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msn 347
DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 300
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msn 347

Series 300



• Registration • Activity and details of Owner/Operator and other historical information

VP-FAQ de Havilland Canada Inc., Downsview, ON. Rolled out 15-Sep-1972. First flight 15-Sep-1972.

VP-FAQ Ordered new from DHC by Natural Environment Research Council for British Antarctic Survery (BAS), 25-Apr-1972.

Note: Application for registration on Falkland Island Register. 21-Aug-1972. Issued. 22-Aug-1972.

Test flights 15, 27 & 28-Sep 1972.

VP-FAQ BAS - British Antarctic Survey. Delivered 02-Oct-1972.

(C-GNYY) Bradley Air Services, Carp, ON. Regd 22-Apr-1975. Ntu.

VP-FAQ Leased to University of Nebraska. Regd May-1975.

VP-FAQ Returned to BAS - British Antarctic Survey. Regd Jun-1975.

VP-FAQ Leased to Taylor Woodrow International, Oman. Regd Apr-1976.

VP-FAQ Returned to BAS - British Antarctic Survey. Regd -Jul-1976.

VP-FAQ Leased to US Ross Ice Shelf Project. Regd 08-Nov-1976.

VP-FAQ Returned to BAS - British Antarctic Survey., Regd 21-Jan-1977.

Note: Recalled from work on Ross Ice Shelf to undertake relief flights whem VQ-FAP damaged in Jan 1977.

Accident: Rothera Station Antarctica. 03-Mar-1978 Nose-leg and airframe damaged while attempting a take -off from Rothera Station with heavy load over a rough surface end of 1977/78 summer season. Dismantled and shipped to OK for repairBack in service for the 1978/79 summer season.

VP-FAQ Returned to BAS - British Antarctic Survey. Regd 05-Oct-1978 after repair (see below).

VP-FAQ Leased to Loganair, Glasgow, UK. Regd 29-Mar-1979.

VP-FAQ Returned to BAS - British Antarctic Survey. Regd 06-Sep-1979.

VP-FAQ Leased to Loganair, Glasgow, UK. Regd 27-Mar-1980.

VP-FAQ Returned to BAS - British Antarctic Survey. Regd 05-Sep-1980.

VP-FAQ Leased to JEA Jersey European Airways. Regd 15-Apr-1981.

G-BKBC JEA - Jersey European Airways, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK. Regd 27-Apr-1982 Canx 19-Feb-1986

UK Certificate of Airworthiness. 27-Apr-1982 issued.

Reported as utilized by Spacegrand Aviation.

Note: To Weston-on-the-Green Oxfordshire, UK for parachuting duties. 13-Nov-1982.

Noted at Hurn where it was repainted as LN-FKB. 25-Jan-1986.

Note: Ferried Jersey to Spitzbergen 19-Feb-1986.

LN-FKB NFK - Norsk Forurensningskontrol AS, Bodø, Norway. Regd 19-Feb-1986.

LN-FKB Widerøes Flyveselskap. Regd 19-Feb-1986.

LN-FKB Sparebanken Nord, Tromsø, Norway after bankruptcy of NFK. Regd 04-Nov-1987 Canx 03-Feb-1988-02-03 Cancelled from Norwegian CAR on export to the USA.

N899AS Air Services International Inc., Redlands, CA. Regd 09-Feb-1988.

N899AS Air Services International Inc., Warrenton, VA. Regd 10-Feb-1988 Still on USCAR as at Dec-1995.

A/W date. 05-Mar-1988.

N899AS Bank of Utah Trustee, Salt Lake City, UT. Regd 28-Jun-2013. Canx 02-Dec-2013 on export to Mexico.

Flew 29-Nov-2013 Planned Atlanta-South Regional, GA - Baton Rouge-Metro, LA Baton Rouge-Metro, LA - Monterrey-Del Norte, Mexico. This flight did not occur.

Flew 01-Dec-2013 Updated Atlanta-Falcon Field - Lake Charles, LA. Continued 02-Dec-2013 Lake Charles, LA - Monterrey-Del Norte, Mexico.

XA-UTK Transportes Aereos Terrestres S.A.  Dec-2013.

C-FZDQ Kenn Borek Air, Calgary, AB. Regd 15-Feb-2018.


The Antarctic Odyssey of VP-FAQ

1972 Season

The aircraft’s first expedition to Antarctica commenced on 13-Oct-1972 departing Downsview, ON, for the ferry flight to Antarctica. It arrived on 18-Oct 1972 at Miami, Florida, USA. It arrived 26 Oct-1972 at Punta Arenas, Chile and then flew Punta Arenas - Adelaide Station, Adelaide Islands (UK) Antarctica on 29-10-1972. The aircraft was used mainly in support of Fossil Bluff Station, Alexander Island. which is a British Antarctic Survey forward operating station for refuelling aircraft and is operated byRothera Station during the Antarctic summer season between October and March. The bluff is a collection of buildings and facilities, at the centre of which lies “the hut” which sits at the foot of a scree-covered ridge overlooking George VI Sound which separates mountainousAlexander Island from Palmer Land. The George VI Ice Shelf occupies the sound and provides a north-south route for travelling parties except in high summer when the ice shelf's surface is flooded with meltwater. To the west and north-west lie Planet Heights, an extensive range of mountains rising to over 1500 m. There is a 1200m unprepared snow runway (skiway) marked by drums 1 km south of the station.

The Twin Otter aircraft ferried drums of fuel from Rothera to Fossil Bluff each summer to maintain the size of the fuel depot. The station is 90 minutes flying time from Rothera. It is used extensively as a jumping-off point for further operations into Antarctica. The next 'traditional' stop for the Twin Otters is Sky Blu, 85 minutes away. Fossil Bluff houses four people in comfort but is normally operated by two to three.

The base has been in use intermittently since 20 February 1961. Occupied during the winters of 1961, 1962, and 1969-75, it has been used every summer since 1975.

1973 Season

The return ferry flight left Adelaide Station for   Punta Arenas, Chile, for Downsview (DHC) on 25-Feb-1973. It flew to West Palm Beach, Florida, USA on 04-Mar-1973 and arrived at Downsview, ON, Canada on 05-Mar-1973 for servicing and storage at DHC.

The aircraft was leased by DHC from BAS for a sales demonstration tour based at Kinshasa, Zaïre.The BAS titles were removed and the Canadian flag added to the tail surface.

The ferry route was as follows:-31-May-1973 Test flight from Downsview. 01-Jun-1973 Ferried Downsview - St. John (Newfoundland). 02-Jun-1973 St. John - Santa Maria (Azores) . 03-Jun-1973 Santa Maria - Las Palmas (Canary Islands) - Dakar (Senegal). 04-Jun-1973 Dakar - Abidjan (Ivory Coast). 05-Jun 1973 Abidjan - Libreville (Gabon). 07-Jun-1973 Libreville - Kinshasa (Zaïre). It completed a week of demonstration flights in the area.

The return ferry route was completed as follows:-17-Jun-1973 Kinshasa - Abidjan. 18-Jun-1973 Abidjan - Dakar. 19-Jun 1973 Dakar - Casablanca (Morocco) - Biarritz (France). 20-Jun 1973 Biarritz - Luton (England). 21-Jun-1973. Luton - Prestwick - Reykjavik (Iceland). 22-Jun-1973. Reykjavik - Narsarssuak (Greenland) - Sept Isles (Québec). 23-Jun-1973 Sept Isles - Downsview (DHC).

It was later ferried to Greenland for survey work as follows:-09-Jul 1973 Downsview - Wabush (Newfoundland) - Frobisher Bay. 10-Jul-1973 Frobisher Bay - Söndre Strömfjord (Greenland). Its Long Range Navigation System (LRNS) was removed and it operated from Söndre Strömfjord for local survey work.

The return ferry flight commenced on 15-Jul-1973. The  LRNS was re-installed and flew Söndre Strömfjord to Frobisher Bay. On 16-Jul-1973 Frobisher Bay, Walbush, North Bay (ON) and Toronto International Airport and finally 17-Jul-1973 Toronto to Downsview (DHC).

1974 Season

In preparation for a return to Antarctca completed a test flight on 04-Oct-1973 from Downsview before departing Downsview on 06-Oct-1973 for Punta Arenas arriving on 13-Oct-1973. On 16-Oct-1973 it flew Punta Arenas - Adelaide Station (Antarctic) from where it operated in support of BAS operations through the Antarctic summer.

The return ferry flight commenced on 28-Feb-1974 from Adelaide Station via Punta Arenas for Downsview (DHC) arriving on 10-Mar-1974 for service and storage.

A further summer sojourn in Antarctica commenced on 05-Oct 1974 with a ferry flight from  Downsview via New Orleans (USA) to Punta Arenas arriving on 12-Oct-1974. It then continued to Stonington Island, Graham Land on 17-Oct-1974 and the next day continued to its base at Adelaide Station where it operated in support of BAS Antarctic operations.

1975 Season

The return to Canada commenced on 05-Mar-1975 from Adelaide Station to Punta Arenas and up the west coast of South America arriving at West Palm Beach, Florida, USA on 13-Mar-1975 and arriving next day at Downsview (DHC) for service and storage.

1975-05-??In May 1975 the aircraft was leased to the University of Nebraska for a five-week ice-sheet survey in Greenland on behalf of the US National Science Foundation. The ferry flight to Greenland commenced on 16-May-1975-flying Downsview - Toronto (Malton); 17-May-1975 Toronto - Goose Bay (Newfoundland) - Söndre Strömfjord from where it operated in support of yhe University of Nebraska surveys.

The retun ferry flight commenced on 14-Jun-1975 Söndre Strömfjord - Frobisher Bay; 15-Jun-1975 Frobisher Bay - Fort Chimo - Schefferville (Québec). And then on 16-Jun-1975 Schefferville to  Downsview (DHC).

On 07-Oct-1975 the aircraft departed Downsview for the Antarctic reaching West Palm Beach, Florida on the same day. It arrived at Punta Arenas, Chile on 15-Oct-1975. The ferry flight continued to Adelaide Station a couple of weeks later on 04-Nov-1975 perhaps because of poor weather over the Southern Ocean. This year apart from its regular support duties for the BAS it was also sed to transport men and materials to a new air facility being constructed at Rothera Station (Adelaide Island) to replace the airstrip at Adelaide Station.

1976 Season

1976-02-29 The return ferry flight to Downsview therefore commenced from the new facility at Rothera Station on 29-Feb 1976 with a leap across to Punta Arenas. It reached North America via West Palm Beach, Florida, on 07-Mar-1976 and arrived at Downsview on 08-Mar- 1976 for service. It was immediately charterd by Taylor Woodrow (International) Ltd. for three months work in Oman, returning for servicing at Downsview in late May.

Another season in Antarctica called with the aircraft leaving Downsview on 31-Oct-1976. It is reported as passing through Mendoza, Argentina on 05-November 1976 and Punta Arenas the next day and on to Rothera Station on 07-Nov-1976.

Whilst in Antarctica it was leased out for 10 weeks to the US Ross Ice Shelf Project, but recalled to rescue the pilot and crew of BAS Twin Otter VP-FAP (s/n 333) that crashed on landing at Gomez Nunatak on 1977-01-21. All people were uninjured and were flow to Rothera Station.

1977 Season

Returned to Canada 01-Mar-1977-03-01 from Rothera Station to Punta Arena for Downsview (DHC). Arrived at Miami, Florida, USA on 08-Mar-1977 and then  the next day 09-Mar-1977 arrived Downsview (DHC) for service and storage.

A quiet few months ensued until 07-Oct-1977-10-07 when it departed Downsview for the Antarctic. Arriving at Punta Arenas on 17-Oct 1977 moving on to 1977-10-18 Punta Arenas - Rothera Station on 18-Oct-1977. It was used in its usual support role for the BAS

1978 Season

On 03-Mar-1978 the nose-wheel leg and airframe were damaged beyond repair when the pilot tried to take off with full load from a very rough surface at Rothera Station. Nobody was injured, but the aircraft had to be dismantled and loaded onboard the ship "Bransfield" which departed for the UK (via Falkland Islands) three weeks later on 1978-03-24. The ship arrived at Southampton, UK two months later on 1978-05-23 after which the damaged aircraft was off-loaded and transported to Alan Mann Aviation Ltd. (MAL),at Fairoaks, Surrey. for repairs. After the rebuild flight tests were completed at Fairoaks on 25-Sep-1978.

Rather than returning to Canada the aircraft left for the South from Fairoaks on 04-Oct-1978 with the short 30 mile hop to Biggin Hill. It started its ferry flight for prper the next day arriving at Punta Arenas on 11-Oct-1978 and then Rothera Station on 14-Oct-1978

1979 Season

01-Mar-1979 saw it tackle the flight back to Canada from Rothera Station  through Punta Arenas but this time to Field Aviation Co. Ltd. At Calgary, Alberta,. It arrived on 13-Mar-1979 for maintenance prior to leasing (as of 29-Mar-1979) to the Glasgow-based airline Loganair for the summer season. After a series of test flights it was ferried on 15-Apr from Downsview to Goose Bay and Narsarssuak

After a series of test flights, the aircraft departed Downsview for Scotland on 15-Apr-1979 via Goose Bay, NFL to Narsarssuak, Greenland. The next day it moved on to Reykjavik (Iceland) and arrived at Glasgow, Scotland on 17-Apr-1979. It moved to Aberdeen on 22-Apr-1979 from where it operated routes to the Shetland and Orkney Isles, as well as being used to support the North Sea Oil Industry, until 31-Aug-1979 when it returned to Glasgow and then via Cambridge and Oxford to Fairoaks where it underwent basis maintenance by Alan Mann Aviation from 06-Sep-1979.  It then crossed the Atlantic to Downsview via Biggin Hill, Prestwick and Reykjavik on 12-Sep-2009; Reykjavik, Goose Bay and Ottawa (ON) on 13-Sep-1979 and finally Ottawa to Downsview (DHC) on 14-Sep-1979 after which it underwent further maintenance and modifications prior to another season in Antarctica. This season the aircraft departed on 12-Nov 1979  passing Cordoba (Argentina) on 21-Nov-1979 Trelew (Argentina) on 22-Nov-1979 and arriving at Punta Arenas on 22-Niv-1979. Its flight to Rothera Station occurred on 27-Nov-1979. BAS duties as per previous seasons.

1980 Season

For this season the aircraft left Rothera station to Punta Arenas on 26-Feb-1980  and arrived with Field Aviation Co at Calgary on 08-Mar-1980. It duly received maintenance  before taking up another lease (as of 27-Mar-1980) with Loganair in Scotland.

With BAS titles removed it commenced the ferry flight on 27-Mar-1980 from Calgary through Churchill (Manitoba to Frobisher Bay. The next day the route was Frobisher to Reykjavik  and a day later Reykjavic to Aberdeen from where the lease commenced. It again flew Loganairs scheduled flights to the Shetlands and the Orkneys together with support flights for the oil industry.

After its final Loganair flight on 29-Aug-1980 it flew from Aberdeen Oxford (Kidlington Airport) on 01-Sep-1980; Oxford to Biggin Hill on 02-Sep-1980 where it remained for three days, perhaps to collect equipment prior to its forthcoming long oversea flight to Canada. Commencing on 05-Sep 1980 it returned north from Biggin (on the bump as it was colloquially named after WW II) to (Neil’s Favourite) Prestwick and trans Atlantic to Reykjavik continuing over the two consequent days from Reykjavik to Frobisher Bay and then Frobisher Bay, Churchill to Calgary. It received maintenance and modification and prepared at Field Aviation for the next trip to Antarctica.

The 05 Nov-1980 saw it leave Calgary arriving at Punta Arenas on the 20-Nov-1980 and Rothera Station on 23-Nov-1980. Again it supported BAS work on the continent

1981 Season

After nine years of suffering the vagarities of the Antarctic sunner it returned from Rothera Station to Punta Arenas bound for Downsview (DHC) for the last time, transitting from 03-Mar-1981 until arriving back at its birthplace approximately ten days later. It received maintenance before commencing on a new lease with JEA - Jersey European Airlines. It was ferried via a now familiar route from Downsview to Goose Bay on 14-Apr-1981; Goose Bay, Reykjavik on 15-Apr-1981 and the final leg of Glasgow, Cambridge, Biggin Hill and Jersey on 16-Apr-1981

Acknowledgement to Douglas A. Rough and his article in "Air-Britain Archive" Spring 2006 Issue for the basic information in the above section.

Photo: Sheldon D. Benner © June 1975 - Michael J. Ody Collection
VP-FAQ back over at Downsview - CYZD.
Photo: Steve Bailey © September 1975 - Michael J. Ody Collection
VP-FAQ outside Field's at Calgary - CYYC, Alberta.
Photo: Michael J. Ody © April 1978
VP-FAQ at Toronto - CYYZ, Ontario.
Photo: Unknown photographer © October 1978 - Michael J. Ody Collection
VP-FAQ caught visiting Churchill - CYYQ, Manitoba.
Photo: Peter Wollender © September 1980 - Aird Archives
VP-FAQ doing engine run.
Photo: Unknown photographer © May 1981 - Michael J. Ody Collection
VP-FAQ at Jersey - EGJJ - in service with JERSEY EUROPEAN.
Photo: Ron Kosys © 06 September 1981 - Aird Archives
Photo: Unknown photographer © September 1981 - Michael J. Ody Collection
VP-FAQ at London / Luton - EGGW.
Photo: Ron Kosys © 25 March 1982 - Aird Archives
G-BKBC on the ramp at Zurich / Kloten - LSZH, Switzerland.
Photo: P. Oehninger © 27 March 1984 - Michael J. Ody Collection
G-BKBC at London / Luton - EGGW.
Photo: Ron Kosys © 17 April 1985 - Aird Archives
Photo: Ron Kosys © 17 April 1985 - Aird Archives
N899AS at Maastricht - EHBK, Netherlands.
Photo: Unknown photographer © Date unknown - Michael J. Ody Collection
N899AS test flying at Hampton, Georgia.
Photo: Unknown photographer © 30 November 2013
XA-UTK at Tayoltita, Mexico.
Photo: S. Aguirre © Date unknown - Erik Johannesson Collection
C-FZDQ at Calgary - CYYC, Alberta.
Photo: Dave Soubelack © 26 January 2018 - Erik Johannesson Collection
C-FZDQ at Calgary - CYYC, Alberta.
Photo: Trevor McTavish © 17 April 2020 - Aird Archives