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Thread: Float Instructor Recommendations

  1. #1
    Member SewellGT's Avatar
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    Default Float Instructor Recommendations

    Hey guys,

    I purchased an IO-520 powered 182 with Aerocets back in the fall and am planning to put it on floats next month. I've been given a few names already but was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for instructors in the Anchorage area that could help me knock out the Seaplane Rating? I've put 25ish hours on it this winter learning the plane and am excited to give it a go on floats.

    Thanks,
    Chris

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    I know you said Anchorage area, but in a weekend Kenmore in Seattle can get you done. Three days and you have your rating. If you want to use your own plane then that probably won't work. The Sea Plane pilots association has a database on who the seaplane instructors are.


    Cut and pasted from their website.

    Seaplane Schools in Alaska

    Above Alaska Aviation
    Acme Cub Training
    Alaska Float Ratings
    Alaska Floats & Skis
    Alaska Flying Adventures
    Alaska Seaplane Tours
    Arctic Flyers
    Dragonfly Aero Seaplane Instruction
    North Star Aero LLC

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    Don Lee at Alaska Floats & Skis in Talkeetna.

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    Ask your close pilot friends who they use for BFRs and such. Find a friend of a friend who'll teach you in your plane. Your insurance will likely require you to fly more dual hours than your rating needs so find somebody you like that'll teach you more than how to pass your checkride.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Don Lee in Talkeetna runs a good outfit and he has lodging
    Vern Kingsford in Moose Pass runs an excellent program with more hours, and he also has lodging. $$$$
    Heidi Ruess and her son Rick run Arctic Flyers and she is one of the best instructors whom you will ever run across. Your plane will have to be insured before she will instruct in your plane.
    I have heard good things on a second-hand basis about Acme in Anchorage.
    I run my program out of Homer ( Dragonfly Aero) and use the mountain and flat-land lakes on the Kenai Peninsula with hours more like Vern Kingsfords. Plus I also have lodging available.
    Usually when I instruct in the client's aircraft I try to travel up to their area and get them enough hours the first day to have them signed off for solo flight in their seaplane. That way they can drop me off at home and shuttle themselves around for further lessons in between solo practice.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Member SewellGT's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I had previously researched all of the main outfits that provide instruction and have been trying to hone in on who I feel best fits my needs. I've got three little ones at home including a newborn so while spending a long weekend flying and staying in a cabin sounds awesome, no way I can leave the wife with all three overnight just yet.

    Float Pilot, thanks for the recommendations. Heidi did my SEL checkride back in 2009 and I know she's a wealth of knowledge. My plane is insured so I'll touch base with her and see what her availability is like. I'll also keep you in mind in the event I can't line someone up locally. I've got an instructor I used for my checkout who also instructs on floats but his availability has been spotty so just trying to consider some alternatives.

  7. #7
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    It also pays to know what type of DPE your CFI will be using. Some DPEs may be more geared towards taking your check and handing you your temporary as soon as possible. ( ratings mills down south) Some will be more geared towards making sure you do not go out and kill yourself.
    Back when Heidi was a DPE she was geared towards the later. I use Dean Eichholz in Sterling who gives a nice long check-ride using 5 or 6 different lakes. I know Vern in Moose Pass gives a serious check-ride as well.

    It is also a good idea to figure in the DPE cost. Oddly enough there is quite a variation in prices for a SES check-ride.

    I am antsy to get back on floats myself. Oddly enough I do not have a lot of SES customers lined up. Lots of cabin renters but few flying clients. I had a few cancel saying they were afraid to spend any money until they see how the next big election goes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECMBh-XvxZ4
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Rick Ruess at Arctic Flyers on Lake Hood: http://home.gci.net/~rruess/staff.html

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    Are you by chance in, or retired from the military? I can highly recommend a couple of fellas out at 6-mile on Elmendorf. That's where I got my ASES. Hon Kinzie was my DPE, great guy, with some phenomenal stories.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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    Member SewellGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calereeves View Post
    Are you by chance in, or retired from the military? I can highly recommend a couple of fellas out at 6-mile on Elmendorf. That's where I got my ASES. Hon Kinzie was my DPE, great guy, with some phenomenal stories.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
    No military affiliation. Someone else had mentioned the same thing to me a few weeks back.

  11. #11
    Member SewellGT's Avatar
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    Successful checkride with Dean today! Great start to our early summer.

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    Congratulations! Who did you end up training with?

  13. #13
    Member SewellGT's Avatar
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    Thanks! I used the same guy I used originally for my 182 transition training, Sonny Amboni. Really enjoyed flying with him. His number is 907-347-8129 in case anyone is looking for a good CFI.

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