Have you ever wondered what it was like to fly a Seaplane? I sure have, and finally after dreaming about it for so long, it became a reality. There is just something about the freedom of flying over the water knowing that for the most part you can land anywhere now. Flying a Seaplane is much different than being stuck to the pavement. Everything about the Take-offs, to the increased drag while in cruise flight, to the landing, is all new and different. When taking off on the water, there is so much drag that it seems like it takes you forever to get going. You finally bring the airplane up on to the step and start to basically SKI across the water. Once up on the step, this is when the speed builds to lift off. One thing that I found was, it takes a bit of finesse to fly the seaplane. You let it break the surface of the water on its own……After lift off, its a little nose down trim as the flaps come out and your off. Taking off is a blast…but landing the float plane is the most enjoyable part to me.
At David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in Texas, they have a water runway. This is where I did a majority of my training. Tons of Take-Offs and Landings! You’ve got to perfect both before moving on to the lake. On landing the Seaplane as you approach the rotation height, you basically just hold the site picture just a little nose high, playing with the stall warning, and then all of a sudden the floats kiss the water. Once down, reduce the power to idle with full aft yoke and the Seaplane settles down into the drink. It really is an incredible feeling and something that I would suggest every pilot go do. Flying a seaplane opens up a whole set of other doors into aviation.
Below is the video from my training. I tried to condense about 3 hours of footage into 10 mins. Hope you enjoy…
If you have questions or would like to learn more about Seaplanes, then check out the Seaplane Pilot Association on the net… www.seaplanes.org