Pilot Partner for Amphibious & Sea Planes

Recently Pilot Partner has received several support requests for handling Seaplanes and Amphibious Aircraft. By default, Pilot Partner has a few challenges when it comes to tracking your time with an Amphibious aircraft and some seaplanes. This is mainly due to how aircraft are registered with the FAA and the fact that Pilot Partner automatically credits you time in type, class and category based on the Aircraft’s registration.

There are several factors that are involved with tracking your SES and Amphibious time.

  • Aircraft Classes
  • Passenger Currency for Seaplane vs SEL
  • Flight Totals for SES and Water Landings

Different ways to Handle in Pilot Partner

Pilot Partner is fully customization to do just about anything you want. Out of the box, Pilot Partner comes configured to handle most common situations, but handling an Amphibious Aircraft correctly is not configured by default. Not to worry, we have helped many pilots setup a custom configuration in their logbooks to meet their goals.

There is no one right way to do this, it usually depends on your flying and what is your primary concern. We will cover a couple common cases and what users have done to handle them.

Note, you should use our Web Portal at pilotpartner.net to configure all of these because our iPhone/Android App doesn’t have all the features to configure. But then logging flights can be done in the app once it is setup correctly.

Aircraft Registered as SEL but is Permanently on Floats

Some aircraft are registered with the FAA as a SEL, but now spend their full time on Floats as a SES. This case is pretty easy to handle in Pilot Partner. You would simply:

  • Add A Custom Aircraft Type
    • Configure > Aircraft Types
    • Select SES, Code and Name
  • Add the Aircraft as Normal, it will be a SEL
  • Edit the Aircraft
    • Click “Convert to Custom Aircraft”
    • Click on Aircraft Type (Blue Text)
    • Select your Custom Aircraft Type

Your FAA Registered SEL aircraft will now be a SES aircraft and Pilot Partner will automatically credit Flight Totals and Passenger Currency Correctly.

Aircraft is on Floats Part of the Year

Sometimes an Aircraft will spend the Summer months on floats and then will be converted to a Land Aircraft for the winter. In this case, you can add the aircraft twice in Pilot Partner. Let’s say N12345 is a PA-18-150 that you fly sometimes as a Land Aircraft and sometimes as a Seaplane. Let’s also assume it is registered with the FAA as a SEL.

Add N12345 to your Logbook as the default registration. Then add a second aircraft to your logbook called “N12345-SEA”. Pilot Partner will recognize this as custom aircraft and you can select the aircraft type that you want. You may need to create a custom aircraft type in your logbook (see the steps above for that).

Then it is just a matter of selecting the right Aircraft (N12345 or N12345-SEA) for each flight you log. Pilot Partner will correctly credit flight totals and passenger currencies based on the aircraft you select.

Flying an Amphibious Aircraft

This is where things can become more complex in how you handle it in Pilot Partner. The correct choice for you is going to be based on what you are concerned most about. Flight Totals or Passenger Currency.

To handle this, We recommend adding customer Flight Categories and Flight Activities then creating a custom Flight Currency to track your Amphibious Seaplane Passenger Currency separate from your standard Sea Plane Passenger Currency.

Difference between Flight Category and Flight Activity

A Flight Category is an item that your turn on or off for an entire flight. So if you flew for a total time of 1.2 and have a flight category turned on you get 1.2 hour credit for it. Typically you see PIC, DUAL, Cross Country as Flight Categories.

A Flight Activity is an item that is anywhere between 0 and your Total Time. So you can get partial credit for your total time for that. Typically you see IMC, Hood, Night Time. It could b 0 hours, it could be your entire flight, or it could be half of your flight.

Flight Activities can also be configured as a counter to count the number of your landings. Very useful to track water landings separate from runway landings.

Flight Activity: Water Landing

The simplest way to handle this complex situation for Passenger Currency is to add a custom Flight Activity called “Water Landing” and replace the default SES Passenger Currency with a Custom Water Landing Passenger Currency. In this case, any landing you log as a Water Landing will give you credit for your Water Landing Currency. And if all you care about is Passenger Currency you are good to go.

Flight Category: Amphibious Flight

Create this Flight Category and select it anytime you operate the aircraft on the water. You can then create a custom flight total for total number of hour. This will be useful in giving you a total for how many hours you have spent flying a SES that involved water operations.

Getting Guided Support

Setting this up can be complex and overwhelming. We at Pilot Partner are committed to being there to help you. If you would rather have us set this up for you, we will be happy to schedule a Zoom Meeting and walk you through these steps to ensure you get it right. Just email us at support@pilotpartner.net and request a Zoom Meeting. We will send you a link to choose from one of our available time slots.