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Floatplane lesson in Vancouver

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Floatplane lesson in Vancouver

Old 12th May 2019, 20:58
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Join Date: May 1999
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Floatplane lesson in Vancouver

Heading over to Vancouver in July and would love to have a lesson starting from the Vancouver area where i could experience a mountain lake landing. Can anybody recommend a good school/ club in the Vancouver area? Many thanks.
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Old 12th May 2019, 21:17
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Not sure about who would give you a lesson but if you could get across to Tofino on Vancouver Island there are certainly flights available to land on mountain lakes, I did one with Atleo Air but quite a few floatplanes operate out of Tofino. We flew round the glacier, landed on a remote lake then out to sea and watched whales, an experience of a lifetime. Very sadly the pilot Damon York, a super chap was killed in a tragic accident not long after.
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Old 12th May 2019, 21:18
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SA, a choice will be available at Pitt Meadows Airport, east of Vancouver:

Business | YPK Airport

I don't know of the present business there, it's been a while since I flew floats there. There was a Cessna 180 available from Fort Langley, though I think it was damaged, I have not heard if it's back in service. There will be other operators around too, though I would start at Pitt Meadows, as that airport is quite close to a few very pretty lakes.

This is Pitt Lake, about a ten minute flight from Pitt Meadows airport:

If you want a longer flight, fly out to Harrison Hot Springs for lunch.

Note that operators will be unwilling to take you into remote higher altitude lakes, the floatplane performance is reduced. But, there are enough at lower altitudes to satisfy your desire for scenery.
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Old 13th May 2019, 06:53
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You need to contact Mike Peare. He has been instructing there for years although winters in Thailand.

One of the best I know.

He will happily take you to all the lakes including Widgeon Lake below and teach you to splash down on floats.

Picture taken yesterday.

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 13th May 2019 at 07:51.
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Old 13th May 2019, 08:47
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Join Date: May 2008
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Island Coastal Aviation

Visiting from UK I flew floatplane instruction from Tom Dryborough of Island Coastal Aviation at Pitt Meadows four years ago, and as a newcomer to floatplanes it was a fantastic experience with excellent instruction in a Cessna 172. An experienced and personable instructor, in an hour he covered landings and take-offs from both river and lake. I would highly recommend Island Coastal.
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Old 13th May 2019, 16:28
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I did a floatplane rating with Fort Langley, not far from Vancouver. It was in 2011 or 2012 so I'm not sure if the same folks are there but I had a great time. I drove out from downtown Vancouver each day.

When I did it, I needed to get a Limited Term Pilot License (or something to that effect) from the Transport Canada office in downtown Vancouver. That was based off my foreign license and gave me Canadian privileges for 90 days. With that, I was able to add a floatplane rating, including the mandatory 5 solo takeoffs and landings. I haven't flown on floats since but I still remember the experience with great fondness and it taught me things I use elsewhere in aviation.
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Old 13th May 2019, 22:57
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including the mandatory 5 solo takeoffs and landings
Which is one of the great advantages of a Canadian float rating. In the US, no solo flying is required, so no school will allow you to fly solo!

Widgeon Lake 2600’ ASL - been there, done that. One way in, one way out. Marvelous!

The approach path is over the outlet creek at the far end of the picture. Departure is the reverse of the approach.

Last edited by India Four Two; 13th May 2019 at 23:12.
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Old 14th May 2019, 16:19
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: taffland
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Many thanks everyone for the info. It looks stunning.
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Old 15th May 2019, 04:41
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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Another thing you might consider while in Vancouver is to fly Harbour Air from Vancouver harbour to Victoria harbour. The route takes you low over the scenic Gulf Islands. You might then consider taking the bus back to Vancouver, which will include taking BC Ferries through the Gulf Islands, including the spectacular Active Pass.


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