At the Victoria Flying Club Seaplane Training program, we have two primary goals.
Number one, is to promote Safety first.
Number two is to have fun while learning this incredibly versatile aspect of aviation.
You will enjoy your training, that is a given, there is nothing more fun than flying a floatplane around the west coast of Canada. In order to ensure safety at the same time, we have devised a two part training philosophy.
The first part is the flight training.
We strive to train every student to exacting standards of safety before recommending them for the solo portion of the endorsement. Those standards are explained in detail in the Transport Canada document 'Instructor Guide - Seaplane Rating'. It is available for download on the side bar under 'downloads', we recommend that you read this document thoroughly before commencing your flight training. Your VFC Seaplane Training Manual is chock full of the same stuff and more, but it's still a good idea to look over the Transport Canada document.
The second part is to teach good judgment and decision making skills.
How do you teach someone this aspect of aviation when, for the most part, it is gained by years of experience? The fact is, there is no substitute for experience. Although we believe it is possible to convey the basics of good judgment and decision making through a comprehensive ground school conducted by an experienced instructor, backed up by our VFC Seaplane Training Manual. Our goal is to ensure that the student has the ability and self-discipline to properly plan and prepare for flying a floatplane.
We accomplish this with a structured ground training seminar that stresses developing solid judgment and decision making skills through the discussion of real life scenarios and aviation cliche'. We analyze the good and the bad in NTSB and TSB accident reports so we can recognize the pitfalls in other pilots experiences. This is why we have links to the NTSB and TSB accident databases on this website. We encourage you to search for seaplane accidents and read the reports. If we don't learn from their mistakes we are destined to repeat them.
Other topics of discussion will lead the student into the realization that seaplane flying is an ongoing 'classroom' of improvisation. Floatplane pilots are constantly required to improvise solutions to daily challenges. The real trick is when to recognize when the solution is to turn back and go home. We will also talk about common commercial procedures regarding maintenance, fueling, docking, communications, and operations, just to name a few.
The process for a foreign licence holder to obtain a seaplane endorsement in Canada is relatively easy. You must first obtain a Limited Term Pilot Licence from Transport Canada. The FLVC form is available in the sidebar under 'Downloads'. Fill out the Limited Term Pilot Licence section and present it, your pilot licence and valid medical to a Transport Canada Office during business hours. It will cost $40 CAD and is valid for 90 days. It grants you flying privileges here in Canada. When you complete your seaplane training, return to the Transport Canada office with your completed endorsement form and $30 CAD for the fee. They will endorse your Limited Term Licence with the seaplane rating.