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Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:15 am
by KeithSmith
I have a seaplane rating and a CFI that lets me teach in them, but I'll be the first to say I'm not a "real" seaplane pilot despite what that plastic card says. So, I have a couple questions for the real seaplane CFI's and any DPE who might be here.

I read a post checkride write-up by someone who went to a "Shake n' Bake Seaplane Pilot School". During the test for an ASES rating on his commercial pilot certificate the examiner had him execute a simulated high DA takeoff. Well into the takeoff run the applicant realized he had failed to position the flaps correctly. He then reached over, positioned the flaps, and told the examiner he had forgotten the flaps. The examiner told him that was okay and he passed his check ride.

That raised a couple questions in my mind and I'd like to hear the view of those with applicable experience:

(1) What is the checklist usage standard in seaplanes?

(2) Would you teach a student to abort a takeoff in such a situation and go back to the starting point or just make the adjustment on the fly and continue?

(3) Does anyone ever bust a checkride at a Shake n' Bake Seaplane Pilot School?

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:23 am
by cubdriver2
Good on you Keith for trying to be a better CFI. One of my pet peeves is CFIs who had no float or tail wheel time till they got the rating and on day two they are instructing floats or tail wheel students.


Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:55 am
by skimmerone
Mine too. That is why it is imperative that a new Lake pilot must get instruction from a qualified and experienced Lake instructor. Years ago the Lake sales organization would give each new owner about 10 hours of dual in Texas or Florida, wherever the sales office was. This dual was usually from a CFI who had recently been hired by Lake and given a few hours in the Lake and then sent out to teach the new owner. Many of the new planes were destroyed or damaged before they even left the state, or in the first few weeks of flying in their home territory in totally different conditions. Now one insurance underwriter insists on 25 hours of dual and yearly recurrent training by a very qualified Lake specific instructor. The accident rate has gone way down. But there still a few who think they can do without, unfortunately giving the Lake a bad name.

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:26 pm
by KeithSmith
Carrying the "responsible CFI" thought further, I'm reminded of an aircraft accident in an advanced ASEL. The pilot had just finished 25 hours of required dual with an instructor in that airplane to satisfy the insurance requirement. Then he went out and had an accident that was 100% pilot error. When the FAA showed up and asked him for his certificates and aircraft documents, he gave them a sheet of paper where they were photocopied. The FAA asked for the originals and the pilot was unaware he had to carry the actual documents. He just carried the photocopies and left the originals at home in his file.

That CFI had flown with him for 25 hours and never once asked to see his pilot certificate, medical, or aircraft records. Basically he took the guy's money and went for a long cross-country right in the right seat.

I put that on my "don't be like that CFI" list.

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:14 pm
by RKittine
When I got my Multi-Engine Rating from one of those Guaranteed programs back in the 60s, I asked the instructor after I had the ticket to give me more instruction in order to know what I was doing. When I got my Multi Engine instructors rating, I went back to the instructor that gave me the dual for the rating and said, "OK, now I want to learn how to teach in this thing" a Duchess that I had just purchased and had the required 5 hours of dual in it to both qualify as instructor qualified, as well as insurance qualified. About 20 hours of additional dual later and probably another 100 hours of practice as PIC in make and model (total piston multi time at that point about 500 hours) , plus about 10 hours with the examiner I used after that to go through actual practice check rides, before I felt I could venture into giving Multi Engine Instructions, resulting in 149 passed out of 150 signed off for the check ride and I told that one, that he was going to waste $300 for the examiner and the cost of the plane to find out he was still not ready. Should have never let him ruin a good record. I was woefully under qualified to even fly as PIC in a twin when I went through a guaranteed rating program. All my students did a minimum of 13 hours for a Part 141 Program and more if needed.

I did the same thing after buying Cubdriver2's Champ (Which I sold recently Glenn and after three weeks the new owner hit a tree with it.) Got instruction in both seats from a well qualified tailwheel instructor / pilot although I was grandfathered (ain't it great being old!) and got a real tailwheel endorsement. Dick B. initially gave me about 10 hours in it.

Spent time with my instructor (Everts), another instructor (McMillan) and the examiner (Dick B.) that I got my seaplane rating from, before trying a little SES dual given and then stopped when I realized I was not yet experienced enough to do it.


Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:01 pm
by skimmerone
Twice, I repeat Twice, I got suckered into giving dual to a new Lake owner's instructor. Good, I thought, to hire an instructor when you have just bought a new Lake and were going to be a dealer. After many hours of dual, it turns out that the so called instructor hadn't flown in years and didn't have current pilot's license. They were both horrible and I should have questioned their credentials after the first couple of lessons. I still regret the fact that I never asked them to see their licenses. I do now, many years later. This happened when I worked for the Lake Sales organization for about 6 months...teach the new owner, teach their instructor...after all, they bought a new airplane. Some old timer must have given the owner a big bull story about how he flew seaplanes many years ago....but I was the one wasting my time and effort. What we do for aviation for nothing is amazing...sure build time...that only goes so far. Every one I know for the last 50 years has been giving way their skills, while the moneyed student takes advantage of them. Same thing in aviation maintenance. Cry poor mouth all the time, yet the doctors and lawyer charges by the minute for advice. I see it every time I walk into the shop at the local airport. Sickening. However, once in a while I do see someone who can afford to maintain a airplane properly, spend the money without complaining and appreciates the mechanics knowledge and treats him like an equal.

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:54 pm
by KeithSmith
RKittine wrote:When I got my Multi Engine instructors rating,

It used to be even worse. I couldn't find the exact date, but back before around 1975, flight instructor certificates were issued with just "airplane" on them. So, a person who was a CFI and later added AMEL to their pilot certificate was automatically an AMEL flight instructor. Eventually the FAA got tired of sending their inspectors out to investigate serious accidents in AMEL airplanes involving low time AMEL instructors. That is when the regulation was changed and the CFI test for single and multi became two separate tests.

For better or worse, they didn't see a problem between sea and land, so that remained unchanged. That leads to the very unique situation where an ASE CFI who later gets a seaplane rating can instruct in it without every having been tested in it. I can't point to the document that says so, but my understanding is that "group" is the correct term to distinquish ASE and AME.

Category - Airplane

Class - Multiengine Land

Type - B-777


Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:19 pm
by Float Pilot
Yes.... on the check-list use. At least have a snappy saying to remind you what to check before you blast the throttle.

Yes... on the abort. A real check-ride will include an aborted water take-off and an aborted landing. ( go-around) .... I teach all my clients to abort and go back when things are not exactly how you want them. Trying to save a bad landing or a bad take-off is how people wreck planes. ( Lake behind you is like money in your ex-wife's bank account ! It used to be yours and now it will be used against you! )
Plus you should ALWAYS have a go and no go spot picked out. And stick to it....

No, I have never heard of anyone busting a ride at a rating mill. The company Owner is usually the DPE. I use an independent DPE for my check-ride.

I get a lot of clients who have their SES ticket from a certain rating mill down in the desert. They look puzzled when I talk about power-off sailing, slipping, and step turns.... So they spend a few hours with me.

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:26 am
by KeithSmith
Float Pilot wrote:I get a lot of clients who have their SES ticket from a certain rating mill down in the desert. They look puzzled when I talk about power-off sailing, slipping, and step turns.... So they spend a few hours with me.

Thanks for those answers.

Your rating mill story indicates things are even worse than I felt they were. I suspect one of the things that keeps such outfits out of the spotlight is that almost everyone who goes there never flys a seaplane again and their lack of skill and understanding doesn't show up in seaplane accident reports.

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:31 am
by jjbaker
Of course Alex, Glenn and John are approaching things that are less than welcome topics in our holy industry. :o

In fact, the only reason such mills exist is that their general client is not fully jumping into the seaplane flying world. If they did, there would be a lot of accidents. But when a pass is basically guaranteed after 6 hours of dual (and so are many other ratings and certificates such DPE's offer) then things are in fact a little more scary than they appear on the outside. Speaking about it is frowned upon, just as much as it is frowned upon to take Associations to task on what they promise to the sheep they herd.

Story from my past: When I was "trained" for my instrument rating by a construction worker and his son (I wish they had stayed in that industry) who now run a very successful flight school in Florida, my checkride was precanned and scheduled within 2 days of my arrival at the school. Nobody had even flown with me, yet. I flew with a 23 year old instructor who was about as green as a leaf and had not endorsed anyone for anything. I had observed and heard lots of stories about said examiner and told my school that I was not OK with taking my checkride from that person. Reason: The FAA revokes Examiner Designations when fraud becomes apparent and if they get mad enough, they revoke or subject to retesting anyone examined by that person. I think a few A&P Mechanics in AK are currently learning what this means when it happens.

I had met a very strict and "tough" examiner I respected greatly. Shortly after I shared my desire to get examined by her, I was dropped as a student, the goal for the school was not to let this examiner in the door. Everything under the sun was used to get me to leave, including creating a fake story that one of the female flight instructors at the school (reminded me of a greek prostitute in retirement) "felt uncomfortable" around me. Fact: Aircraft used by that school are commonly un-airworthy, pencil-whipped annuals, 100 hours and certainly pencil whipping when it comes to endorsements. The school does extremely well, including CFI Initials. Despite all efforts, I was not able to even get them onto the FAA's Radar. The Orlando FSDO is blind and deaf, despite its national reputation, my own FSDO was amazed, upon seeing how many things got ignored.

This little fuckup cost me a LOT of money and time and I have barked about this unspoken fact for years now. I have spoken to figure heads at the FAA, fellow examiners (I used to belong to a Instructor & Examiner workshop through our local FSDO, which declared me and used me as a Safety Counselor even though I don't have a CFI Rating) and in many of my posts on Fact is, there are a LOT of crooks and we have no standards. Telling me that the American way of pilot training and certification is the best and safest worldwide, is like spitting in the face of integrity and truth. Its an insult to anything that walks upright, including monkeys. Don't get me wrong, we have more good people than bad and lots of our instructors are good folk, but the few bad apples crank out more tickets than anyone else and their standards are so far beneath, that the good guys can't stink against the status quo.


The seaplane puppy mills are alive and well, with its owners sitting in solid gold saddles, enjoying tremendous reputations and occupying board seats of high prestige. Attacking them is next to impossible, just like it is impossible to talk about or criticize Associations. The only result: Your business gets shunned and destroyed and your reputation goes to shit. I have no idea if I can sustain through its 5th year, we haven't had a significant donation or sponsor since MARCH of 2013. I remember the "friendly word to the wise" given to me by a board member of the Seaplane Pilots Association: "Jason, a word to the wise, talking about certain things and issues will affect your business negatively." This happens to everyone who speaks about the status quo, or remotely challenges it. I accepted and realized that my integrity would be tested beyond patent when I got into this crap in 2008. Screw me. I sleep well at night because I don't have any stinking dead bodies hidden in my freezer.

Integrity Is A Choice. It is consistently choosing the simplicity and purity of truth over popularity. ~ Unknown

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:11 am
by RKittine
For many the training "Mills" are a way to add a new type of flying while getting a little extra dual, without ever wanting to do more. For seaplanes the lack of availability of rentable aircraft helps somewhat keep that in check.

For many the Multi-Engine Instrument was just to have the rating for their resume' as the places that might hire them in conventional flying jobs would require that as a minimum and then training them in their make, model and procedures. Even the ATP (ATR when I was going through it) could be done at a "Mill", but the minimum times to qualify helped, though there is a lot of Parker Time out there. The primary full Private Pilots License (not the LSA ticket) and the instrument rating - requiring 40 hours minimum) are probably the two less likely to be offered as "Mill" courses". I understand why, but think the Feds were wrong in reducing the minimum time before you could get an instrument rating, but it is still the kind of flight instruction I enjoy giving the most.


Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:13 pm
by Rajay
Anyone care to go on record with their personal and/or professional opinions regarding which seaplane training outfits really do it right and are NOT so-called "mills"?

Probably get into some kind of trouble if we go so far as to mention ones we don't like or believe are "mills" but it couldn't hurt to praise the ones that really do it right. The ones that do it right probably deserve such an endorsement, some credit, and free "advertising" as it were. Help them out if you can.

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:31 pm
by jjbaker
No worries about legal trouble or advertising.

This forum is going through its worst year since its inception and its not looking very good.
Might as well say it like it is and stay honest. There are black sheep out there, but I don't think too many people will have the balls to name them...

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:47 pm
by RKittine
The guys up at Island Bob's do a good job and the examiner is not on staff, but is local. The rating is not guaranteed, so I think that the instructors only sign off those candidates that have learned the basics of float flying. The check rides include a true circle to take off in a tight space at Summit Lake as well as good a simulated glassy water as possible at Round Lake. Real sailing and real world docking is also taught and is part of the check ride. During the training, there is at least two local places where you can splash in and have lunch, one right on Glen Lake and the other a short walk from the town docks a few miles up the westerly portion of the Hudson River. The plane is a Citabria 7GCBC / 150 HP with flaps and the motor has been recently overhauled and as of last week was still in the water, though they usually pull it out at the end of October and start up in May or June depending on the water level of the Hudson River at that time.

There are lots of fun places to splash in the area, which Glenn can attest to. You might even bump into him.

The school is still listed under Argyle Flying Services I believe and is in Gansavort, New York about 6 miles south of Glen's Falls, New York. It is always in that other seaplane places Training Issue and if anyone needs an address, E-mail or phone number, let me know.

As with a lot of things, the initial rating / license, even well learned is still a license to learn and grow with experience.


Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:47 am
by barefootpilot
1. Always use a checklist and I fail people who don't use them
2. Stop and start again, if you forgot the flaps what else did you forget? Fuel???
3. Here in oz we don't have a check ride at the end of the training which I think is good and bad. Basically they need to show competency in all aspects and then we sign them off. It all comes down to the judgment of the instructor.

I won't let anyone teach floats until they have 1000 hours on floats. Other companies are now letting guys with fresh endorsements themselves conduct the training. It's a problem in the future!

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:22 am
by KeithSmith
barefootpilot wrote:1. Always use a checklist and I fail people who don't use them
2. Stop and start again, if you forgot the flaps what else did you forget? Fuel???

It's really insightful that you said that. The thing that precipitated my question was a LAWYER (isn't it funny how so many aviation horror stories involve a lawyer at the controls) was bragging at length about his new seaplane rating. He didn't position the flaps correctly, started the takeoff and after things didn't feel right he put in the flaps while in the middle of the takeoff. That same lawyer was bragging a different day about when he took off with the fuel in the off position (Cessna 172 on wheels), had the engine quit about 100' into the air, and then masterfully reached down and turned on the fuel thereby saving the day.

Here is what I find very irritating. The guy obviously has a problem using checklists. The first time he was the PIC, so any corrective measures would have been what he imposed upon himself. But, this more recent time with the seaplane DPE aboard was a great opportunity for the DPE to drive a lesson home. A lesson that might someday save the lives of any passengers that lawyer might be carrying. But, by not doing anything, the pilot walked away with his new certificate and another 5 PSI in his already overly-inflated ego.

barefootpilot wrote:3. Here in oz we don't have a check ride at the end of the training which I think is good and bad. Basically they need to show competency in all aspects and then we sign them off. It all comes down to the judgment of the instructor.

I'm assuming you're a Part 141 school with self-examining authority. Is that a correct assumption?

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:22 pm
by Rajay
I assume that by "here in oz" he means New Zealand, so "no" they are not governed by FAR Part 141, but still maybe the NZ CAA equivalent?

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:40 pm
by RKittine
OZ, Is usually Australia and as I understand it from my time in Australia, the Instructor signs off the student as competent, i.e. licensed and no further testing is required.

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:26 pm
by Rajay
Ah, learned something new. Being a leftie and in my right mind, I'm more graphically oriented and assumed that OZ was a play on NZ and also that there was some kind of assumed tie-in between the lushness of the two islands and the fantasy of the fictional place. Sounds instead like it was more of a simple left brain phoenetic association of "OZ" with "AUS"... ;-)

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:21 pm
by jjbaker
Sorry if I derail this thread a tiny bit for a few minutes...

Keith, just for entertainment and as proof how aggressive and paranoid people are when it comes to anything that has to do with testing and the FAA, I commented on a thread on another forum which currently discusses the DPE/ DME examiner designee revocation drama up in AK affecting no less than 151 A&P Mechanics. Those people were examined by a DME who was now found to be deficient, causing exams he had issued to be subjected to FAA mandated retesting.

I made a unscientific statement that I believe that only 1 in 5 cases ever escalate enough to cause a serious dent in the money making machine and that the problem stems not from the FAA's incompetence, but from open corruption and a fully developed integrity problem our industry seems to suffer from.

There was no usable or halfway intelligent response to what I wrote, beyond: "jjbaker, which branch of the FAA are you with?"

:dingle: :anonymous:

Now, from a money making perspective, someone with 2500 dollars of cash (plus a healthy checkride fee) in hand is a welcome thing when you're running a seaplane flight school. If that student is an "accomplished pilot and CFI" with lots of experience and stories to tell, besides maybe being an attorney, capable of arguing a cow into laying eggs, the show may be mostly pre-canned. Chances are, this pilot will not operate all too many seaplanes, certainly not solo and will likely complete insurance mandated "further training" of boring 25 hours of holes into the sky with a CFI before being let loose on the public... Whats the real vs. perceived risk?

A instructor worth their salt will not endorse or sign for the competency of a pilot who performs critical configuration changes on the fly and skips the checklist.



Problem # 1

- The particular student was signed off nevertheless - either because the behavior was not observed during the likely short training, or it was ignored. I guess this could happen in any seaplane training outfit, small or large student numbers and rather independent from the type of airplane used.

Problem # 2

- The particular student exhibited this activity during a checkride, which could have not possibly been performed according to published PTS and would have been a straight fail if this exam had been under supervision or conducted by the FAA. The examiner violated pretty much every single rule in the Examiner Handbook and god only knows what else was never or insufficiently tested. Who's there to tell?

The only time we see things like this are when they are talked about. I sat on a table with 4 DPE's of whom all are worried about people saying or writing too much after the exam and/ or instruct their applicants to explain that every single item in the PTS was tested and done. One of them has a "no writeup" brief that he gives to people. The FAA now does the calling game, calling student and examiner to compare checkride stories and determine if the story rhymes.

Problem # 3 & 4 are equals, everything remains as it is, primarily because the FAA is NOT aware, hence cannot enforce.
Even if Joe Blow took the effort to make this case known or bring it up the ladder, the result would likely be - NIL. Simple matter of MANPOWER.

Where things get hairy and nasty, is when our advocacy organizations argue their case by referring to very high standards in seaplane training and certification which carries the seal of the Federal Aviation Administration. Whoopdif....ingdoo! Boaters are often non certified, could be under the influence or otherwise deranged without government mandated oversight or medicals. Supposedly, boaters are more dangerous than seaplane pilots. Who is willing to fully vouch for the integrity of our training and certification standards, if there are no real standards? A seaplane rating done by one of the mills, who do cramp 6 students per day through the game must by definition be different than one conducted by OldGrumpy in Alaska who hasn't landed on a "safe lake" in the last 29 years. The rats tail comes far behind today and its little lies like this who will bite us in the ass in the end.

I am sure one of the "experts" will soon figure out which branch of the FAA I work for. Honestly, its such a cool thing when you can run a website for seaplanes for 5 years and if you went to any aviation event in the world, not a single person could remotely tell who the hell you are or what you do. Underdog vs. Superstar syndrome. Being a nobody is awesome!

Its almost like being Mr. Anonymous, which comes with tremendous benefits...

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:12 pm
by RKittine

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:13 pm
by KeithSmith
RKittine wrote:

Thanks. I learn something new every day.

I am always fascinated with foreign pilot licenses. Many look like small books with stamps and seals and all kinds of fancy stuff in them. Then, they will have all sorts of limitations and restrictions that we Americans never dreamed of. Aviation is just one of the precious freedoms we have in America that most people take for granted and don't fully appreciate.

Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:03 pm
by RKittine
I have had a number of foreign students over the years that wanted to have their licenses recognized in the U.S. You are right, some of the foreign licenses look like small books and you have to review all the limitations. The U.S. has very few direct reciprocity agreements. Even Arm Service Pilots have to go through the process to get a civilian license. When they closed the Great Lakes Naval Base, I had the pleasure with flying with about 30 Navy transport pilot that needed to get their civilian ATPs. Was fun flying with them in my Duchess and I learned more from them than they ever did from me, but that is how the system works.


Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:51 pm
by Cary
I'm the person who is the topic of Keith Smith's posts. One of the things I learned early in my law career was not to misstate the facts in order to make a point, because especially practicing in a relatively small town, I would soon lose credibility with the judges. So I try to state things accurately, and I don't brag about my mistakes. Telling others about them, however, can offer a learning opportunity to them. I also try not to denigrate organizations with whom I've had no contact, nor to demean the professions of others. Some interpret my writing style as "holier than thou" and bragging; I don't intend it that way.

So first, I did not take my seaplane training at a "shake and bake" seaplane school. It was at a well-respected facility in Seattle which has an enviable safety record and which primarily provides 135 charter flights and scenic tours. They are busy, but training students is only a small part of their operation. The trainer used is a near clone of my own airplane, except with floats instead of wheels. I believe that my training was thorough, conducted by two very competent instructors, each of whom has been flying floats for quite some time. The DE, who is not on their staff but is independent, was also very thorough, as thorough as in any checkride I've ever taken.

Here's what I said in the other forum regarding my failure to pull the flaps on during the "Lake Tahoe" take off:
After a normal take off, we flew to Lake Washington, where we did every kind of seaplane landing, step turns, a beaching where we both got out, a departure from the beach, a “Lake Tahoe take off” in which he operated the throttle at a reduced setting to simulate high DA—and on this one, because we’d landed and immediately turned around to do the Lake Tahoe simulation, I slipped up and forgot to pull the flaps on (20 degrees) until we’d high speed taxied for more than half a mile—but he forgave me by saying “you saw that something was wrong and you corrected it, and that was good”.
If that's bragging, then so be it. The DE was handling the throttle, not me. But I missed that checklist item, not him--it was the only checklist item I missed, and so far as I can recall, the only time I missed any checklist item in multiple take-offs and landings. I suppose I could have called for an abort when I realized that I hadn't pulled the flaps to 20, but the water was smooth, and because the airplane and mine are so similar, reaching for the flap handle and pulling on the flaps had no effect on my ability to control it. It's a common technique for short field take-offs, something I've done many times. There were still at least 2 miles of lake ahead, so that wasn't an issue either. I'm not proud of making a mistake on a checkride, but I'd be surprised if I'm the only one who has ever done so, and I'd also be surprised if others haven't been forgiven for their mistakes by a thorough DE. Whether other DEs or FAA Inspectors would have forgiven that particular mistake, I don't know and won't speculate. The entire posts in which I described the training and checkride are here, if you're interested:

Regarding the other "bragging" event which Keith Smith mis-describes about failing to turn on the fuel selector, I remember the occasion vividly, although I'd be hard pressed to find the post in the other forum. I related it, though, not as a brag but as an example of what can happen when one is in too much of a hurry and gets distracted, and to show how long an engine can run with the selector off. It happened some 39 or 40 years ago. I had done a thorough preflight, including turning on the fuel selector of the 182, and then told my wife to load the kids and dog into the airplane while I obtained a void-time clearance by phone to take off from a small Ohio airport. When I came out, she had off-loaded the kids again to make a last minute potty stop. The airplane was parked on a slope, fuel was draining out the vent, so I reached in and turned off the selector again. By the time the kids and dog were loaded up again, the void time was almost up. I failed to turn on the selector again, but started the engine and taxied out, did the run-up, and pulled onto the runway, and pushed the throttle in for take off. We'd just started rolling when the engine suddenly lost power. I immediately knew what had happened, reached down and turned on the selector. But I did not continue the take off, as the runway was not that long. I stopped on the runway, turned around, and taxied back to take off.

I'm not a perfect pilot; I don't think any of us are. I try to learn from my mistakes. When I relate my mistakes to others, I hope that they can learn from them, also. I agree fully that our certificates are licenses to learn. I've continued to learn a lot, and whether it was when I was instructing in the 70s and 80s or in hangar chats with other pilots or on Internet forums, I've tried to pass on some of the lessons I've learned through my own mistakes. For some, I guess that's interpreted as bragging; I don't intend it that way.


Re: Question for "real" seaplane pilot instructors.

Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:09 pm
by KeithSmith