10 – C-FGTL


Serial Number






Year of Manufacture



 Piston R-1340


 Kenora, Ontario




 Kuby's Aircraft Ltd


 Box 619, Kenora, Ontario P9N 3X6

Contact / Link



RCAF 3664 

The tenth Otter was delivered to the RCAF with serial 3664 on 31st March 1953. Prior to departure from Downsview, it had carried an AB code for DHC publicity photographs. It was first assigned to 408 Squadron at Rockcliffe. The squadron's history records its early days at Rockcliffe, engaged in pilot training, local area flights, cross countries and water training at Golden Lake. 3664 was to remain with 408 Squadron throughout the four years the unit flew the Otter.

During July 1954 it was operating out of Churchill, Manitoba. On 18th June 1955 it departed Rockcliffe in company with 3661 en route to Fort McMurray, Alberta supporting Mid Canada Line (MCL) Western Sector construction. The function of the two Otters, both of which were on floats, was to carry men and equipment into places that were inaccessible to the Squadron's Canso. The two Otters were kept with the operation until it reached The Pas, Manitoba. When the survey and siting parties departed The Pas by chartered train, the Otter support was nearly finished. 3664 however was kept on an extra week to freight men and equipment from Flin Flon to Fort Black. 3664 then departed Flin Flon on 31st July '55 returning to Rockcliffe.

During August to October 1956 3664 was again engaged on MCL Western Sector duties, supporting USAF Sikorsky H-19 helicopters between Fort McMurray and The Pas. In December 1956, 3664 had an All Up Weight modification incorporated by DHC, resuming duty with the squadron in March 1957. One of its final tasks with the unit was a deployment to Goose Bay in July 1957 to assist in the task of transporting fishing parties to the Eagle River sites. It then returned to Rockcliffe and continued to serve with 408 Squadron until the unit relinquished its Otters.

3664 was placed into storage with No.6 Repair Depot, Trenton in September 1957 as a reserve aircraft and remained there for some years until transferred to the storage depot at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in October 1964 for disposal.

The purchaser of the Otter was Thomas Lamb Airways Ltd of The Pas, Manitoba where, coincidentally, the Otter had operated for a time while in RCAF service. The Otter was registered to Thomas Lamb Airways on 15th June 1965 as CF-GTL, taking the initials of Gregory Thomas Lamb, one of the nine children of Tom Lamb, the airline's founder, all of whom worked in the family business. The company changed its name to Lambair Ltd in December 1968. For much of its time with Lambair, the Otter was based out of Churchill, Manitoba.

On 28th February 1969 CF-GTL was flying out of Repulse Bay in the Northwest Territories. About fifteen minutes after take-off on a VFR flight, the weather deteriorated and the pilot decided to return to his departure point. In the meantime, low cloud had spread throughout the area. The pilot decided to make a controlled descent through cloud to the ground, using a radio beacon for an improvised descent pattern. The ground came into view only seconds before the landing, on a frozen tidal area of compacted rough sea ice. During the landing roll, the left ski hit an ice ridge, causing damage as the aircraft swung around. The damage was repaired.

The Otter was re-registered C-FGTL in March 1974 and continued in service with Lambair. It was one of two Otters (the other being C-FMEL) still serving with Lambair on that sad day of 18th February 1981 when the company went bankrupt. It was at that stage based at Thompson, Manitoba and used for charter work. It was sold in the course of the bankruptcy in June of that year to Air Park Aviation Ltd of Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba where it served alongside the company's other DHC-3 CGMDG.

The two Otters were used for mining and exploration charter work, as well as for transporting tourists to and from the company's fly-in fishing camps. Five camps were operated in eastern Manitoba, at Artery Lake, Bullmoose Lake, Bloodvein River and Sasaginnigak River East and West.

Otter GTL was sold on to Central Air Transport Ltd of Sioux Lookout, Ontario in August 1984. Throughout its years of operation by this carrier, it retained the full Lambair colour scheme of red overall with white speed stripe, with 'Central Air' titles. It then went to Gold Belt Air Transport Inc of Pickle Lake, Ontario in October 1988. It was flying for this operator when on 11th October 1990 it sustained serious damage at Tarp Lake, seven miles north of Pickle Lake. During the climb, the engine fire warning light illuminated, and the pilot shut the engine down. In the forced landing that followed, C-FGTL came down in a bog just short of Tarp Lake. This abrupt arrival in the bog did the Otter no good at all, and it was badly damaged.

Gold Belt considered re-building the aircraft, but in the event it was sold to Kuby's Aircraft Ltd at Kenora, Ontario to be rebuilt at some stage or else parted out. C-FGTL was registered to Kuby's Aircraft Ltd in May 1997.

Following its crash on 11th October 1990 at Tarp Lake, Ontario while operated by Gold Belt Air Transport, the wrecked Otter was brought to Kuby’s Aircraft, Kenora where it lay for many years, still painted in its original Lambair colour scheme. The fuselage of GTL was to be seen in May 2004, still lying in Kuby's Yard at Kenora, still painted in its Lambair colour scheme.


In October 2005 the wrecked Otter was sold by Kuby’s Aircraft, along with three other wrecked Otters, to Recon Air Corporation of Geraldton, Ontario and all four were trucked to Geraldton for rebuild. C-FGTL was registered to Recon Air Corporation on 9th August 2007.

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