Posts Tagged ‘floatplane’

Alaska calling

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

The June issue of Flight Training, going to press this week, Juneauis full of great content about the great state of Alaska. Pilots can’t get enough about Alaska (and can’t stop dreaming about going there, flying there, living there, or working there). Maybe it’s because general aviation is so entrenched in the state because there’s almost no other means of transportation for many communities. Maybe it’s the allure of the bush-pilot lifestyle, whatever that may be. Maybe it’s the endless possibilities of where you can land: water, snow, a glacier, gravel. I don’t know; you tell me what it is in the Comments section.

But anyway, as I was saying—Alaska! The photo you see is one I took from the left seat of a modified Cessna 150 in June 2008, somewhere near Juneau. I was midway through a weeklong cruise from Seattle, and I knew that the 12 hours our cruise ship was docked at Juneau was the only window I’d have to do some affordable flying. (Much as I wanted to do a glacier flight, that wasn’t in the budget. But if you can afford one, do it and tell me how it went.)  So I went on the Internet, found a flight instructor, called him from Maryland, and scheduled some dual. Two weeks later, he picked me up in downtown Juneau, drove me to the airport, and I had the most memorable 1.3 hours of flying of my life at that point.

The scenery was spectacular. The flight instructor pointed out several little sand bars and gravel strips. We overflew a 1,900-foot gravel strip that from 200 feet looked like a dirt path made by a couple of four-wheelers. For $168, I considered my flight a bargain.

Editor Ian J. Twombly has fond memories of Alaska, too. It’s where he got his seaplane rating–an experience he describes in this 2005 article (see the sidebar, but read all of Katie Writer’s discussion of what’s involved in becoming a bush pilot).

Do you have Alaska dreams? Better yet, do you have Alaska memories? If so, share them in the Comments section. The June issue of Flight Training starts shipping to homes on April 4; digital subscribers will see it a on March 28.—Jill W. Tallman

 

Photo of the Day: Greenville, Maine, Splash-In

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

A Cessna 172 taxies past as an Antilles G21G Super Goose lands in the background at Moosehead Lake.

We can’t resist a beautiful photo of a floatplane, and the Seaplane Splash-in at Greenville, Maine, provides some of the best spotting opportunities on the East Coast. This photo is from the 35th annual Splash-In, held in 2008.—Jill W. Tallman

Photo of the Day: Beriev Be-103

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Some airplanes turn heads on the ramp. This one undoubtedly makes all the boaters’ heads swivel–even those who are accustomed to seeing Piper Cubs on floats. The Beriev Be-103 is a light ampibian aircraft that hails from Russia. Some Facebook commenters expressed confusion about the placement of the wings, which are close to the water. Barry Schiff, who flew the airplane for AOPA Pilot magazine, says it performs and handles extraordinarily well on water. Those wings displace water to help keep the airplane float and take maximum advantage of ground effect during takeoff and landing–no flaps needed. Read more in Barry’s pilot report in the October 2004 AOPA Pilot.