Water Flying

Seaplane Pilots Foundation


Brought to you by the Seaplane Pilots Association, "Water Flying" is a weekly podcast featuring news, tips and tricks, discussions on seaplane safety and interviews with manufactures, seaplane CFI's, industry leaders and passionate seaplane pilots from around the world.

Fan, owner or operator, you will find these episodes entertaining and highly informative.

Available on


101 episodes

Tanglefoot Seaplane Splash-In 2023 - Priest Lake, Idaho

Jack Jacobson and Amy Fenwick from the Washington Seaplane Pilots Association join Steve McCaughey on this episode to provide a recap of the 2023 Tanglefoot Seaplane Splash-In on Priest Lake, Idaho. Perfectly calm, cool and clear weather welcomed over 30 seaplanes and their pilots. This amazing event which was hosted by the WSPA and Fenwick family at their amazing seaplane base nestled within the backcountry of Northern Idaho, just 40 miles from the Canadian border.

1h 6m
Jun 28, 2023
Invasive Species Friendly Float Pump For Seaplanes

Whether we want to discuss it or not, having seaplane owners and operators being the best possible stewards of the environment is not an optional topic. The spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) is not limited to the waters of the United States, aquatic ecosystems arounds the world are being infected by non-native aquatic invaders. Sid Pinney from Turbo Float Pump has been working with the Seaplane Pilots Association for over two years on the topic of this episode, the "Turbo Float Pump." This cordless drill powered float pump actually includes a field replaceable filter that allows seaplane pilots to pump their floats without risking the discharge of any aquatic invasive species. The Turbo Float Pump is a great development that will help SPA and seaplane pilots continue to prove that: 1) We care about the environment 2) We are committed to proactively addressing the threat of AIS to our waterways 3) We are working to ensure that we are matching and/or exceeding the efforts that are being asked of other users groups like the boating community Aquatic Invasive Species are second only to Safety issues at SPA, as they have become our largest threat to water access, so we highly encourage all seaplane pilots to stay informed on this topic and listen to this episode. TurboFloatPump.com /TurboFloatPump.com

Jun 14, 2023
SPA's Alaska Seaplane Advocacy Tour Recap 2023

SPA Board Member Harry Shannon joins Steve McCaughey to review our recent SPA advocacy tour through Alaska. During the trip SPA conducted numerous safety workshops, visited Alaska Seaplanes' amazing operation in Juneau and attended the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering. The crew traveled over 2,500 miles during the three week trip that included stops in Anchorage, Palmer, Talkeetna, Fairbanks and Juneau.

1h 14m
Jun 07, 2023
Flying with Alaska Seaplanes in Juneau

Toby Ortega from Alaska Seaplanes joins us to discuss what it is like to fly for this industry leading seaplane company. They operate primarily throughout the Southeast Alaska region. Alaska Seaplanes recently hosted SPA and provided us with a tour and introspection into their growing and amazingly well organized seaplane business while celebrating their 25 year anniversary. Operating over 15 aircraft, half of which are seaplanes, Alaska Seaplanes flies 90,000 passengers and over 2.7 million pounds of cargo annually. flyalaskaseaplanes.com /flyalaskaseaplanes.com

1h 2m
May 17, 2023
From Volunteer to Seaplane Service Owner : Melissa Grabiec

Melissa Grabiec has had quite a journey since joining the Seaplane Pilots Association. As a traveling volunteer doing events across the country in her early 20's, to earning her ATP, and flying for a major airline, she is now starting her own seaplane service. Melissa started her seaplane journey, like many others, at Jack Brown's Seaplane Base in 2012. Eleven years later, she is flying for a major airline and launching Bel-Air Seaplane Service, which is operating off of Messalonskee Lake, in Maine. This a fun interview with a passionate Lifetime SPA member which is inspirational; especially, to young pilots looking for chase a career in aviation. https://belairseaplaneservice.com https://belairseaplaneservice.com/

1h 5m
Apr 26, 2023
Clamar Floats the Largest Manufacturer of Experimental Floats

Paul Richards CEO of Clamar Floats joins Steve McCaughey for an exploration of the largest float manufacturer of experimental floats. Clamar has long been associated as a leader in composite float manufacturing for aircraft such as the Aircam, GlasAir Sportsman and many others. Innovative design, constant improvement and high quality are all traits of this company's quest to produce these great performing seaplane floats. Born in Canada Clamar now produces their floats at a unique manufacturing facility in Brunswick, Maine in a retired military base that has had its vast facilities converted into a manufacturing and incubator that is proving to be a model worth replicating for other states looking beyond residential redevelopment of former military bases. https://clamarfloats.com https://clamarfloats.com

1h 2m
Apr 12, 2023
Seaplane Flying Game Warden, Innovator and So Much More - Dan Dufault

Dan Dufault sits down with Steve McCaughey for this episode of the Water Flying podcast. As a former Maine Game Warden, Alaska lodge pilot and floatplane adventurer, Dan has a wealth of experience and and engineering background that has lead him to design innovative products such as the T3 Tailwheel, Paddle Pump https://www.paddlepumps.com/ and numerous other products used by passionate bush pilots. From stocking fisheries via float plane airdrops to monitoring wildlife populations Dan's experiences and flying skills provide a wealth of fascinating subject matter for us to explore in a way that we are sure you will enjoy.

1h 1m
Apr 05, 2023
75 Years and Counting Kenmore Air Harbor: Guest Gregg Munro

Gregg Munro Chairman of Kenmore Air Harbor was, quite literally, born into the Kenmore Air family. He grew up on the banks of Lake Washington, surrounded by mechanics, and seaplanes. In this episode, of the Water Flying podcast Gregg sits down with Steve McCaughey to discuss the amazing history, flights and services Kenmore has provided over the years. For more than 75 years Kenmore has been an indispensable part of the seaplane community providing seaplane parts & maintenance, floatplane sales, seaplane flight training, manufactured EDO floats and operated one of the largest seaplane services in the world. This is a must listen podcast of any fan of seaplanes. kenmoreair.com /kenmoreair.com

1h 1m
Mar 22, 2023
Flying The Turbo Beaver Seaplane in Canada: with Robert Grant

Robert Grant joins us on this episode of the Water Flying podcast. Robert is a regular feature writer with WaterFlying magazine, he has logged over 20,000 of flight time, 6,000 hours of seaplane time - 3,000+ of which he did in the Turbo Beaver flying for the Ontario (Canada) Ministry of Natural Resources. Join us as Robert shares his experiences flying these amazing seaplanes in the Canadian bush supporting research, medical evacuations, and fire fighting missions among many others. This is a great episode to learn more about the De Havilland Turbo Beaver floatplane, and the real world missions that built their legendary status with aviation enthusiasts and pilots.

1h 14m
Mar 15, 2023
Restoring and Flying a Turbine Grumman Goose : Doug DeVries

Turbine Grumman Gooses are ultra rare, and Doug DeVries not only spent 10 years restoring one but also has taken this G21G on a series of incredible adventures. In this episode of SPA's WaterFlying podcast, I sit down with Doug to discuss restoring the Goose, learning to fly it, and embarking on a flying boat adventure to the outer most Aleutian islands. Doug has an amazing passion and commitment to restoring vintage aircraft, including his breathtaking G-21G Grumman Goose flying boat. Just as impressive is the journeys that most of of would dream of taking and that he actually embarks on with these aircraft. Doug is a fascinating pilot who has lived a life putting his passion into action. Join the Seaplane Pilots Association @ seaplanes.org /seaplanes.org

1h 10m
Mar 08, 2023
Santa Catalina Island's Flying Boat History: Guest David Johnston

David L. Johnston joins Steve McCaughey in this podcast to discuss his experiences as a dock boy for Avalon Air Transport (Catalina Air Lines), which at the time operated a fleet of Grumman Gooses as well as the incredible Sikorsky VS-44 four-engine flying boat. In addition to working the seaplane dock between 1962 and 1968, David has become a passionate aviation historian of the long and colorful history of the island off the coast of Southern California. Only three VS-44s were produced by Sikorsky, and the one that David worked with survives today. You can visit it, the last Sikorsky flying boat design, at the New England Air Museum https://neam.org/pages/sikorsky-vs-44a-excambian in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. To learn more about this magical time in seaplane and flying boat history you can purchase David's book by clicking here. https://seaplanepilotsassociation.org/product/the-knights-of-avalon/

1h 3m
Mar 01, 2023
Jon Brown - 19,000 Seaplane Ratings and Counting

Having conducted over 19,000 seaplane checkrides; more than anyone else in history - Jon Brown is a true seaplane legend. In this episode of Water Flying, Jon joins Steve McCaughey for a reflection on his 48 years as a seaplane examiner. Jon's father opened Jack Brown's Seaplane Base, the world's most active seaplane school in 1963. Now, 60 years later business is stronger than ever. This a must-hear and fascinating discussion with one of the highest time seaplane pilots in the world. Visit Brown's website at: https://brownsseaplane.com https://brownsseaplane.com

1h 0m
Feb 15, 2023
Seaplane Photos - Capturing the Magic

Photos of seaplanes have a magical allure that attracts people to them like a magnet, and this is a well known secret among marketing agencies, movie & tv producers and aviation magazines like AOPA Pilot, EAA Sport Pilot and Flying among others. Mark Twombly, editor of "WaterFlying" magazine joins Steve McCaughey for an exploration of how to capture great seaplane photos. Whether you are shooting with an iPhone or professional camera there are some tips and tricks to capturing the allure of seaplanes in their environment, and we explore them in this episode of the Water Flying podcast. Support this podcast by donating at: https://seaplanefoundation.org/donate/

Feb 08, 2023
Seaplane Flying in Louisiana with a Legend - Charlie Hammonds

Charlie Hammonds joins Steve to discuss the little known history of the massive floatplane community that used to exist in Louisiana. Over 300 seaplanes worked the oil fields with extremely demanding conditions including weather, night operations, and risky dockings. Charlie was one of the pioneers of the floatplane community starting a commercial seaplane operation, base and flight school when he was only 21 years old. In addition to seaplanes, Charlie founded an airline at 26 years old , trained movie stunt pilots, broke the speed of sound in a F-15, and his son flew in the original "Top Gun."

Feb 01, 2023
Underwater Seaplane Escape Training with Kaylab Verdin

Kaylab Verdin from Fire and Medical Training Centre in Houma, Louisiana joins Steve McCaughey to talk about the AUET (Aircraft Underwater Escape Training) for seaplanes that they provide in their Triton training system. Leading by example SPA's Board member's recently joined SPA staff members Steve McCaughey and Carter Clay for this invaluable training for seaplane pilots. This discussion explores the course, its value in a life threatening scenario like a gear down water landing and the challenges of doing so - even in a controlled environment. For more information on this course please reach out to the Seaplane Safety Institute at http://www.southernseaplane.com/seaplane-safety-institute Seaplane Pilots Association members get a discount on our group programs.

Jan 25, 2023
Can You Fly A Straight Floatplane Across the United States? (Part 2)

SPA Lifetime Member Dave Wellman returns for a fascinating account of his attempt to fly a straight float Cessna 172 across the United States. In part 1 of Dave's journey, we discussed the inception of the idea, the planning and preparation and the training that took place before he started this epic journey east bound from Washington state to Maine to attend the Greenville International Seaplane Fly-In. Will he make it? Tune in to find out, as he shares his incredible journey across the top of the United States in his Cessna seaplane.

1h 1m
Jan 18, 2023
Can You Fly A Straight Floatplane Across the United States? (Part 1)

SPA Lifetime Member Dave Wellman joins us on this episode of Water Flying to explore whether or not it is possible to fly a straight float seaplane across the United States. This is the first of a two part episode exploring Dave's attempt to fly a straight float Cessna 172 from Washington state to Maine. This is the kind of adventure many seaplane pilots dream of getting the chance to embark on. We discuss the planning, the training, the research and the execution of this ambitious cross country flight.

Jan 11, 2023
Seaplane Volunteer Opportunities in 2023

SPA's event and volunteer coordinator Carter Clay, joins Steve to discuss the opportunities, and many of the needs the Seaplane Pilots Association has for volunteers in 2023. Volunteers are the real horsepower of non-profits like the Seaplane Pilots Association, and we have numerous ways you can put your passion into action helping the Water Flying community. Whether you volunteer for a single event or become one of our regular team members, volunteers are the force multipliers that will continue to make the Seaplane Pilots Association more effective in our mission of protecting and promoting water flying. To inquire about volunteering contact: Carter Clay at Carter@seaplanes.org /Carter@seaplanes.org or call us at 863-701-7979.

Jan 04, 2023
Seaplane Pilots Association - 2022 Year in Review

Seaplane Pilots Association Chairman Steve Williams joins Steve McCaughey for a 2022 "Year in Review." As the last episode of the year we always like to take time to provide a very condensed and shortened version of our activities during the year. As always, 2022 was a busy year dividing our time, energy and resources between in person events, safety & education, communications activities such as this podcast and Water Flying magazine and advocacy at a local, state and national level for our members. This podcast provides a informative review of our agenda and accomplishments across 2022. seaplanes.org /seaplanes.org

1h 10m
Dec 28, 2022
5,000 Mile Seaplane Adventure

Steve McCaughey is joined by Peter Christie, Slade Rosamond, and Carter Clay to discuss their lessons and experiences learned flying with Steve on a 5,000 mile seaplane cross country. The Super Cub's first stretch was flown by Slade from home base in Winter Haven, FL to 19-Mile Bay, NH in support of keeping the Lake Winnipesaukee bay open. After the public hearing in New Hampshire the plane was flown to Brunswick, Maine where the Super Cub sat for two months during Oshkosh. Carter flew the second leg from Maine to Minnesota in support of the Greenville International Seaplane Fly-in and the MSPA Safety Seminar at Maddens Resort in Brainerd, MN. The Super Cub sat again for two months this time at Wipaire's Factory in Minnesota. The last leg was flown with Peter to return the Super Cub back to home base in Winter Haven. Once all was said and done, the Super Cub logged 80 hours and crossed 25 states in this seaplane cross-country adventure.

1h 16m
Dec 21, 2022
Rust's Flying Service - The Largest Seaplane Service in Alaska

Todd Rust the owner and operator of Rust's Flying Service the largest seaplane operator in Alaska joins Steve for a fascinating discussion of the history of Rust's and the unique experiences that you can have when flying with them. From glaciers to beluga whales, moose and bears when you fly with the largest off-airport operator in the United States every flight is a dream come true for those seeking unique experiences. Visit Rust's website at: www.flyrusts.com /www.flyrusts.com

Dec 14, 2022
Seaplane Training at Kenmore Air with Brian Flegel

Brian Flegel, Chief Flight Instructor at Kenmore Air, joins Steve for an exploration of seaplane training at their facility in Kenmore, Washington. Brian's journey to becoming the Chief Flight Instructor at Kenmore is a true success story not only for him, but also for the effectiveness of the Seaplane Pilots Association's seminar and workshop programs. This is both an informative podcast for those seeking a seaplane rating, but also an inspiring story of going from an aspiring pilot in the crowd at a seminar to becoming the Chief Flight Instructor at Kenmore Air. Visit Kenmore at: https://www.kenmoreairharbor.com/flight-instruction.html

Dec 07, 2022
Preparing Seaplanes for Winter Operations - Curt Sneddeker

Winter seaplane operations are the focus of this episode of Water Flying. Curt Sneddeker, the Maintenance Department Manager at Wipaire in South Saint Paul, Minnesota joins me to discuss useful tips for seaplane owners to conduct for protecting their aircraft during winter operations. With over 40 years of aviation maintenance experience and over 20 years specializing in seaplane maintenance, Curt is a wealth of knowledge and seaplane wisdom. It was great to sit down with him and get up to speed with things that I would need to know and do before departing on my first multi-day cross country flight in sub-freezing weather.

Nov 30, 2022
Seaplane Safety Study Results - Richard McSpadden AOPA Aviation Safety Institute

Richard McSpadden, the Executive Director of the AOPA Aviation Safety Institute, joins us on this episode of Water Flying to discuss the results of the recent Seaplane Study the Seaplane Pilots Association partnered with ASI to conduct. In this episode, Richard and Steve McCaughey review some of the most important results of this study. These results will guide our areas of focus as we develop future safety seminars, videos, and other safety programs. Increase your safety awareness, by watching the Seaplane Foundation Amphibious Gear Safety Video and taking the short test afterwards at: https://www.classmarker.com/online-test/start/user-info/?quiz=pbk6283dac5e4d02

Nov 09, 2022
Seaplane Sirens - Women Who Charm The Winds

Kelli O Donnell is a passionate Seaplane Pilots Association volunteer, marine biologist with NOAA fisheries and is dedicated to helping more women enter the wonderful world of seaplane flying. In this episode of Water Flying, we will discuss the Seaplane Sirens (Women who charm the winds) Facebook group and how it is serving women who want to join our seaplane flying community.

Nov 02, 2022
Flying Seaplane History At Currier's Flying Service

Roger Paradise from Currier's Flying Service sits down with Steve in Currier’s hangar lakeside Moosehead Lake in Greenville, Maine, for this episode of Water Flying. Currier's is currently operating two ultra-rare Cessna 195s on floats as well as a De Havilland Beaver and couple of Cessna 180s on floats. Learn what kind of challenges Roger faces operating this historic seaplane service flying vintage seaplanes including the only two commercially operated Cessna 195 floatplanes in the world. Check out Currier's website at https://curriersflyingservice.com (https://curriersflyingservice.com)

Oct 26, 2022
The Alaska Floats & Skis Experience with Missy Lee

Missy Lee from Alaska Floats & Skis @AK8 joins Water Flying on this episode to discuss the unique experience pilots will have flying with them in Talkeetna, Alaska. Whether it be remote river bar landings, landing on roads, ski operations, or seaplane training, pilots flying with Alaska Floats & Skis will expand their flying horizons! https://www.alaskafloats.com (https://www.alaskafloats.com)

Oct 19, 2022
How Wind Affects Seaplane Operations and How to Read It

John Gowey, Director of Flight Operations at Kenmore Air Harbor, joins me for an in-depth discussion on how the wind affects seaplane operations. How to properly read wind direction on the water and align correctly for a safe landing into the wind. Additionally, what you need to know about wind sheer which occurs when wind flows over and around terrain or other vertical obstructions and how this will affect both your landings and takeoffs in a seaplane. Counter intuitively, protected harbors can create wind hazards for seaplane operations. Listen in and learn to improve your piloting skills and safety! https://kenmoreair.com/ (https://kenmoreair.com/)

Oct 12, 2022
The Birches - A must visit seaplane friendly resort

The Birches is a must visit seaplane friendly resort in northern Maine and a frequent destination for the Seaplane Pilots Association. John Willard who owns this amazing resort joins us on this episode of Water Flying. John is a passionate seaplane pilot and owner operator and has worked tirelessly to create a resort that offers a seaplane destination seaplane with a marina, gravel strip, numerous wildlife tours, private cabins, a great on site restaurant and bar among the many other opportunities that can be enjoyed by visitors to this play ground in the wooded lake country of northern Maine. https://www.birches.com (https://www.birches.com)

Oct 05, 2022
Seaplane Instruction at Acme Cub on Lake Hood

Steve Williams from Acme Cub joins Steve at Lake Hood to discuss the in-depth seaplane instruction that they provide in Alaska. The sheer number of seaplanes and seaplane operations at Lake Hood is unlike any other seaplane base in the world, but it share the strong sense of community that seaplane pilots are known for. With well over 17,000 hours of backcountry Alaska on big tires and floats Steve Williams has a perspective and wisdom regarding seaplane operations and flying in Alaska that is hard to eclipse. Recorded at the beginning of the 2022 Alaska float season this is must listen episode.

Sep 28, 2022