How do you get into a floatplane career?

PetrolBurner

Flying inside the TFRs
I'm wondering how someone like myself can go about getting hundreds of hours of seaplane single/multi time to meet minimums for some place like Seaborne airlines or some place similar in the caribbean, meditteranean or the south pacific? http://www.destinationair.com looks like fun.

Can I get a job instructing in floatplanes? I don't know who would want to learn to fly on floats from someone who only has a few hours on floats.

Do I need to buy my own float plane and log the hours or start a one man business?
 

moxiepilot

Well-Known Member
Yes, you can instruct with the proper credentials. Thats the way to build up your time. I'd check the seaplane asscn for the local floatplane place as a start
 

TallFlyer

Well-Known Member
Get your SES ticket, then move to SE Alaska for a summer. There are a few operators that fly both wheels and floats (Wings of Alaska come to mind) and if you can prove to them you're a competent pilot they might help you move into something. Also, you'l start meeting LOTS of other pilots from other outfits and a few of those I believe have Twotters on floats. Get some time in those and then you're golden.
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
FWIW... when i was in St Croix i had some beers with the seaborne guys and they generally agreed its INCREDIBLY BORING.

looks like a cool gig at first, but flying to the same 3 islands a few times a day over...and over....and over.... gets real dull, real fast.

i thought it looked cool too btw.
 

SIUav8er

Narcosis
FWIW... when i was in St Croix i had some beers with the seaborne guys and they generally agreed its INCREDIBLY BORING.

looks like a cool gig at first, but flying to the same 3 islands a few times a day over...and over....and over.... gets real dull, real fast.

i thought it looked cool too btw.
Sounds kinda like all scheduled flying to me!
 

PetrolBurner

Flying inside the TFRs
Sounds kinda like all scheduled flying to me!
I was thinking the same thing, I mean just about any flying job is going to have you flying the same equipment to the same places over and over and over again, so what do you want from the job to keep it bearable? I was thinking the long cruise legs of airline flying would be the boring part, so a bunch of short hops with essentially no cruise leg would mean you're always moving and staying focused.

Thanks for the replys guys, I've been to Alaska before, in fact I have some family with flying companies up there, but not sure I want the darkness of the winter season. I'm pretty set on moving to the caribbean ASAP.
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
I was thinking the same thing, I mean just about any flying job is going to have you flying the same equipment to the same places over and over and over again, so what do you want from the job to keep it bearable? I was thinking the long cruise legs of airline flying would be the boring part, so a bunch of short hops with essentially no cruise leg would mean you're always moving and staying focused.

Thanks for the replys guys, I've been to Alaska before, in fact I have some family with flying companies up there, but not sure I want the darkness of the winter season. I'm pretty set on moving to the caribbean ASAP.
yeah i mean thats definitely the half-full view. and you sure cant beat the weather and scenery in the carib!! i really enjoyed my time there, but think i may prefer to live in the big city... the islands are pretty remote.
 

nbv4

Well-Known Member
Yes, you can instruct with the proper credentials. Thats the way to build up your time. I'd check the seaplane asscn for the local floatplane place as a start
The seaplane ratings are not very common, so its not as easy as just getting the ratings and expecting a ton of students to flood your way. There are, I'd say, less than 30 flight schools in the continental US that offer seaplane training. And all of them are small operations with one instructor and maybe 2 planes. I've been thinking of a career in float planes too, and every single seaplane school I've come across brags about how their instructors have thousands of hours in float planes. So yeah, if you can land a float plane instructor job with just the seaplane rating and a CFI, then more power to you man, you're one lucky mofo.

Also, TXaviator, could you tell us more about what the guys at Seaborne told you about the job? Is the pay respectable? Do they have to work long days? Do they get much time off? Is it really expensive to live on the islands?
 
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