Flying a floatplane: the benefits and downsides

Flying a float plane may not be as hard as you think. With just a few flight training courses at a flight school near you, you may be living your dream sooner than you can imagine.

What type of license is required in Canada?

Once you have your Private Pilot License, all you need is an additional rating certificate to be allowed to fly a floatplane. In order to fly a seaplane, a pilot must have completed at least 7 additional hours of floatplane flight training, which includes at least 5 hours of training with your flight instructor and a minimum of 5 takeoffs and 5 landings as a solo pilot of the aircraft . If you are flying a two-crew aircraft, then you will need to have 5 takeoffs and landings as the pilot.

What type of license is required in the United States?

If you want to achieve the ASES rating, you will need approximately 6-10 hours of pilot training with your flight instructor regarding taxiing, sailing, berthing, berthing and also beaching. You’ll also need to practice taking off and landing with different weather and water conditions including normal, windy, rough and crosswind variations. Emergency operations are important and will need to be studied. Finally, successful completion of a flight screening examination with an FAA-approved pilot examiner. (DPE)

What are the benefits of flying a float plane?

The first and main advantage is: accessibility. There are many landing lines for pilots to use, but even more water locations for seaplane pilots! Think about it: the rough and wild area of ​​just about anywhere can be your landing spot. Buy this remote hut and gain access to your dock.

The other advantage of flying a floatplane is the ease of being able to take off or land directly into the wind. Since you are not tied to a runway, you can use the water surface benefits that mean easier landings and faster takeoffs.

What’s the downside?

Well, water has a lot of drag and friction…and because it’s water, that means the runway is moving almost constantly. This adds some complications.

Another downside is the added cost of a float plane. When you think about the costs and actually put them down on paper, you will notice that you can actually buy a land plane and a new Mercedes for the same cost as a seaplane. This means that you can actually buy a brand new Mercedes and leave it at the airport and use it to drive to your cabin as a cheaper option than buying a float plane.

What are the costs?

The upside is that float plane costs have dropped dramatically in the past few years. The best advice is to sit back and see what happens in the market. The current trend seems to be that the longer you wait, the lower the price.

Take action

The best thing you can do right now is commit to getting out there and taking a training flight on a float plane. A good flight instructor will give you some great opportunities to see what the world might look like if you were part of the float plane club. If you think being a float plane pilot could be exciting, I assure you it is…and probably a lot more than you think! Check out a flight school in your area for more information.

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