Seaplane Fun: Just Add Water

  • Apr 29, 2014 11:32am GMT

A seaplane is a great aircraft for those that want to fly for fun. They open up doors to locations unobtainable by traditional aircraft, and they test your flying skills with new challenges on and off the water.

Not too long ago I had the privilage of going for an unofficial seaplane lesson in a J-3 Cub. This aircraft was as simple as it gets. It had straight floats (meaning no wheels), an 85hp motor, and no electrical system. My friend Brandon, a seaplane instructor, took me up on a calm spring afternoon where we went splashing around the local rivers and lakes. He showed me the basics of takeoffs and landings, getting the aircraft up "on step," and glassy water operations.

Original Piper Cubs do great on the water, but the newer Cub generation is continuing the tradition of fun and easy float flying with their modern incarnations.

In the video below, John Moreland shows us his CubCrafters SportCub on Mead composite amphibious floats. The other video shows a couple takeoffs and landings from my first seaplane lesson.

I'm up for my biennial this year. Anyone want to come along with me to get their sea rating?

===== Photos and videos by Mariano Rosales. A special thanks goes out to John Moreland for showing his beautiful cub(SWT Aviation), Brandon Nesmith for his skill and safety in the photo plane (Table Rock Aviation), and Jim Booth for letting us use his awesome Carbon Cub.