DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 66

144261
No photographs added yet - just inserting data.
Photo:

c/n 66

3699

144261

 3699 Royal Canadian Air Force. Delivered 18-Mar-1955.

Immediately put into storage at No.6 Repair Depot, Trenton, ON.,  as a reserve aircraft.

• 144261 US Navy from 21-Sep-1955.

VX-6 Squadron in Dec-1955. Initially based at McMurdo but later moved to the Little America V base from 06-Feb-1956.

Incident: Kiel Airfield, Little America V base. 01-Jul-1956. Destroyed in a blizzard. Heavy winds tore it from hold-downs, whipping the aircraft around and blowing it against a snow drift. The rear fuselage and tail section were badly damaged and it was deemed a write-off.

Total time: 93hrs with VX-6.

Written off

x

being put into storage with No.6 Repair Depot, Trenton as a reserve aircraft. As explained in relation to Otter number 60, it was one of three RCAF Otters transferred to the United States Navy on 21st September '55, to replace three Navy Otters urgently required for work in the Antarctic but delayed due to a strike in DHC. On being accepted by the US Navy, the Otter was allocated BuAer serial 144261. The US Navy's own first Otter (142424) and the three ex RCAF Otters were placed on board the 'USS Glacier', which sailed to the Antarctic, where they were unloaded and entered service with VX-6 Squadron in December 1955.

Initially 144261 was based at McMurdo, but later moved to the Little America V base. It was brought by the vessel 'Eastwind' from McMurdo to Little America on 6th February 1956 to search for Otter 144260, which had crashed. On 9th February it located the missing Otter. After the search, it remained based at Little America. At the end of Deep Freeze I in February 1956, 144261 was put into storage for the Antarctic winter at Little America's Kiel Airfield. It was soon however back in action. On 14th May '56 the first sustained flight during the dark winter night was successfully completed. Otter 144261 remained aloft for four hours six minutes evaluating electronic equipment and aircraft performance. Lighted pots outlined the runway on the ice for these nocturnal operations. Another four hour flight was undertaken on 23rd May.

Sadly, the Otter was destroyed in a blizzard at Kiel Airfield on 2nd July 1956. Heavy winds tore it from hold-downs, whipping the aircraft around and blowing it against a snow drift. The rear fuselage and tail section were badly damaged and 144261 was deemed a write-off. It had flown only 93 hours in Naval service and was stricken from the inventory.

History courtesy of Karl E. Hayes from DHC-3 Otter: A History (2005).