Our instructors love what they do and enjoy every minute spent working with Private Pilots. If you’re a Private Pilot looking for a little adventure or simply want to improve your flying skills you can’t do better than Alaska Float Ratings. Rather than wag our own tail feathers we prefer to let our students do the talking.
Read more below…
Thanks so much for the greeting card and the letter! It’s been more than six months since my trip to Moose Pass, and I’m still annoying all my non-pilot friends with my stories and photos. See this link for some (a lot of) photos. Charlie Jackson, California.
Here’s a couple related stories:
In September, I dragged some of my non-pilot friends to the Clear Lake Splash-in, a few hours north of here [northern California]. Although it was foggy & rainy most of the time, we saw a nice variety of floatplanes. On the final day, I convinced them to take a 20-minute C-172 floatplane ride that one of the local schools was selling. (I was wearing my AK Floats hat.)
I got to talking with the pilot, a CFII named John C. who recognized the AK Floats logo immediately. “Did you get your float rating from Vern??? So did I!” “Do you know Vern?!?” (He got on the radio and called his friend) “Hey, Mike! I got a guy here who also got his float rating from VERN!!!”
He shook my hand and put me in the front left seat. Since I’d never flown a 172 on floats he did the take-off. That was the highlight of the splash-in!
Shortly after I met you, Vern, you asked me if I had ever flown into Angwin, a tiny field in the wine country not far from where I live. You told me how not long after you got your private pilot certificate that the local FBO at the Napa County Airport would not rent you a plane since you were intending to fly solo to that tiny field. They changed their minds after you told them you learned to fly at Angwin.
So I decided to check it out myself! Here are a few (really) photos. No trouble getting in or out, and I really enjoyed the panoramic view you get immediately after take-off. (I do remember you said the strip is longer now than when you learned here.)
I had a wonderful three days flying in Alaska with Alaska Float Ratings in July 2006. The training was excellent and the Seward area scenery took my breath away – almost as fast as landing short over the trees on a narrow lake surrounded by mountain spires standing like knights on a chess board. If the training was good and my strategy right, I just might land in the right place at the right time.
Yet Alaska, I soon learned, runs on its own time. People, planes, and weather make every day here unique and memorable. I had just three days here, but they are as big and memorable as many a three-year period of my life. Skills I learned with Alaska Float Ratings have taken me on to acrobatic flying and to appreciate that regular ongoing training is the best insurance to safe flying. Those who have been in a flight emergency are the same who say training is the reason why we walked away from it. Alaska Float Ratings makes training fun, challenging and exciting.
After we did the first pass to check the winds and I got a close look, I told Will I would prefer to have him demonstrate the landing and then I would do the takeoff. 😉
Attached is a picture out the front as we turned onto short final. You can see why a go-around is not a good idea. Also, notice the altimeter and look at the landscape!
The second picture is of me and my daughter beside of the 172 on the beach of the lake. BTW, while taxiing into the beach, both Will and I had our doors open looking forward so we could spot the three VW bus size boulders just under the water guarding the beach. It wasn’t very hard spotting them in the crystal clear water, but…Anyway, I did the takeoff, flew over a few more fjords and glaciers on the way back to the base at Upper Trail Lake.
The fun flight could be part of the program for those who want the rating (maybe after the check ride with the understanding of the additional cost & time it will take) or as the last part of the basic program like I did it (which was perfect for me because I felt like I got to experience all the procedures & takeoffs & landings & do them myself without taking the time to practice them to proficiency as would have been necessary for a rating). I hope to get back up there & fly with you again before too long.
Regards to everyone,
I am attaching a couple of the 400 pictures I took on the Kenai – the one of me to show what a good photographer Lura is (it was the best of the bunch) & the one of the Grizzly since it is unique (at least to me) – if
you blow it up enough you really can tell it’s a bear!
Thank’s again for the great experience!!!!!!
John M. J.
I vividly remember a moment when you and I were standing at the edge of your floating dock before I went up. As I was (and still consider myself) newly certified SES pilot, you said something to the effect of, the VERY first thing you want to do, before preflight, is to know the wind. Direction, speed and the way it will move in relation to your environment. I’m happy to say that I ask myself that regardless of what I am flying and where.
The recent Cirrus incident was another tragedy which struck close to home. It is unfortunate to hear of all these preventable tragedies which occur much too often. I appreciate all the valuable lessons learned at Alaska Float Ratings.
Keep up the great work and much success to all of you.
Best regards and blue skies,