Holy crap, that's a lot of time.3000 hours on floats
I know there will be howls of outrage here, but
what I would do in your shoes, to become a career
floatplane pilot, is purchase a tube-and-fabric airplane
on straight floats, and fly the pants off it, then sell it.
Obviously this is not the best time of the year to
start float flying, but it might be a good time of
year to buy a tube & fabric floatplane and work
on it over the winter to have it ready for spring.
And, in the summer of 2014, try to fly 500 hours
Again, people here will disagree with me, but for
someone in your shoes, it really doesn't matter
what type you fly. People here will tell you that
you need to only fly a Beaver or 185 or 206 but
they're really expensive.
If you're aiming to fly floats, then fly floats. Yes, you might be flying a floatplane on a cross country, but that's still better than flying a wheelplane, if you're trying to build float experience.
To be an experienced floatplane pilot, you need to think like a float pilot. You will hone your think like a float pilot skills a lot faster if you're flying a floatplane. While flying a floatplane, you're instinctively (or should be) thinking floats. You're noticing the winds on the water of each lake you fly over, you're seeing the lee spots in which one might think to land, and you're looking for obstructions and hazards in bodies of water. Flying on wheels, you should probably be avoiding some of those places.
Take advice from a landplane instructor, with respect to float training, with a grain of salt...
- Rank Moderator
- Posts: 5172
- Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 3:47 pm
- Location: Straight outta Dundarave...
Spend this winter busting your ass at work to save money, and studying for the commercial written. Start looking for a decent plane, too. Next spring, as soon as you are able, start splashing around. Save your final 20-40 hours of build-up and XC for a trip across the country to hand out resumes. ($5 says that if you were to show up at most float operations in your own T-Craft or Cub, and hand out a resume, they'd hire you...)
Save your money on the M/IFR until you're at ~1000hrs - you'll find it a damn sight easier than at 200h. Also, it gives you a little time to save for it...
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=92365I am just a student whos already broke
If you have no money, how are you going to pay for
your CPL? Multi? IFR? All that float time?
My point was that if you bought the right airplane, then
sold it for what you paid for it after you flew it, your
hours would actually cost you very little, compared to
running the meter at an FTU.
- Changes in Latitudes
- Rank 10
- Posts: 2396
- Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:47 am
- Location: The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful.
I'll admit, with a fresh private license, it looks daunting; and it's supposed to.
The people above, offering free advice, made it happen at one point in their careers while other people were building their "excuse empires". There's a very clear line between passion and interest in this industry.
count straight up as compared to certified aircraft. Think
I could park three identical airplanes next to each other,
and with a magnifying glass you wouldn't be able to tell
which was certified, homebuilt or owner maintenance,
if I taped the data plates over.
I agree with Col. except I would go splits on a float plane with someone else. I would do your CPL on floats and keep flying it until you get a float job, then build time getting paid to fly.
10 years ago I bought a homebuilt float plane for $20k. It was pretty old, but the fabric was still OK. I did some work on and sold it for $25k (pretty much broke even). In the mean time I flew it as much as I could.
Bede is too modest to mention it (but I suffer from10 years ago I bought a homebuilt float plane for $20k
no such constraints) ... he now flies for a major airline
in Canada (and has been for a number of years).
My point being that the float route is a good one. I
would wager a large sum of money that he will never,
ever fly a 777 into a breakwall at SFO regardless of
what pranks ATC and the airport operator play.
Another friend of mine, about 30 years ago, he bought a
float plane and spent a summer flying the pants off it
and sold it for what he paid. He's been flying at AC a
long time now, but he had quite a strange journey. Flew
a Navajo. Worked at an old age home for years, during
the bad times. But he never gave up, and it worked out
I'd bet a lot more than $5 on that$5 says that if you were to show up at most float operations in your own T-Craft or Cub, and hand out a resume, they'd hire you
- Top Poster
- Posts: 7485
- Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:25 pm
- Location: The Misty Mountains...
Like the $1000 car or the $5000 4x4 truck.... most planes like a tube and fabric one have already done all of their depreciating..... a much better place to park some money rather than a car that will lose half of that as soon as you drive it off the lot.... or education which is never wasted money but cannot be resold. A plane you put 500 hours on might lose a couple thousand because of the overhaul times..... if you only put 50 hours on it the value won't change.
I sure wish I would have done that instead of paying through the nose for my float hours..... but I think I am going to keep float flying for fun in my retirement.
hours on a tube & fabric floatplane - IFF you can do
it without crashing - will build judgement and stick and
rudder skills that will separate you from the herd, and
will last you a lifetime.
And you can do it remarkably economically, IFF you
choose the right one (good engine, good fabric, good
floats). All it will end up costing you is 500 hrs worth
of mogas for a little 4 cyl engine, and a few oil changes,
and a new set of spark plugs. Pennies, compared to
what an FTU will charge.
IMHO, but keep in mind that a lot of people think I'm
pretty stupid compared to them.
I might humbly recommend:cheapest thing on floats
- Lyc O-235 or TCM O-200 (or variant). Beware
that the TCM is more likely to build carb ice! Many
people have learned painful lessons about carb ice
- ok fabric. The paint does not have to be perfect.
Learn to repair fabric paint (cracked / peeled / missing)
which is not difficult or expensive, and is elementary
work on even certified aircraft
- tight floats - no leaks
- no corrosion on fuselage tubing - check aft lower
longerons, for example. Salt water is a whole different
ballgame than fresh water.
To the OP, I just got my rating in Kelowna, go immediately. See if you can get your rating this year. Apart from 7 hours you will meet a bunch of smart young bucks and SYTs that are doing the same thing you are "thinking about". Many of them from overseas. Of course, to me, the owner, and the instructors are all young bucks
Anyone got a float plane they want flown? I don't even need PIC, just 50 hours. I do have a 150 and I am will to travel. I am willing to pay off season rates to commercial pilots.with planes.
I have just recently become a true 200 hour wonder and I have 0.9 PIC and 6.1 dual hours of float time
I believe the most important thing I learned is that:
A smidgeon/shade/slightly high is not good but is acceptable.
A smidgeon/shade/slightly low makes the person in the right seat very nervous, very quickly
reasonably priced insurance on a private float plane for a pilot with less than 50 hours. If I am wrong please tell me where because I will be there tomorrow.
Dunno where you got your quote from. Are you sure that's for liability only??? My homebuilt (almost done) for straight liability is quoted at just over $650.00. I checked for amphibs (putting them on later on) and it's not that much more.
If your not getting "in motion" coverage then why would the insurance company care if it's on floats? I've got around a whopping 100 hours on a PPL so your cost should be close to mine, certainly not 10k! Might be a different world on a certified plane though, but not high like that? Maybe I'm missing something on my quote...
- Last year HA was asking 1500 TT, 1000 floats, 500 on type for the Beaver.
- The other way into HA is right seat in the Twin Otter, which you can get with 250TT, a basic float and multi rating. But they haven't upgraded from FO to Beaver in years, due to no PIC time.
- The instrument approaches in Vancouver Harbour, Victoria Harbour are for the helicopters. So an IFR is not necessary to fly at HA, but it might make flying at 300' and 2SM a little more comfortable.
- If you do your CPL on floats, make sure your instructor has a CURRENT instructor rating. Instructor ratings are not required to give float rating, and you'll find most either don't have one, or its not current.
and like most have suggested, buy your own float plane, do all your CPL time building in it and then sell it. I wish I had done it that way.
I will tell you this, I am in the business and we all know that there isn't much money to be made, so before you consider buying an airplane to build time when you have little to begin with (a sure recipe of not getting it done in my opinion due to maintenance costs that can at times be big, especially when you're a rookie) do 50 hours with a really experienced instructor, learn how to operate a floatplane efficiently, build a 'tool box' of techniques, learn how to navigate down low and in weather as well as what you need to know to get things done (too big to list here) then consider building hours in a shared aircraft that you own with a real plan of where you want to go and what you intend on accomplishing. Remember, much of Canada is frozen 5 months of the year. Lastly get the syllabus of the school you intend on learning from, meet your experienced instructor and find out what they intend on teaching you and where they will do it, that is how varied it will be.
lastly, try it, before you buy it -- the plane, the training, the lifestyle etc... you are a new PPL with 0 float time. DO some research. I love it! But it's not for everyone; neither are the airlines for the matter.
500 hours of recreational flying in a season is next to impossible, and should you somehow have that much time and money to dedicate to flying your machine that much it would become extremely tedious. I've done a lot of 500 hr float seasons (for work) and I can guarantee you that volume of flying is all consuming. It means working all day every day.
If you want to fly floats just go get a job flying floats. You'll probably have to go work in Northern Ontario so you might as well just accept it and get on with it. Don't buy into that 50 hr bullshit gospel either.
Harbour Air is a very successful and professional operation. They've perfected minimizing the risk of float flying. Unfortunately, when company procedures are coupled with the already tightly regulated lower mainland/Victoria airspace procedures that means all the freedom and a lot of the challenges and decision making that make float flying so rewarding and fun are gone. I can't over emphasize this point. Keep that in mind, and if you still want to end up there, don't be in a big rush. Enjoy the journey there because once you are at Harbour Air it doesn't really pay to leave and come back if you're trying to maximize your salary, and get the schedule and base of your choice.
That first 50 hours of float time is all important in terms of rounding out your knowledge. It is impossible during the basic float rating to train all of those aspects of judgement and decision making which are called upon when you're by yourself, and deciding to land on a remote lake.
Remind yourself (as the insurers already know) that if you're landing on the water, there's a better than 99% chance you're doing it at a place other than an aerodrome. There are a lot of observations to be considered in the context of the present conditions, and decisions made. The landing site is not offering you the "normal" information, which you have come to expect around an airport. Getting it wrong will leave you stranded away from help, with a very expensive job to remove a damaged plane. They insurers know that they will be on the hook, not only for the cost of a hull insured plane, but the cost to remove it, which could be twice the hull value - and that presumes no one was hurt.
Despite a fresh float pilot's eagerness to fly, really, a dozen hours of carefully observing from right seat will really be a benefit. New pilots might be able to buy their way into a "fishing trip" where owners often venture to remote areas. One or two of those trips can be very educational!
I did some floatplane mentoring flying a few weeks back, with a pilot who actually did his initial PPL on floats. He was supposed to be flying to build his skills, but he kept asking me to demonstrate what I was describing. When I did, he could then repeat the same thing very well, having seen how I did it.
I sold my plane few years back and miss it.
http://www.barnstormers.com/listing_ima ... 178f95cdf0