Notes of a Seaplane Instructor
“The book is full of hard-won knowledge that any seaplane pilot, novice or veteran, can learn from. I wish I had this book back when I was learning to fly seaplanes."
—from the Foreword to the Second Edition
Notes of a Seaplane Instructor is a distillation of all the tips, techniques and procedures of a veteran flyer and teacher, in an accessible and informative format. Author Burke Mees has an affinity for the "feel of the floats on the water" and how to communicate it in writing, as well as a sensible, professional approach which lends a truly "one-on-one" aspect to reading his book.
All the seaplane maneuvers are covered, starting with preflight, proceeding through taxiing, takeoff, landing, and postflight procedures; also operating in various water conditions, stability of the aircraft on the water, step-taxi and -turn, and much more. Many illustrations, taken from and inspired by the author's own original flight instruction notebook sketches, help to further explain the concepts. In this new second edition, Burke provides even more notes on technique and performance particular to the world of floatplanes, with a special emphasis on safety and the best kind of pilot decision-making processes that keep seaplanes flying. The Second Edition also features an added chapter on multi-engine seaplane flying, and an appendix with notes on "pumping the floats" and "ropes and splicing."
What is it like to fly single-engine float planes? How do pilots develop and then hone their water-flying skills? What techniques apply to both landplanes and seaplanes, and which ones belong in only one realm? The answers to these questions comprise a unique approach to seaplane flying, in a book that reveals what floatplane mastery is really all about. Notes of a Seaplane Instructor offers insights to all pilots, from already-rated seaplane pilots to those looking to experience the benefits and pleasures of seaplane flying for the first time.
In these pages, readers will learn:
- How seaplane preflight inspections differ from those in landplanes
- Normal, glassy and rough-water takeoff techniques
- Flight characteristics of seaplanes
- Seaplane landing skills, in a wide variety of water conditions
- Water handling and sailing techniques
- Advanced operations, including density altitude, weight-and-balance, and performance considerations particular to seaplanes, along with examples of restricted terrain operations
- Details on operating amphibious floatplanes, with explanations of both the benefits and drawbacks.
- Multiengine seaplane operations
- Pumping the floats
- Ropes and splicing
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