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In the early 1900’s, seaplanes ruled the aviation world. World air speed records were held by single seat seaplanes almost the size of model airplanes but with engines that were the most powerful of their day. In 1927, the Supermarine S5 seaplane took victory in the Schneider Trophy air race, and today, a team of people are building a replica of th…
 
When us seaplane mad pilots and enthusiasts think about a flying boat we would all love to get our hands on, we all agree that the Martin Mars would be a dream come true. Peter has had an incredible career flying many bush planes including Beaver's, Norseman's, Beech 18's and the famous Martin Mars. Peter is also a licensed engineer specialising in…
 
Al Hymers is regarded by many as one of the most experienced pilots of the Canadair family of water scooping flying boats. From the 2,100 hp a side twin radial engined CL-215, to the newly modified Pratt and Whitney turboprop CL-415 EAF, Al has experienced it all. Not only that, he has experience on the Beech 18, flying that beauty at only 21 years…
 
Steve Stackhouse is one of those guys you could sit down and have a beer with, and just talk seaplanes for hours and hours... and that we nearly did! His story is full of adventure, blind corners and fun! Steve has amassed over 20,000 hours of flight time, an incredible feat. He has flown all around the world including his home country of Canada, t…
 
Best of both Aviation is an Instagram page created by best mates Kyler Nachtigall and Brendan Kochanski. These Canadian boys are each going down their own paths, one in the float world and one in the wheeled world, sharing it together in the one place. Support On the Step via Patreon https://www.patreon.com/thatmallardguy Follow me on Instagram! ht…
 
Matt has created a Go Fund Me page where you can help donate to the effort: https://gf.me/u/y5mf94 To hear more about Miss Pick Up, check out episode 9 of On the Step with Crew Chief David Legg. Support On the Step via Patreon https://www.patreon.com/thatmallardguy Follow me on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/thatmallardguy/ Check out my YouTu…
 
Steve Pemberton is an Aussie seaplane pilot with years of seaplane experience. Mostly flying and instructing on the Twin Otters in the Maldives, Steve has just recently been stood down from his airline job, only to return to the float world, taking up the chief pilot position at the struggling Air Whitsunday. After the company was recently purchase…
 
Building up tens of thousands of hours spraying fields in New South Wales Australia, Craig Patton has done most things as an agricultural pilot. After 20 years, Craig wanted to turn his skills into those of a fire bombing pilot, and now spends his days travelling between Australia and America to fight the worlds harshest fires on the Air Tractor Fi…
 
Everyone loves seaplanes, but these aircraft that instagram user @cessnateur Jason McDowell has selected as his top 10 most unique seaplanes will blow you away! From nuclear bomb dropping jets, to 737 sized flying boats and single seat toys, the list has something for everyone. Jason has an incredible knowledge of aircraft and their history. He goe…
 
Eder would sit in the cockpit with his father as a little boy, dreaming of following in his footsteps to become a firebombing pilot! After working very hard to achieve this goal, Eder is now the Chief Pilot at Saab Special Flight Operations in Sweden, sharing his wealth of firebombing knowledge to other parts of the world. His aircraft of choice, t…
 
After being told he was "not keen enough" for a career in the Air Force, Chad Banfield has enjoyed a 30 plus year career in aviation including a long time enjoying the seaplane lifestyle. He has waited patiently for over 3 years for his dream start at Air Whitsunday flying Beaver's and Caravan's to finding himself in the open air Ag Cat floatplane.…
 
As a ten year old boy, Ron went on a short joy flight in a C185 amphibian floatplane. As they came into land on the water, Ron had no idea he was moments away from taking his last breath in the baggage compartment of an upturned, sinking aircraft. Flying as a young commercial pilot, Pat was flying the company C206 on a busy, blue skied day at the G…
 
Tropic Ocean Airways is becoming the worlds fastest growing seaplane airline, and after talking to Rob Ceravolo on episode 12, it's understandable. Joshua Maddox always thought he was going to go down the normal airline route but joining Tropic has changed his idea about the "career" flying job, and can't see him ever leaving the company that see's…
 
Ben Shipps has one of the most inspiring stories out there. Born with a growth anomaly with his arms, Ben has broke through barrier after barrier to follow his aviation and seaplane dreams, becoming the President of one of the worlds busiest floatplane schools! Everyone knows about Jack Brown's and finally I have a guest on to talk cubs and floatpl…
 
Just recently, photos circulated the internet about a DC-3 being reinstalled on its amphibious EDO floats after 14 years without them. I tracked down Jakob McKenney, who is writing a book all about the history of the DC-3 and C-47 amphibian floatplanes. He shares some incredible stories about the aircraft and the unique floats they sit on. https://…
 
You won't find anyone more passionate about seaplane safety and enjoyment than Steve McCaughey, in fact the guy was married in the back of a Grumman Albatross mid air! He shares his journey into the wonderful world of floats and into his current role as SPA President. http://www.seaplanes.org Complete a survey about On the Step to help it grow! htt…
 
I've been flying seaplanes for over 10 years now (nothing compared to some of my amazing guests) but now I share with you my own story with a good mate of mine in the hosting seat. Hear about my entry into seaplanes, progressing into one of Australia's most iconic seaplane operation, living in Hanoi Vietnam flying Cessna Caravans on floats, and fin…
 
Connor shares stories about his career getting into seaplanes, leading up to his dream job as a Goose pilot for Wilderness Seaplanes. He talks all about his family ties to the Goose including the incredible story about his grandfather flying the same aircraft Connor flies today. Connor also shares the day to day life of a Goose pilot flying up the …
 
Ever had a seaplane scare? This episode is full of stories from past guests sharing the time they had a seaplane scare and the lesson learnt from the experience. The range of topics include gear down water landings, drifting into a pier, smoke and visibility, smoke in the cabin, near mid air collision and many more. Complete a survey about On the S…
 
Rian Potter was one of my instructors in flight school and is also a great mate. He is now in his dream job, flying King Airs for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Although not a working seaplane pilot, Rian received a FREE floatplane endorsement some years ago and talks about how it was one of his most exciting aviation adventures. He also s…
 
At last years (2019) Seaplane Pilots Association of Australia conference, I did a presentation on gear down water landings. I am happy to share with you all the presentation, slightly modified for the podcast format. It is such a simple mistake that can be deadly, so why is it still happening today and how can we go about preparing ourselves more t…
 
For many years I have followed Toby Dorn @aeroplanetoby on Instagram without actually knowing what he did (I just loved his cool photos!) But now, thanks to a great chat, I know all about his company Blue Sky Airways and what they do. With the help of their always eye catching floatplane, and their “flying tinny” flying boat, plus a host of other t…
 
Building a seaplane float is tough work. But with years of experience and passionate engineers, PK floats makes some of the worlds toughest seaplane floats. Levi Guimond talks all about the history of PK, what the process of building a float is and how they are transitioning into the experimental market. Not only is Levi an engineer, he is also a s…
 
Amy Gesch works for the biggest float building operation in the world. She talks all about how they are built, how they are sold and what it is like to work for Wipaire. Amy has a wealth of experience in the seaplane industry and is very good at explaining the technical areas of floatplanes. Complete a survey about On the Step to help it grow! http…
 
Sarah Tamar watched seaplanes fly over her head and began dreaming of becoming a seaplane pilot. After a stint as operations and as a dock hand for Tailwind based in New York, Sarah realised this was something she had to pursue! Now flying a Cessna Caravan Amphib for the same company, Sarah's day job involves flying Wall Street workers to their Ham…
 
From airline pilot to seaplane company owner, Henry Ellis went and did what some of us only dream of by going out on a limb to start his own seaplane company, Above and Beyond Tasmania. With an amphibian Beaver by his side, Henry and his team take tourists on adventures around the southern state of Tasmania. Complete a survey about On the Step to h…
 
Mark Downham explains what it is like to work on a 70 year old aircraft such as the Mallard. He also talks about his career in the Australian Navy working on Seaking helicopters and his time in Fiji where he maintained 2 Twin Otter Amphibian‘s working for 7star resorts. He talks about how corrosion effects an aircraft and how to treat it. Complete …
 
Episode 1 in Maintenance Week focuses on the worlds largest seaplane company and how they manage to keep 50+ Twin Otters airborne. Nisham Ali, along with a close friend, run the amazing Instagram page @seaplanemechanic, sharing an insight into what happens behind the turquoise waters and white beaches to make the airline what it is today. From dail…
 
Lloyd Cofield began his career in aviation competing around the world as an Australian competition skydiver. After several years of jumping from the plane, he changed seats to start driving them! With his passion for adventure, flying seaplanes made sense, so a move to Air Whitsunday followed. After leading the pilot group as Chief Pilot, Lloyd the…
 
Deon Mitton's photographs can be found in most places. His exceptional talent at capturing the mighty Seaplane, or even just General Aviation aircraft in their natural habitats, makes him one of the best aviation photographers around. Put him behind a microphone, and Deon is not only inspiring, but can also take your mind to the rivers and the moun…
 
Built in 1947, the Albatross was originally a military aircraft. With most of them retiring and being put in the desert by the late 80's, there is few that fly today. But Michael Barksdale and Stewart Lawrence are the exception. Owning their own Grumman Albatross to go partying, jumping off the wing and showing off at airshows. Not only that, when …
 
Shayne McAulay is a bush pilot at heart. Growing up in Wanaka New Zealand, he was exposed to flying in both the airline and GA environment from a very early age. He got his dream job as an airline pilot, but floatplanes and bush flying were always in the back of his mind. After buying a Piper Cub on floats just to build some float time, he got his …
 
Flying boats attracted Michael Smith to aviation. He had purchased his first flying boat before he finished his private pilot licence. But at heart, he is a true adventure seeker. That trait found him on the adventure of a lifetime flying a single engine flying boat around the world, by himself! After discovering the 2 seat aircraft wasn't going to…
 
Being a 70 year old airplane, the Grumman Mallard has a long history of flying locations and drivers in the front seat. Kurt Miller was one of those drivers who flew our Mallard here at Paspaley, J-26, all over the West Coast of Canada for West Coast Air, who eventually became Air BC. He tells stories of icing up in the Mallard, comparing the Twin …
 
Using the inspiration of a shirtless Tom Cruise in the all time classic "Top Gun", Rob Ceravolo was destined to become a fighter pilot. He accomplished his childhood dream of flying (another Grumman product) the F-14 Tomcat made famous in the movie and had a successful career in the Navy resulting in his own stint at Top Gun. But once his career fl…
 
Peter Gash's 40 year aviation career has seen him achieve so much, including many hours of seaplane flying, completing his aircraft maintenance licence, gaining an Order of Australia medal in the General Division for services to ecotourism and aviation, and now being involved in the testing of magniX electric engines. Oh and don't forget that he ow…
 
Canadian David Radford loves aviation. His passion for flying, in particular seaplanes has seen him become a well known operator on floats in Asia, where he now calls home. He talks all about gaining that first seaplane job, moving to Africa to build hours flying Safari guests from camp to camp, where he is now and what the future of Asian Seaplane…
 
If the Catalina Flying Boat is one of the worlds most famous flying boats, then "Miss Pick Up" is one of the most famous Catalinas. But why "Miss Pick Up?" David tells his story as the editor of the Catalina Society website and newsletter, as well as his role as Crew Chief, the vital third wheel in the cockpit of this ageing beauty. David shares a …
 
In 1981, Mallard flying boats graced the skies of the U.S Virgin Islands for the new company known as Virgin Island Seaplane Shuttle (VISS). A young and enthusiastic Michael Steers followed his dreams to work on a flying boat and after selling all of his possessions to get his multi-engine seaplane rating, his dream came true. With 250hrs, Michael …
 
Part 2 of 2: With debt climbing from high interest rates compounding an already large loan, Kevin talks about selling his beloved Mallards around Australia including two of them to where they now live, in Darwin at Paspaley Aviation. Finally he leaves his beloved Whitsunday Islands to finish his career teaching his art of flying boats to students w…
 
Part 1 of 2: Getting a flight on a Sandringham flying boat to Lord Howe Island at an early age sparked a keen interest in seaplanes for Kevin Bowe. After gaining some flight experience in random aviation jobs, Kevin saw an opportunity available in the Whitsunday Islands to start a seaplane company. Taking a chance, Air Whitsunday was airborne takin…
 
After a stint in the Navy, Genesah was at a crossroads with where she wanted her career to go. A love of adventure got her into flying and with living in the lake and ocean state of Florida, she gained her float rating not too long after her CPL. After instructing for a while, a lucky break came her way when an interview style YouTube video for a f…
 
Like most bare CPL holders, Michael Bostock followed the instructing path to gain employment within the industry. However, with a love for seaplanes growing and growing, a leap away from the norm saw him adventure around the world, once again chasing his "first job", this time as a seaplane pilot. He talks about flying until midnight in daylight, s…
 
After scoring his start as a seaplane pilot he was long waiting for, Benny enjoyed flying Beaver floatplanes in one of Australia's most iconic locations. He upgraded to the Cessna Caravan, the pride of the fleet and continued to build experience until an unfortunate accident involving controlled flight into terrain put a stop to his unique lifestyl…
 
Drew Daniell has flown seaplanes for over 15 years in Australia at four different operators. Drew talks about getting his first job scaring birds, flying Cub's as a mustering pilot, followed by a magazine article that changed the direction of his flying career towards floatplanes. Now Drew is a captain on the Grumman Mallard and calls this job his …
 
Andrew and I start off by speaking about why the Mallard was made and for what purpose. We then move onto the changes the Mallard took to be converted into a new STC now known as the Australian Turbine or G-73AT. We go in depth regarding the specific and unique changes to the aircraft, and finish by talking about the role the Mallard takes in both …
 
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