Amphibious Club Forming in the San Francisco Bay Area
Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 5:11PM
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Two San Francisco Bay area pilots are looking for two or more partners to form an amphibious flying club. The goal is to first build, then fly a Searey, a two-place kit plane. 

Curt Taylor, a recently retired Boeing 777 captain and Bruno Martin, a software engineer and flight instructor are very excited about the prospect of landing on the water, on purpose! The project is estimated to cost about $120,000, which includes the kit, a Rotax 914 turbo-charged engine, and a glass instrument panel sufficient for IFR flight.  The plane will be built with the help of EAA Chapter 20 at San Carlos Airport, and should take 9-12 months.  Potential partners would not necessarily have to take part in the building as there are a number of EAA members who will be volunteering to assist in the build.

Progressive Aerodyne in Tavares, FL, who also makes an LSA factory-built version, produces the Searey. They have shipped more than 600 Seareys worldwide.  “The beauty of the Searey is that it’s easy to build with it’s carbon fiber hull and fabric-covered wings and control surfaces” according to Taylor. He says he wouldn’t have the patience to build a metal airplane, which can take years and likes the fact that it mostly bolts together. The Searey was made famous by Australian Michael Smith who flew one around the world, which speaks volumes about the dependability of the Rotax engine!

Taylor and Martin plan to form an LLC for the club, much like they’ve done for the Cessna 182 that they are currently partners in. The build would take place at San Carlos Airport and then most likely be completed and based at the Hayward Airport due to availability of hangars. 

There are many lakes and waterways within easy reach of the Hayward Airport.  Cruise speed is 100 mph, making places like Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa within an hour’s flight. The turbo-charged engine will make high elevation lakes like Lake Tahoe easily accessible. 

They prefer pilots who have at least 500 hours. The factory-approved training would be required. Pilots would have the option of either obtaining the single-engine sea rating which requires a ride with a designated pilot examiner orgetting the sport pilot seaplane privileges that is just a flight instructor endorsement.

If the thought of building and flying an amphibious airplane appeals to you, contact Curt Taylor at curttaylor@sbcglobal.net.  

Article originally appeared on In Flight USA (http://www.inflightusa.com/).
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