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December 2010 The winter has come early and hard to the UK again and we are all huddled around our puny heaters, unused to -17 degrees and several feet of snow outside our doors. Now I know that - to most of you - this is no more than the whining of a lightweight Brit, but this is the third year running so we are catching up fast on the rails. Or we would be if they weren't iced up!

Now then. A little Christmas pressy idea. A couple of years ago on a trip to BC I happened to visit the Green Lake base of Whistler Air (as one does) and purchased a belt buckle from their reception showing a Turbo Otter. I have just found the little piece of paper attached with it and tracked down the maker. Jim Klement of Coquitlam BC (Grumman Goose Pilot of note) kindly returned my letter with a list of buckles he can provide and I have posted a photo of my buckle with full details HERE.

Jim's Goose flying can also be found on YouTube if you search under "1939 Grumman Goose Landing at April Point" or "Grumman Goose Water Landing".

Very Many thanks Jim and I hope this will be of interest to Otter aficionado's and others.

Some time ago now (sorry Fred) Fred Barnes kindly sent in a shot of N2634Y (59) of Aeronautical Services Inc, taken at Friday Harbour 14.06.99. His colleague Fred Froude scanned in the image. Thanks guys.

John Olafson thought you would all be interested in these recent photos of Otter C-FDNK (385). The aircraft has been fitted with Vikings new PT6 conversion. It has quite a few additional wing fences on it. John believes it is for sale. The aircraft was photographed at Victoria 14 Sept 2010. Many thanks John.

Otter pilot extraordinaire Kent sent in some photos of the freeze-up in action HERE. Much the same outside my back door in the fish pond - but without the Otter. Drat! Have a good flying winter Kent. Keep them level.

And finally, good to hear again from Rich Hulina with several shots taken at Sioux Lookout just last week. Thanks Rich. Have a good winter's flying.

So there we are for now. Up to date with all your current submissions. Back to you again at Christmas time.

Best wishes
September 2010 Yep. Its been one of those years. Cannot believe how busy life has been, with so little to devote to the wonderful world of Otters. However, I will try and redress the balance this month with a major catch-up.

Firstly, I was delighted to meet with Ken and Bev Hurford from Ontario who travelled across the pond in August to visit relations in the UK. We arranged a get together in Liverpool and had a good old chat about aviation - I am very envious of their world travels; hunting down and flying in a range of Propliner, piston, floatplane and other interesting aircraft. Beaver and Otter flying is a regular event. I doubt there is an aviation museum they haven't visited. Good to meet you guys and I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

August also saw a sudden deluge of emails and phone calls from news media in the States concerning the loss of N455A (206) with Ted Stevens on board. Yes, sad though the reason was, the website attracted the attention of CNN, New York Times and several others. My grateful thanks again to John Olafson who was able to supply CNN with a suitable picture. We featured John's pictures of 206 a few years ago. In deference to the families I'm not going to include shots of the crash. From my view though it seems the pilot did a pretty good job of getting her down even though in the end he lost his life. His bush flying experience was huge by the look of it.

And talking of John, he sent in a shot of C-FHAD now fitted with panorama style windows and a nice fresh repainting. Shown arriving at Coal Harbour 13 May 2010.

Way back in June Jim Hansel from Beecher, Illinois wrote in:
Hi, I travel to Canada yearly to fish. I fly out with Chimo Air Service in Red Lake, Ontario. This spring when I flew out I asked where C-FODQ was as I really enjoy flying in the Otter. She's being rebuilt into a Turbo. This was the last week of May that I was in Red Lake, so she should be back at Chimo by now. Sorry to see this happen, but she will now haul more gear for us fisherman. She was to be finished by the fishing season, but they had delays. She was being rebuilt in Fort Francis, Ontario, sorry I cannot remember the name of the builder.

Great to hear from you Jim and many thanks for the information. Perhaps a shot or two of the new-look aircraft next time your fishing there?

Jim Joyce flew in C-GBTU July 31, 2010 from Scout Lake to Bissett, Manitoba. She is still with Blue Water Aviation but is based out of Bissett for the summer. The piston engine has been converted to a Walter turbine. Jim says he has other photos of TU. Feel free to forward them Jim and thanks for a really evocative shot.

David P. Doyon Jr. of Misty Fjords Air & Outfitting, LLC. at Ketchikan, Alaska emailed to say that Alaska is booming this summer and that he is spending many long hours at the helm plus a little fun now and then makes the season go by fast!

This (excellent) photo of N6868B was taken by Mr. Jim Taro, another fellow DeHavilland owner and friend. Thanks David and safe flying.

And Now! After several years of silence I was delighted to hear again recently from long time Otter fan Ruben Husberg, who was instrumental in providing many photos from his extensive slide collection early on in the life of this website. Here are some more. Good to hear from you again Ruben and very many thanks for your continuing supply of interesting photos. Keep that collection building!

Delighted to hear from another Otter pilot/photographer Paul-M Grenier who wrote in;

"Great your site on the single Otter. I Flew bush plane several years ago..........I fly a chopper now, but still in remote areas. After flying C-180, C-185, Beaver, like others pilots in Quebec, I had my check on the Otter".

Thanks for getting in touch Paul and I presume that is you in front of C_FLGA (279).

And to complete a triumvirate of Otter Pilots this time around Rich Hulina's DHC3 pilot Kent writes in:

"and let slip the dogs of war.
Or , as more simply put by Mr Burns, "release the hounds!".

Zeke is posing on the banks of the Winisk River in Northwestern Ontario as the floats grind steadily against the rocks. He may not look too threatening in this pic, and would likely roll onto his back expecting a belly rub rather than bite you, but he is a very widely travelled dog".

Now I just cannot see that Zeke would do anything other than help out with a landline or two when needed. Perhaps use his front paws to push off - a helpful looking dog. (unlike my mad cocker spaniel) Wonder if he holds a record for the number of dog hours aloft in an Otter. I feel an award coming on!!


So there we are. I think that is everyone covered. My apologies for the less than regular updates this year but I trust this makes up a little. My grateful thanks to all contributors and do keep those shots coming.


By for now.

    Our illustrious Otter Pilot Kent has been out and about in Rich Hulina's Turbo Otter this month putting a different connotation on the term "on the rocks"!! As the longest day fast approaches (tomorrow) I still await the appearance of summer, but in the mean time these wonderful shots will, I hope, keep us all musing on the life and times of the jobbing Otter pilot. Tough breaks Kent but someone has to do it.

Tuesday 22nd is as special day for me as I attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in the presence of Her Majesty and other members of the Royal Family. maybe I was a good boy in a former life or something. Mind you, if there is no follow-up news in a month, please direct all future mail c/o the Tower of London.

June 2010 Fred Sprenger has found an unusual shot of their Otter being loaded into a Hercules - presumably in Egypt (see last month). Thanks for searching this out Fred.

Some of you may have heard already, but Otter SX-ARO (397)endeavoured to make a water landing with the wheels down and flipped. Details - including an all-action sequence - are here:

Looks recoverable and everyone seems to have exited OK.

Pete Kovanda of Denny Island, BC, Canada also notes that according to the Aviation Safety Network
DHC-3 s/n 397 was involved in a "nose-over" during landing and came to rest upside down. This is the same aircraft which was involved in a "nose-over" on Aug 4, 2005 while operated by Air Nootka. The aircraft was heavily damaged, and was exported to Switzerland for rebuild. Thanks Pete, very useful additional info.

And my thanks to Ken Hurford for also picking up on this unfortunate incident. He's just had an excellent trip to NZ including flights in a DC3, Catalina and much more. Lucky fella.

John Olafson has sent in some colourful Harbour Air shots from downtown Vancouver [HERE]. Thanks John. They're beginning to grow on me John.

Whilst at Vancouver South recently John also watched C-FHAS launch itself into the Fraser River and then take off on its flight to Prince Rupert. It did not appear to have any passengers on board, so it was probably a repositioning flight back to its home base after receiving some maintenance at Harbour Air in Vancouver.

And finally Craig "YAK" Yakiwchuk has sent in a fine picture of C-FHPE at the jetty in Laronge. He is flying this machine for the season. Have a great one Craig and thanks for the picture.

All the best for now. Ian
May 2010 Lars Opland has sent in an interesting Otter project showing his piston to turbine conversion in progress!! Nice one Lars. [HERE]

Fred Sprenger (Chief Pilot at Volcanicair in New Zealand) has been in touch and sent in some photos of their Otter receiving a new 1340 earlier this year. He has also received pictures of their Otter in Egypt some time ago. [HERE]
Thanks Fred.

And finally, I have just seen an advert for a new DVD "Alaska's Bush Pilots - The Real Deal" by Jim Oltersdorf which appears to have some excellent Otter flying sequences. There is a YouTube trailer with Otter extracts just to whet the appetite. Go to for the information. Can't seem to see whether its available for UK purchase, but look well worth the effort.

Well, that's it for now. All the best. Ian

Easter 2010 Oh Dear. So much to do and so little time. Here is an update of Otter info received to date.

Graham Parminter took photo’s of the first flights of N435B after rebuild, and an engine swap. The photo’s where taken in 2007 in Courtenay, BC, at the Courtenay Airpark. Overhaul was done by International Aeroproducts.

Nick Craig has sent in a series of photos of
C-FCEE C\N 282. It is still with Johnny May's Air Charter and has since been converted to turbine PT6-34. These pictures were taken in Montréal, Québec, Canada. The airplane is in Montréal for increased gross weight kit, and, as Nick understands it the floats are being stretched as well.

Another excellent if somewhat belatedly uploaded photo from Kent  (sorry Kent) during his winter duties. [HERE]

Greg Lynn kindly provides an early photo of CF-ODQ in Ontario Dept of Lands & Forests Air Service markings.

And finally, Rob Murdoch has written in and asks a question. He enjoys flying the DHC3 Otter in Flight Simulator X, but thinks the fuel usage is off. Does anyone happen to have any information on the fuel flow rate for the DHC3 with either the original 600hp radial or the upgraded 1000hp engine? Let me know.

Well, that's all for now. My grateful thanks as ever for all your contributions and for visiting the website. Here's to a busy Otter season.

    Otter 151 Special:

I was delighted to receive an email recently from Rich Harris who is the Public Liaison Officer for the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Rich kindly forwarded some photographs and the following information about Otter No.151:

"Good afternoon,

While looking for some information on our NU-1B Otter here at The US Naval Test Pilot School, I stumbled upon your website. I see you have our Otter (S/N151) listed on your list. The aircraft underwent a refurbishment in 2008 and 2009 and is still flying with the school. Navy squadron VX-6 used the Otter to support United States explorations in the Antarctic from 1957 to 1966. Fourteen Otters served in the Navy in this role. TPS' Otter was built in 1956 and flew 477 hours with VX-6 before it was transferred here. To our knowledge, it is the last Otter in active military service in the world.

The "N" designation refers to modifications for flight test instrumentation. It is used at the United States Naval Test Pilot School to demonstrate flight test evaluation techniques and for lateral-directional flying qualities demonstrations and evaluations. I've enclosed a few pictures for your site if you are interested. The picture in the hangar is the paint scheme as it was in 2000. The other color photo is the current scheme which was taken in 2006. I also attached a black and white photo from 1966 of an Otter. We at the school believe it is the same aircraft. Hope this helps your site and if there is anything else we can do feel free to contact me.

Regards, Rich Harris"

The photos are HERE

Well Rich, I am indebted to you for contacting the site and many thanks for the photo's. I feel certain that we may be able to return the favour with additional information. Any of you Otterhounds out there with information/photo's etc can email me and I will gladly forward it on.

Now, where did I put Karl Hayes' Otter profile? Karl, I'm sure you have much to offer here.

February 2010

Steve Martin kicks of this first update of the month with a series of shots from a trip to Canada last year. Featuring the Harbour Air fleet as well as Tofino Air and Kenmore. [ Set 1 ] [Set 2 ] Thanks Steven. Some excellent shots.

And continuing with Harbour Air, John Olafson has sent in shots of some new liveries which were taken recently by his good friend Bill Campbell in Vancouver. Otter LCP has a stunning celebratory livery to support the Canadian Team at the Olympics. ITF has a different look, proclaiming carbon neutrality. It is only a temporary stick-on membrane. Both are quite dramatic and no doubt stand out well at Coal Harbour.

John also notes that:
Bill tells me that with all the very difficult air restrictions in the area it's a huge challenge for float plane pilots at YVR and also as Coal Harbour. All pax have to be screened, which takes a lot of time, then they have to be escorted to the aircraft by RCMP. Finally when the aircraft leaves the dock, it typically orbits there for half an hour waiting for approval to fly from the two security agencies that must approve all movements. Hard to be carbon neutral when you idle for half an hour before each flight. It must be very hard to maintain a schedule under those circumstances.

Bill has more pictures of these Otters at

My thanks to Steve and John for kicking off this month so well and, as we move into more clement spring weather, I hope that all you Otterhounds are emerging from your winter hybernation ready for a new year of DHC3 hunting.


A Fred Barnes special this release. He has sent in a photograph from Propliner 120 of LN-LMM c/n 31 taken in Bodo. and provided to him by the Norsk Luftfart Museum. I sense Ruben Husberg's hand in this shot too. How are you Ruben?

Also Fred's well composed photo of '31' as C-FAPR taken at Ignace on 19 Sep 09 and a delightful shot of C-FDNK of Air Kipawa at Toronto Island Airport on 14 May 1987. This latter shot is from Fred's back catalogue which is now being digitalised.

Fred also has a question for all Otterhounds;

"I have just completed an article for 'Propliner' and I would like to get a photo of CF-ODK c/n13 in the classic OPAS yellow/black livery (digital format preferred).  Would you consider a request on my behalf in the next website update.  Credit will be given but no payment".

No Sooner said than done Fred. If you can help then do contact Fred on or myself and I'll pass any photos on.

Breaking News:  As I write this Jon Olafson has just sent me a Special Announcement from Kal-Air in Vernon that they are retiring from the aircraft rebuilding business!! Oh No. What is Jon going to do with his time? They are selling off all the assets and this is a great shame for a company that we have all enjoyed seeing produce as-new Otters over the years. Best wishes to all at Kal-Air and thank you for keeping such a venerable aircraft alive.

Finally, a link to Dave Ferguson's stories about Otters in Enforcement has been added to the relevant section. Thanks Dave

I am also trying to find some time to add your photographs to the relevant aircraft page as several of you have enquired. I have this in mind (no honestly I do, really, not a word of a lie, scouts honour) but time and workload is against me at the moment. I am also trying to decide how to keep the photo pages to more manageable sizes and avoid duplication for the server whilst also avoiding too many hyperlinks. But never fear - as Baldrick might say 'I have a cunning plan'.


Firstly, a big welcome back to the flight line for King Beaver (Neil Aird) who has braved an important refit. If you like the DH Beaver as well as the Otter and haven't been to yet then you're in for a treat.

Fred Barnes has re-forwarded photos of Wilderness Air Otters C-FODV and C-GLAB taken at Vermilion Bay on 18 Sep 09. Thanks for your patience Fred.

Fred also alerted me to a crash report from Fiji News dated 29th December concerning DQ-GLL (288). The aircraft apparently tipped off the runway at Vomo Island with 6 on board. No one was hurt and the report confirms that the aircraft has now returned to Nadi. Sound like a minor mishap but a useful spot Fred.

John Olafson has forwarded one of his favourite images taken last year. It was taken from the walkway around the new Trade and Convention Centre at Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver and it's a fairly typical scene at the floatplane base.

Beavers, Otters and Twin Otters can be seen coming and going all day long and as John rightly notes it's really a nice place to watch them on a fine sunny day. It's not so bad on a drab one either John. Wish I was back there.

I look forward to hearing from you all during this year and don't forget to send in any Otter YouTube clips you like. I have also established  a Twitter account so feel free to join in.

Best wishes for now.




A Very Merry Christmas to all Otterhounds wherever you are around the World.


If life could have been more complicated this year then I wouldn’t want to know about it. As a last straw, just as I was uploading files for the Christmas posting the laptop gave out and I have had to rebuild on a new one. I also lost a bundle of recent emails from October to early December (the ‘leave a copy on the server’ box is so buried in the depths of Outlook I forgot to check it before re-opening the programme – word to the wise).


Anyway, less of my (ba! Humbug) grumblings; here are some of the recent photos, some of which are un-attributed. Please accept my profound apologies and if you have sent me anything in the last three months do re-send details to and I will correct the position straightaway.


Photo Set 1


Fred Sprenger from Volcanicair in New Zealand has sent in a set of photos of ZK-VAS undergoing a refurb with a new engine on its way. A very smart aircraft emerges from the hangar. Love that big carb-heat dial. Should be a must on all engines (there speaks a pilot who had to change his trousers after a badly rigged carb heat cable nearly resulted in an emergency landing). By the way Fred, the missing mobile phone is on the throttle quadrant!


ZK-VAS 01     ZK-VAS 02     ZK-VAS 03


And for those of you who do not subscribe to ‘Propliner’, you have missed a veritable smorgasbord of Otter info and photos in the latest issue (No.120) with reports from the venerable Fred Barnes, regarding Wideroe’s Otter operations, Martin Cooper’s tour of numerous floatbases in western Ontario and Manitoba and the Ottermeister himself Karl Hayes on the Woods Air Fuels operation with Otters and much else. Excellent excuses for a morning read in bed with a coffee over the last few days.


Back issues are available at £8.50 each (incl surface delivery UK and worldwide). Send orders enclosing payment to:

Propliner Aviation Magazine, Penn Farm, Luppitt, Honiton, Devon UK EX14 4RX