Monday, August 13, 2007

 

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

Today I made 3 trips to Sasaginnigak Lodge, taking fishermen into the camp, and bringing fishermen out who had completed their "adventure". On my third trip back, I was racing a "severe" weather system. I made it back OK, before the "high winds, lightning, and thunder" started. Just before I landed at Pine Dock, I heard; "Pilatus MPZ is 40 miles south of Little Grand Rapids, Runway 18 in 8 minutes". Yes, the "RCMP" Pilatus PC-12s are "quick". Of course my cranial "vegetable soup" started to "burble". I figured there had to be an Otter named CF-MPZ in the "storied" past of the RCMP Air Division. "Guess what"? There sure was, and it is a "story". Let's let Karl tell it.........

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

De Havilland Canada
DHC-3 OTTER
A HISTORY

CONTACT KARL, CD PRICING and ORDERING INFO - De Havilland DHC-3 OTTER - A HISTORY by Karl E. Hayes
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Otter 328

Otter 328 was delivered to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Air Division, on 29th March 1960, registered CF-MPZ. It was first based at St.John's, Newfoundland. The Otter crashed 21 miles north-east of Point Saunders, Newfoundland on 1st March 1961 and was substantially damaged. On that day, the Otter with a pilot and two passengers on board, departed from St.Anthony, Newfoundland en route to Port Saunders. The flight was uneventful until the aircraft began to lose height while flying at low altitude over mountainous terrain. Despite the application of power and lowering the flaps, the aircraft continued to lose height and struck the ground at approximately 85 mph in a slightly nose-up attitude.

The Otter continued for a few seconds across the top of a rocky, treeless and snow covered hill. It then became airborne momentarily and touched down again prior to commencing a climb. The pilot considered that he had lost rudder control, but over Port Saunders ground observers advised that the rudder and tail wheel assembly were intact. The flight then continued to Gander Airport, where a landing was made without further incident. The underside of the rear fuselage, the tail wheel ski assembly and the right main ski had been badly damaged. The accident report concluded that when approaching mountainous terrain from the leeward side, the pilot was unable to maintain sufficient height to recover safely from the effect of a downdraft, and the aircraft struck the ground. After temporary repairs at Gander, a ferry permit was issued for a flight to Ottawa, where MPZ was repaired, after which it returned to its base at St.John's.

MPZ continued flying from St.John's until it was written off at Deer Lake, Newfoundland on 27th September 1971. As that report summarised: “Engine failure; material failure of exhaust system; power loss; aircraft force landed in a bog and destroyed in post crash fire”. This crash provided the RCMP with a long-sought opportunity to add a helicopter to the fleet. Bell 212 CF-MPZ, the same registration as had been carried by the Otter, would prove ideal for the rugged conditions and notoriously bad weather of the coastal areas of Newfoundland, also providing twin-engined safety.

- by Karl E. Hayes
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"Wow", the old Otter hit "mountainous terrain" and made it back to base. "Robust" aircraft. Too bad about her "demise", but her "legacy" lived on in a Bell 212, and now lives on in a Pilatus PC-12, both "proudly" bearing the RCMP "logo", and the Otter's registration, CF-MPZ. "Thanks, Karl"!


CONTACT KARL, CD PRICING and ORDERING INFO - De Havilland DHC-3 OTTER - A HISTORY by Karl E. Hayes

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