Meet Juliette, a beloved seaplane


Her name is Tanille Elaine DeLair, a very appropriate name for someone with a passion for flight. She named her light kit seaplane “Juliette.” With an FAA registration of N2269J, this may seem logical, but it’s something most men don’t do, or at least they rarely admit naming their favorite flying machine.

But DeLair is not your typical pilot, and her story can serve as inspiration to female or male, landplane lover or seaplane lover. When I recently investigated the Aero Adventure company, officials were quick to supply her name as an ideal customer. [Read more…]

Aero Adventure continuing upward

William Lacomba's Aventura II floats in the clear water near Puerto Rico.

Does the Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) world seem somewhat obsessed with seaplanes? Certainly, it appears that’s where a good bit of the most innovative thinking is occurring.

However, to observe that is to focus only on the newest designs, the most innovative of which have yet to hit the market and may be years away. For pilots who want to fly today, Aero Adventure is one of those companies you should keep in mind.

Besides the available-today quality, the DeLand, Florida-based company has a seaplane the rest of us can afford. Can you believe average kit prices in the mid-$50,000s and starting below $49,000? [Read more…]

The joy of seaplanes

Why fly seaplanes: fishing with kids is a great excuse! Photo by Mike Kincaid.


Contrary to what some of the younger pilots I examine for the Single-Engine-Sea rating might think, I didn’t begin flying when seaplanes were first introduced.

That honor goes to a Frenchman named Henri Fabre, who lifted off from the water in Southern France in 1908 (Glenn Curtiss began seaplane flights later that year in the U.S.). It was actually 70 years later that I earned my seaplane rating at Anchorage’s Lake Hood.

In those almost 37 years of seaplaning, both for work and play, I’ve come to appreciate this unique segment of aviation so much that I think it’s the best way to travel — by air or water. [Read more…]

Last flight of a seaplane legend


Pulling up to his ramp in back of a Piper two summers ago, the front-seater asked if the energetic kid who had raced up to pull the floats onto the slippery wood could be trusted around the prop. That “kid” was 92-year-old Bill Brooks, looking and acting youthful as a seaplaner.

I convinced the pilot his seaplane was in good hands. Although Bill’s trouble in renewing his medical certificate forced him from the cockpit of his Beaver and Cessna 206 in his early 90s, he still showed up for work everyday with his faithful dock-dog at his side. [Read more…]