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Utility Navigation

Aircraft Operations

De Havilland DHC-6-300 Twin Otter

NOAA DHC-6 Twin Otter on the ramp

A NOAA DHC-6 Twin Otter on the ramp.

NOAA’s Twin Otters are among the agency's most versatile aircraft. Known for their reliability, short takeoff and landing capabilities, payload capacity and excellent external visibility, they are a perfect asset to support NOAA science in even the harshest environments.

With an endurance of 4-6 hours at survey speeds, the Twin Otter is more than capable of covering over 600+ nautical miles of low altitude survey in a given flight at max fuel loads. These aircraft remain very busy year round supporting airborne marine mammal, hydrological, remote sensing, air chemistry and emergency response programs. Normal crew size is two pilots with a cabin capable of seating six people with smaller science equipment installed. Known for its stability at slower speeds, the Twin Otter is capable of surveying between 90-140 knots over the ground, making it ideal for missions that require a slower aircraft for data collection.

Standard Aircraft Specifications
Type De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter, Series 300
United Aircraft of Canada Limited PT6A-27
Crew 2 Pilots + 6 Scientists
Ceiling 12,500 feet (without supplemental cabin oxygen)
25,000 feet(with supplemental cabin oxygen)
Rate of Climb 1600 feet/minute (performance may vary based on weather conditions and loading)
Operational Airspeeds 90-150 knots
Scientific Power Two 28 VDC 250 ampere starter-generators, 3 KVA of 115 VAC, 60 Hz and 70 A of 28 VDC
Max. Gross Weight 12,500 lbs.
Empty Weight 8,100 lbs.
Useful Load 4,400 lbs. (fuel, personnel, cargo)
Fuel Load 2,500 lbs. with additional 1,200 lbs. in optional cabin auxiliary tank and 570 lbs of fuel in wing tip tanks (Note: installation of auxiliary tank and/or wing tip tanks reduces useful load). Auxiliary fuel tank is removable.
Type Fuel Jet
Standard Fuel Burn Normal Cruise Speed - 580 lbs./hr. Fuel Burn for specific mission configuration will be calculated during mission planning and will vary with environmental conditions. Maximum Range and Duration Vary with power setting and fuel tank configuration.
Dimensions (external) Cabin Doors (removable) - 50 in x 56 in
Baggage Doors (rear) - 35.7 in x 25.7 in
Dimensions (internal) Useable Volumes Cabin - 384 cu ft
Nose Baggage - 38 cu ft (may vary slightly from aircraft to aircraft)
Aft Baggage - 88 cu ft
Additional Standard Equipment (Cockpit) Weather radar, radar altimeter, dual Garmin G600 avionics package, HF radio
Additional Standard Equipment (Cabin) Camera and instrumentation ports GPS data link to cockpit GPS units
Optional Equipment Additional equipment can be installed. Please contact NOAA AOC to work with a specialist to meet your needs. Instrumentation hatch can be removed for continuous access to belly instrumentation and camera ports. Various camera mounts are available from the NOAA AOC for nose and belly camera ports.

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Reviewed: August 21, 2017. Contact us with page issues.

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