News Archives Dec 05 – June 2006 | June – December 2006
2003 | 2004 | 2005












Rich Hulina has sent in a couple of shots of NWX taken on the 23rd November. Rich says that there “hasn't been an Otter operating during the winter in Sioux Lookout for several years, nice to see.!”

Thanks Rich. Hope the season went well. [C-FNWX]






Michael St Amands writes:-


The picture of the month, Otter C-FODJ is the aircraft that I remember passing over my house when I lived in the Sudbury Ontario area.  It would be either going out to water bomb on fires or returning to base.  I used to listen to it on calling in on the radio, "Sudbury it's ODJ". 


I liked the ident so when I got my amateur radio license, I applied for the call sign VE3ODJ.


I haven't heard the sound of a standard Otter for a long time as there aren't any in the area where I live now and I miss it. I really don't like the modification to the larger engine as it spoils the look and sound of the original aircraft.  I would rather have seen it converted to turbine.


Michael St. Amand



Good story Michael – That’s the sign of a true Otter Hound.






Fred Barnes and Ray Turner have just returned from a trip to see the polar bears in Churchill. By all accounts they had a great time with the bears and some unexpected aviation surprises too. They flew Winnipeg/Churchill in CV580 C-GKFP and returned in C-FTAP. In their spare time from the tour they made a short visit to Selkirk and were surprised at the number of floatplanes parked for the winter. (see attached list)


They also called briefly into Gimli to see the C-46s of FNT and their tour guide stopped at the 'Miss Piggy' wreck in Churchill so they saw THREE C-46s! Lucky chaps. An excellent trip by the sounds of it and its good to see the ‘Otter Hounds’ are still searching out the far flung reaches of the planet for the venerable DHC-3 (and others). Very many thanks guys.


And for your further delectation here are Freds’ Otter photos from the trip [SET 1] [SET 2]


Given his intrepid long distance adventures for all our benefit Fred’s shot of C-FODJ (14) makes this months Shot of the Month. So nice to see that one of the longest lived Otters still retains its’ ‘round engined’ appearance after all these years.







John Gryba from Whitehorse, YT has sent in a recent shot of C-GLCS (428).  John reports that she is flying with Alkan Air in Whitehorse, Yukon. Good to hear from you John. I have added a shot taken (I think) by Ruben Husberg of Charlie Sierra in former times.


Robert Shaw has circulated a number of Otter shots as follows:-

N565TA (46) of Talkeetna Air Taxi

N929KT (461) of K2 Aviation and

N2899J (425) of Rusts

Many thanks Robert.

And finally, as the autumn freeze up is already causing many an Otter to go into hibernation, the shot of the month looks forward to sunnier days in the season to come.







John Olafson reports:-


I thought you might like these shots I took last month when I was at Vancouver South. The Harbour Air Otters keep very busy every day. It was nice to see Whistler Air there as well. Nothing new to report from Vernon.


N342AK is in the hangar, stripped of its engine, interior, paint and it is receiving some new skin. C-FMAU is also in the hangar with some interior work taking place. It will probably be returning to Edmonton soon.


Best regards, John Olafson.


Many thanks John. That Whistler Air colour scheme is really something.






Peter Damon has sent in a picture of VH-OTV (250) taken in Derby, Western Australia in 2006. 


And King Beaver Neil Aird (he of forwarded a fine shot of C-FLAP (289) by Robert Poirier taken 10/09/2007 at Squaw Lake, Schefferville. Next year he will try to shoot all Beavers and Otters there. Thanks Neil.


Then, no sooner had C-FLAP been received than Robert himself kindly sent through another set from the same trip. Looks like you had a great trip Robert. [HERE]


John O’ reports that two more Otters are coming home to Canada. Both to Harbour Air and both from Sri Lanka:


C-FJHA c/n 363


C-GHAG c/n 214


John says “maybe they are ramping up capacity in anticipation of heavy pax volumes during 2010 Olympics”. Nice Thought John. Can you imagine what Green Lake at Whistler is going to look like then, or will it have frozen over?  Mike Quinn could be in for a very busy time.







Michal Giroux has sent through a set of shots taken by him which cover a number of interesting aircraft. Thanks Michal.






John Olafson reports from Vernon about another great rebuild by the crew at Kal Air Repair:-


It was around 11 months ago that N93356 came to Vernon following an accident in Alaska. It was a very crumpled mess with severe damage to the fuselage and wings and I wondered how long it would take to have it rebuilt to her former beauty and to see it back in the air.


The answer came on Aug 25th when Bobby Bishop of Texas Turbines came up and conducted test runs of the engine, followed by some test flying and all went well, so she is now back in Alaska and soon will be back on floats.


The pictures [here] include one taken to show some of the many antennas on the fuselage, some of which are for the Capstone System. Also a shot from the rear proving she is perfectly straight again (you can see Beaver N159M waiting its turn in the shot) and a poor quality shot of her in the air, taken from my back yard*.  The Ed Ward Air titles will be applied in Alaska.





*Not too shabby John. That’s my kind of back garden. Many thanks.







Lars Opland has sent in a few more shots from his collection which can be viewed here. Don’t forget some of his previous submissions back in June –(just scroll down).


And grateful thanks to Mike Sevier from Tucson Arizona who also enjoyed a Misty Fjords trip this summer and sent in three shots of Promech Otters and the Beaver in which he flew. Thanks Mike. Took me straight back there.






We start this month with some catch-up’s and first a report from John O:-

Hi Guys,

Otter N342AK, of Wings Airways in Juneau is the latest one to come to Vernon to be turbinized. It came here last week while I was away in Alberta and I am really looking forward to seeing it as it emerges from the Kal Air Repair hangar several months down the road. I'm sure a stunning new paint scheme will accompany the change to turbine. Rich, you will likely recognize it as the ex- C-GPPL formerly of Hawk Air in Ontario and I read in Karl Hayes'

excellent CD history of it that it was the first Otter delivered to the RCAF by deHavilland in 1953. It looks like it is still in great shape and with a turbine engine up front the future looks good for 007. Note the James Bond style logo on the fuselage.




As ever John, keep that camera busy for us. Great stuff.


Steve Bourke took an excellent moody shot of Otter 35 ZK-VAS in New Zealand in early August and makes this months’ Shot of the Month. Thanks Steve. Any others?


By some coincidence Len Bayliss has also sent in a shot of VAS taken in April 07.

Many thanks Len. Seems like a great location for an Otter flight.


There is also some more info about VAS at:-
Credit due to Jim Ryan


Finally a little advanced notice that Michael Giroux has forwarded an excellent set, which will be uploaded shortly, and I am still battling to upload some clips from my Alaska/BC trip to YouTube so bear with me and do check back.


Very best wishes








Two weeks since I returned to blighty. Where did the time go? I have put together a short trip story with links to photos and DVD shots although I am still in the process of uploading the latter as they take ages so do check back. Hope you enjoy as much as we did.






Hi all. As a precursor to the long awaited BC/Alaska Trip I have been taking sounding and planning photo shoots but at the end of the day will just have to see what’s out there on the day. Anyway. Departure is set for the 27th July and back in time for my daughters all important A’ Level results on the 16th August. Success is just going to cost me more for university fees and living. Oh joy. Still, as I watch my bank balance recede into oblivion I can at least enjoy the products of the holiday. Here’s hoping anyway.


I thought a little tribute to Peter Watson’s excellent collection is warranted this month so here is C-FSOR (239) at rest in just the sort of circumstances I could hope to wish for.






Rich Hulina reports on a recent sighting of C-FBEO (373) which was in for some maintenance.  It is now operated by Excellent Adventures out of Ear Falls, Ontario.  Rich says he hasn’t seen this one since the early nineties in La Ronge, Sask. A good looking aircraft to add to the Beaver and Beech 18 already with the EA fleet. Thanks Rich.


David Nilson, President of International Aeroproducts Inc. of Courtenay, B.C. has kindly sent in some shots of aircraft his company has modified and restored. In particular N435B in piston and turbine variations. Many thanks David and do send any more you might have.


Finally Lars Opland has scanned some more of his Otter collection and PZL equipped N3125N (394) provides the next round with shots taken at Lake Hood and an interesting ‘in the bush’ picture taken in the Alaska Air Taxi waiting room. Presumably the pilot decided an immediate return to the cockpit was not advisable!! Many thanks Lars. Look forward to more in due course.







Ever busy John Olafson Reports:-


“Here are a few shots taken recently of Otter C-FMAU (74). It had its first test flight and all went well. I met its new owner, Canadian aviation icon Max Ward and I found him to be a very friendly man with many stories to tell. He is still going strong at 86 years of age and he came to Vernon to supervise the test flying of his Otter. He travels from Edmonton in his Beechcraft King Air with his crew chief and others. Now that the Otter has had its test flights done it will be flown to nearby Otter Lake (how appropriate is that?) landed on a grass strip there and will have its floats installed and then placed by crane into the lake for departure.

The floats are remanufactured as new by Seaflight Industries here in Vernon and they are perfectly done.


The group photo shows left to right: Dave Crerar of Vernon who is Max's pilot, Max Ward, Bobby Bishop - Pres Texas Turbines and Test Pilot, yours truly. (shameful of me but I had to have my photo taken with Max Ward).


It will be here in Vernon for a couple more days at least while they finish a few interior details. It sure looks nice......the boys at Kal Air Repair did some fuselage paintwork and gave it a complete cleaning and polishing.


Max told me he may not repaint it at all, because he likes it the way it is.





An opportunity not to be missed John. A historic Otter moment in time and some excellent photos. Many thanks.







At last, normal service is being resumed: or what passes for it in the wonderful world of IT. A little catching up to do and thanks for your patience.


John Olafson forwarded a message from Tim Ralston concerning the crash of C-GZCW (447) out of Whitehorse in the Yukon, which had just been delivered to Blacksheep from Recon Air in Geralton, Ontario a couple months ago. Tim says she had about 240 hrs since rebuild. Apparently the aircraft was hauling a load of lumber so speculation is that the load may have shifted back and caused aft C of G. The pilot was Cam Drennins (owner). A sad loss of both pilot and aircraft.


John also provides a delightful range of shots of Ward Air's Otter N63354 which came to Vernon for the Garrett turbine installation and to have amphibious floats fitted. A "before" shot is also supplied for comparison. John says “I thought you might like to see a photo of her as the crew at Kal Air Repair were fitting the floats to the Otter. I photographed Ed Kiesel, the owner of Ward Air the day before he left for Juneau Alaska. On April 7th when he left he made my day with a beautiful low pass just for the camera. Without a doubt one of the most beautiful Otters I have ever had the chance to photograph”. Certainly agree there John and I hope you don’t mind the shot of the month for your efforts. Grateful thanks. Ian


Finally guys (and gals!) I have managed to rebuild much of the original email notification list but if you are not receiving update notifications (or do not wish to of course) just let me know.


Back soon. Ian







It was really great to hear from Fred Sprenger this week, the Float Plane Chief Pilot for Volcanic Air Safaris in New Zealand, who pointed out a key omission from the site, being Otter ZK-VAS (35). Fred tells us that the aircraft is still going strong, undertaking scenic flights from Lake Rotorua. The website and other details are provided below and in the mean time Fred has kindly forwarded a shot of VAS returning after a flight around the extinct volcano Mt Tarawera.


Very many thanks Fred and good to hear from you. Glad to see that the Otter remains represented in the southern hemisphere and still in piston format too. What a great excuse for a trip to New Zealand.


Ken Hurford has also sent in a couple of photos of 183; registered as N435B.  She is based out of Ketchikan, Alaska. As always Ken many thanks. More for me to keep an eye open for this summer.


Volcanic Air Safaris


Rotorua City Lakefront

PO Box 640

Rotorua, NZ







Well, 418 has come in for some continuous scrutiny recently and Ken Hurford was going through his Alaskan photos and thought you would be interested in a photo of 418 in her ‘old’ paint.  He also noted a photo of 270 (N270PA) which appears to be a P&W PT6 conversion. Thanks Ken.







This months Shot of the Month was taken on a beautiful sunny day in Juneau last week by Al Clough, Otter and Cub pilot of Juneau, Alaska.  As Al points out 337 is still on gear (not for long he notes – the floats should be attached by now). He could not help but park his cub (N5KK, 1946 PA-12) alongside for a comparison photo. Just love those tundra tyres.


I note from the Wings of Alaska website that Al is one of the 15 employee/owners of Wings Airways, the flightseeing division buyout in 2002 from Wings of Alaska.


Many thanks Al. Great shot and do keep them coming. Have a good season.







John Olafson reports:-


“Hi Guys,


April 7 was a busy day here and the weather was perfect for two Otters to depart for Juneau, Alaska. This update is regarding N337AK which is one of several owned by Wings Airways of Juneau. Here is a link to their website:


Photo titled “acceptance” shows Tom Bach on the left, Tim Ralston of Kal Air Repair and Mike Stedman, Vice President of Flight Ops on the right. All look very happy with the job very well done. I have often wondered at the code painted on the side of the Wings Airways aircraft and Mike told me that it is required by FAA that in the absence of titles on the aircraft you have to display the company operating license.


This Otter had previously been converted to turbine and came to Vernon for new interior and paint and some TLC. The pictures do not show it, but the yellow is a beautiful metallic paint expertly applied by the Kal Air Repair painters.


After takeoff, Mike was kind enough to come around and give me a beautiful low pass and a last look at his beautiful Otter before it flew to Alaska.


Next update will be on Otter N63354 #30 of Ward Air.


Cheers, John”


As ever John, very many thanks and some great shots of a fine looking aircraft.







John Olafson has been a busy chap and also reports on the latest from Kal-Air. John’s photo of C-FRNO features as this month’s shot of the month.


“Hi Guys,


There is a new route for Harbour Air (Langley to Victoria Harbour). This could be a very interesting trip. Take off from Langley Airport on wheels and land in the harbour in Victoria 30 minutes later. You could take the bus to Viking for a visit there, then jump on the ferry back to Vancouver. The Otter is RNO and I was wondering why it was on amphibs last fall when I saw it at Vancouver South.


Otter N63354 has had its test flight which I missed (dadburn it) and possibly tomorrow they will be hanging the amphib floats on it, so there may be another test flight as early as tomorrow but probably Thursday. It sure has a looooooooong snout now and an incredibly large exhaust pipe. There was a bldg in the way, so I couldn't get a good side-on shot so I threw in a wide angle (18mm) shot to show the whole but distorted Otter. It's a great livery.


By the way, the lads at Seaflight Industries here are doing up a set of extended Otter straight floats for Max's Otter (C-FMAU). I do not yet know if it will fly out of Vernon on floats or wheels. Time will tell.


I hope to have more shots of N63354 on its floats soon. [John says the floats have now been installed and a test flight is imminent].






John also updates his 10th march posting. Apparently N337AK will not be receiving floats in Vernon, instead it will be N63354. This was brought to John’s attention by the chaps at Kal Air Repair.


Very many thanks for the news John.


Fred Barnes notes that C-FRNO has now had the 'windows' mod done as well as amphibious floats ready for the new service.






John Olafson reports from a recent visit to Kal-Air [PHOTOS]


“N63354 now has the Garrett engine in place and the interior work is coming along nicely. The Chelton avionics system has been installed and most of the panel work is finished. I couldn't resist taking a shot of the quadrant cover while it sat on the bench. These amphib floats are going to be fitted to Otter N337AK which is now in the paint shop. I was told that both N337AK and N63354 are going to leave Vernon for Alaska the same time, so I am very much looking forward to a formation takeoff and high speed pass as they depart”.


Thanks John







Jon Boychuk, President of Venture Air (Central Flyway Air Inc.) has kindly sent in some shots of their Otter C-FRHW (445) registered to Central Flyway Air Inc. in Thompson MB. He is working on getting pictures of it in it's early years. Many thanks Jon and you may be interested in previous submissions by Ruben Husberg (August 2005) when with Wagair and from Jon Olafson . I have also found CF-RHW when with Trans Provincial and Wagair which I believe were also provided by Ruben Husberg which I cannot immediately track down when originally posted so here they are again.

John Olafson points out that “RHW was the last Otter to receive the
Baron STOL wing mods before AOG air support went into receivership. I still do not know if anyone has bought the rights to the Baron mods”. He also sent previously some shots of RHW on a rather peculiar tour to a launching and the link is here.








Ken Hurford has sent in photos from Juneau, Alaska taken at the Wings Aviation floatplane base. These show the following aircraft:-


N336AK – serial no. 333

N337AK – serial no. 418

N338AK – serial no. 262

N339AK – serial no. 454


Ken highlights that these aircraft were re-engined in 2004 and 2005 to a Garrett TPE331-10 Turbine engine with 900 horsepower, driving a four bladed propeller.


Many thanks Ken. Booked to be there myself in the summer!







Wow! Where is the year disappearing to? This month A lovely shot of C-FMAU parked up in Vernon from John Olafson provides a wintery feel for Shot of the Month. So nice to see an Otter still on wheels.


John also reports the latest from home base:-


Here is the latest from Otterville here in Vernon:


4 Otters in the hangar.  N93356 is still in the jig and needing a lot of work. It can be seen off to the left. N63354 is coming along well with the Garrett now installed and they are working at putting a new interior into it.

N337AK is the bare metal Otter which is here for repaint and some interior work. The wings have received some re-sheeting and are almost ready for paint. I am guessing that this will be the first Otter to leave in the spring. C-FMAU, Max Ward's Otter has had its engine removed and they are preparing it for the turbine. Unfortunately it will not be painted this year, due to time constraints, but is scheduled to return in the fall for new paint, interior and panorama windows. In the photo showing the root ends of MAU and N63354 you can really see the difference in the wing leading edge profile with the Baron wing mod installed on MAU.


With all the Otters receiving much attention the Widgeon has been relegated to spectator and will likely remain that way until summer when all the Otters are back in the air.


Cheers, John



Ken Hurford has sent in a photo of a Gateway Aviation Otter (N6868B -274). Ken says, “This photo was taken in Ketchikan Alaska. You may notice that there is something rather unusual about this Otter.  It is powered by a Pezetel ASZ-621R-M18; a Polish engine.  These engines are rated at 1000 horsepower.  It is quite likely that this installation was done by AIRTECH Canada in Peterborough, Ontario (about 50 kilometres from where I live).


According to the AIRTECH Canada website 17 such conversions have been done.  The AIRTECH Canada website is:


Best wishes, Ken


And last but not least, David Jaremy has photographed C-FBEO (373), which was returned to Canada in the spring of 2006 and is now owned and operated by Forde Lake Air, of Hornepayne, Ontario. Thanks David. Now. Who’s going in to that nice cold lake to retrieve the jet ski?


Fred Barnes notes that there is a report in the Jan 07 Aviation Letter that Otter c/n263 N335AK crashed on take off at Flamingo Bay, Andros Island, Bahamas on 9th Dec 06.

Nothing reported yet on Air Safety Network but a brief Google suggests the A/C was written-off. No injuries though.


Very many thanks to all contributors.








For those of you not yet tuned into Propliner magazine the latest issue (108) contains an excellent article by Karl Hayes and Eamon Power entitled “Call of the Wild”. A great travelogue about a trip through north-western Canada including many Otter photos and references. Thanks to all of you who brought this to my attention.


And talking of Karl, he has kindly forwarded some great shots from Matt Biloff. He says “the good news is that N254AW is back flying and N3904 is under rebuild”. Thanks Karl and Matt.


Karl has also put together a detailed update (No.2) for his all encompassing Otter CD which can be purchased from Karl. This is worth every penny.



The CD has the complete historical data for all 466 Otters and is the first comprehensive update of Otter aircraft since Karl’s well regarded book in the early 1980’s. It is a ‘must have’ for all Otter aficionado’s.  Do support Karl’s work if you can.


The CD is available from:-


Karl Hayes,


Killiney Hill Road,





Cost EURO 20/£14 sterling/CAD$28 to include return postage.             




Kirk Brassard has sent in some great pictures of his Otter C-GOFB in the Wawa area, and on the ice in Northern Ontario and Labrador. Thanks Kirk. Any flying tales to go with that excellent aircraft?







Rich Hulina sends a Happy New Year and a fine shot of the only Otter in Ignace over the holidays FCZO.  He notes that APR must have been hiding in the hangar!


And talking of Sioux Lookout’s favourite airline, Matt Cairns has sent in a shot of FNWX (412) on short finals. Thanks Matt.


Good to hear from Lars Opland again who sends in three shots of GSUV (376) taken at Whitehorse in May 1998 with the Czech engine and prop conversion. He also asks a technical question about floats – all contributions gratefully received.


“Do you know, or have the resource at hand to find out, what particular type of floats were the first amphibious floats used on the Otter? I'm sure they were Edos but would like to know the model number & overall length of the floats with retractable gear, which I'm guessing would be slightly larger than the regular fit”.


I made a stab at responding from information to hand but any light you can throw on this would be greatly appreciated.


Finally John Olafson reports on C-FMAU (74)


Hello Otter enthusiasts,


Thanks to the heads up from Karl Hayes, I was able to shoot C-FMAU when it arrived here at YVK from Winnipeg via Calgary. I understand it was held up for a couple of days in Calgary due to wx over the Rockies. This Otter, with approx 19 thousand hours on it has been owned by the Manitoba government since its purchase in 1956. It has just been sold to Max Ward and he has had it delivered to Vernon for the Garrett turbine conversion. Painting will also be done if time permits before spring.




By the way, I treated myself to a couple of bush pilot related books over the Christmas period (with grateful thanks to and have just finished a very interesting story about the famous Don Braun in his book “The Arctic Fox”. As many of you may know he flew for Max Ward (who forwards the book). There is not a page goes by that doesn’t refer to the Otter in Max Ward operations and the book really is a wonderful insight into this flying legend and the immediate post war development of bush aviation in northern Canada using the Otter. Well worth the $24.95 Canadian. Enjoy.







Welcome all to the New Year and by the look of my already burgeoning inbox indicates that this is going to be another good Otter year.


We start – somewhat late this month – with a photo from Fred Barnes of the ‘ramp’ at Juneau.


John Olafson has been busy as usual and reports on N93356 (144) :-


Here are some photos taken 15 Dec. The Otter is well set up in the jig and a lot of work has been carried out so far with lots more to come. It is a very slow, tedious job and I admire the craftsmen who do this work. I notice they are using some brand new parts which come from Viking in Victoria. I will try to get some photos of the wings as they go through their repairs too and will update you from time to time.


This aircraft was subject to an accident in July 2006 and the Aviation Safety Network reports that:-

The Otter took off from Juneau (JNU) about 11:12. flying workers to the Kenington gold mine. It was foggy as the floatplane attempted to land in Slate Cove, Berners Bay. The airplane struck the water on landing. The fuselage filled with water from the front, and passengers had to scramble over cargo piled at the aft doorway to escape.There were seven on board (pilot plus 6 pax) and all escaped unharmed.


Peter Watson has also been out and about and although he only found a few Otters on his travels he has taken a series of photo’s of C-GLMT (216), C-FEYY (19) which is not all there so to speak and C-FAZX (458) and C-FDIO (452) which can be viewed here and here. LMT was taken at Lac Sebastien on 25th August 2006 with EYY at St Felicien of the same date; AZX was taken at Laval on the 30th August. Note the rather unusual V8 engine cowling arrangement which Peter was told is due for certification imminently.


More to come very soon and my thanks as ever to all the contributors.








News Archives Dec 05 – June 2006 | June – December 2006
2003 | 2004 | 2005