News Archives Dec – June 2006
2003 | 2004 | 2005






John Olafson was getting snap happy in Selkirk, Manitoba in August with a couple of nice shots of C-GCDX (314). He has also taken a nice suite of Harbour Air Turbo Otters [here] and finally again in Selkirk a very smart N81FW awaiting a new prop [here]. Many thanks John.


Fred Barnes also forwards a nice shot of VH-OTR (373) taken by a friend Finlay Cunningham in Cairns. Fin was a Flight Engineer on Sunderlands for the RAF before a long career in British European Airways (BEA) and then British Airways as a Captain. Grateful thanks to Fred and Fin.


Those of you who subscribe to ‘Propliner’ will no doubt have spotted Karl Hayes and Eamon Power’s article “Call of the Wild” in recent issue No.108. Lots of great pics taken on a tour around NW Canada. I’m saving this for a quite read, beer in hand, when the kids are fully occupied with Christmas presents and ‘her indoors’ is otherwise engaged.


Finally Simon Codd has emailed another batch of shots taken during a trip with Fred Barnes to Vancouver and Yellowknife in September 2006. Simon comments that apart from the fairly standard fare of Harbour Air Turbine Otters at Vancouver, the only Otter they saw on the entire trip was at Yellowknife, at the downtown base of Air Tindi. These three photos are taken of C-FZDV (349) taken at Yellowknife on 29 September 2006. Thanks to Simon for these. What dedication to the cause.







Seen on PilotWeb 28/11/2006

Loch Lomond Seaplanes, which operates out of Helensburgh is to begin trials of a scheduled service connecting Bute, Arran and Inverary with Glasgow.  The company has bought a Cessna 206 amphibian, due to arrive in the UK shortly, which carries five people.


AirSea Lines is the only scheduled service seaplane operator in Europe, with flights between eight locations in Greece and to Brindisi, Italy. The company has expressed an interest in a UK base and has said it can foresee up to fifty seaplanes operating in the UK in time for the 2012 London Olympics.

Good news!!







The last month of the year is here and whilst many Otters are hibernating, the contributions from all you Otter aficionados keep coming in. We start this submission with a shot [here] from new visitor Gary Gentle from Barrie, Ontario.


Gary says:-


I love Otters, but I live in Barrie, ON and there's no Otters around anywhere. I have attached the only Otter shot I have, from an old slide I took in 78/79.


I do remember distinctly that the Otter ( a Canadian Forces Otter) was parked at the Orillia Town Dock and I had just pulled up in my car and by the time I got over to it the guys had just untied the aircraft from the dock, and it was pulling away for a take-off. I only had a 50mm lens so that was the only shot I could get of it.


As I was writing this e-mail, I'm thinking I might have another slide or 2 of the Canadian Forces Otters from the CNE Airshow, with them doing a fly-by.


Excellent Gary and we hope your slide collection is handy.


Karl Hayes has also been in touch to forward some very historic shots of US Army Otters of the 572nd Topographic Aviation platoon at Wheelus Air Base, Libya in 1961. Karl notes that 92230 is actually still with us, now C-FDNK (385) and the prototype Viking Turbo Otter at Victoria, BC. And of course our special thanks also to Larry Zimnisky for providing the shots in the first place. He hopes that some of these are worthwhile. Sure are Larry. Very many thanks.


Ken Hurford emailed to update the site. He says:-


This past August my wife and I were in Alaska and we went on a ‘flight seeing’ trip in an Otter that had been converted to turbo power.  At the “Wings” float plane base in Juneau I photographed four Otters; all converted to turbo power.  These aircraft were re-engined in 2004 and 2005 to a Garrett TPE331-10 Turbine engine with 900 horsepower, driving a four bladed propeller.


I have done some research on your web site and based upon the registration numbers, I have been able to determine the serial numbers.


N336AK – serial no. 333

N337AK – serial no. 418

N338AK – serial no. 262

N339AK – serial no. 454


I have a number of photographs that I would be pleased to share, for you to publish on your website.I will review some of my other Otter photographs from Alaska.  I would be happy to share any that I have that may be interest.




Ken, we’d love to see any shots you have. Thanks for getting in touch.


And this months shot of the month comes from Simon Codd. Just love the anticipation in this shot. Thanks Simon.








Busy as ever John Olafson has produced a lovely shot of C-FODH at rest.






Following on from the last posting click [HERE] to see C-FHXY as it arrives for beaching at Sioux lookout late last month.


John Olafson has forwarded a very interesting list of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) fleet from 1937 to date including their several Otters. Our thanks also to Rob Wheeler for compiling this list.


With Christmas looming fast on the horizon why not consider making a gentle suggestion to loved ones that Karl Hayes’ Complete DHC-3 Otter CD would be a great way to keep you occupied whilst the kids ransack the house – or is that just in my home?


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.             


Many thanks Karl and if any visitors have news and views then do please let me know.







As promised we start this month with another great shot from Mick Green. A very atmospheric shot taken in 1998. Many thanks Mick.


Taken mid-October Rich Hulina has a fine shot of C-FHXY (67) parked up at Sioux Lookout (CYXL).


And John Olafson spotted C-GEND (371) from Whistler Air arriving in Vancouver 24 Sept. John says “Sorry for the horribly backlit photos. Vancouver South is a tough place to get photos due to the direction of the sun. Maybe next time I will get a shot of it "ramping". They look fine to me John.


Ken Allard of Thompson, Manitoba has sent in a couple of photos he took this fall of C-GLAB (348). He thought you might enjoy them and I’m sure you will. Many thanks Ken. They’re great.







John Olafson Reports on the latest at Kal-Air:-


Hi Guys,


This one has come from Alaska for a new interior and paint [N337AK (418)]. The owners did the turbine conversion and painting in Alaska a couple of years ago. The paint was a disappointment for them as it is flaking off in many places.


I hear it is going to have a new scheme: Neil's favourite colours.......yellow and blue. (Neil Aird that is of


I think there is still at least one more Otter to come in for turbinization.




By some coincidence Tom Harnish has sent in a very moody shot of N338AK taken at Juneau. Excellent shot Tom. More to come I hope.


Another little set from Rich Hulina of a few de Havilland products at the St. Andrews airport North of Winnipeg on the 12th October 2006. [Here]


And as Rich puts it himself, “Just another beautiful day here in Sioux!  More snow, people stuck in the bush for 3 days! Oh well, hurry up and wait!”. These shots taken on the 13th October 2006. 


Many thanks to all who contributed this month. Just back from a short break and happened upon the film ‘Eight Below’ wherein an Otter is used in various sequences allegedly in the Antarctic. Just one problem – the Otter is a turbine conversion, the soundtrack is something like a Cherokee or Cessna 172. Hmmm.







Just home from a trip to Ketchikan Thor Johnson has sent an excellent shot of N6868B operated by Gateway Aviation. So nice to see a round engine still in use. Many thanks Thor


Regular pilot/photographer Rich Hulina has also sent in another round of truly evocative shots taken on the 2nd October 2006, including Huron Air of Armstrong, Ontario and FIOF passing through to Pine Falls, Manitoba. Trust you had a successful season Rich. I hear the snows have come early!


John Olafson kindly reports:-

Hi Guys,


This is the latest Otter to come to Vernon for turbinization. One of the nicest schemes for Otters I think. Its mate, the ill-fated N3356 is now in the fuselage jig being straightened out.




Is it me or does this look like a really pretty aircraft just as it is?







Mick Green has forwarded some photos from 1998 when he was flying for Wings of Alaska on the Taku River near Juneau.  In a couple of shots he was the pilot, and in some of the others his wife was. Now that’s what I call a team effort! I have kept one truly evocative shot back to start next month. Many thanks Mike.







Martin "Closterman" Rousseau ( shot these pictures of C-GLMT just a few weeks ago at Lac Caché, near Chibougameau (Québec, Canada). This is a new satellite base of Air Saguenay. As Martin points out It's a very beautiful Turbo Otter. Very clean!


John Olafson contributes this months Shot of the Month entitled ‘Nice Hunting’.










John Olafson took this SHOT of Ex-US Army 57-611, CF-CBA (cn 230) Making its way to the dock at Kenora this summer. Great Shot John.






Rich Hulina has been out and about again and brings his latest finds from Fort Frances, Lake Hood & Talkeetna. Thanks Rich






Following Last months report by John here is the latest news on N93356:-


Hi Guys,


N93356 arrived in Vernon on two trucks this morning. The pictures tell it all.........horrible mess, but it will be rebuilt to its former beauty and I was happy to hear it will painted in the same scheme, which I think is spectacular. The interior was stripped up there and I don't know about the floats. The right wing is a real mess and very wrinkled and the left is not too bad. The elevators need work and it didn't take long for corrosion to set in. The wing supporting structure in the fuselage appears to have held up well but the bottom of the fuselage is pretty bad. The engine has gone for a rebuild. I am attaching a photo of her from the Texas Turbines Website as she used to look.



John O


The rather brief accident report can be viewed at :-







Hi all. Well back with suntan and a large Amex bill but refreshed and ready for another round of tail-chasing in the office. Just to make life a little interesting I did spot, quite by chance and at some distance, an Otter (well a Twotter anyway) in Corfu. One of the AirSea fleet operating the Paxos schedule. Quite made my day. More at .


My return was graced with a series of shots from William Hohenstein of C-FNFI which can be seen as this month’s Shot of the Month and also here. His earlier shots from last year can be seen here. Thanks William, they’re great.


Fred Barnes tells me he is en-route to Yellowknife with Simon Codd this month and I’m sure we all wish them happy Otter hunting – let’s see the results of your labours fella’s. Have a safe trip.






I’m off for a couple of weeks R & R in the Med’ but back in harness in early September.






John Olafson reports on the latest from Kal-Air-


These photos are hard to look at, but I have no doubt that the crew at Kal Air Repair will have her back to her former beauty in time. I will be anxiously awaiting her arrival and also to mark the progress with rebuild. These photos forwarded to me from Tim Ralston at Kal Air Repair. I like his good sense of humor……



John O


This N93356 from Ward Air in Juneau. Happened about 3 weeks ago, it will be here next week for a light buff and wax.



Many thanks John and also Tim for kindly forwarding them to our regional ‘stringer’. As you say, very Ouch!







Rich Hulina has kindly sent through some pictures of a fly-in barbecue with some excellent looking fish in the pan! Hands up all those who would like to enjoy just this sort of beach party? Nice one Rich. Lucky old you.






David Brown kicks off this week with a couple of fine shots of C-FQMN and C-GOFB [HERE] taken early one morning in the Wawa area.

Thanks David. Any more in the camera?



Michael St Amand writes:-


My family and I just got back from an Alaskan Cruise and it was fantastic!  Got to see lots of Otters and they weren't sitting still.


I have attached a picture taken from the deck of the Dawn Princess which was anchored in the harbour at Ketchikan in about the same place as the ship in Thor Johnson's pictures.  It's a shot of the docks from the other side.  The only difference is that it was raining and gloomy the day we were there but the flying continued in spite of it.  Thor was lucky to have been there on a nice day!  They tell me it rains a lot there.


Cheers from Petawawa Ontario.




Nice one Mike and this is obviously a cruise that no Otter lover should miss out on.








Uploading difficulties are causing me to go slightly insane so for the time being any photos will be on a separate page. Sorry for the hassle. Ian    






Charles (Chip) Wisner kicks of this month with “Otter's in order" a great picture of N336AK, N337AK, N338AK and N339AK in that order at Juneau airport pond on 4th of July, 2006. Respective s/n are 333, 418, 262 and 454.




Thanks Charles, great to see such a fleet in such a spectacular setting.


 John Olafson reports:-


Hello Otter enthusiasts,


N362TT is the last Otter to leave Vernon. It was loaded up on to a trailer today and has left for Alaska. Actually it is only half an Otter as the wings remained in Alaska and she travelled to and fro in a most unconventional fashion for an aircraft. I suppose there is some financial reward for the owner in doing it this way but I just dislike the thought of an Otter being out of its natural element on a long trip like that. A long trip by road does place the a/c at risk. The four bladed Hartzell prop is in a crate beneath the rear of the a/c


N254AW snuck out this morning the conventional way and I am glad for that, but a shame I missed the departure as I was returning from Mable Lake when it left. She did leave with an engine and prop, but this is the last photo I took of it.




So, the hangar is void of Otters and Beavers and I anxiously await the end of the season when hopefully some more will come in for TLC at Kal Air Repair.


My next Otter hunt takes me to Selkirk and Kenora later on this month. I hope to see a few Beavers too, of course.


Cheers, John


As ever John, many thanks. We look forward to hearing about Selkirk and Kenora in due course.



Ian Beatty thought you may all be interested in a shot of C-FYLZ (sn 247) after her recent nose job. 


She's now operating for Wabakimi Air on Mattice Lake in Armstrong, ON.
Great photo Ian and well worth all you Otter fans enlarging the shot for maximum effect. Exactly where were you taking the shot from? Hope the wake had died down a bit by the time it got to you!!





July 2006


Here I am back in harness and a bit of catching up to do so we start with shots of N606KA in response to the accident report last month [HERE]



And now a report from Thor Johnson


Just home from a quick trip to Ketchikan.  I had a chance to take a shot from the Promech dock and caught 5 of the 6 turbines they are running this summer.



N959PA; N270PA; N409PA; N342KA; N435B was converted from Polish engine over the winter.

The 6th otter is due to arrive in the next couple of weeks and I don't have any specifics.  I'll be going back in July and will try and get you an update. The only other Otter in town is a Polish engine’d Otter owned by Kirk Thomas and being used to support his lodge businesses.


Cheers,  Thor


Many thanks Thor. Sorry for the delay.


John Olafson reports,


N565TA left Vernon for Alaska a couple of weeks ago on a dark rainy day.

These are the shots I took of her a couple of days before, on June 13. They fitted skis on it as well and they went back as cargo and by now it is likely on floats.





I just finished reading Karl Hayes' history on this Otter and it is incredible that it is still flying and in such remarkable condition, considering all the crashes this aircraft experienced while with the RCAF and later on in its civilian life. It is a credit to the people who repair and rebuild these airplanes. Thank you again Karl for bringing all this history together and making it available to us Otter lovers.


Two Otters left here in Vernon and they will very soon be gone. N362TT is being packed up in a crate shortly and N254AW is very close to departure, likely in a week. Then the hangar will be empty and ready for more in the fall.



John Olafson


Many thanks John. Keep them coming.







July 2006


VERY MANY APOLOGIES for the apparent silence from this site for several weeks. I lost the lot in a major hard drive failure and have only just recovered. Normal service will be resumed shortly. Word to the wise – backup and write down all login details!!






Two reports from John Olafson this month. The first concerns  C-FZDV (349)


Hi Guys,

Otter ZDV finally left Vernon today after a long long time in the rebuild state. They did a compass swing and then put on the cowlings and did some test flights and finally left for Yellowknife where she will join Air Tindi's fleet to replace their ill-fated Otter which crashed over a year ago. The fellows at Kal Air Repair sure did a beautiful job on this one (as

usual) and she will be getting the floats installed up there and then go to work.  I heard that their crashed Otter might be coming to Vernon for rebuild and then getting the Viking Turbine conversion. They say they don't want another Vasar conversion. Don't know why that is.........



John O



For more of John's pictures click [HERE]






John's second report concerns N81FW (119):-

Hi Guys,

I found Otter N81FW at the Courtenay Air Park on Vancouver Island the other day. Looks to be in great shape, but minus the prop. Don't know what its status is, but the FAA site says the C of A is expired.

Karl has an incredible history on this Otter which served two tours in Vietnam and suffered numerous crashes.

I think it will probably get up to Alaska for fishing/hunting season.





For larger shots click [HERE]


Nicely Shot John and many thanks for the updates.








Another round of Simon Codd's photo's including the erstwhile N606KA that recently crashed near Port Angeles (see below) [CLICK HERE]






N606KA sadly crashed at the beginning of the month.  




Dec – June 2006