My husband and I are wanting to do our float plane endorsement in the States in May this year as part of our vacation overseas (we are from Oz). Can anyone recommend a reputable company? We are looking at Washington State or Minnesota for location but are more than open to any suggestions from locals who can recommend a great location/company. The East Coast (Maine region) appealed but we believe most of the lakes are still frozen in May? Great scenery and a variety of float plane experiences (mountains/lakes/rivers etc) would be a plus also. Thanks!
6th Mar 2012, 13:34
Many pilots use Brown's in central Florida. Not as much scenery as up north. I doubt Maine will be frozen in May. Have look here:
Seaplane Flight School Directory - The Seaplane Pilots Association (http://www.seaplanes.org/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=69)
7th Mar 2012, 03:48
Haven't been there, so this is not a personal recommendation, but when I get to go do what you've got planned, this place looks pretty cool:
(although maybe too "cool" in May!)
Alaska Float Ratings (http://www.alaskafloatratings.com/)
7th Mar 2012, 07:40
Same Same But Different, check out Canada as well.
BC in particularly.
I would also recommend Brown's in Florida. I don't have personal experience with them but have heard several others who have had great times there. Here is there website. Pay special attention to the requirements for foreign pilots. Looks like several hoops to jump through on that.
Welcome to Brown's Seaplane Base! (http://brownsseaplane.com/)
7th Mar 2012, 15:23
I'd recommend you do a stand alone FAA PPL to hang your FAA SES (Single Engine Sea) rating on, and not a 61.75 licence issued based on a foreign licence. Plenty of comments in PPRuNe about the limitations of 61.75s.
Don't forget that CASA will add a float rating to your Oz licence if you give them money and fill out a form. Bear in mind that Oz considers floats vs floating hull to be separate endorsements, unlike the FAA. If you fly & log both types in the USA then CASA will add both endorsements to your Oz licence. If you only fly the one type that's the only endorsement you'll get.
On the plus side, your Oz float &/or floating hull endorsement, once transferred from your FAA SES, will also be valid for multi engine float &/or floating hull, respectively. Of course you must have a multi endorsement too. Won't matter if the multi was or is done before or after floats. In the FAA world singles & multis, land & sea in any combination are separate licences, requiring four** separate flight tests to obtain privileges across the range. Even more flight tests if you wish move up a licence level later eg PPL --> CPL, or CPL --> ATP.
**Unless you do the tests in an amphibian and land on both ground & water. That halves the total number of tests for single or multi land & sea privileges.
7th Mar 2012, 23:25
And where can you fly a Beaver?
13th Mar 2012, 19:48
You can fly dual in a Beaver at Kenmore Air in Seattle. I did my SES there. On a Super Cub though... it was a FUN airplane but much too powerful for the purpose of learning. It just jumps off the water. Then I went to Island Coastal Aviation close to Vancouver to really learn to fly floats. I flew 50 hours on a 160hp C172. It was a challenge to get it off the water every single time! The question is if you want to do it for fun or if you'd like to be confident after the course to actually fly on floats. I recommend at least 15 hours instruction because docking and beaching needs some time to learn.
14th Mar 2012, 11:47
You can also fly a Beaver at Ryan Seaplanes at Flagler Airport in Florida.
14th Mar 2012, 15:57
When did Trip at Flagler get the Beaver? And what happened to the C180 Amphib? I did an ATP-SEL/SES with him in '04.
14th Mar 2012, 16:24
I don't remember how long he has had the Beaver. I think he got rid of the 180 when he got the Beaver. Maybe their website would answer your question. It is a nice plane.
15th Mar 2012, 00:17
Thanks a lot. I think I'll go there.