How to Become a Sea Plane Pilot with Fred Welsh

In this podcast Fred describes how he became a sea plane pilot. As the host, I know almost nothing about the subject. Therefore, we approach the subject from the perspective of a novice. I hope you find this useful if you’re seeking to become a recreational pilot. Enjoy!

fred and his sea plane

Fred Welsh is a friend I met in 2010 when I first visited Australia. On that trip he taught me to surf and showed me a great time in Yamba, Australia. He is awesome.

sea plane parked in the sea

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How to Become a Sea Plane Pilot Time Stamps

  • 6:50 – History & Categorization of Recreational Pilots Licensing
  • 8:30 – Understanding the Cost and Process of a Recreational Pilots License
  • 15:10 – On the Economics of Purchasing an Airplane
  • 17:00 – The Benefits of a Sea Plane
  • 24:30 – Thoughts on Securing, Parking and Operating a Sea Plane
  • 28:30 – Sea Plane Endurance
  • 31:12 – Radio Communication Endorsement
  • 33:20 – Why Fly?
  • 40:00 – On Sea Plane Speed
  • 40:30 – Why a Sea Plane is Better than a Trailer/RV
  • 42:20 – Mapping out Sea Plane Adventures
  • 48:17 – Can You Do Work on Your Own Plane? – Maintaining a Sea Plane
  • 54:07 – Can Australia Sea Plane Pilots Fly Internationally?
  • 1:06:04 – Where You Inspired by Jimmy Buffett?
  • 1:16:40 – Lifestyle Questions – Weddings in Australia
  •  1:17:15 – The First Step to Becoming a Pilot

bobble head sea plane view

We call that tiger county. It’s when there isn’t anything down there to land on and you just hope nothing goes wrong

two sea planes at rest

It is a life or death situation. If you run into a huge storm, it can put you down hard. If in doubt, you stay home.

sea plane view of a whitsunday island

The pay-off for me is… I’ll say to my wife, “I think the whales are breaching today, let’s fly out and have a look.” You see sharks and dolphins… the rewards outweighs the costs of getting a license and a plane.

sea plane landing in the sea

When you’re flying long distances, you want to make sure you have plenty of room where you don’t have to get back for something.

two sea planes over the sea

Out of all of Australia, there are only 100 sea plane pilots. Of that, only 70 are operational. It’s a very, very small fraternity of pilots.

sea plane view of whitsunday islands in australia

The beauty of my category is that they have made the books more easy to understand for laymen. I found it enjoyable and not overly difficult. I found the process of learning to be exhilarating.

sea plane view of the gold coast

Related Links

sea plane view of the beautiful whitsunday islands

A Note on the Sound Quality Of This Podcast

I apologize for the poor sound quality on this one. Fred and I spoke while he was in Australia and I was in the United States. We suffered during the conversation because there was a second delay from us speaking to when the other would hear. Also, I failed to record split tracked. None-the-less, I think the conversation was interesting enough to publish despite the low quality.

I’ve sorted it out. Next episode will be better.

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