Subcribe and stay connected


Today’s Flight Plan

Flying floats is very challenging. Recently I’ve been learning the basics, and now have a few initial thoughts and feelings to share on the subject.

Let’s just say this: flying floats is very challenging. You have to continually keep in mind where the wind is, where your control deflections are, and be vigilant in keeping the nose out of the water.

There are great rewards that come from float flying, however. The access to backcountry lakes where few have flown is breathtaking to say the least.

As is often the case with flying, the challenge of learning a skill has great reward.

Join this discussion on float flying and learn about the cool and unique challenges that come from flying a waterborne aircraft.

Here are my notes for the 9 Seaplane Challenges You Won’t Get with Wheels

One. Taxiing
– Center of Buoyancy
– Power
– Aileron Deflection
– Drifting
– There comes a time when taxiing becomes incredibly difficult.


Two. Wind Knowledge
– The aircraft wants to weathervane.
– Unlike a runway, you get to pick your takeoff heading.


Tree. Normal Takeoff
– Power
– Stickiness
– Pitch Adjustments
– The ’Sweet Spot’
– One float first


Fower. Visual Illusions
– The takeoff roll isn’t as long as you’d think
– Glassy water
– Lack of visual reference
– Decision points


Fife. Lake/Water Evaluation
– How do you determine the winds in a remote lake?
– Is the water too rough?
– Is the lake too short?
– What is my approach path?


Six. Normal Landing
– Fly the aircraft onto the water
– Flare happens sooner
– Carrying more power than usual
– Pull back!


Seven. Glassy Water Takeoff
– More friction
– Longer Takeoff roll
– No visual reference


Eight. Glass Water Landing
– Dangerous, a point of emphasis
– Shallow Approach
– Lots of power
– Slowly descend onto the water
– Best to land nearer to shore for SOME visual reference


Niner. Stick and Rudder
– Floatplanes have to be flown at all times, in all phases of flight, and on the ground.

Useful Links

Dragonfly Aero
Video I Did with Dragonfly Aero


Big thanks to Atrasolis for providing the great music for our podcast. Please check them out on their Facebook Page or SoundCloud and get the music you’ve heard for free.


Major thanks to the amazing Angle of Attack Crew for all their hard work over the years. Our team works incredibly hard, and they’re very passionate about what they do.

Now What?

iTunes Subscribe

Want to get regular updates through iTunes? This is the easiest way to automatically download your podcast, and take it on the go. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE HERE.

Email Signup

Want us to let you know via email when episodes of AviatorCast are released? We can do that, too. SIGNUP ABOVE.

Get Started Today!

Want to get started with some of our video training? Go to our main page and signup for Aviator90 (our basic and free course) or other pay products we have.



Up, up along the delirious burning blue. This is AviatorCast episode 38!

Calling all aviators, pilots and aviation lovers, welcome to AviatorCast, where we close the gap between real
aviation and flight simulation. Climb aboard, buckle up and prepare for takeoff. Here’s your host, Chris Palmer.

Chris: Welcome, welcome, welcome aviators, you’ve landed at AviatorCast. My name is Chris Palmer. I’m a proud member of the club, fraternity and brotherhood called aviators. Yes. I am one of those that dream of the skies above, the great open adventurous world ahead, and the perfect moments aloft that whisper to my soul “This is where you belong.” I’m the founder and owner of Angle of Attack, a flight simulation training company which is bringing you this podcast today.

AviatorCast is a weekly podcast where we talk about the spirit of the aviator. We believe flying is an art form, one that we have to continually practice and master. This mastery is gained through a focus on continual learning, human factors, humility, and a commitment to excellence. Show notes, transcript, community discussion and links for this episode can be found by simply going to

So again, welcome to this, the 38th episode of AviatorCast. I am really excited to be here today. I’ve had some opportunities to go flying recently in some different situations than I’m used to. We’re going to be talking about that a little bit today. I’m just kind of on cloud nine right now. I’m really, really excited.

So we have a review here first before we get into today’s topic. This comes from Mark Bennett and he gives AviatorCast five stars. He says “AviatorCast is a great podcast brought to you from the creators of AOA who merged extensive knowledge of the flight sim world with real world aviation. The show provides both insight and motivation to both current pilots and the aviators tomorrow.” Thanks Mark, really appreciate that. If you out there, the listener, wants to review this show, one of the best places to do that is on iTunes. That is where a lot of people learn about our show and learn that we are relevant. So if you do like this show, feel free to go there and leave a great review for us. That will help others learn about the show and join in.

So today, I have kind of a cool topic that’s been really exciting for me, and so we’re going to go right into that right now.

And now, the flight training segment…

Chris: Alright. So today’s flight training topic is “Nine Seaplane Challenges you won’t get with wheels.” So recently I’ve had the opportunity to start my floatplane rating with a guy here locally in Homer, Alaska at Dragonfly Aero and it’s been absolutely amazing. It’s kind of opened my eyes to a lot of different possibilities in aviation that I hadn’t quite experienced before. Now, I obviously knew about floatplane and seaplane training and flying this type of aircraft.

But you know, especially outside Alaska, you really don’t see these airplanes around a lot. Here in Alaska, it’s obviously more common. You see them all the time. They are widely used because people need to access different areas with floatplanes. That’s the only way they can get to some of these areas. So outside the US or rather outside Alaska, and we do call it outside, literally just outside, that’s how we refer to it. But down in lower 48 or in different parts of the world, I’m imagining it’s much the same way. You just don’t see seaplanes a lot. You don’t see them out there and you’ll see them obviously a lot more around water. I got my most of my ratings in the middle of the US so not necessarily on the coast, but you just don’t see seaplanes a lot I think even on the coast.

Anyways, so I’ve kind of had the opportunity to start doing this recently, and I’ve noticed that there a lot of things that are very different about flying floatplanes and I wanted to get into just several of those today and that is nine of them. Now, this is nine main points but I think but I think that there are many topics underneath each one of those, things that are just different and challenging that come with floatplane flying. So I’m going to try to make sense of some of the things that I’ve learned so far and kind of the challenges that have come with this. Now, with that challenge that has come with floatplane flying, I have to say this is some of the funnest flying I have ever done. It is challenging and I do find a lot of joy that comes from the challenge and overcoming that challenge, but this is some of the funnest flying I’ve ever done and some of the most beautiful flying I’ve ever done, flying into the backcountry. It’s been absolutely fantastic.

So, I want to tell you a story first and kind of all of these stuff happened during the story. So the other day, I headed out with my instructor Alex. We went out for a flight just here out of Homer. We taxied around the lake and we did some stuff there. He thought me some things there, and then we took off and we headed toward a place called Caribou Lake. Caribou Lake is just 20 miles out of town. We went there, we did three takeoffs and three landings and then I got out of the airplane and then I filmed Alex for a while, just kind of demonstrating some stuff, coming over the trees, just some different video shots. I really like video obviously, that’s what I do for a living here at Angle of Attack. So I was helping Alex out with some of that stuff before the world gets too cold here.

We did that and then Alex picked me up and we took off again. This time, we took off on glassy water, that was a little bit different, we’ll be talking about that later. And then we went and we say this DC-3 crash that is just a couple of miles away from this lake we were at, that DC-3 crash there in 1949, and basically it was an Alaska Airlines DC-3. They took off from Homer, going north to Anchorage I think it was, and the pilot basically did something he wasn’t supposed to do. He deviated from an airway. He was VFR at night which also wasn’t allowed, something like that. The details were kind of skinny in all these, but anyway, there were 6 people on board and only 1 person survived from the info that I saw.

You can actually still see that wreckage up there on the mountain, and it’s kind of unfortunate because it’s really the last large hill between them and where they were going basically but they impacted the terrain 50 feet from the top. They were very, very close to clearing it but another one of those stories, they didn’t clear it, right?

So anyway, that was kind of cool to go there and see that and then kind of see a lot of the land that I know from a different perspective there. This lake Tustumena Lake that’s just to the north. We didn’t go and land there but anyway, from there, we went to somewhere across the bay to this other remote lake, and there I practiced, or did one glassy water landing and takeoff there. But this was a remote lake and there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room. So it’s nestled in between these hills. One side is not a hill. One side is a very large mountain, about probably I would say 2000-foot face on that mountain sloping upward and then the other side is a hill, and the lake itself is very short, and then on one side of the lake off several miles is a glacier. And so you get a lot of weird winds happening at this lake, and since the lake is small, you also can’t really mess around. You have to know what you’re doing and then add on top of that, the glassy water stuff which we’ll be talking about.

So that was all very fun and very challenging. It was amazing. I will tell you guys more about that coming up in some of these points that I have. So then we headed back. That was kind of it for the day, and all of that took us something like four hours. We were just having the time of our lives and kind of lost track of time.

So all of these points I came up with here happened during this day, during this particular flight. So I just want to talk about them a little bit and just give you guys an eye opener on the differences of floatflying because as a wheeled pilot, this is stuff that I had never really learned and never really considered but as I’m getting into floatflying, I see that it’s completely different and there’s so much to learn from it. And on top of all of that, floatflying is in my opinion at this current point in time, much more challenging than flying a wheeled aircraft. Now I’m talking more of a tricycle gear, not necessarily a tailwheel. Obviously, there are a lot of challenges that come with flying a bushplane on tundra tires or something like that and landing on sandbars, but comparing it straight up from a tricycle gear runway type airplane to a floatplane, floatplanes are very, very difficult. So we’ll talk more about that right now.

So number one, taxiing. How can taxiing be different in a floatplane? So one of the big things with a floatplane and one thing that will come up in number two here, is the winds. When you’re taxiing a floatplane, you are at the mercy of the winds largely. So the airplane wants to weathervane into the wind. You don’t wheels in which to kind of stay stationed on the ground. The wind really affects the way the airplane is moving. It’s working against all the control surfaces, anything that’s out there on the airplane, and it actually kind of teaches you a lot about aerodynamics and drag in that you kind of know what happens when you’re deflecting the elevators and the ailerons and all sorts of stuff, and how that affects wind even on such a small, small basis. So obviously we know that deflecting those controls will do things in the air but when you’re sitting there stationary on the lake and you just move the controls, you can actually see how the wind just currently, maybe three to five knots, whatever it is, is actually pivoting the aircraft and moving around.

So it takes a lot of effort to taxi a seaplane. You don’t just kind of go down a taxiway and do your thing. You actually have to watch out for the winds. You have to do constant control deflections. You’re almost always pulling back on the yoke to keep the tips of the floats out of the water from kind of diving in. And then it also requires a lot of power to move around if you want to move around at any reasonable speed. That said, you don’t exactly just power around with the floatplane and heat up the engine for example too much. You could really kind of paint yourself in the corner there if you’re just messing around on the water taxiing too much.

And you know, eventually if there’s too much wind, taxiing becomes very difficult and almost impossible to get yourself into the position that you want to be in. So from the second you’re kind of pushing back from your parking spot on the edge of the lake or wherever you’re at, it’s very difficult to control the seaplane. Even though it’s difficult, it’s enjoyable. You’re always involved in flying the airplane from the second you push back. It’s not one of these things where you kind of sit on the ramp and you hold a taxi spot or something. Lots of different stuff going on all the time.

So that kind of brings us to number two and this is a short one because it’s kind of mentioned all the way through these topics and that is having wind knowledge of what is going on. You absolutely do need to know what is going on with the wind at the lake you’re at and how that is affecting the airplane, because you can actually sit there, and we’ve already done this before, you can actually sit there, deflect the controls, and you can just have the wind kind of push you back into a parking spot. Little weird things like that and I think those are probably advanced maneuvers for some of us who had a little more time in a floatplane, but all these little things that the wind can do to the airplane, you have to watch out for as a floatplane pilot.

Kind of a cool thing that comes with that is that you’re not pigeonholed into any one direction on takeoff or landing. Obviously, if you’re at a long skinny lake, there’s kind of one direction to go, but theoretically, say that you have one big, large, round lake, and you approach that lake, you know what the wind is, you can land in the direction of the wind or whatever direction you want to land in with no problem basically, it’s totally up to you, and the cool thing about that is that you can take advantage of the winds to the best of your ability or performance. You can basically choose what is best for your situation rather than what is just the runway heading, so that is kind of nice. That’s something that comes well with the winds.

Alright, so number three, this is just kind of a normal maneuver and that is a normal takeoff. So kind of taking you through the normal takeoff in a floatplane, this is how I understand it so far. So you already have the yoke in your lap and you smoothly advance, thrust forward or throttle. You smoothly advance the throttle and you’re getting that high power and you’re starting to move through the water. Now, takeoff in a floatplane and landing even is all about pitch. And this is what’s really interesting about floatflying. You’re flying the airplane before you’re ever in the air, so it’s all about pitch. You’re working with the pitch at this point.

As you get more power, what happens is like in a boat, you get up on step. You get to a point where the airplane is no longer kind of nose high with the yoke in your lap, but rather you nose the airplane over and then you seek out what many call the sweet spot. You find that spot where there’s very little friction with you in accelerating. It’s kind of hard to explain but it’s this spot where you’re not creating a lot of drag pulling back, and you aren’t pushing the nose of the aircraft down into the water and you’re just kind of gliding along the water with relative ease. And so it’s very difficult to feel that out and get a feel for, not necessarily kind of what it looks like, but really it’s just the sense of where the least resistance is. And in that least resistance, you’re going to find your ability to takeoff. So basically that’s what you are looking for when it comes to the normal takeoff.

And so once you’ve done all that, you will accelerate down on whatever heading you’ve chosen, wherever you’re going, and then eventually you will gain the airspeed, assuming everything is going correctly, again we’re calling this a normal takeoff, so we’re assuming everything is normal. So you find that sweet spot, you’re accelerating down. You get to the point where basically it’s ready to take off and again, it’s kind of all about feel. This is an airplane where you kind of just let it fly when it’s ready to fly. And when you’re around that area and you kind of feel that things are going well, you want to lift one float off the water and you do that with aileron deflection and maybe a little rudder deflection. What happens is you pop one float out of the water, and that takes away a lot of drag on the airplane or a lot of that friction that’s happening with the water, and then suddenly, the airplane says “Oh wow, I don’t have that friction anymore. I can fly a lot better now.” So then, it literally just pops right up off the water, almost instantly, just boom, right up. So really, really cool.

But again, going back to what I said previously, it’s difficult. There’s a lot going on all the time. You’re flying the airplane constantly and you’ve already kind of been flying it if you will in taxi and now during takeoff, you have this very minute area, that sweet spot that you’re trying to find in order to get the acceleration you need to get. Now, there’s obviously a lot more that goes into takeoff. I think we’ll touch a little bit more on those as we go through here, but yeah, that’s the gist of a normal takeoff and what it’s like to actually control the airplane in that situation.

Okay, so number four, that was number three, normal takeoff is number three. Number four is visual illusions. So one thing that I’ve noticed and one thing that my instructor Alex has pointed out is that after you take off, you look down at the lake, say you’re doing a pattern, you look down at the lake and you realize that your takeoff roll wasn’t as long as you thought it was. You can kind of see the ripples in the lake still. There’s generally, say you’re not in a situation where there’s lots of winds and waves, generally the waves or ripples that you had created during your takeoff will kind of stay there so you can kind of see where your takeoff roll was and where you lifted off, and you actually, looking at it visually up above, you notice that you have taken off a lot sooner than you thought you did when you’re actually taking off on the lake. It seems like you take up the entire lake to take off and it’s kind of nerve-wracking to feel like you’re running out of lake, but it’s just this visual illusion with water almost in all situations where you really don’t know how long you’ve been on the takeoff roll. I think it’s largely because water is kind of an indefinite, it’s indefinite in form, right?

So yes, you have waves but you don’t have taxi lights on the side or runway edge lights. You don’t have trees or whatever. You don’t have really any visual reference to see how far you’ve gone and this can be particularly dangerous in certain situations when you’re in the middle of a huge lake and we’ll talk about that here in a few minutes. But there’s just a lot of visual illusions going on. Now, once you get in the glassy water, especially on landing, that becomes particularly dangerous and we’ll talk about glassy water later in one of the points. Overall, there’s just a lack of visual reference when you’re flying a floatplane especially when you’re on the water. So you have to be very diligent about that. We’ll talk about a few of those points. One of them I’m not sure I’ll mention later is decision points.

One thing that Alex and I have already done is we said “Okay, by this point of the lake, we will have needed to take off. So we’ll find a rock or some sort of feature on the site of the lake that says “Okay, by this point, we need to take off or we need to think about aborting the takeoff and trying again or whatever.” That’s usually for shorter lakes but it is something to watch out for because again, you don’t have any definitive clues as to where you are as far as distance on the lake.

So that was number four. Number five: Being good at evaluating the water or the lake or wherever you’re landing that is hopefully water if you are in a floatplane. So when you fly over the lake, and just to be completely honest, this is one section that I am not very confident so far. I still have a lot to learn in this particular section. But when you’re flying over a lake, really what you’re doing is an evaluation. It’s not like a runway where you’re kind of flying over it and you’re looking for a windsock or some other indication like that. You’re paying attention to a lot of the stuff in between. So you’re looking at what the waves are doing. You’re trying to find out what the winds are doing because often, you’re trying to find that out without seeing a windsock or anything like that, and then you’re also looking for any other clues in the area that can help you determine what direction you’re landing. You may compare your ground speed and your airspeed and your true airspeed, all that stuff to kind of figure out exactly how fast you’re actually going so then you could go downwind and upwind and they determine which one is actually downwind or upwind. You could look at the speed that way and get an idea of where the winds are coming from.

When you’re in a situation with glassy water, obviously there is no wind going over the water to make ripples and so it’s just kind of this flat lake. That’s a situation where we don’t necessarily have to worry about the winds on the lake itself but you will have to also consider what the winds are doing during your departure. If you’re taking off toward terrain, what’s the wind doing over there? Is it going to push down to the trees. You got to keep all that stuff in mind.

And then also you have to determine if this is a big enough lake. Most guys will have already known that this is going to be a lake they can land at. They will have known through kind of other pilots that they have landed at this lake and that it’s doable and everything is good there, and they would’ve gotten knowledge about it there too, so that’s good tip, is to ask others, and then also what is your approach path, how are you actually approaching that lake.

So that’s kind of the lake and water evaluation. Now to number six, a normal landing. So we’ve already done a normal takeoff and now we’re going to go and do a normal landing. I did several of those. By the time I did my third one, I felt pretty confident that I was finally kind of dialing it in. Landing in a large sense with floatplanes is probably the most common thing to wheeled aircraft that a floatplane does. You’re basically flying the aircraft on to the water. A few differences here to note is the flare happens sooner and you have to carry more power than usual, and then once you hit the water, hopefully you don’t necessarily hit it but you kind of just slide into it, once you land, you pull back the yoke into your lap slowly just to make sure that the tips of your pontoons or your floats don’t dive into the water. The danger here in why I keep talking about the tips of the floats is if you let the tips of the floats dive into the water, that has the tendency to flip the airplane forward. So that’s what you’re trying to avoid by always having the yoke in your lap when you’re working on the water because that can be the danger.

So basically, you’re carrying a little bit more power when you’re landing. You’re flaring sooner and the reason is because those floats are pretty long underneath you. It’s a lot longer than landing gear. So the visual reference to how long there is between you and where the surface is different than it would be in a normal wheeled airplane, so you’re flaring sooner.

So that’s kind of a normal landing. Really not too much difference. So again, just to summarize. You’re coming in with maybe a little bit more power than usual, and not a whole lot, it just kind of depends on the situation, but you’re not going idle completely to land. I don’t think we’ve really done that so far and I don’t really find it smart because you’d hit the water and suddenly have all this drag that the airplane itself would to slow itself down just by friction and it makes sense just to carry some extra power. So you’re coming in, you’re carrying a little extra power especially after touchdown. You’re pulling the yoke back or rather you’re flaring sooner. Once you touch down, you’re pulling the yoke back in your lap to make sure that the floats don’t go into the water. So that’s kind of a normal landing.

Number seven is a glassy water takeoff. So this fact of a glassy water takeoff actually surprised me and that is that on a glassy water takeoff when there aren’t any waves, when it’s just basically flat water, you could take one of those beautiful pictures of the mountains behind and the mountains reflected in the water. So it’s just this mirror image and it doesn’t exactly have to be a mirror image but anyway, it’s very hard to see any waves on the water.

So this fact about glassy water really surprised me and this is the first opportunity on this flight that we did to do a glassy water takeoff, and that is that on glassy water, there is more friction on the floats and so it takes longer to take off and the aircraft just doesn’t want to unstick from the water. Now I found that really surprising but in my own mind, I still haven’t kind of figured it all out yet but in my own mind as I think about it, it kind of makes sense because the water is constantly wanting to hold on to the floats rather than having these little wave breaks and these little things that kind of upset the water friction with the floats. Rather, it’s just this one smooth constant grab on the float. That’s kind of how I understand it and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s the gist of what I understand from glassy water, that it does cause more friction, that there’s a longer takeoff roll and kind of going back to the visual illusions, especially with the glassy water takeoff, there is no visual reference on where you’re at.

Takeoff, not such a huge deal as long as you have that decision point on the side of the lake or wherever you’re at. It’s good to have that decision point but there’s definitely no visual reference, so this is where your feel for the aircraft, for getting up on step and finding that sweet spot is really important, and that’s particularly on takeoff.

Now number eight is a glassy water landing. Glassy water landing is one of the more referenced difficult maneuvers that you would do in a floatplane. I’ve heard it brought up a lot because it is particularly challenging and it does seem that a lot of floatplane accidents happen during a glassy water landing. So why is glassy water landing so dangerous? Well, going back to what we talked about visual illusions, you can imagine coming into a lake that is a mirror image much like I explained, and you have no reference of where the water is. So you have no waves, you don’t have anything. It just kind of looks like a hole, a mirror where you really can’t tell how high you are above the water.

And so the danger here is that a lot of the accidents that happen on glassy water, people will come in at a high descent rate, they’ll hit the water fast and hard and they’ll dig their pontoons or the front of their floats into the water and it will flip the airplane and then obviously becomes really dangerous from there, whether they get knocked out and they sink or whatever it is, just a dangerous situation when you’re flipping an airplane at that speed in water although you always kind of wear a life jacket. Not kinda, you always wear a lifejacket when you’re flying floats.

So you can imagine how difficult that is, to go into a landing where you have no visual reference. That doesn’t that this can’t be done, it definitely can. So the way that I understand it so far is that you come in at a very shallow approach. So you don’t have your normal kind of 500-foot per minute in that range descent toward the runway where you then go to a flare. This is kind of a very shallow approach, lots of power, and you’re flying the airplane on to the water. You’re literally flying the airplane on to the water. You don’t have the normal flare and all that stuff. You have to trust that if you put in those power settings and you set that very minute descent rate on to the water, that you will touch down in a reasonably shallow way, and that all will be good there.

Now, one of the things that my instructor has done so far is he comes in very low over kind of the beginning part of the terrain before the lake and then he’s at a good landing position, landing attitude once we cross the shore on our landing approach path. And so we kind of come in close to those bushes or trees or whatever it is, and we have a good visual reference at that point on where we are and kind of our flight attitude and all that stuff. You would be paying attention to your instruments a little bit here too and then you fly the airplane on to the water. So that’s basically it but it’s very disconcerting because you really do not have any visual reference. I’m not just saying that. There’s really no visual reference as far as where you are and then suddenly you’re on the water. So you got to make sure that the airplane is in a flying attitude that when you do touch down on the water, the airplane is ready to touch down on the water and it’s not in a flight attitude again that is unsavory for that particular situation.

So fun and challenging and that was my last landing of the day. I did a glassy water landing. Basically, we came down around this mountain by the glacier and we had to dip down through this canyon. Very low altitude. I mean, it was awesome. I was just right there kind of weaving through canyon much like, maybe not to this extreme but much like Luke was doing on Star Wars, flying the X-Wing down the canyon to go and shoot the torpedo to blow up the Death Star. It was kind of like that but I didn’t have any torpedoes. I just had floats and this beautiful scenery around me and this glassy water lake right in front of me but it was still a challenge that I had to conquer and it all went very well and I was happy with it and it was so beautiful and so enjoyable just to kind of have the culmination of all these different challenges happen during the day.

So one last thing I wanted to mention and this is number nine, is that with the float plane, you really have to be on top of your stick and rudder. And I think you’ve seen that through each one of these particular points that I’ve made, is that you’re flying this airplane all the time. Whether you’re taxiing, taking off, landing, there are a lot of different challenges that happen with a floatplane that you really just don’t get from a wheeled airplane, and it’s very unique, and I love it. I love to have that challenge and to do those different things, and then you also get the reward of some of that when you fly into a lake. There’s just nothing like landing on a lake especially a remote lake where there just aren’t a lot of people around and it’s just you.

I can imagine you get that same feeling landing a bushplane somewhere which I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to do yet, unless not on wheels but it’s just really cool and really fun to do and if you’re looking into doing floatplane lessons of any kind, I really encourage you to do that. If you’re coming up here to Alaska on vacation and you can spend a couple days to kind of get a filler for this, I really recommend the guys here locally. They do a fantastic job and that is Dragonfly Aero. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m excited to finish up my float rating. I don’t think it’s going to happen this year because it’s getting really cold and we only have a couple weeks left to fall here to where the lake will start freezing up and you got to take the floatplane out of the lake, but I’m really excited about it. I’ve been having the time of my life flying floats and it’s just really enjoyable. So I challenge you guys to learn more about it and if you ever get the opportunity, go out and try it, try it for yourself, and it’s one of those things that you can add on pretty easily to an already existing private pilot and commercial, stuff like that.

Anyway, so that’s been kind of my float experience recently. I’m not a qualified float instructor or anything like that, but these are just some of the things that I’ve learned so far and some of the cool points that I’ve pulled out of it and really have learned that it’s just so challenging and I’ve got to be on top of the airplane at all times, and I’m really connected more to the airplane and all of its flying attitudes and in all of its situations, so I think maybe that’s another reason why I’ve really enjoyed it.

Alright guys, so that’s it for the content of this show. Now, I have some aftershow AviatorCast actions for your. Number one is the survey. You can take a quick two-minute survey at Here you can give us ideas for upcoming shows. Number two, continue the conversation. You can join the conversation for this episode at or write me directly at I’d love to hear from you in either of those locations. Three, you can subscribe. You don’t have to miss another episode of AviatorCast. You can subscribe through iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, SoundCloud and more. I know that this podcast is carried in a lot of those different areas. iTunes is one the biggest ones.

Number four, leave a review. We’d love to get an honest review from you on iTunes. Again like I mentioned earlier, this helps others learn about AviatorCast so they can enjoy it as well. And wrapping up, if you like to check any of our training products, head to Start with the basics for free with Aviator90. Learn instrument flying and more with AviatorPro or even fly many of the world’s most popular jets virtually with our training products for the 737, 747, 777 and MD-11, again at Angle of Attack also offers professional video services at

Many thanks also go out to the Angle of Attack crew for all of their hard work to make this episode possible and all they do outside of AviatorCast. These guys are absolutely awesome. And thank you so much for joining us on this episode of AviatorCast. We are truly grateful to have you here, part of our community and so engaged in this wonderful passion for flying things.

Until next time, throttle on!



Chris Palmer

Chief Flight Instructor and President of Angle of Attack. Founded in 2006.


FAA PPL Written Test Scheduling Guide

Are you ready to take the next step in your aviation journey by scheduling your FAA PPL written test? An essential milestone for any pilot is passing the FAA PPL (Private Pilot License)  written test. Understanding the ins and outs of scheduling this exam is crucial for a smooth experience. In this guide, we’ll walk …

FAA PPL Written Test Scheduling Guide »

Read more

Collision Avoidance, What are your Pilot Responsibilities?

Collision avoidance in aviation is a critical aspect of ensuring the safety of both passengers and crew aboard an aircraft. It involves several strategies and systems that help in preventing mid-air collisions, ground collisions, and other accidents. Pilots play a pivotal role in the execution of collision avoidance measures, utilizing advanced technology, effective communication, and …

Collision Avoidance, What are your Pilot Responsibilities? »

Read more

What Are Hazardous Attitudes in Aviation?

In the aviation domain, safe operation is a cardinal priority, vital for protecting life, property, and the environment. The FAA recognizes that while technical error contributes to unsafe conditions, human attitudes significantly influence decision-making and behavior, thereby affecting overall flight safety. Five hazardous attitudes have been identified that can compromise safety in aviation: anti-authority, impulsivity, …

What Are Hazardous Attitudes in Aviation? »

Read more

Duration and Implications of a Second-Class Medical Certificate

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of the aviation industry. One of the ways it accomplishes this is by regulating the medical certificates of pilots through various classes. The second-class medical certificate is a vital component of this system, catering to a specific category of aviators. …

Duration and Implications of a Second-Class Medical Certificate »

Read more

Stay Connected

Be the very first to get notified when we publish new flying videos, free lessons, and special offers on our courses.