Bonjour David, I thought I’d take a moment to send you a little note thanking you sincerely for the unbelievable experience and unforgettable life memory of my 50hr seaplane training at Ocean Air Floatplanes with yourself and Saint! This was a great accomplishment for myself, and another step towards my dream of being a commercial seaplane bush pilot. Which would undoubtedly not have been the same without you and Saint as my instructors. I am very thankful to have learned from your experience, skill and knowledge. Which happened to be in some of the most majestic terrain I have had the opportunity to fly in thus far.
You are both what I consider to be great role models and mentors. Your input will be and integral part to my growth as a pilot and I am glad to call you my friends. Hope to see you again soon.Derek Gregoire, Montreal, Quebec
After hearing about Ocean Air several times from other pilots I decided to take the 50 hour seaplane course to help me get my first float job. Early on in my first flight with Mr. Budd, I had quickly realized what all the fuss was about. David always gave me just what I could handle, but I quickly realized that what I could handle is a whole lot more than I thought.
If you are looking to log a quick and easy 50 hours, and don’t really care about fine-tuning your skill set, then this is not the place for you. But if you are serious about adding a whole lot of practical skill to your tool belt and are interested in more than just hours on paper, then you need to look no further than Ocean Air.
Three weeks after completing my 50-hour course at Ocean Air, the first offer came in, two weeks after that, another one. Mr. Budd is well known in the aviation community, and employers know that pilots, who come from Ocean Air, come with real skill. I am forever grateful for the training I received at Ocean Air; it was truly worth every cent. And now, thanks to David Budd, my job hunt is over, at last. Thank you David!You are both what I consider to be great role models and mentors. Your input will be and integral part to my growth as a pilot and I am glad to call you my friends. Hope to see you again soon.Noah Goldman – Toronto, Ontario
I came to Ocean Air with just over 50 hours previous experience on a Cessna 206 Floatplane from New Zealand. I signed up for 50-hour course with David Budd with the hope that he could keep me current and introduce me to the joys of flying in Canada, while I followed the grueling process of converting my license to a Canadian CPL.
David went well over and above my expectations by setting up challenges and taking me on new routes all over the local area. We went through advanced techniques, from difficult dockings to short landings. Almost every flight bought a new approach on to a different patch of water and completely different obstacles to overcome. David posed me with situations that I would otherwise normally try to avoid and set me up with a confidence that will assist me through flying for many years to come.
Even having past experience I thoroughly loved the course and would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat. Thank you David, for all your help and patience through the previous few weeks, and I sincerely hope that your great instructing skills will continue to bring you happiness and success for many years to come.
Oh yes — and I now have a seaplane job in Manitoba, not on the dock, but in the air!
Keep in touch! Cheers,Rosie Bury – New Zealand
Thank you again Dave. An amazing and fun experience, lots of laughs and an excellent confidence booster. I learned a lot. I woke up today sad it was over but so happy I had done it! I have my seaplane rating!
See you around!Elissa Boyd – Victoria, BC
Thank you for a wonderful experience in the sublime scenery of the Gulf Islands and the Mainland. Your combination of fun, professional and serious graded tuition was just what I was hoping for.
Give your dog a pat from me and save another for YVA, she is a fine bird.
Thanks again, Very best wishesBob Farrer – London, UK
Wow! What a great experience it was flying floats for the first time. I can’t believe how fast the 50 hour course flew by. I don’t believe you could find a better instructor than Dave to really show you how to fly the west coast. Through the 50 hours we saw it all: both glassy and rough water scenarios, flying with only a few miles visibility and real mountain flying. We made a quick trip up to Sprout Lake to check the Mars Water Bombers, that was awesome! We also spent time docking, beaching and maneuvering in rivers and currents. As fun as it was, it was also very challenging and well worth the money. The course has definitely made me a better pilot and will assist me wherever I fly. I look forward to doing some more x-countries up the west coast and to some high elevation lakes. Thanks a lot Dave and YVA!!Kevin Skillings – Victoria, BC
Just a note to say thanks for the week of flying this past summer. The weather was amazing and the instruction top notch. It has always been a dream of mine to learn how to fly floats and to do it with a great instructor around some amazing scenery was a blast. Thank you for not “going easy” on me and letting some of my bad habits built up over the years slide. You were extremely professional, added lots of extra tidbits of useful flying info, and kept your plane in great condition. The 15hr course was worth every penny.
I have gone on several trips now with my fishing rod and a local floatplane to some great lakes in Manitoba. The guidance provided by you has proven very worthwhile- “tips up”. I have been with several instructors over the years and can say without a doubt you were the most professional and useful. Enjoy the pics and video. Hope to have the chance to fly with you again.Kris Milbrandt, M.D., FRCSC Pediatric General Surgeon – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Emailing to thank you once again for an absolutely fabulous week of float flying. That’s what a flying holiday should be like! We still can’t quite believe the experience, and appreciate your’s and Bryan’s patience and encouragement with both of us. Good of you to arrange lovely weather too!
I know we’ll be back! Best regards, fly safe.
CheersDr Stewart Houston, CEng, FRAeS Aerospace Sciences Research Division School of Engineering University of Glasgow
Hey David —
Don’t think I told you but I found my way back to Canada quickly last month when a float job came up with Simpson Air in Fort Simpson. I’ve been doing scenics into the Nahanni National park to land at Virginia Falls, glacier lake, etc… as well as haul canoes and paddlers up river to drop them off. I’ve been back on a 206 to get my feet wet after two years since I flew floats and now going strong on both the 206 and back flying the beaver next week.
I wanted to thank you again, you have probly saved my life and my job a few times as I meander my way through these mountains looking for holes and gaps in weather and some smooth air for my pax. The Frasier River Training we did came back to me as soon as I got in the plane for the first time a month ago. The Mackenzie and the Nahanni are travelling so fast right now with the high water I don’t know how I guy would manage without some previous river training.
Thanks Dave and I hope you are having a great start to the summer!
Hope to see ya around Victoria someday soon. My season ends here as most, end of September. Where I’ll go next, no clue but no worries.Dave Radford
Just a note to say what a fantastic experience it was to fly with you yesterday! I enjoyed every minute of the flying and learnt such a huge amount about sea planes in just one and a half hours. Your confidence and expertise showed through out the flight and it was a pleasure to have met and flown with you.
I wish you many years of safe flying.
Kindest regards.Andy Brooks – UK
A husband and wife ‘vactioning pilot’ team put this seaplane training diary full of float plane techniques, and destination descriptions together and submitted it to their Flying Club Magazine back home. Couldn’t have said it better ourselves!Roger and Liz Gregory – UK
David and Ocean Air – thank you so much for your encouragement and hard work with me in my 50 hour course. It was full of challenges that I enjoyed, but most importantly I have reached my dream of being a floatplane pilot! YVA is such a great airplane and your teaching style made things that are difficult, all make sense… your years of instruction really shows. Thanks for all of the hard work and for helping me to get that first job!Rory Nield
Thank you so much Ocean Air! Flying YVA in such a beautiful place everyday for a month was such a treat, but learning all of those skills and practicing them up to such a high level in so many different places and in all weather was what has made the difference between me being a safe pilot who knows where his skills stand. Thanks for all of your patience and help! I can’t thank you enough for everything especially for helping me find a float job in Ontario!Sean Fowler
Ocean Air, you came highly recommended by a past student while I was flying in Botswana. I am so glad that I came back to Canada to take your course. With all of the competition for flying jobs, this 50 hr seaplane course really helped me to be the bush pilot I always dreamed of being. I feel confident and safe and you helped me to secure a job back East. Thanks so much and you know I’ll be in touch!Karim Moghrabi
My professional 50 hour float pilot course in October 2010, exceeded my expectations; not only in learning to fly floats but also because it provided an awesome life experience.
Ocean Air is ideally situated in a float plane training Mecca. This included numerous lakes and The Gulf Islands, with a variety of docks and obstacles, and only a short flight to Vancouver Harbour, the Fraser River and high alpine lakes.
All this and two highly experienced float pilots to show you how to safely and professionally fly a float plane in this demanding environment. Dave and Bryan, Ocean Air’s two training pilots, had different teaching styles that complimented each other perfectly. They shared their own personal experiences in flying floats and they were always able to get the best out of me and keep it fun.
Dave’s high standard is evident not only in his instruction but also in the care and maintenance of GYVA.
Watching orcas pass by as we sat on the wing of the plane, seeing porpoises, seals and eagles really completed the West Coast adventure.
Thanks again, Dave and Bryan for a first class experience. I really feel like the skills that I learned will assist me in my search for employment as a float plane pilot.Stephen Corner – Toronto, ON
Hey Dave thanks again for everything, Yellowknife is pretty cool, I’ve been hired hired at Air Tindi! I took the 50 hour profesional seaplane course at Ocean Air in June 2010 and it was awesome! David Budd and Bryan Webster are great to fly with, both with completely different styles. My skills were being challenged every flight. As soon as I had one skill mastered, they had another skill for me to learn. I was able to bring my girlfriend along for some flights as well, we went to beautiful mountain lakes and places not accesible by road, she had a great time. David did an outstanding job in accomodating my schedule and limited time in Victoria. David is very professional and safe, he does everything the right way without cutting corners. The Cessna 180 is in immaculate condition and is lots of fun to fly. I would reccommend Ocean Air to anyone interested in flying floats!