We all have dreams. When I started my pilot education, I wasn’t aware of all the possibilities that were opening up to me once I would get my pilot license. Airlines, charters, air ambulance, on floats, on skis, on wheels… My original idea of going straight to the airlines quickly got bended by the diversity of air operations around the globe.
I am an adventurer. Give me a backpack, a few weeks offs and some water-purifying tablets, and I’ll head straight to the Himalayas, losing myself in pristine nature, far from everything, discovering a culture and a landscape that, to many, still hold the mystical feel of last frontier.
It is so normal that my flying aspirations quickly got influenced and turned upside-down by this explorer’s gene. Today I dream of bush flying, of the large expanses of Northern Canada, and the unlimited wild of Alaska… Flying conditions and terrains that are unseen in our European countries.
To wait for the chance of taking a flight to North America and earn backcountry flying wings, I took advantage of what our little continent had to offer, and decided to get Splash-rated in Europe’s largest seaplane club: Aero Club Como, in the mountainuous waves of Northernn Italy.
8h of instruction plus 1h of skill test should give you the seaplane rating: during those hours, you are introduced to water-taxiing, take-off and landing in wavy situations, and you practise “glassies”: glassy take-offs and landings in situations where the absence of wind make the surface of the water still and reflective, creating a liquid glue holding tight onto your floats, and making it very difficult to judge the time of flare: this calls for an alternative landing technique, where keeping a constant pitch and shallow rate of descent until touch-down prevent any misjudgement of height.
Next time I’ll head into the wild, but for now, fragrant coffee and fresh pastas will have to do! ^^