DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 80

CF-IKK
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c/n 80

CF-IKK

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• CF-IKK Ordered by Associated Airways Ltd., Edmonton, AB. Company acquired by PWA.

• CF-IKK Pacific Western Airlines (Alberta) Ltd., Edmonton, AB. Regd 09-Jan-1956. Delivered 15-Jan-1956.

Accident: Pellatt Lake, NT 19-Sep-1965. The Otter had flown from Cambridge Bay to the lake with the pilot, a maintenance engineer and a passenger on board. During taxying after landing, the aircraft became stuck in a shallow, rocky area. An attempt was made to free the aircraft with the assistance of local persons and the use of a motor boat. Some confusion developed during this operation and when the engine was started, the maintenance engineer was struck by the propeller and seriously injured.

• CF-IKK Northward Aviation Ltd., Edmonton, AB, Regd 08-Mar-1966.

• CF-IKK Re-named Northward Airlines Ltd., Edmonton, AB. Date unknown

• CF-IKK Bradley Air Services Ltd., Carp, ON. Regd 13th February 1974.

Accident: Leslie, SK. 19-Feb-1976. Unsuitable terrain was selected for a take-off run. Take-off was made on a packed snowmobile trail, which was covered with a foot of deep snow. Once airborne, the pilot saw power cables crossing his flight path and decided to fly below them “at about a foot off the ground”. Unfortunately he didn't make it the aircraft  was substantially damaged in the crash that followed. The wrecked Otter was trucked back to Bradley's maintenance base at Carp, Ontario where repairs were commenced, but were then suspended.

• CF-IKK Reported as passed to Kuby's Aircraft, Kenora, ON, but not on CCAR.

• CF-IKK Canx 31-Jul-1998 removed from register.

Parted out

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Otter number 80 was ordered by Associated Airways Ltd., of Edmonton and allocated registration CF-IKK on 14 December 1955. Associated Airways were one of the major Canadian airlines of the time, and an important DEW Line contractor in western Canada. The Otter was registered on 10 January 1956 to Associated Airways and delivered to the company that day, painted in the Associated colour scheme. Associated Airways had experienced a number of aircraft crashes the previous year, which caused the company great difficulty and on 9 February 1956 it was announced that “final arrangements have been concluded for the acquisition by Pacific Western Airlines of the stock of Associated Airways Ltd”. Associated thus became a subsidiary of Pacific Western Airlines (PWA). Its fleet at the time of the take-over comprised five Beavers, three Barkley Grow aircraft, two DC-3s, a Bristol Freighter, a York and the recently delivered Otter IKK. Associated Airways Ltd changed its name to Pacific Western Airlines (Alberta) Ltd., which functioned as the northern bush division of PWA.

IKK’s initial base was at Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories (NWT) to where it had been delivered from Edmonton and during January 1956 it was in service between Yellowknife and Fort Rae on mail flights. It was joined in June 1956 by Otter CF-JAO (129) which had also been ordered by Associated Airways before its take over by PWA. IKK flew on floats out of Yellowknife during the summer of 1956 and arrived at Edmonton at the end of the season in October 1956 where it was put on wheels. In his book “”Flying Overloaded” author Don Hamilton describes how after its arrival in Edmonton Otter IKK was used to fly to Wabasca Lake, 125 miles north of Edmonton, carrying an engine for downed Bellanca Skyrocket CF-EQQ. It then flew back to Edmonton where it was overhauled for its C.of A. renewal, which was completed on 6 November 1956, at which stage the Otter had total airframe time of 968 hours, testifying to an extremely busy year.

On 22 November 1956 the Otter was registered to Pacific Western Airlines (Alberta) Ltd., of Hangar 7, Edmonton Municipal Airport. It then returned to be based at Yellowknife, flying on wheel-skis for the winter of 1956 / 1957 and on floats for the summer, a pattern that would be repeated in subsequent years. Again from his book “Flying Overloaded” Don Hamilton gives some information on IKK’s activities during January 1958: “Syd Jacklin had set down in the barrenlands in Otter IKK with a frozen oil cooler. On the return trip from the PWA beacon station at Contwoyto Lake he landed on Lake Providence on the Coppermine River Chain, 200 miles north of Yellowknife. Syd was in good radio contact with our Yellowknife base on the company HF frequency. It was extremely cold, forty five below zero out there and everyone was concerned about Syd and his passenger’s safety”. A rescue mission in a Beaver failed due to poor visibility. Don Hamilton set off from Yellowknife in PWA’s Barkley Grow CF-BQM and managed to find the downed Otter but by that stage Syd had managed a temporary fix on the oil cooler and took off. BQM landed on Thistlewaite Lake 55 miles north of Yellowknife, in case the Otter needed to land to replenish its oil. “Shortly we heard IKK flying over and spotted her navigation lights against the star-studded sky”. However IKK was able to keep going and landed safely at Yellowknife.

Another flight later that January by Syd Jacklin is described in IKK from Bathurst Inlet to Yellowknife, with a scheduled stop en route at Muskox Lake to pick up a trapper. “There was a blizzard blowing underneath and he’d been flying a heading for 200 miles from Bathurst, using his drift gauge to remain on course and correcting his directional gyro with a sextant. He called base to give a position report – “Yellowknife IKK, I’m about 20 miles from the trapper’s camp and right on course. Its dark, there’s a full moon but the ground is obscured by a blizzard. I am going to land to wait the blizzard out. I can just make out a reasonably flat surface through the blowing snow”. A while later he reported “I’m down and I can hardly see the prop. I’ll start a blow pot to keep the chill off, crawl in my sleeping bag and call you again in the morning”. The following day the Otter arrived back safely in Yellowknife with the trapper. The story well illustrates the hardship of bush flying.

The files of the Western Area SAR Co-Ordinator also give details of IKK’s activities during 1958. For example on 8 April 1958 it flew from Norman Wells to Aklavik and on 13 April from Port Radium to Coppermine. July 1958 saw it serving the same places as well as Hay River and Yellowknife. On 25 August it was en route from Yellowknife to Contwoyto Lake and during September 1958 it was again flying Yellowknife-Fort Radium-Coppermine (13th); Coppermine-Yellowknife (14th) and Yellowknife-Fort Resolution (15th). Don Hamilton’s book describes another forced landing by IKK during winter 1958 / 1959 in the barrenlands en route Bathurst Inlet to Yellowknife, flown by Norm Silver:

“IKK is setting down on a lake – I’ve no forward vision, oil is spraying over the windshield”. A search found IKK, lodged between some boulders, at the end of a small lake. Hamilton flew in on another of PWA’s Otters. “Parking near IKK we could see no sign of life and were concerned because it was so cold. When we opened the rear door of Norm’s aircraft he jumped so high he hit his head on the cabin roof. He had been operating a roaring blow pot to keep warm and had not heard us land. He was so happy to see us. We added warm oil, heated the engine and with the use of a rope on the tailwheel turned IKK around and after clearing the boulders Norm took off in IKK returning to Yellowknife”.

In July 1959 Pacific Western Airlines took over the domestic network which Canadian Pacific Airlines had operated within the NWT, as part of the government’s policy of expanding routes for smaller airlines. As part of this transfer Otters CF-CZO (71) and CF-CZP (69) were acquired by PWA, joining IKK and JAO in service with PWA. The company’s September 1959 timetable showed its Otters in use on scheduled services out of Yellowknife and Norman Wells, as well as on charter work throughout the NWT and IKK was used both on the scheduled services and charters. In 1960 IKK was flown out of Cambridge Bay to set up fuel caches in the barrenlands for use by US Army helicopters engaged on a survey. PWA also had a weekly mail schedule from Yellowknife to Bathurst Inlet and Cambridge Bay on which IKK was used. By October 1960 IKK’s total time had increased to 4,513 hours.

In the years that followed IKK continued in service with PWA in the NWT. An incident was recorded at Pellatt Lake on 19 September 1965. The Otter had flown from Cambridge Bay to the Lake with the pilot, a maintenance engineer and a passenger on board. During taxying after landing the aircraft became stuck in a shallow, rocky area. An attempt was made to free the Otter with the assistance of local persons and the use of a motor boat. Some confusion developed during this operation and when the engine was started the engineer was struck by the propeller and seriously injured.

PWA’s Otter operations in the NWT continued until March 1966 when, just as PWA had taken over from Canadian Pacific, Northward Aviation Ltd took over from PWA. Northward Aviation had been formed the previous year by the amalgamation of the feederline and charter divisions of PWA, Bow Valley Industries and Northward Air Services.  Northward Aviation became one of the biggest bush operators in the country, its Otters and other aircraft flying throughout the NWT. The transfer from PWA was by Bill of Sale 2 March 1966 which involved four Otters (CZO, CZP, IKK and JAO), seven Beavers and one Beech 18. IKK was registered to Northward Aviation Ltd., of Hangar 8, Industrial Airport, Edmonton on 8 March 1966.

IKK’s first base with its new operator was Inuvik. It suffered an accident there on the Arctic Red River on 4 May 1966. The landing was reported smooth but when the pilot switched to tail steering, the Otter swung to the left and the rear fuselage collapsed in the area of the tailwheel. It was ferried to Edmonton for repairs before returning to Inuvik where it was based for the next few years. Among the scheduled services flown by Northward with its Otters was the “Mackenzie Delta Service” which operated Inuvik-Aklavik-Fort McPherson-Arctic Red River and return. Northward Aviation used the trading name Northward Airlines for its scheduled services and the Otter was registered to Northward Airlines Ltd on 12 December 1972 as C-FIKK. This was at the end of its use on the scheduled services and shortly afterwards it flew down to Edmonton where it was based. It was inspected in Edmonton on 21 February 1973 for its C.of A. renewal, its total time having increased by then to 14,281 hours.

The following year IKK was sold by Northward and was registered to its new owners, Bradley Air Services Ltd., of Carp, Ontario on 13 February 1974. It was painted into Bradley’s green and white colour scheme. It had been acquired to replace Bradley’s Otter CF-OHD (435) which had been destroyed in a hangar fire at Carp on 28 January 1974. Bradley Air Services were a long established bush operator and over the years flew seven Otters. Although the company had its administrative and maintenance base at Carp in Ontario, most of its operations were conducted in the NWT, including the High Arctic, being mainly work for mineral exploration companies and government agencies.

IKK’s first assignment with Bradley Air Services was to the High Arctic and it is recorded as flying from 77 North 107 West to Resolute Bay on 8 May 1974. At its annual C.of A. renewal on 12 March 1975 total time had reached 15,349 hours. The Otter continued in service with Bradley until an accident at Leslie, Saskatchewan on 19 February 1976 when unsuitable terrain was selected for the take off run. The take off was made on a packed snowmobile trail which was covered with a foot of snow. Once airborne the pilot saw power cables crossing his flight path and decided to fly below them “at about a foot off the ground”. Unfortunately he didn’t make it and the Otter was substantially damaged in the crash that followed.

The wrecked Otter was trucked to Bradley’s maintenance base at Carp, Ontario where repairs were started but then suspended. It was noted there in July 1980, the fuselage (less engine, tail and wings) in a support structure, showing major structural repairs to the fuselage having been completed. It was in exactly the same condition at Carp in September 1982. Bradley’s days of Single otter operations were by then over and the airline was being rebranded as First Air. It was evidently decided not to complete the rebuilding of the Otter. Instead it was sold to Kuby’s Aircraft of Kenora, Ontario and trucked to the company’s facility at Kenora, known locally as “Kuby’s Yard”, where it joined other wrecked Otters on which Kuby was working.

IKK was to have a long stay at Kenora. It was noted there in March 1992 in a shed, and parts were taken from it over the years for use in the repair and rebuilding of other Otters. Registration C-FIKK was officially cancelled on 31 July 1998. A visit to Kuby’s Yard in May 2004 revealed three Otter fuselages in outside storage (GTL, BEW and IIQ) and what was left of IKK (basically the rear fuselage and some other parts) in a shed. These four Otters were sold in October 2005 to Recon Air of Geraldton, Ontario, where what remained of IKK would be used in the rebuilding of other Otters.

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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