Sundays Special Waterbird From 33 Years Ago
Written by Jim Montgomery — The picture I am sharing with the readers of Seaplanemagazine.com is from Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast in Australia, where I gained my seaplane endorsement in 1985.
I lived in Melbourne and kept a Piper Saratoga at Moorabbin Airport flying with the Royal Victorian Aero Club and doing volunteer search & rescue flights over Port Phillip Bay on weekends. With marine band radios fitted we provided monitor coverage over the large expanse of Port Phillip Bay not possible with any land-based radio.
It also provided an opportunity to gain small aircraft experience for Air Training Corps cadets – being taught how to conduct preflight checks in the picture below.
I had planned to fly with my friend who had a couple of 172’s on floats operating out of Sydney Harbour, however, I finished up and headed off to spend the next 20 years in the United States. Working in film & TV in Los Angeles, I would often head up to Seattle for a long weekend and rent any one of a variety of seaplanes for the fun of it. The next decade of my life was spent in the Peoples Republic of China where there was simply no opportunity to fly!