The Triton

Boat Show News

MIAMI19: It’s a bird, it’s a boat, it’s a flight on a seaplane

ADVERTISEMENT

Photos and story by Dorie Cox

A group of yacht industry people watched from the dock as the seaplane descended over an underway barge and steered clear of anchored sailboats. The Cessna continued its flight toward Rybovich in West Palm Beach and landed in the Intracoastal Waterway just east of the marina docks.

Once the rotors slowed, the plane’s 1st officer, Laiss Khairzada, opened the port side door, climbed out onto one of the plane’s float pontoons and unscrewed the anchor compartment. When the rotors stopped, he dropped a small anchor in the water.

The group from the dock motored to the plane in a tender, pulled side-to and passed a line to Khairzada to hold the tender to allow passengers to climb onto the floats. Once seat-buckled in and briefed, Tropic Ocean Airways pilot Capt. William Coggan and Khairzada navigated the plane through the water toward the north and into the wind for lift-off and a flight to Miami Seaplane Base and the Miami Yacht Show in mid-February.

Yacht Capt. Mark Downes was one of about 50 people who flew with Tropic Ocean Airways on that days’ flights. As captain on M/Y Qing, a 150-foot Cheoy Lee, he marveled at his first seaplane trip since he was a kid and noticed the similarities of the amphibious float seaplane to the maritime industry.

“That was awesome, being able to stay low along the coast,” Capt. Downes said of the flight. “It’s a much more interesting way to go. We’ll hang out in the Bahamas in the future, and I’ve been looking at options for transport.”

Capt. Downes has often watched seaplanes land when he has been anchored in a bay on a yacht.

“They need it calm and protected, but it’s crazy where they can land,” he said.

Capt. Coggan agreed and said landing speed can be 50 to 80 miles an hour on the water.

“We can work in extremely congested waterways,” he said. “We are also privileged in Miami to be able to land in this base with cruise ships.”

Capt. Coggan commented on maritime similarities including the use of Garmin 1000 for navigation and weather.

“When we’re on the water, the FAA has nothing to do with us,” Capt. Coggan said. “We follow maritime rules of navigation in the water.”

Both boats and seaplanes monitor the weather and are cautious not to operate in unsafe conditions both in the air and on the water, he said.

“The airplane always points into the wind,” Capt. Coggan said. “That makes for a fun challenge. Every takeoff and landing is different and it does take creative problem solving with wind and waves.”

As the plane landed in Miami’s Government Cut and passed the cruise ships toward downtown, officer Khairzada prepared to lower the airplane rudders from a center console.

“Before a flight, the gears are up, tucked and streamlined,” Khairzada said. “Way before water operations begin, we slow on the water and then drop them for rudder control.”

Passengers disembarked and made plans to visit the nearby Miami Yacht Show while Capt. Coggan and Khairzada supervised filling the fuel tanks in the wings.

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.


Tagged , , ,

About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

View all posts by Dorie Cox →

Related Articles

Malfunction sends yacht off course

Malfunction sends yacht off course

By Dorie Cox  A malfunction during a sea trial Saturday caused the 128-foot M/Y Safira to lose control and hit several smaller boats docked nearby. No injuries were reported, but a couple …

Crew steps up to dive down

Crew steps up to dive down

By Dorie Cox With a red helmet in hand, Lead Deckhand Andrius Ziburys grabs an orange life jacket. He loads his scuba-diving equipment into Chuck Norris, the tender to M/Y Axis, a 182-foot Damen …

Miami19: Miami Yacht Show’s move to downtown brings optimism

Miami19: Miami Yacht Show’s move to downtown brings optimism

By Dorie Cox For most of the past 30 years, yachts tied to docks built along a narrow strip of waterway in Miami Beach for a brokerage show. There were few upland vendor displays. This year, all …

Miami20: Seaplane delivers boat show guests

Fort Lauderdale-based Global Marine Travel and Yacht Chandlers co-hosted a luxury seaplane experience with Tropic Ocean Airways from the Fort Lauderdale airport to the Miami Seaplane Base for the …

U.S.-based seaplane picks up yacht passengers in Cuba

U.S.-based seaplane picks up yacht passengers in Cuba

By Dorie Cox Private yacht guests in Cuba were picked up by a seaplane in what Cuban officials call the first seaplane landing in more than 60 years. Pacific Bound Yachts coordinated the event …

Bahamas tweaks arrival procedures, adds fee

Bahamas tweaks arrival procedures, adds fee

Editor's Note: Scroll down for more COVID-related news. Beginning tomorrow, the new entry requirements for visitors and residents of the Bahamas include: A COVID-19 PCR test within 5 days of …

Comments

Editor’s Picks

ABM gives Bahamas update

ABM gives Bahamas update

Joe Dargavage, vice president of the Association of Bahamas Marinas, gave attendees of last week’s Triton Virtual Networking event an …

New lift coming together at Derecktor Fort Pierce

New lift coming together at Derecktor Fort Pierce

It’s happening, and it’s going to be big. That’s the sense one can get as they see the buildout of the new Derecktor Fort Pierce …

COVID, fires, lawsuits, obituaries among top stories of 2020

COVID, fires, lawsuits, obituaries among top stories of 2020

Yacht captains and crew -- as well as other yachting professionals -- found lots of news of interest on The-Triton.com last …

Ending weird 2020 in the Exumas

Ending weird 2020 in the Exumas

At the beginning of this pandemic, I went into panic mode and pondered what my options were, seeing as I expected this to totally stall …

Events