DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 458

C-FAZX at Laval - St. François, Québec.
Photo: Karl E. Hayes © May 2004
Photo: Jan Koppen © Date unknown
Photo: Norm Denis © October 2011
C-FAZX working at Gouin ina crisp -20C.
Photo:Simon Contant © early 2018
C-FAZX at Laval, Québec.
Photo:Simon Contant © 13 April 2018

c/n 458

(A-704) • CF-AZX



• (A-704) Used, with this ground instruction serial  as a ground instructional airframe for training Tanzanian Air Force aircraftsmen at RCAF Camp Borden, ON. From Mar-1966. (See narrative below).

• CF-AZX de Havilland Aircraft Canada, Downsview, ON. Canadian Certificate of Airworthiness issued on 6th April 1971. Regd 15-Apr-1971.

• CF-AZX Northern Wings Ltd., (Les Ailes du Nord) of Sept Îles, QC. Regd Apr-1971 (A subsidiary of Québecair).

• CF-AZX Air Fecteau Ltée., Date unknown. (A subsidiary of Québecair).

• C-FAZX Propair Inc., Rouyn, QC. Regd 03-May 1982. (Merged with Air Fecteau). Canx 10-Jun-1988.

• C-FAZX Alexandair Inc., Sept Îles, Lac des Rapides, QC. Regd 08-Jun-1988. Canx 30-Mar-1994 when company went under.

• C-FAZX Air Wilga Inc., (a leasing company,. Laval, QC. Purchased from liquidator of Alexandair. Regd 05-May-1994.

• C-FAZX Leased to Aviation Port-Neuf Ltée., Lac St. Augustine, QC. Regd 03-Aug-1994. Canx 03-Sep-1997.

• C-FAZX Leased to Air Saguenay (1980) Inc., Chicoutimi, QC. Regd 03-Sep-1997. Canx 26-Jun-1998.

• C-FAZX Leased to Aero Golfé Ltée., Havre St. Pierre, QC. Regd 26-Jun-1998. Canx 30-Sep-1998.

• C-FAZX Leased to Johnny May’s Air Charter Ltd., Dorval, QC. Based Kuujjuag, QC. Regd 02-Oct-11998. Canx 07-Oct-1998.

• C-FAZX Returned to Air Wilga, Laval, QC. Regd 19-Oct-1998. Canx & re regd 21-Jun-2001. Canx 16-Aug-2002.

Power plant Converted to the ill fated Orenda V8 piston engine. The second example. (See narrative below).

• C-FAZX Leased from  Air Saguenay (1980) Inc., Jonquière, QC. Based Laval. Regd 16-Aug-2002. Canx 06-Nov-2002.

• C-FAZX. Laval Aviation Ltee., Laval, QC. (An associate company of Air Wilga who retained ownership). Regd 06-Nov 2002.  Canx 10-Jan-2003.

• C-FAZX Leased to Propair Inc., Rouyn- Noranda, QC. Based Laval-St. François, QC. Operated by Air Wimindji, Wimindji, QC. Regd 10-Jan-2003. Canx 17-May-2003.

Note. This lease did not actually commence as the aircraft with its Orenda had its Certificate of Airworthiness cancelled. (See narrative below.). The aircraft remained stored at Laval St .Francois airfield, adorned with Air Wemindji titles.

• C-FAZX Returned to ownership of Air Wilga. Canx 18-Nov-2003.

• C-FAZX Formally registered as Laval Aviation Ltée., Laval, QC, being the owner. Regd 18-Nov-2003. As at Dec-2007 the Otter was still in storage at Laval. Canx 20-Oct-2014.

Noted in Oct 2011 with Air Contant markings. And later, date unknown, with Air Tunilik and Contant markings. The relationship between, Laval, Wimindji, Tunilik & Contant is currently unclear.

• C-FAZX Air Tunilik Inc., Laval, QC. Regd 22-Oct-2014. Canx 31-Mar-2016. Re regd 15-Jun-2016.

Note. Aircraft converted back to R1340 in early 2018.


Note: Contant Aviation, Laval - St. Francois, is a private airfield so there is no regulation. It has been there for many years. The 4,000-foot general aviation airstrip is sometimes referred to as Laval Aviation. Situated adjacent to three docks on the shore of the Mille Îles river, the aerodrome consists of several small hangars that can accommodate about three-dozen single- and twin-engine aircraft, including several amphibious planes equipped with pontoons which enable them to land on water and moor at the airport’s docks on shore of the Mille Îles river.

From  Quebec Bush-planes 2016 The Montréal area - by Jan Koppen

Cheers Jan

Otter 458 is shown in the DHC records as delivered to the Tanzanian Air Force on 10th March 1966 with serial JW 9105, one of eight delivered. In fact, although painted in full Tanzanian Air Force colours, it never entered service and was one of three of the Tanzanian Otters retained in Canada for training purposes. The history of the Tanzanian Otters has been explained in relation to Otter 451. Like that Otter, 458 was also delivered to Camp Borden, Ontario where it was used as a ground instructional airframe, number A704, to train Tanzanian personnel. It remained at Camp Borden for over three years, and in June 1969, together with 451, it went to Trenton, and by 10th December 1969 it was at the Mountain View depot. Like 451, it was packed into a crate to be shipped to Tanzania, but that did not proceed, and instead the Otter was brought to Downsview and returned to DHC for disposal.

The Otter was noted in the Flight Test Hangar at Downsview on 18th February 1971, having been re-assembled, but still painted in full Tanzanian Air Force colours and markings. It received its Canadian Certificate of Airworthiness on 6th April 1971 and on 15th April was registered CF-AZX. It was sold that month to Northern Wings Ltd., (Les Ailes du Nord) of Sept Îles, Québec. This company, which was a subsidiary of Québecair, served the north shore of the St. Lawrence seaway and the Otter continued to fly for the company until 1979, when all of the company's Otters were transferred to Air Fecteau Ltée, another Québecair subsidiary. Otter AZX continued to serve the Québec bush country for many years. Air Fecteau merged into Propair Inc., and the Otter was registered to Propair in May 1982.

In June 1988 C-FAZX was sold by Propair to Alexandair Inc of Sept Îles, Lac-des-Rapides, Québec. It flew for Alexandair until that company ceased operations and went bankrupt and in April 1994 it was purchased from the liquidator by Air Wilga Inc., of Laval, Québec, a company which specialised in leasing out Otters to operators, and over the years has been leased out to different operators in Québec. It was registered to Aviation Portneuf Ltée., of Lac St. Augustin, Québec  in August 1994; to Air Saguenay (1980) Inc of Lac St. Sebastien in September 1997; to Aero Golfe Ltée., Havre St. Pierre in June 1998 and back again to Air Wilga Inc., in October 1998 on conclusion of the lease. During March / April 2000 AZX was converted with an Orenda V8 engine, the second Otter to be converted with this engine, Air Wilga's other Otter C-FEYY (19) having been the first.

AZX was registered to Air Saguenay (1980) Inc., of Lac St. Sebastien on 16th August 2002 and flew for Air Saguenay during the autumn of 2002 on lease from Air Wilga. On conclusion of the lease it was registered to Laval Aviation Ltée., an associated company of Air Wilga, on 6th November 2002 and was in storage at Laval St.Francois airfield over the winter of 2002 / 2003. A lease was then arranged to Air Wemindji of Wemindji, Québec for which the Otter was registered to Propair Inc., for operation on this lease on 10th January 2003, but before this could get going, disaster struck.

In December 2002 the owners of the Orenda Recip Inc., company decided to close the company down, as it had failed in commercial terms to successfully exploit the Orenda engine. Even though the engine had been certified for use in the Otter by Transport Canada, the fact that the manufacturer of the engine was no longer in business and was no longer in a position to support the engine and accept responsibility for it, led to the withdrawal of certification and to the grounding of the two Otters which had been converted to the Orenda engine, EYY and AZX, both owned by Air Wilga. AZX remained in store at Laval - St .François airfield, adorned with Air Wemindji titles but no longer airworthy due to the withdrawal of certification, and awaiting a decision as to its future. On 18th November 2003 the registered owner was changed to Laval Aviation Ltée., but as at June 2004 the Otter was still in storage at Laval.

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

Further note from Karl Hayes.

One of the two Orenda-engined Otters, which has been in storage at Laval, Québec since December 2002 when Orenda Recip Inc., the manufacturers of the engine, decided to close the company down. Even though the Orenda engine had been certified for use in the Otter (as well as the Air Tractor AT-401 agricultural aircraft), certification was withdrawn by the airworthiness authorities as there was no longer a manufacturer to support the engine. During 2007 Trace Engines of Midland, Texas completed the purchase of all technology rights in respect of the Orenda engine and started manufacturing engines at their Midland plant, so there is some prospect of C-FAZX flying again with its Orenda engine. As of December 2007 however it remained withdrawn from use at its Laval, Québec base.

To be updated. shortly.