There has never been a time with more opportunity
for a seaplane pilot then right now.

SEAPLANE PILOTS

On a global scale, aviation is exploding in both its size and capacity. Ongoing de-regulation and globalization have led to an unprecedented demand for this essential means of transportation, and airlines of all shapes and sizes are struggling to meet the demand. One of the key issues?

Aircrew.

A shortage of available pilots has never before been so serious. Airlines are scrambling to fill ground schools, and struggling to crew aircraft that are bought and paid for. This has led to a tremendous surge throughout the industry, one in which pilots from mid and entry-level positions, (as well as from specialized positions including seaplane pilots), are quickly recruited due to their experience and qualifications.

This leaves most smaller carriers in a pinch, and specialized operators now face a uniquely tough question:

“Where can you get safe, competent, specialized pilots – if there are few experienced pilots available to start with?”

International Seaplane Training has been created to do something which has never been done before in the seaplane industry in light of this new demand: Create a supply of high-calibre professional seaplane pilots, whose performance can be relied upon to be competent, efficient, and above all, safe.

CAREER PATH

Enter a World of Skilled Professionals

Seaplane pilots enjoy a unique career with an ever-changing set of challenges and opportunities. Operating water-based aircraft in dynamic environments with limited resources is an enormously desirable skillset, and so employment opportunities exist in many countries and regions throughout the world. Some of the most popular and common employers of seaplane pilots exist in Canada, the United States, Vietnam, China, Fiji, The Maldives, Sri Lanka, India and the United Kingdom.

Primarily, the aircraft used for seaplane flying world-side are turbo-prop equipped aircraft that vary in size from 4 to 19 passengers and are commonly equipped with floats to allow them to float on the surface of the water. There are many variations, and some seaplane aircraft even feature hulls engineered to rest the aircraft fuselage itself in the water.

What distinguishes a seaplane pilot from other professional pilots lies in their skillset. It takes an entirely specific set of skills to fly a seaplane. This is because the seaplane pilot often does not have the automation and infrastructure as found on aircraft meant to operate under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules). Approaches must be flown visually – experience, discretion and skill are required to ensure the pilot can safely operate the seaplane in a wide variety of conditions. The finest details of the aircrafts performance must be anticipated and managed at all times during all flight operations.

A qualified seaplane pilot is in high demand in all varieties of aviation. This is because the pilots’ technical proficiency or ‘hands and feet’ are razor-sharp, which transfers to any aircraft, anywhere. Professional seaplane pilots are, in addition to being proficient, incredibly competent pilots, with exceptional foresight and planning abilities developed by constant exposure to ever-changing environments.

Seaplane pilots may find entry level work as a first officer on a seaplane, or as a captain of a small seaplane, often flying freight or other such duties. As their experience and proficiency grows, they may become employed at one of the worlds seaplane based airlines, enter forest fire control, often ultimately moving into airline flying after building their experience.

PILOT REQUIREMENTS

Ready for a career as a Seaplane pilot?

Aside from a passion for aviation and the outdoors, here’s what you’ll need.
A pilot must first hold a current commercial pilot licence from an ICAO member state as a minimum. The pilots licence must be validated by a class 1 medical certificate, and the candidate must hold any additional certification required by their licensing state, i.e. a radio certificate.
Once the basic pilot certification requirements are met, the pilot can seek out additional training to qualify them on seaplanes. Regrettably, these courses range tremendously with regards to the level of experience provided, the quality of the trainers and…of course, the cost. This can be as extreme as certifying a pilot to operate seaplanes after only 7 hours of experience, to full licences on seaplanes. In addition, there are various ’50-hour’ programs available worldwide, and at a much wider price point that provide seaplane training to pilots.

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