In response to our call for seaplane stories, Eric Ziegler sent us this one: “When I was a pre-pilot with about eight hours of land time, my wife and I visited her brother, who lived in Thibadoux, La. He worked for the gas pipeline company there, and frequently inspected small concrete data islands in the swamp. He invited me along for such a trip in a float C-180. Our first takeoff exhilarated me — so smooth.
“From the left seat our pilot allowed me take the controls, even for our first landing. Looking forward to a great splash-down after a good approach, I was startled when he took the airplane from me at about 100 feet and did a go-around. At 500 feet he chuckled “bumps in the water.” In this case, alligators.
During our brief stay on the little island I saw gators, water mocs, and more. I was quite happy to leave, but happier to get my splash-down on the lake by the headquarters. Surreal, but great day!”