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Considerations in planning SES rating?

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Considerations in planning SES rating?

Unread postby Matt » Mon May 04, 2015 8:57 am

Hello Ladies & Gentlemen

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

Matt

http://www.n1331h.com
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Re: Considerations in planning SES rating?

Unread postby widgeon5 » Tue May 05, 2015 11:26 am

I am a former Lake owner and I share your enthusiasm for the flying boat configuration. To me, being down at water level rather than perched several feet above it greatly adds to the experience. The amphib capability is a plus; it's fun to lower your wheels in the water and taxi up a boat ramp. And you would get the complex endorsement. It would cost a bit more to get your training in the Lake, but considering your overall costs of traveling from Switzerland, perhaps not such a big deal. I got my original rating in the J3 at Brown's in 1974, then didn't fly a seaplane again until I bought my Lake in '97. Much of what you learn will be transferable between types, but there are essential differences also.
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Re: Considerations in planning SES rating?

Unread postby RKittine » Tue May 05, 2015 6:44 pm

You however may find it easier to get the rating on straight floats, since you are a little pushed for the total time, especially when you factor in the possibility of bad weather. And, unless you have access to a Lake back home, you may be paying a lot more for the rating with nothing to fly afterwards.
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Re: Considerations in planning SES rating?

Unread postby KlausNW » Tue May 05, 2015 10:50 pm

This article was just posted today in General Aviation News. They most have seen your post. :D

http://generalaviationnews.com/2015/05/05/taking-the-plunge-becoming-a-seaplane-pilot/
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Re: Considerations in planning SES rating?

Unread postby Matt » Fri May 22, 2015 3:44 am

Thanks to all of you for the valuable inputs and sorry for the late response!

I have a good excuse, though: We just returned from a wonderful flying trip to Croatia and its islands. :D Would have been neat to already have the seaplane rating and a suitable plane, because there are a couple of seaplane bases. And European Coastal Airlines is offering commercial flights in amphibious Twin Otters!

Anyhow, I will consider all that you posted and will let you know, how everything went.

Thanks again and best regards

Matt

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Re: Considerations in planning SES rating?

Unread postby TriPacer » Fri May 22, 2015 1:47 pm

Wow that is gorgeous!!
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Re: Considerations in planning SES rating?

Unread postby hydroaero » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:31 pm

There is a school in Poland. Which is a full ATO with C172/husky amphibs. The C172 has an fixed pitch prop and may well suite you. It's not so far from Switzerland. I think they are flying out to scalaria this year. All the best and enjoy. I will say also that air-hart in BC do an awsome job. Sweet flying where ever you go.
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Re: Considerations in planning SES rating?

Unread postby RKittine » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:37 pm

I talked to Dick Bovey who used to be the examiner at Arygle Flying Service, which you might find listed as an SES training base in Fort Edward, New York. Dick has given up his examiner's position and Fil Fina has not put his 7GCBC on floats this season yet, so they are not doing seaplane training at the moment,

Let us know where you ended up and how you made out.

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