DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 81

C-FIKT of Airtech test flying with PZL-3s powerplant.
Photo: Airtceh © Date unknown - Karl E. hayes Collection

c/n 81

CF-IKT

C-FIKT

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• CF-IKT Canadian Aircraft Renters Ltd., Toronto Island Airport, ON. Delivered 18-Jan-1956.

Accident: Knob Lake, ON. 12th January 1957. The aircraft, crashed on take off and was extensively damaged although the crew of two and six passengers had a “miraculous escape”. The wrecked Otter lay at Knob Lake for some months, until 8th May 1957 recovered and airlifted to Downsview for rebuild by DHC.

• CF-IKT Superior Airways Ltd., Fort William, ON. Regd 17-Dec-1957.

• CF-IKT Saskatchewan Government Airways (Saskair), Prince Albert, SK. Regd 13-May-1964.

• CF-IKT North Canada Air Ltd., (Norcanair), Prince Albert, SK. Regd 03-Sep-1965.

• CF-IKT Leased to Austin Airways Ltd., Timmins, ON. Dates unknown.

• CF-IKT Returned to North Canada Air Ltd., (Norcanair), Prince Albert, SK. Canx Dec 1973.

• CF-IKT Sold to unknown leasing Company via Bannock Aerospace acting as Agent. Other details currently unknown.

• CF-IKT Leased to Moose Nose Airways, Ilford, MB. Regd 20-Dec-1973.

• CF-IKT Labrador Airways Ltd., Goose Bay, NL.  Purchased and regd 03-May-1977.

• C-FIKT Re regd Labrador Airways Ltd., Goose Bay, NL.

Accident: Border Beacon, NL. 26-Feb-1979. After the Otter touched down on an unprepared ice/snow strip, the skis struck a hard packed snow ridge. IKT bounced back into the air and landed heavily. The left landing gear and attachment area was severely damaged, although neither the pilot nor his eight passengers were injured. Partial white out conditions existed, making the snow ridge difficult to see. The Otter was repaired and returned to service.

• C-FIKT Newfoundland Labrador Air Transport (NLAT), Corner Brook, NL. Regd 16-Jul-1981.

Note: Re engined with 600hp Polish PZL-3S engine at Airtech, Peterborough, ON after which the aircraft returned  to Goose Bay. This engine however did not work well and gave nothing but trouble.  The aircraft was converted back to the P&W Wasp engine.

• C-FIKT Goose Bay Air Services, Goose Bay, NL. Regd 03-Mar-1983. Canx 14-Aug 1986

• C-FIKT Labrador Airways Ltd., Goose Bay, NL Regd 04-Nov-1987. Canx 08-Nov-1989.

Total time: 19,651 hours at Jun-1988.

Reported as sold to Significant Military Aircraft Sales however no detail on CCAR and possibly just acting as a Sales Agent.

• Unregistered Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum at Gardermoen. Later at the Norsk Luftfartsmuseum, Bodø wearing fictitious code 0-AM.

Note: It was partially restored and painted as one of the two Otters which took part in the Norwegian South Pole Expedition during the International Geophysical Year of 1958/59 in 'Operation Penguin'.

Museum

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Otter number 81 was delivered to Canadian Aircraft Renters Ltd of Toronto Island Airport, Ontario
on 18th January 1956 registered CF-IKT. The Otter was operated by Canadian Aircraft Renters and used to assist in the construction of the Mid Canada Line of radar sites, based at Knob Lake (Schefferville) Quebec. On 12th January 1957 the Otter crashed on take off at Knob Lake and was extensively damaged although the crew of two and six passengers had a “miraculous escape”. The wrecked Otter lay at Knob Lake for some months, until 8th May 1957 when RCAF Fairchild C-119 serial 22121 came to collect it, arriving from Goose Bay. The Otter was loaded into the 'Dollar Nineteen' and flown to Downsview for rebuild by DHC.

On completion of the repairs, IKT was sold to Superior Airways Ltd., of Fort William, Ontario to whom it was registered on 17th December '57. It served with this bush carrier, based at Fort William, for more than six years, serving the Ontario outback. It was sold to Saskatchewan Government Airways (Saskair) of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to whom it was registered on 13th May 1964. As explained in relation to Saskair's Otter CF-SME (64), in 1964 the free-enterprise Liberal party took over government in the Province of Saskatchewan. It had no use for government “interfering” in business and sold Saskair to a private company, North Canada Air Ltd., (Norcanair). This company acquired the Saskair fleet, including its three Otters, IKT, JFJ and SME. On 3rd September 1965 CFIKT was registered to Norcanair of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

The Otter however went on lease to Austin Airways Ltd., of Timmins, Ontario for a time. It still carried the basic Superior Airways colour scheme of red lower fuselage and lower tail, black cheat line and white upper fuselage and tail but with Austin Airways fuselage titles. On completion of the lease, it reverted to operation by Norcanair until it was sold in December 1973 through Bannock Aerospace to a leasing company, who leased it to Moose Nose Airways of Ilford, Manitoba to whom it was registered on 20th December '73. After more than three years with them, it was acquired by Labrador Airways Ltd, to whom it was registered on 3rd May 1977 and moved north to its new base at Goose Bay. It was later re-registered C-FIKT.

It met with an accident at Border Beacon, Labrador on 26th February 1979, a cold day with a temperature of -25. After the Otter touched down on an unprepared ice/snow strip, the skis struck a hard packed snow ridge. IKT bounced back into the air and landed heavily. The left landing gear and attachment area was severely damaged, although neither the pilot nor his eight passengers were injured. Partial white out conditions existed, making the snow ridge difficult to see. The Otter was repaired and returned to service. There was one other incident, when the landing gear collapsed as the aircraft was being towed out of a hangar at Goose Bay but again the damage was repaired.

The story of the Labrador Airways Otters has already been told in relation to CF-EYO (16). As explained, in June 1981 Labrador Airways divested itself of most of its single-engined fleet to concentrate on Twin Otter services. C-FIKT was one of five Otters sold to Newfoundland Labrador Air Transport (NLAT) of Corner Brook, Newfoundland. IKT was registered to NLAT on 16th July 1981 but remained based at Goose Bay with its new owners. It was one of four Otters (AGM, EYO, IKT and LJH) which NLAT decided to have converted to the 600 horse power Polish PZL-3S engine. This work was undertaken at the Airtech facility at Peterborough, Ontario after which IKT returned to Goose Bay. This engine however did not work well with the Otter and gave nothing but trouble. All four aircraft were converted back to the P&W Wasp engine.

A re-structuring took place in 1983 which saw NLAT operating in Newfoundland only and a new company was formed, Goose Bay Air Services Ltd, to carry on operations from Goose Bay. All five of the NLAT Otters were taken over by the new company. C-FIKT was registered to Goose Bay Air Services on 3rd March 1983. It continued flying for this company on charter work around Labrador until re-acquired by Labrador Airways Ltd, to whom it was registered on 10th June 1987. It was by this stage quite a high-time aircraft and the following year it was put up for sale. Its total time at that stage was 19,651 hours.

The purchaser of the Otter was a 'warbird' company, Significant Military Aircraft Sales. They arranged to trade the Otter in exchange for a surplus Northrop RF-5A Freedom Fighter of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the aircraft in question being serial 68-9108 which had flown with 717 Squadron. The RF-5A left Sola Air Base on 17th December 1987 on board a C-130 Hercules of the Royal Norwegian Air Force and was delivered to Flight International of Florida, where it was registered N75FT. The Hercules then collected the Otter and flew it back to Norway, to Gardermoen Air Base, Oslo. On arrival, it was put into the storage facility of the Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum at Gardermoen. It was partially restored and painted as one of the two Otters which took part in the Norwegian South Pole Expedition of 1958/59.

In 1994 a somewhat bold decision was taken to relocate the museum from Gardermoen, near to the capitol Oslo, to Bodø, some 14 hours drive to the north, north in fact of the Arctic Circle. The Otter and other exhibits were trucked all the way up to Bodø and since May 1994 the Otter has been on public display at the Norsk Luftfartsmuseum, Bodø. The Otter is painted in an all silver scheme, with red engine cowling, tail and wing tips, the scheme used by the two Norwegian Air Force Otters which were deployed to the Antarctic during the International Geophysical Year of 1958/59 in 'Operation Penguin'. Interestingly however it carries the code 0-AM, which was never carried by any Norwegian Air Force Otter, but follows on from the code sequence (0-AB to 0-AL) which was used by the Air Force Otters.

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

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