Published in Midwest Flyer – April/May 2018 issue
This spring, “Flying Fish” at St. Charles County Smart Field (KSET) in Portage Des Sioux, Missouri near St. Charles, is making seaplane flying more affordable and accessible with its new Progressive Aerodyne Searey amphibious aircraft, and “No Limits Flying Club.” Since the aircraft is amphibious, club members can land on numerous lakes and rivers in the St. Louis area in addition to airports.
The non-equity club allows everyone, from Light Sport Pilots to Airline Transport Pilots, to solo a seaplane. The Progressive Aerodyne Searey is a special light sport aircraft (SLSA) and has been in production for 25 years, starting as a homebuilt, and receiving certification as an SLSA in 2012. The Searey is manufactured in the United States and has an excellent safety record, especially compared to other aircraft in its class, according to club officials.
No seaplane rating? No problem! The flying club checkout includes tailwheel and light sport aircraft single-engine sea (LSA SES) endorsements. Check-rides for an SES add-on rating are also available, but not required.
If you’ve always wanted to get a seaplane rating, or you have one and long to use it, No Limits Flying Club may be the answer.
What is Flying Fish’s goal? According to owner Chris Hinote, it is “to help more pilots safely get out on the water and enjoy all that seaplane flying has to offer.”
Membership in the club comes with some other great perks as well. Flying Fish has an online store to provide all the essential gear an active seaplane pilot may need. Club members will have exclusive access to early releases of new products, discounted event tickets, and specials on merchandise throughout the year.
Membership dues are $150 per month, and the Searey is $125 per hour wet. Once a pilot completes the checkout, they will be insured to solo club aircraft!
To find out more, visit their website https://flyingfishseaplanes.com/adventures-in-seaplanes, or call Rachel Hinote at (340) 514-1680.