Float plane rating

One of the ratings I have always wanted to get for myself but have never been able to “get around to” so far is a float plane rating. I’m not even exactly sure why I want it so bad but it is probably because of my love for flying and for boats and the perfect combination it might turn out to be. But given my current profession it seems to fall into the “just for me / nice to have” category since it would not further my aviation career in any way. And some of you, if not all of you, might know where those plans often end up. However, I am still planning on getting this rating since I always wanted it, just to have it. Could this be why Chuck also has a certain need to land a plane on the water? We may never know…
Who knows a great school for getting a private float plane rating?

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13 comments on “Float plane rating
  1. Jan Olieslagers says:

    In Europe there is (almost) only one: in Como, not too far for you. There seem to be some opportunities at the historic seaplane site of Biscarrosse.
    In America, Western Canada seems to have the best offer.
    (I have the same dream and am just as unlikely to live up to it).

  2. JP Kalishek says:

    there was a “landing canal” for floats out in Patterson, Louisiana that I used to pass every Monday. One day there were a pair of floats sticking above the water. A pilot misjudged and flipped the plane on landing. I was told he was more embarrassed than injured.
    I was told that one time at New Orleans Lakefront Airport, a pilot of a Catalina landed in the lake, then asked where the ramp was to taxi onto land. There never was one. He was mad he had to take off and then land on the runway, but he didn’t make any calls on the radio until after he was a boat, and he apparently was not monitoring the correct channel, so the one person asking him where he thought he was going went unheard.
    This was somehow the FOB’s fault.

  3. Andrea Scordia says:

    Yes! We have a school in Como, my hometown. If you are coming over to have lessons I can lend you my apartment in exchage for an “original” chuck and julio drawing to hang in my bedroom 🙂 . In Como you can fly over one of the best scenery of the world… Provided that the weather is good…

  4. Rob de Vries says:

    Just needing a bit of translation for you, I think, but http://www.wingsoverholland.nl/images/factsheets/5.%20SEP%20SEA%20Informatie%20opleiding.pdf shows Como is not the only chance in Europe.

  5. Wade Moeller says:

    There is a jet boat our service that runs between Laughlin NV and Lake Havasu City AZ. We took it one day and on the way south on the Colorado River, we slowed and pulled to one side of the shallow river to watch a Lake do a touch and go on that stretch.

  6. CapnMike says:

    Mike, if you’re still in Las Vegas, you’re not too far from Sheble Northtown Aviation in North Las Vegas. They have a great reputation in the seaplane training arena. They recently moved their operation from Bullhead, AZ, so their website seems to be getting updated, but give them a call. I’m planning to add my AMES to my ATP this summer in their Beech-18 (c:


    If you are looking for other resources, the Seaplane Pilots Association is the place to go – this is a link to their online resources page for seaplane schools broken down by state:


    In 26 years of flying, general aviation and the airlines, my seaplane flying has been some of the most fun! You’ll love it!

  7. Don lee says:

    Check us out ! We love euro pilots

  8. Magnus Danielson says:

    Now, look forward to Chuck’s hallmark landings but on water. Finally his “skills” might be of some use.

  9. Fordan says:

    Go to the Sun-n-Fun fly-in in Lakeland, FL, add a couple days before or after to go to Jack Brown’s to get your seaplane rating just down the road. http://brownsseaplane.com

    I like to schedule an hour or two refresher when in town for the fly-in to keep my “feet wet” as it were.

  10. Harald E says:

    Ahh, finally I can pay you back for letting me view your excellent cartoons! (Keep’em coming about floatplanes, finally my home turf(!))
    Get your rating in 10 hrs at my flying club, Kilen Sjøflyklubb just outside Oslo, Norway. I live a 10 min bike ride away and will put you and your loved ones up for free.
    With up to 14 planes this is the largest seaplane base in Scandinavia, and I believe we are bigger than Como too…
    See ya next summer!!

  11. Kevin G says:

    Reminds me of the story Dan Gallery tells of the early days pilot who after taking off on pontoons needed his copilot to remind him just before he landed that they didn’t have wheels. He flew away from the airstrip, landed in the water, taxied to the dock, opened the door and stepped out into the water, forgetting that he wasn’t on the ground.

  12. Jan Olieslagers says:

    @Rob: thanks, this is completely new to me; and no, need for translation, as you might have guessed from my nickname 😉
    @Harald: thanks to you, too, 14 seaplanes at one base is indeed impressive!

  13. Jan Olieslagers says:

    @Kevin G: you might well enjoy the closing scene of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Ottokar's_Sceptre

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