DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 72

CF-XUX
No photographs at this time.
Photo:

c/n 72

PI-C53

CF-XUX

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 PI-C53 Philippine Air Lines (PAL). Delivered on 18-Mar-1955. Withdrawn from use May-1964. Canx 26-Aug-1968.

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

09-Aug-1968 CF-XUX allotted to DHC-3 msn 72 for Thomas Lamb Airways Ltd., The Pas, MB.

12-Aug-1968 Bill of Sale; Philippine Air Lines Inc., to Thomas Lamb Airways, US$27,500.

26-Aug-1968 DHC-3 PI-C53 msn 72 cancelled from Philippine CAR. (PI-C54 msn 142 also cancelled same day).

05-Sep-1968 Temporary Flight Permit and Certificate of Registration for ferry flight, Manila, PI., to Calgary issued to “Thomas Lamb Airways” for DHC-3 msn 72, valid to 04-Nov-1968. (However, the Otter was actually crated and shipped by sea).

03-Dec-1968 Canadian Import Duty paid at Calgary.

09-Dec-1968 Certificate of Registration and Flight Permit for Certificate of Airworthiness test flight issued to “Lamb Airways” c/o Field Aviation, Calgary, (who had given the aircraft a complete overhaul).

16-Dec-1968 application for Certificate of Registration by “Thomas Lamb”, The Pas, MB.

• CF-XUX Thomas Lamb Airways Ltd. Purchased Aug-1968. Regd 16-Dec-1968.

02-Jan-1969 Bill of Sale; Thomas Lamb Airways Ltd to Lambair Ltd., The Pas, MB.

• CF-XUX Company renamed Lambair, Jan-1969.

02-Jan-1969 Bill of Sale; “Lamb Enterprises Ltd” to W.J. Harrison, Burns Lake (owner of Omineca Helicopters and Omineca Air Service).

21-Mar-1969 Bought by Omineca Helicopters, Telkwa, BC, for lease to B.C. Yukon Air Service.

__Apr-1969 Omineca Air Service Ltd., buys B.C. Yukon Air Service Ltd.

29-May-1969 Provisional Certificate of Registration and Flight Permit issued for Certificate of Airworthiness test flight issued to Omineca Helicopters Ltd., Burns Lake, BC., c/o Field Aviation, Calgary, AB., valid until 30-Jul-1969.

30-May-1969 Certificate of Airworthiness issued.

• CF-XUX Omineca Air Services, Burns Lake, BC. Regd 30-May-1969.

30-May-1969 Application for Certificate of Registration by B.C. Yukon Air Service Ltd., Watson Lake, YT.

02-Jun-1969 Temporary Certificate of Registration and Flight Permit issued for ferry flight Calgary - Burns Lake, BC,. valid until 16-JUN-1969.

07-Jun-1969 Bill of Sale; Omineca Helicopters Ltd., to B.C. Yukon Air Service Ltd., Watson Lake, YT.

30-Jun-1969 Provisional Certificate of Registration and Certificate of Airworthiness issued to B.C. Yukon Air Service Ltd., Watson Lake, YT.

30-Jun-1969 Certificate of Registration issued to B.C. Yukon Air Service Ltd., Watson Lake, YT.

• CF-XUX BC Yukon Air Service Ltd., Watson Lake, YT. Regd 30-Jun-1969.

Accident: Nahanni Butte, NT 16-Jul-1972. The aircraft had been en route from its base at Watson Lake, Yukon to a lake located in a canyon. The weather was clear on departure but one and a half hours later the pilot reported by radio that the ceiling was 4,000 feet with four miles visibility in light rain. The aftercast (as opposed to forecast) indicated that the weather continued to deteriorate until the high plateaux on either side were cloud covered and only the canyons were clear of cloud.

The pilot had landed at the destination lake three times during the previous three days, but these flights were carried out in clear weather, which enabled him to see the lake from an altitude well above the surrounding plateau. The pilot was not familiar with an approach to the lake following the valley. He was using an 8 mile:1 inch map which did not contain sufficient detail. Numerous canyons leading into the valley were not indicated on this map, which would have confused the pilot's attempt to read the map. Two miles short of his destination, the pilot had entered a canyon which lead to a dead end. The pilot attempted a 180 degree turn at the end of the canyon, which had become 560 feet wide. The aircraft struck the wall of the canyon and fell to the creek bed below. The pilot Dennis Ball and passenger Phillip Woolacott were killed.

• CF-XUX Cancelled from Canadian Civil Aircraft Register, 31-Oct-1972.

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

03-Dec-1968 - 9,924 hours

30-May-1969 - 9,934 hours

12-May-1970 - 10,613 hours

30-Apr-1971 - 11,246 hours

10-Apr-1972 - 11,963 hours

Written off

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Otter number 72 was delivered to Philippine Air Lines (PAL) as PI-C53 on 18 March 1954. After test flying at Downsview it was packed into a crate and shipped to Manila, where it was re-assembled and entered service with PAL, one of six Otters acquired by the airline, and used on its “rural air service”. PI-C53 flew on PAL’s scheduled services without mishap for nine years, until May 1964. By that stage four of the six Otters had crashed, and the two survivors were PI-C53 and PI-C54. From May 1964 onwards these two were used for charter work, until withdrawn from use at Manila and both were put up for sale.

The buyer of the two Otters was Thomas Lamb Airways Ltd., of The Pas, Manitoba, later re-named Lambair. On 2 August 1968 both Otters were registered to Thomas Lamb Airways, PI-C53 as CF-XUX and PI-C54 as CF-XUY. Thomas Lamb himself and his son Greg went to Manila to complete the purchase. Greg was all for flying them home but his father would not hear of it, and so the two Otters travelled as deck cargo on a ship to Vancouver, and by rail to Calgary where they were delivered to Field Aviation, who gave both aircraft a complete overhaul.

These two Otters had been purchased not for operation by Lambair but for sale on. Both Otters were sold to a Mr William Harrison, who was the owner of Omineca Air Services, based at Burns Lake in northern BC, and who also owned BC-Yukon Air Service based at Watson Lake just north of the BC border in the Yukon. Otter XUY was allocated to Omineca Air Services and XUX to BC-Yukon Air Services. After completion of its overhaul at Calgary, XUX was painted white with a red cheatline, and red tip on the white tail, but without any company titles. A ferry permit was issued for CF-XUX from Calgary to Burns Lake on 2 June 1969. It subsequently continued on to Watson Lake, being registered to BC-Yukon Air Service on 30 June 1969 and entering service with this company as its first Otter.

Watson Lake airfield had been built during the second World War as an important staging point on the aircraft ferry route to Alaska. BC-Yukon A/S made Watson Lake its base and took over the large wartime era hangar. The company was to operate a number of Otters over the years. They flew on charter work, mostly for mining companies and government organisations. They flew to established airstrips as well as to suitable mountain meadows, on skis in winter. Summer work involved everything from hauling drills for mining companies, to taking tourist canoe parties into the Nahanni Park. The company operated over a large area, covering northern BC and the southern Yukon. During June 1972 XUX was engaged in flying into Telegraph Creek, BC, flying in fuel for Okanagan Bell 205 helicopters supporting mining exploration.

CF-XUX continued in service with BC-Yukon A/S until it was destroyed in a crash on 16 July 1972, thirty six miles northwest of Nahanni Butte, Northwest Territories, in a “continued VFR into adverse weather” type of accident. The Otter had been en route from its base at Watson Lake, Yukon to a lake located on a plateau. It was on a charter to set up a camp on a small lake on Ram Plateau. The Otter was carrying all the camp’s groceries, and the camp cook as a passenger. The weather was clear on departure but one a half hours later the pilot reported by radio that the ceiling was four thousand feet with four miles visibility in light rain. The aftercast indicated that the weather continued to deteriorate until the high plateaux on either side were cloud covered, and only the canyons were clear of cloud.

The pilot had landed at the destination lake three times during the previous three days, but these flights had been carried out in clear weather, which enabled him to see the lake from an altitude well above the surrounding plateau. The pilot was not familiar with an approach to the lake following the valley. He was using an 8 mile:1 inch map which did not contain sufficient detail. Numerous canyons leading into the valley were not indicated on this map, which would have confused the pilot’s attempts to map read. Two miles short of his destination the pilot entered a canyon which led to a dead end. He attempted a 180 degree turn at the end of the canyon, which had become 560 feet wide. The Otter struck the wall of the canyon and fell to the creek bed below, sadly killing the pilot and his passenger and resulting in the destruction of the Otter.

BC-Yukon A/S acquired Otter CF-DIY (454) that month as a replacement for XUX.

Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005), now with added and updated information which Karl has supplied for the benefit of the website.

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