PPL/RPP Training on Floats

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matt17
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PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#1 Post by matt17 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:26 pm

New poster here who is starting to think about starting flight training towards my RPP or PPL strictly for recreational purposes. My eventual goal (5-10 years in the future) is to acquire a small float plane to use for recreation/fishing ect. I wish to start my training this summer in the Barrie/Collingwood/Wasaga Beach area while i am on my summer break (teacher from northern Ontario) with the plan of completing my license/permit over several summers (knowing this will increase cost but it will be what makes it work).

My question is since my primary goal is to eventually fly mostly on floats is there any benefit to completing some of my initial training on floats (through Lake Country Airways) at the added hourly cost of flying on floats or completing my initial flying on wheels and once it is completed get the float rating. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#2 Post by photofly » Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:54 pm

If you do your entire PPL on floats (yes, it's possible) you're that much closer to the number of hours where you become insurable in your own floatplane. In fact by the time you're done you'll have about 50 hours or more on floats, and for pilots who trained in a wheeled aircraft those first 50 hours on floats are the hardest and most expensive to achieve.
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#3 Post by Big Pistons Forever » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:06 pm

The challenge with a PPL on floats will be to get a flying school airplane that is insured for solo PPL training. It is hard to find any float planes for rent and all of them AFAIK require the pilot to already have at least a PPL. Many years ago I just missed the chance to do a float PPL. Too bad as it would have been a lot of fun for both of us.
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#4 Post by photofly » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:11 pm

Lake Country Airways do it, in Orillia, which is very close to the OP. That's probably where he had in mind. Edit: well I should have read more carefully- he even said so.
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#5 Post by DSoup » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:35 pm

If you do the entire things on floats would you get a SE floats rating?

Also - cursory search doesn't show any night flying on floats - is that a thing?
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#6 Post by single_swine_herder » Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:58 am

DSoup wrote:If you do the entire things on floats would you get a SE floats rating?

Also - cursory search doesn't show any night flying on floats - is that a thing?
Only in commercial operations .... those night float charters are a really big profit centre.

When I was on the Single Otter with Grovel Airways, of Lac Le Merde Saskatchewan, they were a regular thing used to extend the duty day regs by doing a split shift.

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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#7 Post by SuperchargedRS » Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:59 am

I say go for it.

At the very least do all your training in a tailwheel off airport.

One of the biggest issues for float ops is sight survey and knowing where you can land and where you can't, where you should land and where you shouldn't.

It's not paint by numbers like flying a 172 from airport to airport.
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#8 Post by 5x5 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:38 pm

Since you're a teacher and have lots of money :wink: , then go for it. Since float flying is your ultimate goal, it makes a lot of sense to get the judgement skills mentioned above at the same time you're learning the basics.

When you do eventually get your PPL, you will be ready to take full advantage of your float plane without waiting to build the experience then from scratch.
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#9 Post by matt17 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:13 pm

Thanks for the insight makes a lot of sense. I have done a fair bit of research but wanted to get some other opinions. I realize this will be an expensive endeavour, just wanted to make sure the extra expense of flying on floats right from the start makes sense. While my career (which I only included to provide insight on the choice of location/timing, unable to fly year round for training) pays well it will be a stretch and mean sacrifices (and lots of extra work on the side) to make my dream a reality.

Any further thoughts would continue to be appreciated.
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#10 Post by DSoup » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:11 pm

matt17 wrote:and mean sacrifices
IMHO the biggest sacrifice has been all the time you HAVEN'T been flying.
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#11 Post by matt17 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:29 am

Small update to this, I was in contact with a couple of different schools and barring any major changes I am going to at least start some training this summer (budgeted for about 10 hours) to make sure that flying is definitely something I want to put the time, effort and money into. It is looking like I will probably start training with Sudbury Aviation, they fly floats in summer and skis in winter, as their prices are competitive to flying off wheels elsewhere. Not as convenient as the Barrie area but received a much better/friendlier/informative response from them compared to other locations I contacted. I figure for the same cost I might as well start on floats since that is the end goal.
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#12 Post by PropToFeather » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:20 pm

There was another thread out on the flight training forum in regards to something like what you're trying to do. It might be useful to maybe look into trying to get more flying done this summer - or at least try to get out a few times a month during the school year. I say that because, at the 10 hours' of training, you're barely learning the basics (to the "0 to solo in 10" crowd - we're talking averages here!)... and then, after having learned them, are now taking an 8-9 month break. At that point, you may still remember some things, but you'd be starting almost from scratch, since you'd need to re-learn the physical movements and sensations of the plane.

If you're money limited, maybe see if you can get a recreational permit this summer, and then upgrade it to a full PPL when money allows (and, personally, I'd also budget a night rating - it can be some of the most beautiful flying, and relaxes the need to "watch the sun" when you're out and about). The bonus of doing it that route is that you might (I've heard this from a friend-of-a-friend! :) ) be able to get your "upgrade to PPL" portion done on floats, which will (hopefully) save you money!
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#13 Post by co-joe » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:32 am

If you only have 10 hours in the budget you might be able to just do the ultralight permit, and do a little flying, Then credit all of the flying and basically half of the groundschool to the Recreational Pilot Permit Aeroplane, and then finally upgrade to the PPL later.

If you can find someone who will teach float flying on an ultralight, it would be worth looking into. I'm not sure if ultralight float time counts towards the insurance requirements for solo float renting on an aeroplane in the long run, but some of it must.

Just something to consider. If you do 10 hours now in a 172, you'll basically need to do all 10 of it over again next year. You just can't chip away at it a little each year, exams expire, and your hands and feet skills will need to be reviewed.

People always write off ultralight time here, but it is flying, it is experience, it is a tonne of fun, and it is a fraction of the cost. Plus some of the hours do transfer. I logged 50 hours of PIC on 3 axis ultralights towards my ATPL and I really enjoyed it. So what if it weighs less than 1200 pounds?

You know what else is fun, cheap, and loggable? Glider PIC time. And it makes you a better pilot.
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#14 Post by PropToFeather » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:12 pm

co-joe wrote:You know what else is fun, cheap, and loggable? Glider PIC time. And it makes you a better pilot.
Ugh. Damn it, co-joe, why did you have to bring gliders up? Now I'm tempted to go do that on my next days off... how am I supposed to afford it on an FO salary, you monster?!
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#15 Post by matt17 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:44 pm

Thought I would post an update to this. Just completed my first solo today after 25 hours flying with Sudbury Aviation planning on completing my RPP on floats. I did about 10 hours last summer and the remainder this summer. My solo was delayed by a few hours because of weather, hours 19-24 were either rough or glassy conditions which prevented solo flight but was a great training opportunity.

There was some relearning that needed to take place after an 11 month break in flying but overall it was not too bad. I have had a lot of fun learning to fly and was glad to do all learning on floats as that is my eventual goal. Although the 1 hour on wheels to complete the spin training was enjoyable although I don't see pursuing aerobatics.
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Last edited by matt17 on Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#16 Post by Mircea7378 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:53 pm

I think I'll be hard to find a flight school that still owns float planes, maybe up north.
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#17 Post by Hockaloogie » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:31 pm

matt17 wrote:I don't see perusing aerobatics.
Don't sell yourself short. If you peruse them long enough, you might decide to pursue them. Say, you're not an English teacher, are you? :mrgreen:

Congrats on your solo!
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#18 Post by matt17 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:39 pm

Hahaha oops, fixed now, and I teach Math, spelling has never been my strength. Thanks.
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#19 Post by Hockaloogie » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:39 pm

You are about the 10,000th person to get tripped up on that word. I'm sorry, I just cant resist when I see it.

You're pursuing an unconventional path, and it seems you're doing very well. Good on you!
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Re: PPL/RPP Training on Floats

#20 Post by boogs82 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:29 pm

Mircea7378 wrote:I think I'll be hard to find a flight school that still owns float planes, maybe up north.
Lake Country Airways in Orillia, which has been mentioned in this post several times, still does.
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