I am new to this forum and in the process of evaluating a company for getting my SES rating (and the BFR, at the same time) in the USA. Several questions spin around my head and I thought, you guys should be the ones who can best answer them. My background: I live in Switzerland and have been flying SEPL since 1991 with about 650 hours total time, by now. I have flown types with flaps (Piper Archer, AS-202), but never with retractable landing gear or constant speed prop. Since 1995 only taildraggers (Piper L4 and Aeronca 15AC Sedan), about 550 hours. My Sedan is based in Switzerland, but still has its original US registration. I therefore have an FAA PPL license, which is based on my European EASA license. I will need another Flight Review (BFR), this year, and thought, I would combine my fascination for seaplanes and the obligation for a BFR by getting a SES rating. I would very much appreciate your thoughts and inputs regarding the following questions:
- 1. Since I will only have a week or two available to cross the big pond, get the SES rating and return to Switzerland, I prefer a flying school on the US east coast. I am aware of the big advertisers like Twitchell's, Brown's and one or two others in Florida. Are there other company names or private instructors that I missed and should know?
2. Apart from the fact that most flying schools use floatplanes, is there any reason why a floatplane is preferable for learning the specifics of seaplane flying, compared to a flying boat? (I have always been most fascinated by flying boats and would just love to fly something like a Thurston Teal or a Seabee, some day.)
3. Dreaming of flying boats, obviously, the Searey immediately comes to mind. Does this type qualify for the "standard class" SES rating and SEL BFR?
4. Any other thoughts and experiences will be much appreciated.
Thanks for your help and best regards from Switzerland