DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 169

55-3308 at Blackbushe, UK sporting code "13".
Photo: Robin A. Walker © 05 October 1958 - Aird Archives

c/n 169

55-3308 • N55236



• 55-3308 United States Army. Delivered 31-Oct-1956. Designated U-1A.

Initially assigned to 3rd Aviation Company, Fort Riley, KS.

Jul-1957. Moved with 3rd Aviation Company when it deployed to Illesheim, Germany.

Nov-1959. 245th Transportation Company Army Aircraft Maintenance (TAAM) at Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany.

Jan-1963. Assigned to the 394th Transportation Battalion, Nelligan, Germany.

Sep-1969. Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany from where it was transported back to the United States.

May 1970. Red River Army Depot, TX., where it was placed in storage.

Jan-1972. Moved to Fort Hood, TX.

• N55236 Department of Natural Resources, WI, registered circa Jan-1972.

• N55236 J. W. Duff Aircraft Company, Denver, CO. Regd 21-Jul-1972.

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

10-Jul-1972 Allotment of CF-BOC to DHC-3 msn 169 for Eclipse Consultants*, Oshawa ON.

19-Jul-1972 Certificate of Registration & Flight Permit for Importation Flight, Kileen TX., - Oshawa ON., to expire 19-Sep-1972.

21-Jul-1972 Bill of Sale; Defense Surplus Sales Office, San Diego, CA., to J.W. Duff Aircraft Co., Denver, CO (U-1A 55-3308. $US26,888).

26-Jul-1972 Bill of Sale; J.W. Duff Aircraft Co., to Eclipse Consultants, Oshawa, ON.

10-Oct-1972 above permit reissued, expires 10-Dec -1972.

18-Oct-1972 TTSN 3,452 hours (Kileen).

25-Oct-1972 TTSN 3,468 hours (Oshawa). A 16 hour trip.

Note: Reason for flight to Oshawa was for the aircraft to be inspected, repaired and civilianised by Weston Aircraft Company Ltd., prior to formal registration.

02-Apr-1973 Certificate of Registration & Flight Permit for Certificate of Airworthiness test flight.

06-Apr-1973 Certificate of Airworthiness issued.

11-Apr-1973 Application for Certificate of Registration by Eclipse Consultants, Oshawa. ON.

12-Apr-1973 Bill of Sale; Eclipse Consultants to Lariviere Air Services Ltd., Schefferville, QC.

01-May-1973 N55236 DHC-3 55-3308 cancelled USCAR 01-May-1973.

02-May-1973 Certificate of Registration issued to Eclipse Consultants, Oshawa. ON.

• CF-BOC Eclipse Consultants Ltd.. Oshawa, ON. Formally regd 02-May- 1973.

Note: Eclipse Consultants (the Robson family) at one time were owners of the Leonides-powered Beaver CF-CNR,

18-May-1973 Temporary Certificate of Registration to Lariviere Air Services Ltd.

28-May-1973 application for Certificate of Registration by Lariviere Air Services Ltd.

28-May-1973 Certificate of Registration issued to Lariviere Air Services Ltd., Schefferville, QC.

• CF-BOC La Riviére Air Service Ltd., Schefferville, QC. Regd 28-May-1973.

Incident: Baie-de-Port on the George River, Nouveau-Québec. 58.32N/65.55W 02/03-Oct-1973. The archive record is in French however the translation indicates that while at anchor a violent storm blew up at 23:30 hrs. The Otter was wrecked in the storm and sank. A salvage attempt proved impossible. The file quotes Ghislain Arsenault as uninjured. It is not stated but was he trying to save the aircraft from the storm? We may never know. A third party report quotes that it had crash landed in the Bay but perhaps unlikely in view of the quoted time. Maybe something lost in translation.

• CF-BOC Cancelled from Canadian Civil Aircraft Register, 16-Nov-1973.



Otter 169 was delivered to the United States Army on 31 October 1956 with serial 55-3308 (tail number 53308). It first served with the 3rd Aviation Company at Fort Riley, Kansas and moved with the unit when it deployed to Germany in July 1957, establishing at Illesheim. 53308 was noted visiting Blackbushe airfield near London on 4 October 1958, coded 13. It again visited Blackbushe on 3 October 1959, one of five Otters there that day. It continued to serve with the Army in Europe after the 3rd Aviation Company disbanded in November 1959. Its next assignment was to Ludwigsburg Army Airfield near Stuttgart, then joining the 245th TAAM at Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany until January 1963. After that it was assigned to the 394th Transportation Battalion, Heidelberg, where it served until September 1969. That month it arrived back at Coleman Barracks from where it was transported back to the United States, arriving at the Red River Army Depot, Texas in May 1970, where it was placed in store. In January 1972 it made the short trip to Fort Hood, Texas where ownership was transferred to the Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin, registered N55236.

It appears however that the Otter was never operated by this organisation, nor did it actually leave Texas at that stage. Instead, on 21 July 1972, the Otter was sold to J.W.Duff Aircraft Company of Denver, Colorado for $26,888. This company specialised in dealing in and salvaging surplus military aircraft. The Otter was immediately sold on by J.W.Duff Aircraft Company to Eclipse Consultants Ltd., of Oshawa, Ontario on 26 July 1972, a company which also traded in Otters. Eclipse Consultants applied for Canadian marks for the Otter and were allocated CF-BOC. A ferry permit was issued for a flight from Killeen, Texas (which is adjacent to Fort Hood) to Oshawa, Ontario. The Otter arrived at Oshawa in September 1972 after a sixteen hour ferry flight from Texas. Including the ferry flight it then had 3,468 hours on the airframe.

An inspection of the aircraft at Oshawa was made in early October 1972 by Weston Aircraft Company Ltd. The report noted that all redundant military equipment had to be removed and replaced with equipment complying with civil standards and specifications. Damaged cabin windows had to be replaced and damage to many other parts of the aircraft made good, including replacing a missing wingtip. The wings had to be removed to investigate looseness of the rear spar attachment to the fuselage. The military camouflage paint scheme had to be removed. It was clear that this aircraft must have had a hard life in Army service!  Weston Aircraft carried out all necessary repairs and repainted and refurbished the Otter, which was then registered CF-BOC to Eclipse Consultants Ltd., on 2 May 1973, the US registration having been cancelled the previous day.

The Otter was sold by Eclipse Consultants Ltd., to La Rivière Air Service Ltd., of Schefferville, Québec on 28 May 1973, retaining the registration CF-BOC. Sadly its period of operation with its new owners was brief. On 3 October 1973 the Otter was at anchor at Baie-de-Port on the George River, Nouveau-Québec when a violent storm blew up. The Otter was wrecked in the storm and sank. A salvage attempt proved impossible.

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.