, Chibougamau, QC. Circa late 1973 until an unknown date in 1975.

• CF-DIO Direquair Inc., Lac Cache, Chibougamau, QC. Regd on an unknown date in 1975.

• CF-DIO Air Mistassini Inc., Lac Cache, Chibougamau, QC. Change of name in from Direquair 1981. Canx 27-May-1982.

• CF-DIO Soc Tourisme Baie James, Montréal,.QC. Canx 24-Aug-1982.

• C-FDIO Paul Petwabano, Mistassini Lac, Baie du Poste. Regd 24-Aug-1984. Canx 07-Jun-1989.

• C-FDIO Waasheshkun Airways Ltd / Compagnie D'Aviation Waasheshkun Ltée., Mistassini Lake, Baie du Poste. Regd 11-Oct-1989, 01-Nov-1989 & 04-Feb-2003. Canx date currently unknown.

Power plant: Vazar turboprop conversion number 80, completed November 2006.

• C-FDIO Air Roberval Ltée / Air Roberval Ltd., Roberval, QC. Based Mistassini, QC. Regd 09-Jan-2009.

• C-FDIO Waasheshkun Airways Ltd / Compagnie D'Aviation Waasheshkun Ltée., Mistassini. Regd 17-Jul-2009. Canx 14-Feb-2013.

• C-FDIO Air Roberval Ltée / Air Roberval Ltd., Roberval, QC. Regd 15-Apr-2013. Canx 25-Jun-2014.

• C-FDIO Waasheshkun Airways Ltd / Compagnie D'Aviation Waasheshkun Ltée., Mistaissini. Regd 25-Jun-2014.

Current

Otter 452 was delivered to the Tanzanian Air Force on 25th February 1966 with serial JW 9102. It was crated and shipped to Tanzania where it was re-assembled and entered service, based at Dar es Salaam. The history of the Tanzanian Otters has been explained in relation to Otter 451. Of the eight Otters acquired, three remained in Canada and were used for training purposes only. Five went to Tanzania, including JW-9102, which remained in service until April 1972, when these five Otters were purchased by Bannock Aerospace Ltd., of Toronto, Ontario.

The five Otters were flown from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi-Wilson airfield, Kenya in April 1972 and during May were prepared for the long ferry flight back to Canada. They were registered to Bannock Aerospace Ltd., JW-9102 (452) becoming CF-DIO; JW-9103 (453) CF-DIV; JW-9104 (454) CF-DIY; JW-9106 (459).

CF-DJA and 9107 (460) CF-DIZ. Four of these Otters passed through Shannon in Ireland on the delivery flight home, the fifth passing through Prestwick, Scotland. CF-DIO (452) came through Shannon on 17th September 1972, next stop Reykjavik, Iceland.

Following arrival in Canada and overhaul, CF-DIO was sold on 7th November 1972 to Traders Group Ltd., Toronto and leased to Komo Construction Inc., of Québec City. It had an accident on the Eastmain River, Québec on 25th January 1973 while on wheel-skis, described as “misjudged altitude; hard landing; substantial damage”. After repair, it was sold the following year to Dolbeau Air Service Inc of Chibougamau, Québec, continuing many years of service in the Québec bush country. In 1975 it was in service with Direquair Inc, also based at Lac Cache, Chibougamau alongside C- FAPQ (201) and C-FQOS (398). There was a change of name to Air Mistassini Inc., in 1981 but the following year the company went bankrupt, and for a time Otter DIO lay idle at Lac Cache, as did QOS. DIO was eventually sold to Paul Petawabano on 24th August 1984. He is a Cree pilot who founded Waasheshkun Airways Lt., based at Baie-du-Poste (Mistassini Lake) in remote northern Québec, to which the Otter was registered in August 1984.

A 1992 article in Wings magazine profiled the company: “Waasheshkun Airways is one of three Cree-owned airlines serving northern Québec, but it is the only one that derives most of its revenues from traditional bush flying using float and wheel-ski equipped aircraft. Its main business is flying Cree trappers, fishermen and hunters into the bush. It's a year-round charter business. It operates from a dock at Baie-du-Poste, an old trading post at the south end of Lac Mistassini, one of the larger lakes in Québec. The fleet consists of one Beaver C-GAXL and two Otters, C-FDIO (452) and C-FODT (218).  The air service was founded in 1980 by Paul Petawabano, but 90% of the airline was later acquired by the Mistassini Cree band. There are about 2,300 band members, most of whom live in the village of Mistassini, adjacent to the old trading post. The community is 89 kilometres by road north of Chibougamau, where the airline's floatplane competitor, Propair, has its base. The Cree territory in north-central Québec is very large. Some places trappers are flown to are 386 kilometres away from Mistassini. The territory expands north from Chibougamau as far as the Eastmain River and west almost to the highway leading north to Radisson. There are no airports in the region, but there are plenty of lakes to alight on”.

“The airline started with one Otter (DIO) to accommodate natives who were travelling on the reserve lands. Then the Beaver was added and finally the second Otter (ODT). The Beaver flies about 400 to 500 hours a year and the two Otters fly a total of 2,000 hours annually. Aside from serving native hunters and trappers, the business base of the airline also includes supporting two fly- in fishing camps. It also supports mineral exploration, flying in diamond drills and transporting fuel, equipment, groceries and workers”. Otter ODT was sold shortly after that article was written, but DIO was still in service with Waasheshkun Airways in 2004.

To be updated, now turbine powered.

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