OTTER NEWS 2012
another year comes to an end and the illustrious Otter enters its 62nd
flying year without any apparent signs of retirement. If anything the
effectiveness of the 'King Beaver' in its chosen role remains pretty much
unchallenged and long may that continue.
Although CEE was reported as "Grounded" (by me!) Paul is pleased to report
that she is still flying, although with a new nose job. [HERE]
Long time contributor Marcel FLUET-LECERF from Bordeaux, FRANCE has been off the radar for a while due to illness. Having had a 'refit and new paint job' he managed a trip to Canada in 2011 and then Alaska and the Yukon this year. The results are a fine selection of interesting aircraft as follows:
Air Contant C-FAZX 458
Laval Québec Oct 2011
Once again I have compiled a Photo Calendar for 2013 which you can download [HERE]. Maybe a tad too rotary this time but they're a dying breed, so enjoy them whilst you can. ;-)
And finally, the end of the
year would be incomplete without a suitably evocative shot from our roaming
Otter-Jock, Kent. [HERE] Nice one young
man. Keep it straight and level!
Here's hoping that 2013
will be a good year for you all.
Autumn has arrived, the clocks have gone back to GMT in the UK and its onward
to Christmas. So to while away those damp days here's the latest upload for
Now. I have been having a little play with the home page and I doubt you will have overlooked the new Facebook link to the DHC3 Otter Group which has been active for a few months now. I cannot take credit for setting this Group up (who did by the way?) but there are some good photo submissions and information beginning to evolve. This is doubtless the new generation of communication and may eventually supersede my periodic updates, but hopefully if you are posting to the Facebook Group you will give a thought to sending your news and photos here too.
Michael St Amand has emailed with a number of photos of Otters in a fire bombing role;
promised, here are 3 pictures of standard Otter CF-ODJ circa 1980.
It was in it's earlier days when it was working for the Ontario Ministry of
Natural Resources. In these shots, it was water bombing a fire between a
rock face and a high voltage power line near Sudbury.
Lars Opland provides a before and after shot of N2899J (425)
Last summer, Rust's N2899J was looking a bit faded...
...But this summer, it's got a nice, fresh coat with hints of metal flake
sparkle in the red:
Looking good Lars. Many thanks.
Fred Barnes and I have been reminiscing recently about Fairoaks, a small airfield outside London which has been the scene of many interesting aviation events and visitors over the years. It was my 'local' as a kid, with far too many happy hours messing about there on weekends and holidays. One visitor I evidently missed was Otter (431) N17689. Fred provides a photo taken at Fairoaks in 1975 as a piston in Ghana AF colours and then a few years ago at Anchorage as a turbine; also for Wright Air Service at Fairbanks, Alaska taken at Fairbanks on 03.05.86. Note the skis. Another great before and after collection Fred. [HERE]
Doug Eryo provides some useful update information about Air Park Aviation, CF-QOX, serial number 206? And C-GMDG, serial number 366? QOX was lost in a hangar collapse, Lac du Bonnet, and MDG is now a turbine in NW Ontario. These are gaps to be filled in the database and I will be doing a bit of devilling to confirm these in due course. Thanks Doug.
Paul Chamois writes:
are scanned pictures of various Otters taken in 1975 and 1976 in various
places in northern Ontario when I worked for the Ontario Geological Survey.
The pictures are of CF-GBX, CF-ODJ, CF-ODK, CF-ODQ, CF-ODW and CF-ODX. I
think you have pictures of some but not of at least a couple of the bunch.
And finally, Alex Brooke asks:
I hope you don't mind the email.
I myself am a fan of the Otter as well as hobbiest. I was hoping to convert one of my Hobbycraft Otter's into a Garrett powered Texas Turbine model. Do you have any drawings or technical specs that I can use in making a new nose for my model. I've reached out to Texas Turbine's and I've never received a response so I'm emailing you.
Thanks for your time.
Toronto, ON/ Willington, CT
If any of you model aficionado's please let Alex know at [email@example.com]
OK. That's it for now but do keep sending in your shots, news and other information.
Best wishes all. Ian
Ah. Summer in Britain. rain, more rain, The Olympics and yet more rain. Can it
get any better? As the rain patters down outside I sit at my laptop, keeping
an eye on the Marathon and getting excited about Ben Ainsley winning Gold
again in the Finn Class ( I hope).
I have been a tad busy on other matters recently but more of that later.
And so to Otters.
Some time ago now Martin Rousseau ( www.mraerodesign.com ) sent in a pic of C-FSVP (28) taken at Val D'Or (CYVO) on the 28th August 2010. He notes the lack of a prop and surmised it was in for maintenance. Looking at the picture there is no exhaust nozzle either so may have been without an engine too at this time. [HERE] Any news of her current operations would be much appreciated.
Lorne Keyes writes; he has nearly completed the task of digitizing his slide and photo collection, and scanning his black and white negatives. He came across this shot [HERE] of a very early Otter, possibly a prototype. It was taken in May 1953 at Rockcliff airport which was an operational RCAF base at that time. Any further ID on this aircraft chaps?
Lorne also writes:
I cannot add anything of real value to my early Otter picture but will add a human interest item. The gentleman on the left facing the camera is Al Filipov, a classmate of mine at University and one of the unfortunate passengers on the first aircraft to hit the twin towers on Sept 11, 2001
My name is Bill Todd & I ran the T-6.com website for many years. Was an Army Otter flying crew chief in Alaska with the 12th Aviation Company from Aug '61 to Oct '63.
I was an enlisted flight engineer and flew with the pilots of the 12th. But what's the difference? We were depleted of pilots for 'nam, so I flew right seat a lot. I was working on my Private Pilots License and did a lot of the map & radio work if the pilots wanted. Some did, some didn't. I was enlisted (SP/5) and some pilots thought they were better than us enlisted, even though I had a previous hitch in USAF and probably had more time than most of them!
Keep the faith brother!
Ft. Wainwright (Fairbanks, Alaska)
thanks for getting in touch Bill and I believe there are other stories in
your past that would bear repeating here I'm sure. Do keep in touch.
Kerry (Southern) Cross of Melbourne, Australia writes:
I came across your site while researching the Otter, we've built and just released a series of Otters for the flight simulator X-Plane.
Both Qantas and TAA in Australia flew Otters.
For all you X-Plane aficionado's Kerry tells me they have also built the DHC-2 Beaver as well. Great to see the simming world is still turning out interesting aircraft for us non-jet PC jockeys.
And whilst were on with simulator news, Andrey Tsvirenko [firstname.lastname@example.org] writes:
We are thinking about DHC-3 as next project, so please maybe you could advise where we can find (even buy) good blueprints of the Otter (exterior, cockpit/panel schemes etc..) ? I'm try to look at google (as I usually do for all our projects) - no luck.. just small schemes...
Thanks and have good day!
Well guys. If you can help then do please email Andrey with details.
Now. Bill mentioned the issue of Vietnam pilots and lo and behold I have received an email from Vet' Bob Hagge who writes:
I just came across your website on Otters. I have been
working with Niel Aird
the well know webmaster of www.dhc-2.com
the Beavers that we had while in Vietnam.
There were a few RU-1A Otters around that were also set up for ARDF. The ARDF Beavers and Otters could be distinguished by the Dipole Antenne that were located near the outer end of the wings. One such RU-1A you have listed was Tail No. 55-3271 (c/n 117) that was shot down in Cambodia on Feb. 12, 1969. It was noted that "President Nixon had to apologize to Sihanouk to get the crew back."
Another RU-1A that belonged to HHC, 224th Avn. Bn. (RR) (our
Battalion Headquarters) was 55-2977, c/n 50. Note the telltale dipole
antenne on the wings in this photo of it.
thanks for getting in touch. That's great and do keep any new information
www.handyforwork.com has just been launched to identify all kinds of locations throughout the world that - simply enough - could be handy for work for all those people now 'agile working' or travelling for business (and pleasure). The website is supported by an iphone APP and it is all free to access.
There are some 50,000 locations listed already and most of these are the regular chains to begin with. Tim Hortons for example have kindly provided their latest list of wifi enabled restaurants and these will be uploaded shortly.
Do you have a favourite cafe, hotel, internet cafe, airport etc which provides free wifi and might be a handy location? Especially in those more remote parts of the world - the remoter the better quite frankly - but anywhere would be of interest. I will be blogging about and promoting interesting locations, so if your local java joint or backwoods landing strip is 'Handy' and would like some free publicity then please get in touch.
email the details to
email@example.com or why not register and upload yourselves
from the website or the APP.
Hope you don't mind this one-time plug and I look forward to hearing all your Otter news in due course.
great summer. I'm off to bail out the garden again!
I am pleased to say that this update is a one man show with another series of
pictures from Bob Cameron's collection. Ah, radials, don't you just love
them. This is an excellent range across the Otter's many facets and very
many thanks Bob for providing so many shots.
I particularly like CF-SUB at Schwatka Lake, Whitehorse 1976. Lovely picture.
There are several sets [HERE] [HERE] [HERE] [HERE] and [HERE] Enjoy.
Oh Dear. The year is disappearing rapidly and having had a very quiet spell on the submissions front you have obviously all decided to clear out the den and have sent in loads of new photos and information. For which, many thanks. But it has guilt-tripped me into sorting out a window in my mad diary to do this years first update. So hear goes...
Fred Sprenger of Volcanic Air Services in Rotorua, NZ was first up this year with several new shots of ZK-VAS (35) [HERE]. Fred notes that "They were taken recently as part of two separate well known international brands, so keep your eye open for their release". Will do Fred and many thanks. Definitely going to have to get some DHC 3 piston time and where better than in NZ.
Kent has been as busy as ever over the winter months and snapped himself 'in the office' on a day when clearly the central heating was on the blink! [HERE]. Just goes to show that a pilot's life is by no means a bed of roses.
And Kents' boss Rich Hulina has forwarded a few shots too. The first up Rich notes was, "The only de Havilland bird I've seen in Florida at the Key West International Airport. Shot this one in Kenora a long time ago as C-GIGZ (183) [HERE]. And passing through Sioux Lookout at the beginning of February was C-FIOF (24) [HERE]
Rich also reports, "Nothing too exciting at Fort Frances on Friday! There was a transport trailer in the middle of the yard, I wonder if it was to ship BQC somewhere. Does anyone know of any sale on that frame? A friend told me the other day a piston Otter went through Kenora on wheels with an orange stripe. It may have been C-FLAP on its way to Harbour Air". The photos are [HERE]
Many thanks Rich. Presumably the rudders and elevators are removed to stop them banging around in the 'light breezes' you get during the winter!!
I am delighted to welcome
Earle Knott as a new Otterhound. Earle notes:
Now. Another new visitor to
the Cockpit is Bob Cameron. He writes:
Well, of course. Little did I know what was about to descend from the ether. The key word is 'few'.
I've set up
a web album for SUB as this is easier than trying to complete so many
pictures in Frontpage. You can view the photos here:
Bob also provides a brief history of the Aircraft taken from the logbooks:
- Originally delivered new to the RCAF
- Returned to De Havilland and refurb'd for civilian use.
- Purchased in May 1966 by Coast Range Airways of Atlin, B.C.
- Sold in spring 1967 to Trans North Turbo Air of Whitehorse, Yukon.
- Sold in fall of 1967 to Great Northern Airways, based in Whitehorse
- Purchased by Trans North Turbo Air in spring of 1970 from Receivers acting on behalf of bankrupt Great Northern Airways
- Sold in January 1978 to a Vancouver leasing company.
- Subsequently flew under lease with Air North of Whitehorse
- Early 1980's went to Harbour Air of Vancouver
- Subsequently (1990's) to Cargair in Quebec.
Now then. Bob has also sent in a whole load of other Otter pictures. And as you can have too much of a good thing I will save these for another upload.
Very many thanks Bob and rest assured your other contributions will be added very soon. Again. If you have any tales from the cockpit then do please use the site to pass them on.
another newcomer is Robert Kobzey who has forwarded some shots of C-GDHW
(10) [HERE] in his workshop at Campbell
River Airport, looking very smart. He has also forwarded a link to a video
he made in 2008 of Max's Otter - an obscenely short takeoff on floats!
And Finally, Gerald Sarapu completes the new flight crew for this update with a number of shots from his collection.
His first shot is of C-GQOX (308) [HERE]. Gerald reports, "I took this photo in the spring of 1979 at Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba. As you can see it is still in US military colours with the registration C-GQOX S/N 308 still crudely painted on for import. The aircraft was converted for civilian use and repainted , only to be crushed in a hangar collapse that following winter in Lac du Bonnet. I was employed as an AME for the owner and have pictures of that incident too. It was dismantled, hauled away and I don't know what happened to it".
Gerald also adds two more recent shots (2010) of C-FMAX (267) and C-FODY (425) in Province of Manitoba colours and also a lrange of shots from his collection which can be seen on the Web Album from this link: https://picasaweb.google.com/108657967773487368688/GeraldSaparu?authkey=Gv1sRgCMGKjIDRkNK6EQ
Thanks very much Gerald. keep them coming.
So there we are. A big welcome to all our new Otterhounds and, as ever, very many thanks to you all for your excellent contributions. It is much appreciated.
Another year has dashed by and tomorrow is Christmas Day again. Far too busy for my own good this year, but needs must. And keeping the kids fed and the dog in sufficient bones has taken priority. However, despite that, it has been another good year for Otter Info and my thanks go out to all those who have contributed; some new to the site, others who are regulars. My thanks to you all as, without you, the site would not be what it is. If time permits I am going to try and update the main directories as I know these are not up to date and there are photos and details to add to many pages.
Stephen McGuinn kicks off this festive update with a series of photos by Brian Weisflock who kindly gave his permission. Brian currently owns the shell refueling depot at North Bay airport apparently. I see one shot is from a magazine with mention of the well known bush pilot and author Robert S Grant. Anyone know if he is still flying? And Steve also provides a YouTube link that may cause sage nodding of recognition from some and serious wincing on the part of others! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJgWwtpHzAQ&feature=related Thanks Steve.
Praeman Pillay is an Otter Pilot flying in Malta for Harbourair and sends it two shots of 9h-AHA (406) taken at his base. Glad to see AHA is earning her keep in warmer waters again having been originally in Burma I believe. And also from Praeman two shots of C-FHPE (273) taken at La Ronge and several shots of C-FSGD Dropping off fire men; Taking off; On a beach close to Stony Rapids and one with Cliff's piston Otter C-FPEM at his camp on Lake Athabasca. Very many thanks Praeman.
Fred Barnes has sent in a retro shot of C-FSOR (239) when she was with Air Hart at Kelowna 20.06.95. Fred notes that SOR is now 'turbine powered' and flies with Nestor Falls Fly-In Outposts. Great shot Fred.
Austin-Williams (Public Relations and Media Liaison Officer: South
African Airways Museum Society
www.saamuseum.co.za ) has started a new website dedicated to all de
Havilland aircraft in South Africa, past and present see
Finally Kent has taken an interestingly artistic shot and he notes, "If it wasn’t for the pointy nose this picture looks like it could be from the 1950’s". Absolutely Kent. What a good idea. Like it.
And as this
is Christmas don't forget Rich Hulina's book 'Bush Flying Captured'
featured on the Cockpit page; there are what looks like some interesting
http://www.alaskasbushpilots.com/; Design Group
Alpha's card models of the Otter would be worth a bit of modelling time at
and don't forget a nice buckle at;
wishing you all a quiet and Happy Christmas and all the Very Best for 2012