ASES, Is it worth the time and trouble. How many have & don't use?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by A1Topgun, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Central Maine
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ron
    Thinking of adding a ASES rating. But, looking at the cost of a ASES aircraft, I wonder if I will ever have a real need for the ASES rating after I get it. Not many FBOs will rent a ASES. One of the reasons I considered this is I won't need a flight review this year.
    How many pilots out there got a ASES and then never really use it?
     
  2. edo2000

    edo2000 Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Messages:
    387
    Location:
    Northern New Mexico
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    edo2000
    I think it comes down to: 1) It would be fun and educational to do; 2) You could avoid the flight review by completing the rating; 3) Floatplanes will be very difficult to find as rentals, so you likely won't use it much; 4) But ... if you DO find yourself with access to a floatplane or seaplane later, you will just need a checkout, not the rating.... I guess it would depend on how much it will cost, in your case, for the ASES rating vs prepping for and doing the Flight Review.

    I owned a Bellanca Scout on floats for 25 years (Southcentral Alaska). Some of the absolute most fun you can have in an airplane, IMO. I recommend doing it.
     
  3. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    23,323
    Location:
    DC Suburbs
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bill S.
    Friend of mine did. At one point he wanted to get a Goose or Albatross. I think he's thought better of it.
     
    Arnold likes this.
  4. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    3,179
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bob Gardner
    I began my flight training in Juneau on floats. Several thousand logged hours since then and I still have 32 hours of ASES from way back when. IMHO it was the thing to do at the time because I could walk from my apartment to the small boat harbor and I had no way of getting to JNU or any knowledge of flight training availability there. I did get the sea rating in Seattle after getting my private ticket on wheels there. So it was fun but the only game in town for me.
     
    red4golf likes this.
  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,902
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MauleSkinner
    5.5 hours and a rating 25 or 26 years ago. Got to learn some stuff, got to fly with an examiner that I respected highly in his “real” job, and learned more from him. No regrets.
     
  6. mcmanigle

    mcmanigle Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    405
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    John McManigle
    I don't think we're going to tell you anything you don't already know. Unless you have the time, money, and inclination to buy a seaplane to park at your summer lake house, you'll probably never use it again. That being said, it's a super fun if more-expensive-than-a-flight-review way to learn a thing or two about a new type of airplane and a new type of flying.

    I got my ASES shortly after my IR, and it was a nice cure to the head-inside habits that build up during those lessons. Seaplane flying is all about reading the trees and smoke and ripples on the water, and being very much "in contact" with the ground. I'm under no illusions that I'll use it much in the future, but I liked it enough that someday after I get commercial, I'll probably upgrade the ASES too. And who knows, maybe someday I'll retire to a lake house...
     
    mcdewey likes this.
  7. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Central Maine
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ron
    So, not only do I need to buy a seaplane, I'll need to buy a lake house too! $$$$$
     
  8. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,200
    Location:
    Philadelphia Area
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Arnold
    Yes! But it must be near a paved runway as well so all the POA members can visit and enjoy the lake and seaplane.
     
    woodchucker and A1Topgun like this.
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    20,122
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    We've got several amphibs on our field and used to have one straight seaplane as well. There's a boat ramp you can dolly the seaplanes up out of as well.
     
  10. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,653
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kayoh@190
    I did it for the fun - didn’t even need the flight review. With lodging etc it probably cost me around $2500, but I flew a few different types and we weren’t merely working towards the checkride.

    Even if I never use it, it was worth every penny!
     
    Dave Theisen likes this.
  11. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,059
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Russ
    For most people, you can't look at the ASES rating as a "practical" rating. Yes, for some people seaplane flying will turn into a career, but for most, it's a weekend getaway learning some unique and interesting new things. In that sense, then, typically it's not economically worthwhile. But whether the intangibles of learning something new, gaining a new perspective, doing something unusual and gaining a new experience are worthwhile to YOU, only you can say. Of course the expense enters into that equation differently for each person.

    Personally, I think it would be very worthwhile, and plan to do it someday.
     
  12. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    27,973
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    Were I going to do something like that I'd do tailwheel instruction. Way, way more likely to be useful.
     
    ahw01 likes this.
  13. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Central Maine
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ron
    Well, I spent my morning doing splash and dash training. A lot more prep time to pre-flight and I learned that when you pump the floats, don't **** in the wind.
     
  14. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,733
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    airdale
    That was my dream. An amphib to hangar in the city and park in front of our lake house. But eventually I figured out that float planes are so slow that they are not useful for the kind of cross country that I wanted to do. End of dream.
     
    Jumpmaster and A1Topgun like this.
  15. Jumpmaster

    Jumpmaster Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    Messages:
    513
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    AbnJag
    Same here. It was actually about 1 hour longer than it takes to drive. For a heck of a lot more money not to mention insurance costs. I think getting the rating in Florida or Arizona say in January or February would be a hoot plus get you out (in my case) the cold.
     
  16. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2018
    Messages:
    279
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    OneCharlieTango
    You live in CENTRAL MAINE!!! If I lived up there, no one could keep me off floats. There are places in Maine that'll rent you a float plane. Join the Seaplane Pilots' Association to get the list. Get on floats and visit a dozen otherwise inaccessible camps. Do that more than 2 or 3 times and you'll be selling that T-tail to make room for the float plane.

    As for this:
    I disagree. Nothing in tailwheel training will teach you to understand the wind like sailing backwards with the power off, just as an example. Also, a tailwheel endorsement doesn't get the OP out of a BFR, which seems to be a contributing motive.
     
  17. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Central Maine
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ron
    Grandfathered in on the tailwheel. Did some power off sailing today, a whole new understanding of wind (lift/drag) on control surfaces. Nice to have a C172 with a rear window, makes it a little easier to see where you are going when you are in reverse
    .
     
  18. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,902
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MauleSkinner
    If the training for endorsement includes an hour of ground reviewing Part 91, it can very easily result in a Flight Review.
     
    OneCharlieTango likes this.
  19. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,439
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mtns2Skies
    I'm going to be doing mine this fall. My rational is that a Dehavilland Beaver is my dream plane and most are on floats. If ever given the opportunity to fly one I don't ever want to be unable to log it or fly it.
     
  20. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Messages:
    391
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Geosync
    Basically unless you’re going to do it professionally or buy one, it would just be a fun thing to do/bypass a BFR. It really isn’t practical.
     
  21. champ driver

    champ driver Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    818
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Champ driver
    Not everything can be measured in dollars or need.
    I got my rating years ago in a Cessna 180 on Aqua floats. I never intended to buy or rent a float plane, I have other priorities and you only have so much time and money to spend in life.
    They are a ton of fun, combining flying and water, and I see peoples lifelong interest in them. The rating is fun and I'm glad I have the rating in my back pocket.
    Here's one that stopped in at the local seaplane base just one mile from my home in Minnesota.

    IMG_9850 (1024x599).jpg
     
    MobileandMonitoring and ahw01 like this.
  22. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Central Maine
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ron
    Well I did it! Although I still can not walk on water, the FAA says I am certified to take off and land on water. The new Category/Class add on was well worth the time, effort an $$. A whole new understanding of wind and aerodynamic forces. You think you know a lot about aerodynamics until you find out how much you do not know. When there is no rubber on the tarmac the wind, no matter how slight will have it's way with you.
    Most of the training was on "glassy water" and the wind was up today. Had to simulate the "glassy water", but the sailing and docking was a real challenge!
     
  23. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    54,929
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    Cool. Way late to this but...

    It’s also a fun way to reset the FR clock. New rating.
     
    ahw01 likes this.
  24. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    Messages:
    458
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    apr911
    I want a Widgeon. That's been my dream plane since I started flying. Though I think it might get replaced by the Gweduck if they ever actually start "real" production/sales on it. They've had the prototype/demo plane for a while now and started work on Serial number 001 this year but its been slow going.

    I got my CSES last summer and it was a blast. Worth every penny for the sheer fun of it. Just wish I had more access to a seaplane. There's a club out in Lakeland that will rent a searey solo but last time I checked it was a $4500 commitment to get checked out to solo ($1200 in dues and $3300 in flight hours w/instructor) and there was talk about the prices going up as they were planning to allow salt-water landings which would increase maintenance costs...

    If Lakeland were a bit closer to me, I'd absolutely go for it but its 45 miles/45 minutes away on a good day on I-4 and well there just aren't many of those days (notwithstanding the reduced COVID-19 traffic levels particularly around Disney)
     
  25. ahw01

    ahw01 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    51
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ahw01
    The widgeons at waterwings in Alabama.

    https://www.waterwings.com/
     
  26. JustinD

    JustinD Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Port Orange, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    JustinD
    I wouldn't say it's trouble at all. I have my ASES, and no I've never flown a seaplane outside of the training and the checkride. I look forward to doing it again one day and have thought many times about going back and doing a refresher in it. I have a lot of friends and co-workers who are in the same boat as me, have the rating but haven't used it since. For me it was one of those bucket list items and not really expensive at the time. Still some of the most fun I've ever had flying. I'd say don't look at it from a "will I actually use it" standpoint but more of a is this something you want to do that looks fun and do you want to have that experience in your life. If you have the money to do it I say go for it!
     
    ahw01 likes this.