31 was the last of the first batch of six of ten DHC-3 delivered to the
Royal Norwegian Air Force, as explained in relation to Otter number 18. The
batch of six were delivered in crates by ship and formally handed over on
2nd March 1954. The ship arrived in Oslo Harbour on 8th April '54, the
Otters being assembled at Kjeller Air Base, Oslo. The Otter took serial 5331
and code O-AG. The Otter originally joined the Communications Flight at
Jarlsberg Air Base in July '54, moving to Gardermoen Air Base in November
'54. In May 1955 it joined the Communications Flight at Bodo Air Base in
Otter number 31 deployed to the Antarctic on “Operation Penguin” from
October 1958 until March 1959, as explained in relation to Otter number 30.
After its exploits in the Antarctic, it was reassembled at the Horten Marine
Base and joined 7192 Stotteving (Support Flight) at Orland Air Base in May
1959. In June 1964 it joined 7193 Support Flight at Bodo Air Base. In
January 1966 this unit was re-designated 719 Squadron and in December 1966
the Otter received its new squadron code XJ-U. In April 1967 the Otter moved
south to Orland Air Base, joining C Flight of 720 Squadron and it continued
to fly for that until 16th June '67 when its military career came to an end
and it was struck off charge, having flown 4,177 hours in Air Force service.
As with all the other Royal Norwegian Air Force Otters, it was handed over
to Halle & Peterson, Oslo the DHC agents in Norway for disposal.
The Otter was sold to Wideroes Flyveselskap A/S to whom it was registered
LN-LMM on 22nd
June '67. For the next four years, the Otter flew on Wideroes scheduled
services linking the remote communities of northern Norway, until replaced
by the Twin Otter. LN-LMM was one of the last three Otters flown by Wideroes,
all three of which were sold to Laurentian Air Services Ltd of Ottawa.
LN-LMM became CF-APR, the other two being CF-APP (138, ex LN-BDD) and CF-APQ
(201, ex LNBIB).
By this stage of its career, LN-LMM's total airframe time had risen to 8,150
hours. The Bill of
Sale for all three aircraft is dated 19th October 1971. The three Otters
were shipped back to Canada and re-assembled at Laurentian's Ottawa base.
All three Otters entered service with Laurentian Air Services, which was a
large operator of the DHC-3. Over the years, it operated 14 Otters. Although
based at Ottawa, most of the company's flying was done in Quebec and
Labrador. CF-APR continued in service with Laurentian until sold in 1977 to
Bearskin Lake Air Services Ltd of Big Trout Lake, Ontario, the registration
by that stage having been changed to C-FAPR. It was to fly for this operator
for the next eight years, one incident being recorded, on 19th December 1979
at the aircraft's base at Big Trout Lake, where the outside air temperature
was a sharp -20C. This extract from the report: “Prior to commencing
take-off from the ice strip, the pilot selected an abort point. On take-off
the aircraft passed the selected point, but the pilot continued, thinking
that the aircraft would soon lift off. The Otter did become airborne but the
gear struck a pile of snow. The pilot continued and landed at a land strip
to inspect the damage”.
In April 1988 the Otter was sold to Ignace Airways Ltd of Ignace, Ontario,
being re-registered in August 1996 to Ignace Airways (1996) Ltd. C-FAPR
supports fly-in fishing camps during the summer months.
History courtesy of Karl E Hayes from DHC-3
Otter: A History (2005)