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msn 326
DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 300
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msn 326

Series 300


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

N5662 de Havilland Canada Inc., Downsview, ON. Rolled out 23-Jun-1971. First flight date unknown.

N5662 Air America Inc Washington, DC., Delivered 27-Jul-1971. Regd 02-Sep-1971.

Service history: The aircraft was delivered new and officially based at Vientiane. It was equipped with special electronic equipment, including a AN/APQ-115 terrain-following radar (TFR) and a LORAN C navigation system, that was test-flown on CIA missions and directly controlled by Washington in Sep-1971. It was then ferried to Bangkok by Intermountain Aviation; arrived at Udorn in Nov-1971. It was used for used for Terrain Following Radar (TFR) training out of Udorn between Nov-1971 and mid-Jan-1972. It was hit by ground fire in Laos on 18-Dec-1971, damaging the lower fuselage and was soon repaired; repaired. The aircraft was used to train RoCAF pilots on a military base near Taipei, Taiwan and between 17-Jan and 03 Feb-1972 the same RoCAF pilots were trained out of PS-44, a secret base 26 kms north of Pakse, Laos where Taiwanese crews were living and trained to fly the Twin Otter in low-level night practice missions. Those training missions continued in Feb-1972 and then used to parachute commando raider teams into Laos at night and to resupply those teams. The aircraft’s fuel cells were damaged by ground fire at coordinates TG 802201, approximately 1½ miles southeast of Sam Thong (LS-20) in Laos on 11-Mar-1972. Nobody on board was injured, and the aircraft was repaired and returned to service on 12-Mar-1972. The engine oil line and the right engine cowling of the aircraft were damaged by ground fire at coordinates UG 2968 near Bouam Long (LS-32) over Laos on 30-Mar-1972. Again, nobody on board was injured, and the aircraft was repaired and returned to service on 01 Apr-1972.

Fate: The aircraft crashed at coordinates TG 8827 into a small hill north-east of Tha Tam Bleung (LS-72), Laos, 95 miles north of Vientiane, on 25-Jul-1972, after encountering poor weather conditions, killing the pilot, Benjamin Frank Coleman, the First Officer John Thomas Grover and kicker Thanom Khanthaphengxay. Kicker S. Kingkland was injured. The aircraft was on a resupply flight for troops in contact under the provisions of Contract F04606-71-C-0002, carrying a cargo of 2,780 pounds of palletized rations, and was attempting to fly under a low ceiling, when it hit the ground. In an apparent attempt to abort its pass toward the drop zone due to the weather, it appears that the aircraft probably broke left into a steep left bank followed by an apparent aircraft stall. The aircraft left wing tip dug into the ground and the aircraft crashed at approximately 03:45Z.

Note: Canx 22-Aug-1972 “because of accident”

Written off


N5662 the ill-fated Air America machine at Downsview - CYZD.
Photo: Unknown photographer © 1971 - Michael J. Ody Collection