Optimal Float Backcountry Course

This is our most popular course for obtaining your float plane rating while developing your skills in the backcountry. 

This Optimal Float Backcountry Flying Course offers float plane flying in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, featuring landscape that provides the best training experience around. Learn to fly floats into some of the most spectacular lakes in Alaska. We offer some of the best floatplane training settings in the US with big lake water, mountain lakes, and advanced mountain flying. Our instructors have vast amounts of flying experience on floats and in mountain locations, so you will get the best instruction possible in a unique backcountry setting.

The mountains are calling, and we must go… fly them. Alaska hosts a rich stock of backcountry lakes, and it’s one of our great pleasures to introduce them to pilots seeking adventure and flight experience that will benefit them throughout their life. With our backcountry courses, it doesn’t matter if you have 50 hours or 5,000 hours. We take your skill set, and safely build it up flying the best areas of Alaska while having a blast flying. Our Super Cubs on floats allow us to get into some of the most remote backcountry lakes and explore The Last Frontier. Let us help plan your next fun flying adventure.

The Alaska Float Ratings Float Optimal Float Backcountry Course

Ground Training

This will consist of ground training, where Pilots will learn the basics of how to fly floats and in mountainous terrain. Students are taught the fundamentals of performance considerations, developing go-no-go judgment skills, mountain flight planning, and developing confidence for mountain flying.

Backcountry Flying
Each student will have the chance to fly eight hours of customized backcountry flight training. Common training locations include Johnson Pass, Fjords Glaciers, Grant Lake, Johnson Lake, Russian Lakes and more. Training locations are tailored to each pilots requests and needs.

The primary objective of this course is to teach you to fly floats while greatly improving overall pilot proficiency, safety, confidence and skill when operating not only in the backcountry by virtually anywhere, and therefore reducing the risk of accidents while building your and mountain flying skills.

Even if you don’t intend to fly in the backcountry or mountains very often, the techniques and procedures you will learn are guaranteed to make you a much more proficient, confident, safer and skilled pilot in general in your every day flying. 

The Optimal Float Backcountry Course consists of:

  • Aircraft and mountain flying familiarization 
  • Water take-offs and landings – Understanding performance, safe and efficient approaches, power and energy management, reading the wind, etc.
  • Mountain flying – with emphasis on valleys, canyons, confined space maneuvering and canyon turns, winds and visualization of up and downdrafts. 
  • Emergency and precautionary procedures. 
  • “Seat of the pants” flying – flying with minimal reference to instruments.

This course is for you if you are looking to improve your overall flying skills and abilities while completing your float plane rating.

  • 3-4 days of training
  • 8 hrs of flight time
  • 1-2 hrs of ground school orientation
  • Additional flight time @ $395 per hour
  • Checkride fee NOT included
  • Course ONLY $3595
  • Course with 1 room cabin rental $3980
    * Larger family cabins available upon request (for additional charge)