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Dirk Septer's vintage propliners in Canada

Time:2018-06-29 07:21Turbochargers information Click:

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The following information is from Karl Hayes' monograph on the DHC-3 Otter:
Otter 233 was delivered to the United States Army on 12Feb1958 with serial 57-6114 (tail number 76114). It was one of 16 Army Otters delivered from Downsview to Addison,TX for work to be done on them by Collins Radio Corporation.
Most of these Otters were then delivered to Europe, including 76114, which underwent overhaul at the SABCA plant at Gosselies (near Brussels) in Belgium during September 1960. This company performed maintenance on Army aircraft under contract with the Army.
By January 1962 the Otter had joined the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Rome, Italy based at Rome's Ciampino Airport. It flew alongside a USAF C-47, which was also serving with the MAAG Flight.

Kenneth Ketzler flew the Otter. Apart from trips to Brienne-le-Chateau, France for maintenance, all his flying was within Italy, often visiting Italian military bases where US-supplied helicopters were being introduced and MAAG personnel were working with Italian army aviation units on these helicopters.
There were also VIP flights and personnel transportation which took the Otter all over Italy, from the mountains in the north down to the Mediterranean. As he recalls: "Ice seemed to cause me more concern than anything else. I especially remember several times flying IFR between Florence and Bologna at the lowest altitude of 12.000 feet and seeing ice forming on the wings. Flying over large bodies of water on one engine is not exactly my cup of tea. Seemed like the engine always ran rough whenever there was a trip to the islands of Sicily or Sardinia."

76114 continued in service with MAAG Italy until February 1966 when it headed south to a new posting, with the United States Mapping Mission to Ethiopia, based at the 'old airport' at Addis Ababa.
For this tasking the Otter was re-painted from the standard olive drab it had flown in while in Italy, to the white/red colour scheme used by Army aircraft on survey work.
It joined some Beavers with the Mapping Mission (76143 and 82026), a Douglas C-47 (17203) and UH-1B Huey helicopters, all of which were engaged in a topographic survey of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Army had received some Otters under a Military Aid Program and they were also based at the same airfield, making it quite an important Otter base.
76114 was noted there in June 1969, just prior to its long flight north to Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany from where it was transported back to the United States, to the Sharpe Army Depot, Stockton, California where it arrived in August 1969.

After overhaul at the depot, it was assigned in March 1970 to the Aviation Section at Fort Ord,CA used as a maintenance support aircraft. It remained in service at Fort Ord until June 1975, when its Army career came to an end.
The Otter transferred to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). It received its civilian Certificate of Airworthiness on 16Jul1975 and was registered N5325G, being assigned to the CAP's North Central Region. It was painted in a garish red, white and blue bicentennial colour scheme.
Its service with the CAP was brief, as in Dec.1976 it was sold to Island Airlines of Port Clinton, Ohio by an aircraft dealer in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

When it arrived at its new base it was repainted in the house colours of Island Airlines and joined the other members of the fleet, Beaver N62352 and Ford Tri-Motor N7584. The Ford was used for sight-seeing flights but the Beaver and Otter flew Island Airlines scheduled services from Port Clinton, located at the western end of Lake Erie, to islands in the lake, Kelley's Island, Put-in-Bay, Middle Bass and North Bass. This unique operation styled itself 'The Shortest Airline in the World', with some justification.
Departing from Carl Keller Field at Port Clinton, the Otter took all of seven minutes to complete the scheduled flight to Put-in-Bay, and a similar time for the return sector. As Edward J.Rusch, the company's Chief Pilot, said 'The Otter works the rough sod and stone fields of the islands very efficiently'.
By March 1981 the Otter had a total time of 4,833 hours on the airframe.
On the scheduled services to the islands, the Otter (or Beaver, depending on the load) carried the resident population year round; tourists during the summer as well as migrant Mexican labourers for fruit picking; and fishermen during the winter for ice fishing. The Otter also carried mail and freight and performed medevac flights, averaging several each weekend during the summer, as tourists injured themselves. The islands' policeman acted as a paramedic and accompanied the patient.
During the winter months, when the lake froze over and the ferry no longer operated, these Beaver and Otter flights were the only means of access to the islands.

After nearly 16 years of flying with the Otter, this unique operation came to an end. Island Airlines was taken over by Griffing Flying Service Inc of Port Clinton, to whom the Otter was registered in October 1992. The scheduled services were terminated and the Otter put up for sale.

The buyer was Delay River Outfitters Inc, trading as Air Schefferville, to whom the Otter was registered C-FQND on 23Aug93 and it set off for its new base at Schefferville in the remote bush country of Quebec. In 1994 the Otter was sold to Waweig Lake Outfitters Ltd of Thunder Bay,ONT, to whom it was registered on 18Apr94.
It was converted to a Vazar turbine Otter by Recon Air at Geraldton, Ontario and for the next number of years it would serve at Waweig Lake, Ontario during the summer months, carrying tourists, fishermen and hunters wishing to experience the delights of the Ontario bush country.
This business was carried on by Waweig Lake Outfitters in association with Wilderness North Air of Milwaukee.

On 06Jun2001 the Otter was registered to 1401380 Ontario Ltd (Waweig Air) and continued in service in the Ontario wilderness.
Early in 2002, Otter 'QND undertook a unique 'Flight of Friendship' tour of 35 US cities, sponsored by Wilderness North Air. The tour certainly brought the Otter to many places which usually did not see much Otter activity. On completion of the tour, QND resumed its flying in the Ontario bush country for Waweig Air.
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