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Any of you old time seaplane instructors want to answer?

Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:26 am

There is a bit of history that is lost on a lot of flight instructors.

WHY does a pilot certificate have a rating for "AIRPLANE SINGLE ENGINE SEA" but a flight instructor certificate will only say "AIRPLANE SINGLE ENGINE"?

Any you old timers want to take a shot at that one?

Re: Any of you old time seaplane instructors want to answer?

Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:13 am

CFIs are "Certificated" Flight Instructors, Not Certified Flight Instructors as some state. They are authorized to give flight instruction in those aircraft they are Certified to fly in. In 68 there was a lot of changes including many that effected CFIs. Not sure how and when the seaplane difference came into effect and not exactly sure why there was not a separate Seaplane Instructors rating as the FAA does not seem to be consistent.

I got all my ratings prior to 1968 and things were a lot different then:
- 160 Hours for commercial and you got it before the instrument which you needed 250 hours for.
- No requirement for High Performance, Complex, High Altitude, Pressurized or Tailwheel Endorsements, none of which are Ratings.
- No ATP - It was the ATR - Airport Transport Rating and was a Rating on your Commercial License. Now you must have an ATR in Single engine and Multi-Engine separately.
- No Instrument Requirement for the Multi-Rating
- Got the Commercial Glider Add On to my Commercial License, but had to get a separate Glider Instructors Certification.

As a Certificated Multi Engine Instructor, I can teach in multi-engine airplanes, but have to have 5 hours in Make and Model. I can technically teach in a seaplane as long as I have a Seaplane Rating, making me Certified to fly a seaplane and that is required for separately for single engine and multi-engine.
As a Certificated Rotor Wing Instructor, I can teach in helicopters, but for the Robinson, I have to be Certified in order to use my Certificated Teaching Credentials
I bought my Robinson R22B just before that change and had to get 300 hours of PIC Make and Model time for the certification.

Sure I missed the real point though, so fill us in.


Re: Any of you old time seaplane instructors want to answer?

Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:33 pm

You do indeed meet the standard of "an old time CFI". Quite a history there. Thanks.

It's more a matter of interesting trivia now, but at one point the rating on a flight instructor certificate would say "AIRPLANE". No single or multi, just airplane. The result was that CFIs would go out and get a multiengine rating on their commercial certificate and instantly become multiengine instructors. Then, with just enough knowledge to get the rating, they would proceed to kill themselves and their student by getting into situations that neither one of them could handle. So, in the early 70's, the FAA split the rating into what they called two "groups". Multiengine being one group and Single Engine being the other group within airplane. So we really have category, group, class, type, and model.

There was a period of a couple years where flight instructors could take their certificates to the FAA and with just an application be issued a new flight instructor certificate based on what they held at the time. After that, the process became more onerous.

Since accidents are the major driver of regulatory changes, the change must have been adequate since it hasn't changed since then.

If you ever get the chance to look at someone else's flight instructor certificate, just innocently ask them if there is an error on their certificate since the world "land" was left off. Chances are very good they have never even noticed that.

Years ago we would say that knowledge like this and a nickle will get you a cup of coffee, but that isn't the case nowadays. Coffee cost a lot more. ;-)

Re: Any of you old time seaplane instructors want to answer?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:17 pm

Quite funny that one has to have a MEI checkride, but not a SESI or MESI one...

Re: Any of you old time seaplane instructors want to answer?

Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:32 am

What does a published Instrument Approach to a water runway look like? I have not seen one. Looked through my Jepps without any luck. No hood time required for the Seaplane Rating unless you take all your training in one and only hold a Private Pilot Seaplane. Flying a seaplane under the hood is not a heck of a lot more taxing than a regular single except for the additional drag and yaw and need to watch speeds probably more closely, but after giving hundreds of add on Multi-Rating, it sure is more taxing to fly a twin with one engine out when you are IFR, simulated or otherwise, then a single with an engine turning and if you have an engine failure in a single, there is not a lot that you can do other than land. Not so in a twin, especially in real life when people think having one still turning is all they need. Then of course there are the endorsements, which don't take any kind of formal check ride at all. If the FAA was consistent on all types of certifications, we would be complaining about all the additional check rides, instruction and examiner fees we have to pay.

What I would agree for sure is that there would be the potential of many more missed approaches to water landings in IFR as the chances of boats being on the runway (waterway) in IFR is much more probable than an aircraft on a paved runway when you are FAP Inbound and under control, though it does happen at uncontrolled fields when aircraft are taking off in low ceilings where they can still keep VFR. In those cases, I think most IFR approaches would then break out high enough to see the threat and take action to either miss or land. I have seen plenty of boats on the water though when ceilings are down to IFR minimums. Would expect some issues, though not as many, on IFR Water Take-Offs in low visibility conditions? Anyone know the visibility requirements for a Water IFR Take-Off? How about MDH as I would doubt if there are any water based ILS or MLS systems, though I could be wrong.


Re: Any of you old time seaplane instructors want to answer?

Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:23 pm

Greenville ME had one, although I don't know whether it is still active.

Re: Any of you old time seaplane instructors want to answer?

Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:39 pm

From Foreflight

Re: Any of you old time seaplane instructors want to answer?

Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:51 pm

Couple of giggles from flying floats in lesss than stellar weather;

Just outside Vancouver Harbour one day at about 300 feet & asked Harbour Tower if anything was coming my way - he told me to contact Vancouver outer Tower for radar as they had none in that day.Radar sees nothing coming & offers me the river if I can't get through the harbour,I thank him for the offer but advise that I'll be stopping in the harbour - we both hear another fellow ask him for the same offer,but to the runway,Vancouver tells him if he's not on floats to stay clear of the control zone as they don't have to move traffic for a river landing but they have to move ifr traffic for a runway landing & it's below vfr.

Second giggle: Friend retires from 744 as Captain & with over 4000 on floats in 185 wants to go back on my insurance as a named pilot,broker refuses because his cat 3 rating has expired & needs to be renewed before he can be put on insurance.I ask if they are aware of requirements for cat 3 & that there's no way that a circle to land in the river will ever happen on a cat 3 approach,never mind getting a 185 on floats certified for cat 3.Ended up going to underwriter to get broker to understand the stupidity of their request..

A day in the life.


Re: Any of you old time seaplane instructors want to answer?

Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:07 am

Thanks for the insight guys.

I heard a similar story about certification currency and insurance and the guy ended up officially asking that his certification be rescinded and it seemed to work. I bought something at Sears Years ago at Christmas time and returned it. I got a bill for $0.00, the net amount. I threw it out. After receiving three more bills like that, they canceled my card. When I called, they said "send in a check for $0.00 and that should solved the problem. I did send one and it did solve the problem, cleared the account and they re-instated my card, but I needed to send a letter to the credit bureau to get the delinquency off my credit rating.


P.S. - I don't think I will be shooting any IFR Water Approaches in the Sedan this coming season.

Re: Any of you old time seaplane instructors want to answer?

Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:37 pm

The guys that motivated me to get my ifr ticket used to pop up into the clag with a pop up clearance,shoot the approach to the nearest airport - then scud run to the nearest water,about 10 nm north of the airport; sometimes while the controller was trying to figure out where they were going.
We were always on straight floats so it was always going to be to circling minima,which by the way was never designed to leave the airport area.


Re: Any of you old time seaplane instructors want to answer?

Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:55 am

Neither my old Chief nor the Sedan are appropriate for IFR Flight, but I will look around for published water IFR approaches and at least try some simulated ones this season. Something new to keep my Instrument Ticket current.

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