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A good FLOATING HULL ENDORSEMENT is more like a SEAPLANE RATING. There are many new skills and requirements that need to be covered in addition to those received during basic pilot training.  Water, being fluid, is constantly changing and many influences can affect it. 

Wind, tides, depths and boats are some of the factors that need to be considered in assessing the suitability and selection of operating areas. The student seaplane pilot needs to learn the guidelines for developing the knowledge to choose and use safe operating areas as well as gain the physical handling skills required.

During the training course there are many briefing sessions that will help the student to obtain these skills.  Individual trainees are guided through the endorsement syllabus at a pace to suit them. The course generally takes three days and involves around 10 hours aircraft time and about 6-8 hours briefing time.  

 The only true indication of seaplane experience is the total number of water landings and indeed most insurance companies now require this information before they will accept a pilot on a policy. On completion of the endorsement the trainee will have accumulated at least 100 water landings.

Endorsement can be carried out on a pilot’s own aircraft and as a guide the cost will be $880 per day, including GST, plus travel expenses. 

A course of training with Kevin Bowe in his Lake amphibian normally costs $8,800, including GST, plus expenses other than aircraft costs.  This training is normally carried out in the vicinity of the northern Sunshine Coast, in S.E. Queensland. However, arrangements can be made to travel to any suitable area. It is a good idea to carry out some of the training in the area where future operations will occur.


  • Syllabus of training
  • Aircraft familiarisation
  • Stalls and forced landings
  • Basic aircraft handling
  • Step taxiing and attitude
  • Water takeoffs
  • Water landings
  • - smooth water
  • - choppy water
  • - glassy water
  • Displacement handling
  • Short field water operations
  • Emergency manoeuvers
  • Glassy water operations
  • Considerations relating to boat wakes and ocean swells
  • Post salt water operations detailing
  • Other aspects of seaplaning including
  • - sailing
  • - docking
  • - ramping
  • - beaching

A good example of glassy water.    Turbine Mallard,

Great Barrier Reef 1985

 Copyright  © 2009 Kevin Bowe

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