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Float Plane bush pilot course, recommended operators

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Float Plane bush pilot course, recommended operators

Old 20th Jul 2016, 06:11
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 4
Float Plane bush pilot course, recommended operators


I've decided I want to chase the float plane flying adventure for a while and am chasing some advice. I was hoping any seasoned vets or pilots familiar with the areas and companies that they could recommend an operator. I am a foreign student where 50 hours bush in Canada, costs 50% about more than a 7 hour standard endorsement here in Aus.

Georgia Bay Airways, Parry Sound, ON $13644.75

Ocean Air, Victoria, BC $15487.5

Air-Hart aviation: Kelowna, BC $17745

Fort Langley Air, Langley, BC $15738.75

Appreciate and welcome any and all advice.

Cheers all
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Old 22nd Jul 2016, 23:42
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 2,517
In my opinion the best value for your money would be flying with Randy Hanna in Nanaimo B.C., he owns Pacific Seaplanes and has spent his entire career flying seaplanes.


Remember cost is not the only benchmark for value.

Whoever you choose you will love seaplane flying.

Last edited by Chuck Ellsworth; 23rd Jul 2016 at 02:57.
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Old 25th Jul 2016, 04:03
  #3 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 4
Hi Chuck, thanks for your message.

Of course just wanted some insight into some of the operators.

I'll touch base with them.

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Old 25th Jul 2016, 08:26
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Join Date: Jul 2016
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Thanks for the info mate.

In Australia, they offer a 7 hour course for AUD $10,000. I asked for a syllabus break down, and I legit have no idea where the other 4-6$ grand comes into it. Charging you for the scenery along the barrier reef or what?
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 14:53
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Canadian Shield
Posts: 536
It's some years back, but I did my Canadian float training with Northern Flight Training Center who were based at YQT. I believe their instructor Guy Cannon is still around if you can track him down on line.

If it's just some Seaplane hour-building (or instructing) you want, maybe contact Brown's SPB in Winter Haven FL. Their instructors are all top-notch and often move on to Summer seaplane line jobs in Alaska and BC once they have a few hundred hours on floats.

Good luck, either way!!! It is totally ADDICTIVE
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Old 31st Jul 2016, 07:52
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Join Date: Jul 2016
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cheers er340790

I contacted a few operators and they mentioned a few things I might have troubles with. I contacted Transport Canada for a FLVC (Foreign Licence Validation Certificate), one operator said we could do the training but he couldn't issue the rating (even though its a design feature endorsement) because I would not have a Canadian licence to "attach it on to" and that I would need to carry out a CPL licence conversion. Requiring far more than the 15 hours proficiency on floats.

If I am currently flying to a commercial standard here in AUS, just successfully renewed my MECIR, well then a standard CPL flight test in Canada on a C172 with floats should be relatively simple no? The operator was like no offense but even someone with lots of hours still needs 20+ minimum to pass.

Am I getting shafted here? Any clarification on the float plane endorsement being recognized in other countries, ie. AUS, for commercial work following would be hugely appreciated, before I waste a tonne of money on potentially something useless. (Besides the epic experience in itself).

Many thanks
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Old 8th May 2017, 21:40
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: wherever I lay my hat
Posts: 440
I'm in Canada at the moment, Transport Canada emailed my FLVC on Friday afternoon having had the paperwork in the morning, this was based on an EASA ATPL with current 737 rating and SEP class. They will attach the rating to this, I had intended to do just the rating but am now looking at the logistics of doing a shortened bush course.

I'm training with Sudbury Aviation who are one of very few schools in Canada to train only on floats or skies depending on the season (no wheeled aircraft at all) so far all the training has been with the Chief Pilot and I am pleased with the standard of instruction.

They operate the school with 2 Cessna 172s and charter flying and camp support flights with 2 x DHC2 and 1 x C185, the lady that owns the place has done so since 1981, she still flies the DHC2 at the age of 77.

As I say I'm only a couple of trips into the course but I'm enjoying it and on what I've experienced so far would recommend them.
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Old 12th May 2017, 05:23
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
Hi Cloud Surfer,

It'll depend on what you wanna do in Canada. Firstly, don't fill in the Transport Canada form "recognition of overseas flight crew" it just allows you to fly Canadian reg'd planes solo.

If you wanna just do the float training, fill in the "application for private pilot's license" and there's a box there for "credits available - foreign" You'll have to do a one page exam by a flight training school that'll take you an hour to study for and you'll be fine. That will take some time, TC ain't lightning quick. Get a medical first.

Then with a PPL TC can issue a float rating to you.

If you wanna fly as a job in Canada, you'll have to pass the Canadian CPL theory and flight test, theory is one exam, not like the Australian half dozen, there are obvious differences in air law, and the Canadians know more about MET (they have real weather, unlike Aus!) so that'll take a bit of study. Flight test is a flight test, but they'll probably want spin recovery in the test. You need a medical before you can sit either the theory or the flight test.

I'd wager it'd be quicker to do the test in fixed undercarriage than on floats because you're already good at that. ProIFR in Delta have good quality theory courses that'll help you bridge quick.

Then go do floats.

DO THIS IN SUMMER! Lower Mainland winter is a no go for VFR flying! Seriously, I had no idea until I was there. Go over in May done by September. November to February it rains. Like all of November, December, January and February, you might have a week of day VFR weather all up in 4 months.

Hope that helps
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