The Aircraft and Owner

This de Havilland DHC-3 Otter is owned and operated by Ookpik Aviation out of Baker Lake, Nunavut; where it provides service including much-needed off-strip charters, moving goods and people to remote locations in the roadless Nunavut. The DHC-3 Otter is a long-time mainstay of Canadian bush operations, having been in service for over 45 years.

The Need:

Flying charter for a wide range of clients in an unpredictable and unforgiving location like the arctic is no easy job. Doing it properly necessitates the usage of an appropriately equipped aircraft. Ookpik’s new Super Otter would need an avionics package to complement its concurrent mechanical upgrades — one that could provide its pilots and owners with the modern tools, capabilities, and logistical enhancements needed to operate with the highest margins of safety and reliability in one of the harshest environments on earth.

The Solution:

After a thorough and extensive consultation process, Maxcraft Avionics determined the best avionics and panel solution for Ookpik’s needs. Working together with Langey Aero Structures, Maxcraft brought this Venerable piece of bush plane history forward into the 21st century.

The centerpieces of this avionics upgrade are the Garmin G600 and GTN650 systems. Between a full-glass primary flight display, an ‘all-in-one’ GPS/NAV/Comm system and a huge touchscreen multifunction display, pilots get the increased situational awareness that comes with having relevant information on-demand, compiled and presented at their fingertips. A GPS certified for primary navigation helps bush operators get close a client’s desired co-ordinates; and with Ookpik’s focus on STOL operations north of the tree line, their pilots are sure to get use out of real-time wind vector and velocity calculation — just one of the benefits of a modern air data computer.

On the safety logistics end of things, this Super Otter was also equipped with a Latitude S200 ‘Skynode’ satellite tracking system, which provides not only tracking, but also satellite voice, data, and text communication to help owners keep tabs on their aircraft out in the wild. Rounding out the package are a Garmin GDL69 Sirius XM satellite radio system for both weather coverage and entertainment purposes, as well as a PS Engineering audio system which provides a modern 10-place audio system in a no-fuss package, including both crew isolation, and music input features — a boon to airlines and charter services like Ookpik Aviation who carry passengers as often as cargo.

Summary of Avionics

  • Garmin G600 PFD and MFD system
  • Garmin GTN650 WAAS GPS/NAV/Comm System
  • Garmin GDL 69/A XM Satellite Radio System
  • Latitude S-200 ‘Skynode’ Satellite Tracking and Telephone
  • P.S. Engineering PMA7000H Audio System
  • NAT NPX138 VHF FM Transceiver

Concurrent Upgrades

  • “Super Otter” Turbine Conversion
  • Cargo Door
  • Paint & Interior