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Jan - December 2008
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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   







Firstly, my apologies for the apparent silence over the last couple of months. I’ve been rather busy developing my new business (now working for myself – the boss is a tyrant!) and fees have had to go before fun.

John Olafson sent in a link to an interesting twin otter video [ ] but we will let him off. Wonder if they knew how deep the snow was?

John also sent in a great photo of Otter C-FJHA c/n 318 which is the latest to join the Harbour Air fleet as of last January. John notes that, “they are now wearing the last two digits of the fleet number on the port wing leading edge. No wonder, when you see all the Otters coming and going at Coal Harbour these days. The little green logo is their way of telling us they are carbon neutral”. Many thanks John.

Fred Barnes has been on his travels again and has begun to forward a number of recent Otter photos. Here are the first few to wet your appetite. You’re going to love these shots. Keep them coming Fred.

And finally, I have been enjoying a photo from Kent for a little while and here is Kent’s introduction which says it all. My grateful thanks Kent. Keep them level.

Hi Ian!

The days are getting shorter and shorter ..  This is a good thing!

Here is a shot I took shortly after a spectacular sunset.  The stars that night were absolutely amazing. The magnificence of the night sky left me awestruck and dumb and feeling so insignificant as a person, and as a member of the human race. Our worldly troubles are meaningless and unimportant when you are staring deep into the endless vastness of space.

Best regards, Kent


My thanks to all contributors and best wishes for Thanksgiving.







Davy Doyon - owner & pilot of Misty Fjords Air & Outfitting, LLC. Starts this update with a great shot of him landing N6868B in God's Pocket, Misty Fjords National Monument. [HERE] What a way to earn a living!! Many thanks Dave and have a good season.


Andrew Chorney is a Senior Aeromechanical Engineer of Air Vehicle Modification and Instrumentation (AVMI) Aircraft Prototype Systems Division (APSD) at Patuxent River NAS and is trying to track down some information that, as he puts it, is surprisingly elusive.


The Navy has been flying an instrumentation boom on its U-1 Otter based at the Test Pilot School for some time now, and all technical source data has long since disappeared.


Impulse "rap" tests of the boom are conducted regularly to determine its natural frequency and whether it is far enough away (+/- 10%) from the engine propeller frequency to avoid resonance issues. No data is readily available for what the critical engine rpm might be, giving us no baseline from which to judge the dynamic characteristics of the boom.


Andrew asks whether any of you happen to have data on the pertinent engine?  He’s not even sure which one it is, but anything you might have would be helpful.  They’ve been utilizing "official" data resources, but he had to resort to Google to see what he could find.


Well guys that’s a really good challenge for you. Please email me or contact Andrew direct on Chorney, Andrew S.  USNUNK NAVAIR [ ]  Voice: (301) 757-2969  Fax: (301) 342-1665


Andrew has also provided the following:

I was able to establish that the Pratt & Whitney R-1340-S1H1G (550 hp, 410 kW) is used on the U-1. Specifications for the R-1340-S3H1 indicate a power output of 542 hp at 2,200 rpm at 5,000 feet, translating to a 36.67 Hz forcing frequency. I don't know whether that specification is representative of the U-1's engine, but I used that as a baseline. Conversations with some colleagues indicated that there may be some wing modes to consider in addition to engine prop forcing frequencies, but I have no information on that.


Martin "Closterman" Rousseau of has sent in a number of excellent Otter shots for your enjoyment, some of which are taken by a friend Philippe Gosselin. Good to hear from you again Martin and many thanks. [HERE] [HERE] [HERE]


Ray Ritchie has rightly pointed out that his very interesting photo in last months item was not provided. My apologies I failed to create a hyperlink, so here it is again [HERE]


Have a good summer all – as we in UK enjoy rain that even Noah would blanch at!







John Olafson kicks off this update following a trip to Vancouver recently and reports:


Whilst at Vancouver South I noticed Otter C-FHAS parked outside Harbour Air's maintenance hangar and was able to photograph this one for the first time on a rather dreary day. It has North Pacific Seaplanes titles on it but it is part of Harbour Air's fleet as indicated by its fleet number (312). I would imagine this Otter will be soon returning to Prince Rupert.


I stopped at Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver to see what was going on and as usual, there are several of Harbour Air's Otters in action. They seem to keep quite busy, unlike the various Beavers we usually see there and also at Vancouver South. Traffic will likely pick up when the summer season arrives. [see John’s Pictures HERE]


John also provides a picture of an engine that came out of an Otter which crashed and was rebuilt some years ago at Kal Air Repair. Apparently it has been sitting in outside storage for quite some time and now it has been moved out and placed on a pallet. John wonders if it will be rebuilt or is it going to the scrapper and considers that given its condition, its unlikely we will ever again hear its song, but at least its nice to look at it.


Many thanks John. Always good to receive BC info. I presume the new Coal Harbour arrangements are fully complete now.


Regular visitors will know that pilot/photographer Kent applies a somewhat ‘left-field’ approach to life and his latest contributions are right on the money. Keep them level Kent. Many thanks. [HERE]


Here is a recent email from John (the wallaby) O’Rourke which will interest all I’m sure:


Hi Ian


Just found your site when researching the DHC 3, having just got hold of an excellent flight sim model for X-Plane


As a young man, I spent some time in the Territory of Papua New Guinea (since independence it is now Papua New Guinea) and flew around quite a bit, mainly in DC3 or Otters. (all under the QANTAS banner) It the Territory 1958-60.


A number of flights in VH-EAW, an amphibious Otter out of Port Moresby (Jackson's Field) to Kerema and Ihu and then on to Daru in the Gulf District west of Moresby. We would take of from land, and if you had got to sit up front, the pilot gave you the task of pumping the hydraulic lever to raise the wheels into the floats. At Kerema, she would land on the bay, and load/discharge on a floating platform/pontoon, on 44 gallon drums.


At Ihu, about 40 miles further west from Kerema, the Otter landed on the Vailalla River, and discharged passengers, mail, food, booze etc onto another pontoon.


VH-EAZ was named "Kikori" - a village in western Papua. I have a scanned slide of "Kikori" parked on the ground at Jackson's -Scanned from 35 mm slide - passable photo.


I have fond memories of VH-EAZ "Kerowagi", as this is the aircraft which took my new bride and myself from Wau to Lae. We had spent our honeymoon in a small cottage in Wau (what a wonderful name for a honeymoon destination!!) -I have a better photo of "Kerowagi"  on the strip at Wau , with my wife waiting to board (I also still have my wife!! - 49 years later next month.


If they are of interest, you are more than welcome to copies of the photos


"Kikori" photo  August 1959 and "Kerowagi" taken July 1960




John O'Rorke


And, of course, the photos are of real interest. [HERE]

Congratulations on 49 years marriage John and many thanks for the photo’s and story.



Dave Hayward from Winnipeg writes:


Hi Ian I just discovered you site and I'm enjoying it immensely. I grew up in Flin Flon to the sound of Otters flying almost all year round.


H.B.M & S had three all painted the same colour Yellow Silver Blue and a bight orange tail.

I'm having a model made of CF-MIQ (336) to hang in my cottage at the Lee River 10 miles from Lac du Bonnet.


The plane is now located in Nakina Ontario it has been converted to a Turbo Prop. I have some pictures from the sixties and have requested a picture from the current owner. When the model is finished I can send you some pictures if you are interested.


I now have the pleasure of watching Adventure Air's Otter flying over my cottage.

Take care Great Site.


Thanks for your kind words Dave and do please send through the photos when the model is completed.


Ray Richey has written in and says:


I am sending you a picture of the otter that was used at Ft Greely, Alaska. I was stationed there 1971-1973.

You will note on the side that it says ATB which was the Arctic Test Board. The name was changed later the Arctic Test Center. I am not sure when the picture was taken.  It was taped to the wall in one of the rooms in the hanger and it looked like no one was interested in it. They were talking about turning the Otter in so I ask one of the people in charge if I could have the picture and he said yes. I cut a hole in the wall to get the picture as they were talking about replacing the hanger. I visited Ft Greely 25 years later and the hanger was still there.  They had put new siding on it but they had not done much to the insides.


I was sorry to see on your web site that it was destroyed.

thanks for the site and here is the picture.


The lengths some people will go for a picture of an Otter! – a true Otterhound. Good to hear from you Ray and many thanks for the story.


Basic Country Bumpkin writes:


Dear Ian,

Some Otter stuff you may be interested in, on my flickr site.

Regards. BCB


And so it is. Good stuff there also for all you Propliner types. Many thanks for the link.



Now, here’s an unusual request from Germany:


Dear Aviation Friend,


I am preparing for our German Aviation Magazine (special Issue "Flieger Revue-EXTRA") a  article about Tanzania People's Defence Forces which used the aircraft DHC-3 Otter, the delivery program was the Canadian Military Assistance Program


Now my question, is it possible to help me with some pictures about this topic.


It would be very nice if you can send me the pictures per e-mail and in print condition.  It would be great when you could write some sentences about the pictures ( the task of aircraft or other interesting details).


If you agree, I would like they publish in the magazine and after print I will send you a voucher copy.


I hope you can help me and hear from you soon.


Thank you very much in advance.



Burkhardt Rawolle


freelance editor


Well guys, I will trawl the site, but I bet there are some of you with all kinds of more detailed information so feel free to contact Burkardt on


They say you can’t keep a good man down and to round out this update I am pleased to say that by popular request I bring John O back into the frame with an update from Vernon.


John reports:


I was surprised to see Max Ward's Otter come in to Vernon last night with wheel-skis. I took [THESE SHOTS] very early this morning just to be sure I recorded it with these skis fitted. I am including a couple of detail shots of how they are fitted to the aircraft. They appear to be brand new. I think MAU has received a lot of TLC this past winter and they have spent some time polishing it and it almost looks like it has new paint. I suspect the crew at Kal Air Repair will be removing the skis and then likely, same as last year, MAU will be flown to Otter Lake nearby to have the floats reinstalled.


Many thanks John, and to all the contributors, without whom this site would not work.

All best wishes to you all for the summer. Ian







Mid-Summer Otter Madness begins with two sets of photos from Jens Wager in Germany of Otters 4R-ARA and 4R-ARB taken in Sri Lanka.


Jens flew from Colombo to Koggala in the South of the Island (near Galle) in 4R-ARA (c/n 214 – ex-C-FJUH, now C-GHAG) in 2005 during a vacation trip to Sri Lanka. The aircraft was one of two Turbo Otters of the now ceased Sri Lankan Air Taxi service.


These pictures of ARA and its sister ship 4R-ARB (c/n 393) were taken at Colombo International Airport, during flight and after landing at Koggala airstrip during a monsoon shower on 09/04/2005. [SET 1] [SET 2]


Jens has also provided a link to an accident report for ARB in 2007. The incident occurred at 1517 Hrs (local) on 05th June 2007 at Colombo Airport, Ratmalana. Sri Lankan Airlines Flight UL 5302 (Reg. 4R-ARB) landed on runway 22 without the Landing Gears being extended. The aircraft skidded along the runway on floats before coming to a stop. (Ooops!)


Very many thanks Jens, these add a great dimension to the site and what an interesting flight in an Otter.


Dave Ferguson has sent in some very interesting photos of Otters in various enforcement roles in Ontario together with a write up of his experiences flying around in Otters as a Conservation Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). I’ve suggested to Dave there is a book in this – hands up all those who want to read more. [PHOTOS] [ARTICLE]. Keep writing Dave and do send us the next instalment.


Can anyone help Reto Schalfi?


Good day

First I would like to apologize for my bad English. I live in Switzerland, build remote-controlled airplanes and planning a DHC-3 Turbo with 1.5 meter wingspan to build. Unfortunately, I have nowhere a 3-side view of this plane found.You may have such a 3-side view?

For their help, I would like to thank you very much.


Best regards

Reto Schläfli


Adress: Reto Schläfli, Roseneggweg 8 6005 Luzern, Switzerland or


Otter pilot and operator Rich Hulina has an enviable reputation with the camera as well and has sent in some excellent shots of Otters passing through Sioux Lookout in mid-May. Very evocative – enjoy. [PHOTOS]


As there has been a bumper crop of emails I will upload more shortly.







OK. I goofed. I know I said I was going to show some more of Chip Porter’s photo’s and guess who lost the email! Well, they’re HERE now so enjoy. Thanks Chip.







Welcome to spring and hopefully a bit more sunshine.


A rather belated inclusion of further shots by Kent during the ski season. The first picture was taken fairly early in the season and the ice on Cat Lake wasn't very thick yet. Kent says: ‘It sure did make a lot of cracking noises!’ His second shot is not for the faint of heart but demonstrates a typical working day for your average neighbourhood Otter pilot. His final shot taken in April with no sign of break-up also demonstrates the manual dexterity needed for low flying whilst clicking the shutter (so to speak)!! [HERE]



John O’ has been back in action and reports:


HI  Guys,


This is the latest Texas Turbines Super Otter to leave Vernon and likely the last one for a while. I see the owners decided to have the chaps at Kal Air Repair paint the nose to match the rest of the aircraft, since its departure was delayed a few weeks. It sure looks better without that PZL engine up front (IMHO).  I will have to wait until summer is over to see the next Otter to come in for conversion. May there be many!


Cheers, John O


Here’s a controversial thought. Is it just me or does the Otter really not suit wheeled landing gear?


Marcel FLUET-LECERF has kindly sent in the following pictures:


DHC-3T C-FODT n°218 of Air Saguenay taken at  Baie Comeau Québec on 06-20-2008

DHC-3T C-FQMN n°184 of Hawk Air taken at Hawk Junction Ontario on 06-30-2008

DHC-3T C-GOFB n°39 of Watsons Skyways  taken at Wawa Ontario on 06-30-2008


I wonder if anyone out there can help Lars?

Dear Ian,


Greetings! I've been rather busy with a set of small Cessna 180/185 moulds lately, but my decal supplier has put to me a question you may be better able to help with than I: He is putting together a set of decals for the Otter & can't find a decent 3-view anywhere. Neither can I. The ones on the internet are horrendous & tiny. Could you be of any help with this? Neither of us makes enough at the model business to afford the whole manual, but a medium-rez scan of a general arrangement drawing would be a big help.

All My Best, -Lars Opland


My grateful thanks as ever for all the contributions and I wish you all a happy Otter hunting season.







Hi all.


John Olafson has produced a PowerPoint presentation of the traffic in Victoria's Inner harbour. You have to click the mouse to advance the slides.


Zane Adams from Arlington, TX saw Otter (387) at Meacham Field in Texas in early January. Now registered as N443CB Ruud Leeuw has collated a history with pictures at, with thanks as ever to Karl Hayes.


Wojtek Benzinski is a member of a small group collecting and producing 1/200th scale models, who have started to branch out into bush and utility aircraft; Norseman and DHC 2 Beaver are available, and soon, I hope, the Otter will be. Wojtek is trying to locate pictures of British, Aussie and Kiwi Beavers and Otters in Antarctica. If any of you come by any pictures, please let me know and I will put them on the site for Wojtek and his colleagues!


Fred Barnes has sent in C/n 106 N707KA on maintenance in the Kenmore yard 0n 4th June 2008 and Wayne Berrier has provided a useful link


Thanks to everyone who contributed this time and more to come in a further update shortly.

Best wishes








Fred Sprenger the Chief Pilot from Volcanic Air Services in New Zealand has sent in a few more photos of their Otter ZK-VAS (35). These shots were taken at the Okareka Lakehouse and Orakei Korako. If any of you have any pictures of this Otter from earlier times Fred would like some copies if possible.


Fred Barnes has also scanned a lovely shot of N707KA (106) in earlier days.


Zane Adams from Arlington, TX saw this Otter (387) at Meacham Field in Texas now registered as N443CB.


And finally Kent has sent in a shot of him at work (or is it play!) and a future Otter Captain in the making.


Thanks Chaps. Great Shots.







Welcome back one and all. Didn’t Christmas disappear quickly!


Charles "Chip" Wisner of Juneau, Alaska kicks off the New Year with some pictures of N9895B, (194) during and after a total rebuild by Taquan Air Service, Inc. in Ketchikan late April and early May of 1996. After final assembly and test flight it was sold to Buffalo Narrows Airways in Saskatchewan. The airplane was de-registered US and then re-registered Canadian, C-GDOB. Sadly, 194 crashed on the journey eastbound and was destroyed.


Fred Barnes has and friend Fred Froude have been scanning some of his old slides into digital. Here are some interesting samples to get the ball rolling:

C-GLCS (428) at Coal Harbour 22.7.85.  Powell Air

N234KA (42) at Deshka River, Alaska 6.6.88.  Ketchum Air Service.

C-FMPP (42) of Burrard Air at Vancouver South 19th July 1985.


Thanks Guys and here’s to another interesting Otter year.







Christmas Special Bumper upload [HERE]