Single Engine Piston (SEP) Sea Class Rating
Loch Earn, Scotland
Christen A-1 Husky
Water Entry

Cessna 208 Amphibian Taking off

Christen A-1 Husky
Step Taxiing

Cessna FR172


On-Track Aviation is one of only a few ATOs in the UK to offer seaplane training and testing

It is recommended that the theoretical knowledge training and examination is completed prior to the flight training. The flight training is primarily concerned about water operations as the seaplane once airborne performs much the same as a land version

The ground instruction and examination are conducted at On-Track Aviation at Wellesbourne Mountford Aerodrome, Warwickshire and the flight training is carried in Scotland

Pre-Course Entry Requirements

There are no specific pre-entry requirements for the course of training. However the amount of dual flight instruction is dependent on whether the applicant holds the land version of the relevant class or type rating (see Flight Training)

Ground Training

The theoretical knowledge course for the single pilot aeroplane sea class rating shall include:

(a) the importance of preparation for flight and the safe planning taking into consideration all the factors for manoeuvring the aircraft on the wind, tidal currents, high and low water times and water movements at sea, river estuaries and lakes. In addition, icing conditions, ice covered water and broken ice flows

(b) the techniques about the most critical moments at take-off, landing, taxiing and mooring the aircraft

(c) the construction methods and characteristics of floats and water rudders and the importance of checking for leaks in the floats

(d) the necessary requirements for the compliance of the rules for the avoidance of collisions at sea, in regard to sea charts, buoys and lights and horns

Flight Training

The flight training for a single pilot aeroplane sea class rating shall include at least 8 hours of dual flight instruction if the applicant holds the land version of the relevant class or type rating, or 10 hours if the applicant does not hold such a rating

Seamanship Theoretical Knowledge Examination

Pass a written examination consisting multiple choice questions covering aspects of seamanship. The pass mark is 75%. The subjects covered include:

Symbols and abbreviations used in Admiralty charts and plans which are of importance to seaplane and amphibian pilots
The regulations for preventing collisions at sea
Lights and shapes to be carried by ships and aeroplanes
Sound and light signals of distress (ships)
International Association of Lighthouse Maritime Buoyage - Region A
Knowledge of tides and tidal definitions in general use

Note: At present in the UK there are 2 examinations available one for private privileges (20 questions) and one for professional privileges (30 questions). The private one maybe taken at an ATO whereas the professional one is arranged through UK CAA

Class Rating Sea Skill Test/Proficiency Check

The applicant shall pass the skill test within a period of 6 months after commencement of the class or type rating training course and within a period of 6 months preceding the application for the issue of the class rating

Before a skill test for the issue of the rating is taken, the applicant shall have passed the required theoretical knowledge examination

In any case, the theoretical knowledge instruction shall always have been completed before the skill test is taken

The applicant for a skill test shall be recommended for the test by the organisation/person responsible for the training, once the training is completed. The training records shall be made available to the examiner. The skill test/proficiency check schedule is given below

Section 1 Departure
Pre-flight including: Documentation, NOTAM, Mass and Balance, Weather briefing
Pre-start checks: External and Internal
Engine Start-up and Shutdown: Normal and Malfunctions
Step Taxiing
Mooring: Beach, Jetty/Pier, Buoy
Engine off sailing
Pre-departure checks: Engine run-up (if applicable)
Take-off procedure: Normal with Flight Manual flap settings, Crosswind (if conditions available)
Climbing: Turns onto headings, Level off
ATC liaison - Compliance, R/T procedure

Section 2 Airwork (VFR)
Straight and level flight at various airspeeds including flight at critically low airspeed with and without flaps (including approach to Vmca when applicable)
Steep turns: 360º left and right at 45º bank
Stalls and recovery:
(i) Clean stall
(ii) Approach to stall in descending turn with bank with approach configuration and power
(iii) Approach to stall in landing configuration and power
(iv) Approach to stall, climbing turn with take-off flap and climb power (SE only)
Handling using autopilot and flight director (may be conducted in Section 3) (if applicable)
ATC liaison - Compliance, R/T procedure

Section 3 En-Route Procedures (VFR)
Flight plan, dead reckoning and map reading
Maintenance of altitude, heading and speed
Orientation, timing and revision of ETAs
Use of radio navigation aids (if applicable)
Flight management (flight log, routine checks including fuel, systems and icing)
ATC liaison - Compliance, R/T procedure

Section 4 Arrival and Landings
Aerodrome arrival procedure (amphibians only)
Normal landing
Flapless landing
Crosswind landing (if suitable conditions)
Approach and landing with idle power from up to 2000 ft above the water (SE only)
Go-around from minimum height
Glassy water landing
Rough water landing
ATC liaison - Compliance, R/T procedure

Section 5 Abnormal and Emergency Procedures
(This section may be combined with sections 1 through 4)
Rejected take-off at a reasonable speed
Simulated engine failure after take-off (SE only)
Simulated forced landing without power (SE only)
Simulated emergencies: Fire or smoke in flight, System’s malfunctions as appropriate
Engine shutdown and restart at a safe altitude if performed in an aeroplane (ME only)
ATC liaison - Compliance, R/T procedure

Section 6 Simulated Asymmetric Flight (ME only)
(This section may be combined with sections 1 through 5)
(Section 6 shall be completed to revalidate a type or multi-engine class rating, VFR only, where the required experience of 10 route sectors within the previous 12 months has not been completed)
Simulated engine failure during take-off (at a safe altitude unless carried out in FFS or FNPT II)
Asymmetric approach and go-around
Asymmetric approach and full stop landing
ATC liaison - Compliance, R/T procedure


24 months


To act as PIC during water operations of a SEP seaplane


(a) within the 3 months preceding the expiry date of the rating, pass a proficiency check in the relevant class with an examiner
(b) within the 12 months preceding the expiry date of the rating, complete 12 hours of flight time in the relevant class, including:
# 6 hours as PIC
# 12 take-offs and 12 landings
# a training flight of at least 1 hour with a flight instructor (FI) or a class rating instructor (CRI). Applicants shall be exempted from this flight if they have passed a class or type rating proficiency check or skill test in any other class or type of aeroplane


(a) Refresher training at an ATO, when necessary to reach the level of proficiency necessary to safely operate the relevant class or type of aircraft
(b) pass a proficiency check in the relevant class/type with an examiner

1. The content of the training flight referred to above is not specified. The applicant and FI or CRI conducting the flight can decide between them what the flight will contain
2. The revalidation of an IR(A), if held, may be combined with a proficiency check for the revalidation of a class or type rating


How To Fly Floats by J J Frey
Part FCL, AMC and GM
Seaplane Operations by Dale DeRemer and Cesare Baj
Flying A Floatplane by C Marin Faure
International Regulations for the Preventing of Collisions at Sea by Royal Yachting Association
ICAO Annex 2 Rules of the Air Chapter 3 Paragraph 3.2.6 Water Operations
ICAO Annex 6 Parts 1 and 2 Operations of Aircraft Chapter 6, Appendix to Chapter 6 Lights to be Displayed by Aircraft
FAA Flight Training Handbook - Seaplane Operations ( Free download
Transport of Canada - Instructor Guide Seaplane Rating ( Free download
Nautical Almanac (This publication can be found in most Libraries under Reference Books)
Symbols and Abbreviations used on Admiralty Charts - Chart 5011
IALA Maritime Buoyage System - ANP735
A Seaman's Guide to the Rules of the Road by Morgan Technical
Learn the Nautical Rules of the Road by Paul Boissier


On-Track Aviation Limited: Wellesbourne Mountford Aerodrome, Loxley Lane, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire. CV35 9EU, United Kingdom
T +44 (0)1789 842777 | F +44 (0)1789 842755 | email: | skype: ontrackegbw |Registered in England: 4017255 | Approval No:GBR.ATO.0179
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