13 - FODK

Photo kindly provided by Fred White (pictured) who is lucky enough to fly this aircraft.

Serial Number






Year of Manufacture





 Nestor Falls, Ontario




 Nestor Falls Fly-In Outposts Ltd


 Box 35, Nestor Falls, Ontario P0X 1K0

Contact / Link




Otter number 13, registered CF-ODK to the Department of Lands & Forests, was delivered to the Ontario Provincial Air Service (OPAS) on 22nd May 1953, based at Sault St.Marie, Ontario. It was the second Otter delivered to OPAS, the first being CF-ODJ (14) on 8th May '53, these being the first two of an order for eleven new Otters from DHC. In their attractive and distinctive all yellow scheme with black trim, these Otters served the Province for many years, providing a full range of aerial bush services.

The Otters were most active during the summer months, but some of the fleet were also kept
going on wheel-skis during the winter. The Otters were modified as water bombers, to fight forest fires which plague the Province during the summer, and were also invaluable for moving fire crews.

The Fish & Wildlife Branch was another big user of the Otter, on surveys, census taking, fish stocking and enforcement of game laws. Timber surveys were another task. Year round, the Otters provided transportation for officials to all the remote parts of this huge Province, including many native settlements, and brought cargo wherever it was needed. They were also available year round for SAR and medevacs.

Only one minor incident is recorded in respect of CF-ODK during its service with OPAS. It was
damaged in a hard landing at Terrace Bay on Lake Superior, Ontario on 11th August 1970. The pilot had “misjudged speed and distance”. The damage was repaired and ODK returned to service. In September 1972, along with all the other OPAS Otters, the registered owner was changed to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the registration became C-FODK. After thirty years of faithful service, ODK was put up for sale, as the Province disposed of its Otter fleet. The Otter was destined to stay in Ontario, however, as its purchaser was Huron Air & Outfitters Inc of Armstrong-McKenzie Lake, to whom ODK was registered in May 1984. Armstrong is one of these 'end of the road' towns, ideally located to serve the vast central region of northern Ontario. ODK joined Huron Air's then fleet of Cessna 185s. It was to serve Huron Air for fourteen years, the registration reverting to CF-ODK in April 1997.

During this long period of service, it flew fishermen to the many lodges in this remote and beautiful land, flew passengers and cargo to the native settlements, flew construction workers out into the bush to establish mining camps and kept the camps supplied. Its time with Huron Air came to an end on 26th May 1998. The float-equipped Otter had just taken off from Lake Machawaian, some one hundred miles to the north of Armstrong, after dropping off six passengers. At an altitude of 500 feet the engine began to backfire and lose power. The pilot switched fuel tanks and turned on the electric fuel boost pump, but the engine would not stop backfiring. ODK began to lose airspeed and altitude, and the pilot elected to land straight ahead. The Otter crashed into trees and muskeg approximately three miles south of the lake, and was substantially damaged. That was the end of its career with Huron Air, who leased Otter C-FCEE (282) for summer 1998, until they purchased another former Ontario Government Otter C-GOFF (65) as a replacement in October '98.

The wreck of ODK was sold by the insurers to Aviation V.L. Inc who retrieved the Otter from the crash site and transported it to their facility at St.Jean Airfield, Montreal where the rebuild commenced. The Otter was registered to Aviation V.L. Inc in April 1999, reverting to C-FODK the following month. After the rebuild was complete, ODK was sold to Nestor Falls Fly-In Outposts Ltd, to whom it was registered in July 1999, joining their other Otter C-FSOR (239) as well as a Beaver and Beech 18. This carrier is based at Nestor Falls, Ontario not far from the US border and is a summer only operator, catering for fishermen and tourists. Their website says it all: “Climb aboard one of our float planes and soar over the magnificent beauty of the Canadian shield. A tremendous photo opportunity of the rugged cliffs, pristine waters and abundance of wild life awaits you…..Savour the beauty of the Canadian bush, a wilderness for the most part accessible only by air”.

For the fisherman, the company flies to nine different lakes, with twelve cottages to chose from, all about 200 miles north of Nestor Falls. ODK entered service with the company, flying the larger groups to the lakes and on sightseeing flights during the summer months, put into storage for the winter.

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