Wednesday, May 30, 2007


It's Time To Play..... Otterflogger's "Name That Cockpit"!

OK, "Ladies and Gentlemen", time for "installment #9" in our "cockpit series", which will be a continuing "brain-strainer". Come on folks, everybody knows this one!


This is the "cockpit" of "the" ......................


It is the cockpit of the Hughes H4 "Hercules". What a design, 24,000 HP! Lance wins the "sailboat fuel" on this one!



Can you identify this next cockpit where the crew demonstrates "outstanding" Crew Resource Management" (CRM)?

BONUS - "Know The Cockpit?"

*MYSTERY UNSOLVED!* -(but here she is......)


Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Steve's Video Of The Day: A "Cricket" and an "Aphid"!... I Mean "Avid"!

Clive sent me a link to a great video showing two "bugs" flying together through the skies! Check it out!

VIDEO - A "Cricket" and an "Aphid"!... I Mean "Avid"!

Monday, May 28, 2007


"C-FUKN", "May", and the "Manitoba Bush"!

We have been having a "kaleidoscope of dog puke" for weather this May, but UKN and I have been out "flogging the bush", opening up "camps". Rain, wind, thunderstorms, snow, frost, and fog, "what a month"!


After a cold "overnight" at Sasaginnigak Lake, UKN "crankily" fires up, and warms up!





The next day I took Curtis Charrison and crew to open their camp at Sparrowhawk Lake, flying through many thick "snow squalls"!


"Hey boys, the water came up since last Fall, your boat ramp is too low"!




Yesterday morning, we had "hard frost", but I didn't have to leave until 8 AM, so the "sun" did it's "warming magic"!


We hadn't seen the sun in "10 days"!


Leonard Mitchell's "Lake Winnipeg Yawl" was also at the Float Base, and yesterday he loaded up and headed for Poplar River, 100 miles (yes, 100 miles) north up "Unforgiving Lake Winnipeg"! I haven't heard the "Search and Rescue Herc" scanning Lake Winnipeg, so I am assuming they made it!


The "frost" was still visible in the shadow of the gas hose, after 2.5 hours of sun.



I was airborne for Sasaginnigak Lake, and the water on Lake Winnipeg was just like "piss on a plate"! (Bush Pilot term for "glassy water".)




.....and the last word of my "Post" goes to the two "Chestershire Cats" fishing at Sasaginnigak Lake, wearing one-piece quilted suits, fleece, and thermal underwear........



Steve's "Otter Of The Week"! Karl E. Hayes

Numerous Otters were delivered to Norway after being built, and I am sure Norway was a challenge for the Otter. "Rock", "fjords", "ocean", "putrid weather", "wind", you get "my drift". The old Otter "soldiered on" well, though, and built quite an extensive history in Norway. There were "mishaps", though............

First, let me refresh you with the "birth years" of all 466 DHC-3 Otters.........

All information is from Karl Hayes' "masterful" CD entitled:

De Havilland Canada


Deliveries of the Otter by
year proceeded as follows:-

1951 2 (test aircraft)
1952 3
1953 17
1954 31
1955 22
1956 113
1957 32
1958 78
1959 44
1960 65
1961 18
1962 7
1963 11
1964 4
1965 5
1966 12
1967 2
Production of the Otter proceeded alongside the Beaver, which also ended its production run in 1967.

Otter 18

Otter number 18 was one of ten DHC-3 delivered by DHC to the Royal Norwegian Air Force (Kongelige Norske Luftforsvaret), the first six of which were delivered in 1954. All six of these were formally handed over on 2nd March 1954 and were then shipped in crates from Downsview to Oslo, arriving in Oslo Harbour on 8th April '54. They were assembled at Kjeller Air Base. With the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the serial number comprised the Fiscal Year in which the aircraft were ordered with the constructor's number and this serial was painted on the fin. Thus aircraft 18, ordered in FY53, became serial 5318.

Following assembly at Kjeller Air Base, the Otter was taken on charge and allocated code O-AB. It was initially assigned in May 1954 to the Air Force Flying School at Vaernes Air Base for the training of pilots and mechanics. In June '54 it was assigned to the Communications Flight at Jarlsberg Air Base and then at Vaernes Air Base. In November '54 it was assigned to the Communications Flight at Orland Air Base where it remained until early 1957, when it went to the Horton Marine Base for installation of straight floats, and on 8th December 1957 it arrived with the Norseman Flight at Skattora Seaplane Base, Tromso in northern Norway.

In February 1959, Otter 5318 transferred to 7193 Stotteving (Support Flight) at Bodo in northern Norway. On 15th August 1959 the floats were damaged in a landing accident on Lake Soikkajavre, a small lake in Finnmark . The floats were temporarily repaired and the aircraft flown off the lake and back to Fornebu Air Base, Oslo for repair before return to Bodo on 29th September '59. On 29th October 1961 on a flight from Kirkenes to Bardufoss, the pilot was forced to make a landing on Lake Mievtajavre, Finnmark (that part of Norway near the Russian border) due to bad weather with heavy snow. During the night, the lake froze and the Otter could not take off again. The Otter was pulled ashore and was guarded for nearly a month before the ice was strong enough for the Otter to take off on wheels. On 25th November '61 it was flown off the frozen lake to Banak Air Base, and then back to its base at Bodo.

During July 1962 the aircraft was at Fornebu, Oslo for depot level maintenance with Wideroe, before returning to Bodo on 20th November '62. The Otter arrived at Bardufoss Air Base on 26th November '63, returning to Bodo on 21st January '64. It arrived at Fornebu again on 19th August '64 for maintenance with Wideroe, returning to 7193 Support Flight at Bodo by 16th December '64. On 1st January 1966 7193 Support Flight at Bodo became 719 Squadron, which the Otter joined, and in November '66 it received its new squadron code of XJ-S. It continued in service with 719 Squadron, Bodo until it arrived at Kjeller Air Base on 15th December 1966 on withdrawal from service, having been replaced by the DHC-6 Twin Otter. 5318 was formally struck off charge on 25th January 1967, having flown, 4,724 hours in the service of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

The Otter was sold through Halle & Peterson of Oslo, the DHC agents in Norway. The buyer was the Norwegian airline, Wideroes Flyveselskap A/S, to whom it was registered LN-FAE on 7th February 1967. The Otter joined the Wideroe's fleet on scheduled services in northern Norway. On 28th March 1968, LN-FAE on amphibious floats departed from Tromso at 1015 hours for a scheduled flight to Harstad. In addition to the pilot, a company mechanic was on board as an assistant and there were three passengers. The weather was not good, with low cloud, heavy snow showers and reduced visibility. Due to the conditions, the pilot elected to divert from the track laid out in the company's route manual. This change of route however was not reported to air traffic control because of poor radio coverage at low altitude. This is a very rugged coastal area with numerous fjords and inlets amidst mountains rising to four thousand feet.

As the Otter flew in on the west side of Rossfjord, some 45 kilometres south-west of Tromso, visibility dropped and the pilot said to his assistant “We'll cut across here, I know this area” and started a right turn. Eye witness reports put the aircraft at this time at between 100 feet and 25 feet above the ice-covered fjord, although the pilot was later to claim he was flying at 500 feet. Immediately after starting the turn, the right wingtip and float made contact with the ground. The
aircraft was thrown to the left at the first impact and crashed at a 35 degree angle to its direction of travel. It caught fire and was burnt to destruction. All five occupants survived the crash but one passenger and the pilot's assistant suffered severe burns and were flown by helicopter to hospital in Tromso. The Otter was a write-off and the registration was cancelled on 10th June 1968.

The Accident Investigation Board was not able to determine whether the pilot meant to make a 180 degree turn and fly back out of the fjord, or initiate a climb to get across a low mountain ridge and out into the next fjord to the west. The Board concluded that the accident was caused by the pilot's decision to turn towards higher terrain. If the purpose was to exit the fjord, it should have been made to the left over the fjord. If it was to climb across the ridge, it would not have been possible to clear the terrain, given the aircraft's weight and performance.

- by Karl E. Hayes

What an airframe, with all people surviving! Great history as usual, Karl, "Thanks"!


Saturday, May 26, 2007


Steve's Video Of The Day: Medal Of Honor "History"!

A Douglas C-47 that flew over Normandy "June 6, 1944", flew in "Operation Market Garden", and supplied the G.I.s during the "Battle of the Bulge", well, there must be "work" for "her" in her "twlight years", don't you think? She still wears her "D-Day markings"!


Medal Of Honor "History"!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Bye Bye "BEO"!

An old "girlfriend" has recently changed "employment". Check out an e-mail I received from Clive Pearce of Forde Lake Air Service.

From: Clive Pearce

To: "Otterflogger"

Subject: Bye Bye BEO

Date: Sat, 19 May 2007

Hi Steve,

Well we're no longer in the Otter Club - Mr. Faron Buckler of Ear Falls (Near Red Lake Ontario) purchased BEO and took delivery last week.

Picked up another Beaver. We'll miss the Otter, she was a great plane, but I guess every plane is always for sale for the right opportunity...



DHC-3 Otter "C-FBEO"!



Glad she is staying in Canada, in our geographical area!

MEET - Faron and Joyce Buckler

WEBSITE - Excellent Adventures!


Bye Bye "BEO"!


Steve's Video Of The Day: Even A "Shantytown" Needs A "Runway"! Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Boy, is this "runway" hard on tires!

VIDEO - Even A "Shantytown" Needs A "Runway"! Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


It's Time To Play..... Otterflogger's "Name That Cockpit"!

OK, "Ladies and Gentlemen", time for "installment #8" in our "cockpit series", which will be a continuing "brain-strainer". Let's go "way back"! Wake up "Great-Grandpa", he should know!


This is the "cockpit" of a ......................


It is the cockpit of a "Sopwith Camel", and this particular "Dromedary" is lacking in instruments. The "Camel" in the following pic has the 160 HP "Gnome" Rotary engine. I loved the old "rotarys". "Crankshaft" bolted to the airframe, "prop" bolted to the "engine", and the whole engine and prop rotated around the "crank", controlled by the "blip switch"! What a design! Duncan wins the "sailboat fuel".............


Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Steve's "Real Hero" Of The Week!

Tommy Prince, Canadian Hero!

German soldiers on the front line near Anzio, Italy, thought little of the peasant farmer weeding his field near their emplacement. The field had been torn up by shelling, the crops all but gone. The soldiers watched disinterestedly as the farmer slowly worked his way along the field, stopping once to tie his shoelaces. Finally, the farmer stopped his work, shook his fist at the Germans and then the Allies, and returned slowly to the farmhouse. The seemingly innocuous farmer was actually a highly-trained Canadian soldier, a marksman and an expert at tracking and making his way unseen around the enemy. His name was Thomas George (Tommy) Prince and he’d gained many of his skills growing up on the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Reserve, north of Winnipeg.

For Tommy, like most young men on Canadian reserves, World War II meant the chance for a job and three square meals a day. However, Aboriginals were routinely rejected, for health reasons but also because of their race. Tommy was turned down several times, despite more than meeting the requirements for recruitment. He persisted and was finally accepted on June 3, 1940. He was assigned to the 1st Field Park Company of the Royal Canadian Engineers. He accepted every challenge that came his way and excelled as a soldier.

Tommy Prince is Canada’s most-decorated Aboriginal war veteran.

By 1942 Tommy was a Sergeant with the Canadian Parachute Battalion. He was posted to the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion and was among a select group of Canadian soldiers sent to train with an American unit to form a specialized 1600-man assault team. They became the 1st Special Service Force (1st SSF), known to the enemy as the “Devil’s Brigade.” The name was adopted by Hollywood as the title of a 1968 portrayal of the elite unit. Tommy was portrayed as “Chief.”

The 1st SSF soon saw action. In Italy, Tommy volunteered to run a communications line 1400 m to an abandoned farmhouse less than 200 m from a German artillery emplacement. Tommy set up his observation post in the farmhouse and for three days reported on the activity in the German camp.

On February 8, 1944, shelling severed the wire. Tommy, disguised as a farmer, found and repaired the break in full view of the enemy, while pretending to tie his shoes. His courage resulted in the destruction of four German tanks that had been firing on Allied troops. He was awarded the Military Medal for “exceptional bravery in the field.”

Tommy continued to distinguish himself. In the summer of 1944, the 1st SSF entered Southern France. Tommy walked 70 km across rugged, mountainous terrain deep behind German lines near L’Escarene, going 72 hours without food or water, to locate an enemy bivouac area. He reported back to his unit and led the brigade to the encampment, resulting in the capture of over 1000 German soldiers. He earned the Silver Star, an American decoration for gallantry in action, as well as six service medals. Tommy was honourably discharged on June 15, 1945 and went home to Canada.

Tommy returned from fighting Nazi racism to a country that denied him the right to vote in federal elections and refused him the same benefits as other Canadian veterans. The business he’d entrusted to a friend failed in his absence. Facing unemployment and discrimination, Tommy re-enlisted and served with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. During two tours of duty in the Korean War he won the Korean Canadian Volunteer Service and United Nations Service medals. He was wounded in the knee, and was honourably discharged on October 28, 1953.

Tommy Prince is known as Canada’s most-decorated Aboriginal war veteran. He was also a brave and remarkable man with an impish sense of humour, a man who beat his own demons, including alcoholism. Tommy had a strong sense of civic duty and a fierce pride in his people. He said “All my life I had wanted to do something to help my people recover their good name. I wanted to show they were as good as any white man.” He dedicated himself to attaining increased educational and economic opportunities for Aboriginal peoples.

Tommy died on November 25, 1977, at the age of 62.

-by Laura Neilson Bonikowsky

"Amazing man", and the "Devil's Brigade" was a great movie, and an even better "real life" story. I have driven through the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Reserve many times, and the school bears the "proud name" of Tommy Prince, a "Real Canadian Hero"!

Here are some other "honours bestowed" to Tommy Prince!

Sgt. Tommy Prince Street - Winnipeg, Manitoba

The "Tommy Prince Barracks" at Canadian Forces Base, Petawawa, Ontario

The "Tommy Prince Drill Hall" at the Land Force Western Area Training Center in Wainwright, Alberta

Government of Canada "Sergeant Tommy Prince Army Training Initiative" for aboriginal recruiting

The "Tommy Prince Award" : An Assembly of First Nations scholarship

The "Tommy Prince Scholarship" at Sault College, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

A school at the Brokenhead Reserve

A mural on the wall of 1083 Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg

Sgt Tommy Prince MM Cadet Corp Winnipeg, Manitoba


"Real Man", Tommy Prince!


The school at Brokenhead named in his honour.


"Fine achievements"!


Manitoba May "Long Weekend"!

The "May long weekend" in Manitoba is a time when "intrepid fishermen and campers" voyage to the "bush, beaches, and campgrounds" to celebrate the "return of spring". Well, this past weekend we had fishermen in Northway Aviation's "outpost" at Apisko Lake. Before I went and picked up the fishermen, we received word that the weather during their stay had been "balmy", and they had run-out of "sunscreen". I figured they would be in "shorts and wife-beater shirts" when I picked them up. Check it out!


Enroute to Apisko Lake!




Boy, the trees are wearing strange "blossoms"!


Where is everyone?


They are probably out in the boats, dangling their feet in the water, telling corny jokes, and sipping beers.


It doesn't look like they have been "filleting fish".


I finally found them, inside the cabin, wearing "parkas", and they proceeded to tell me about the "frozen water lines".


Oh well! The last word of my "Post" goes to UKN, as she "bobs" at the dock in the 25 kt. northeast wind, and the -8*C wind caresses her "rapidly cooling" cylinders.

"BBbb-R-R-rrrrrr! Get me out of here!"


Steve's Video Of The Day: "1 Hour To Disaster"!

As pilots, we are aware of the "dangers" of "Dangerous Goods" that end up "onboard" an aircraft. Also, some "dangerous goods" can seem "benign", but can "react" with possible "catastrophic results". I remember one Fall, while doing a caribou hunt, I had my Otter "heeled-in" on a sand beach at Brownstone Lake, north of Tadoule Lake, Manitoba. I was helping the owner of the camp present on the lake "dump gas" and "tidy up". I looked towards my Otter, and I could see "smoke" wafting out the door. Faster than a "yellow-eyed Ben Johnson on steroids", I was across the beach, into the Otter, and "pitching out" the burning box. It seems the lodge operator had thrown used lantern batteries, which are used for "fish-finders", into a box full of old "Fishing Guides". Some of the coils on the batteries touched, and still having a few "amps" of current, set the guides on fire. He had also set the box beside 30 empty (full of fumes) "Jerry cans". Luckily, I didn't lose an "asset" that day, although to this day, the camp operator has not been located. (Just kidding.) Anyways, one always has to be "wary", of "Dangerous Goods"! Remember the following?


"1 Hour To Disaster"!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Steve's "Otter Of The Week"! Karl E. Hayes

The other day we put UKN on "floats", and I wandered around the Blue Water Aviation "hangar" and storage area. I saw an item that "got me to thinking" about famous Canadian aviation company Lambair, from Manitoba, who I have "Posted" about previous. Then I wondered: "Which Otter was Lambair's first"? A little "investigating", and I found the "old girl"! Here "she" is!

All information is from Karl Hayes' "masterful" CD entitled:

De Havilland Canada


Otter 203

Otter 203 was registered to De Havilland Canada on 16th July 1957 as CF-JON. At one stage it had been intended for Pacific Western Airlines, and had been painted in their colours at Downsview, but that transaction did not proceed and JON was retained by DHC, configured as a wheel aircraft, to be used as a demonstrator. Towards the end of 1959, it went on a sales tour of South America, which was one region where the Otter did not sell very well at all. Only one civil aircraft went to Taxi Aereo de Santander in Colombia, two military sales to Argentina and five to Chile. The Colombian and the Chilean aircraft had already been delivered by the time JON set off on its sales tour of South America.

The sales tour did not, apparently, prove very successful, either from a sales or an operational viewpoint. In December 1959 JON suffered engine failure and force landed in a small field some eighty miles from Montevideo in Uruguay. A broken valve on the number three cylinder was to blame. A replacement engine was dispatched from Downsview and JON was repaired and flew home. By this stage it had 801 hours on the airframe and was put up for sale. It was sold to Thomas Lamb Airways Ltd (Lambair) of The Pas, Manitoba on 27th June 1960, as a floatplane.

CF-JON became Lambair's first Otter, and joined the company's six Cessna 180s and three Norsemen. That year, Lambair opened a base at Churchill, Manitoba and JON was soon at work. The following is a description of activity in August/September 1960: “Soon there was flying for Jack Lamb using the new Otter, starting with a type check-out. Then word came that Doug Lamb and Ron Davie had suffered float damage to a Norseman at Baker Lake. Jack and Ron Boyes now made the five and a half hour flight in the Otter from Thompson to Baker Lake. The mechanics set to work with repairs while Jack and Doug flew two hundred miles north in the Otter to Garry Lake. Next day the patched-up Norseman was flown 900 miles back to The Pas via Ilford”.

“Jack and Ray flew a party of geologists in the Otter in two trips from Garry Lake to Baker Lake, then left next morning for Churchill. There they readied the Otter for a 1,200 mile trip to Clyde River on Baffin Island, where a survey team needed their services. First stop en route was Rankin Inlet, where seventy gallons of fuel was pumped on board as the passengers ate in the Rankin nickel mine dining hall. Then it was off again. It was important to keep moving while the going was good. As Jack Lamb explained, standard procedure on any their flights was to complete a charter as fast as possible and get back to base for the next trip. We would only land for fuel and would only eat if convenient. On a long charter it was usual to finish the whole trip without stopping to sleep or eat a proper meal”.

“An hour south of Repulse Bay, Jack was able to raise both Churchill and The Pas on the HF radio. He then flew on for fuel at Repulse and Hall Beach. He crossed Foxe Basin to Baffin Island and followed a valley along the south edge on the Barnes Ice Cap to reach Clyde River about eight that evening. After off-loading passengers and freight and putting CF-JON to bed, they over-nighted at the Hudson Bay Company. They enjoyed a few shots of rum as they listened to tall tales in the Arctic. Next morning they took off for home and found that the empty Otter cruised happily along burning twenty gallons per hour, compared to twenty eight on the way up with a load. A tail wind helped them into Rankin Inlet in five and half hours, then they pushed on to Churchill, landing at sunset. It was mid-September when JON touched down at The Pas, Lambair's home base”.

After this epic trip, the Otter settled into routine service with Lambair and went on to serve the company faithfully for the next ten years. An extract from Douglas Lamb's diary reveals the sort of flying it had to perform in the Arctic, describing a charter carrying the Deputy Minister of Northern Affairs and his party, which started out using a Lambair Beech 18, which went unserviceable at Baker Lake, requiring Otter JON to fly to the rescue from its base at Churchill: “TransAir moved my Baker Lake passengers to Eskimo Point. I went back up in the Otter and moved everyone from Eskimo Point to Whale Cove. HF radio packed up. 0500 the next morning, pulled out for Churchill. Put Otter in hangar, changed all tubes in radio. Next morning flew back to Whale Cove, arriving 1000, still dark. Then Rankin Inlet where I sat for four days, finally away to Chesterfield Inlet. Rolled three drums of gas through the deep snow, pumped the gas into the Otter and took off for Coral Harbour. Ran out of daylight at Eli Bay. Lots of heavy winds, snow and dark. Got to Coral Harbour. Landed with runway strobe lights barely visible, blew tire on landing”.

“Got rid of passengers by sending them to Coral Harbour village twelve miles away. Took tire off. Got Bombardier tube, cut valve out and glued it to my tube and was ready to go next morning. Pulled out for Cape Dorset. Unable to land due to bad weather. Went to Igloolik via Hall Beach. Arrived Hall Beach in very bad weather and dark. Sat there for four more days. Finally headed for Frobisher Bay where the weather deteriorated rapidly. Tried to get to Rowley Island DEW Line airstrip but unable to get out on VHF due broken antenna. Could hear Hall Beach telling me to return to Hall Beach and not go to Rowley. Went back to Hall Beach, sat for another couple of days. Then back to Coral Harbour, then Dorset, then Frobisher Bay, on instruments all the way. The meeting the Deputy Minister was to attend was over ten days ago, so he got a Nordair flight back to Ottawa, swearing he would never leave his Ottawa office again. I pulled out for home and was back in Churchill in nine hours. A trip I will never forget. Minus 48 degrees, dark and three miles visibility”.

Sadly, CF-JON was lost at Oxford House, Manitoba on 15th May 1970, on take off en route to Thompson. As the accident summary records: “Collided with trees on take off due to misuse or failure to use flaps; failed to see/avoid objects; minor injuries to pilot; aircraft destroyed”.

- by Karl E. Hayes

"Unreal", these "men and their machines". They don't "build them like they used to". "Oh yes", the item I saw at Blue Water's hangar the other day...........


"Hey", that looks like a "sling" for lifting an Otter.........


"Unbelievable"! LAMBAIR LTD!



"Remember this one, Jack? Could this sling have been JON's?"


Saturday, May 19, 2007


Back On "Floats"!

I took UKN to Silver Falls Wednesday night, and the "hangar boys" "hung" UKN Thursday morning.






The winds picked up to 35 kts. from the southwest, so we couldn't "launch" her that day. We decided to "launch" her early Friday morning. So, Thursday night, Ed Gaffray, Blue Water Aviation Owner, and I, consumed all "liquid intellect" within a 1 mile radius. By the end of the night, we had solved the "problems" in Iraq, Afghanistan, the "reasons" for "infidelity", and had "improved" on the "Quantum Theory". But, that is a "Blog Post" for a later date..............

Friday morning came, and UKN started her "trek" to water..............


"Ready" to go........


To "launch" an Otter, "fire up" the Can Car "Tree Farmer".....




Down the road..........










Later in the day, at Kesch Lake, "back at work", where "she" belongs, "flogging the bush"!