If you're receiving this via email, click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP13AxrxyPA for easiest viewing of my latest seaplane video. I've always been intrigued by the Lake series of amphibious aircraft and after many years of contemplating a purchase, I bought one several months ago. Last week, I was planning to experiment with mounting video cameras outside the airplane, but was disappointed to discover that the weather was 1/4 mile visibility and 100 foot vertical visibility at the Byron airport, adjacent to where I'd be landing on the water.
I fully expected not to see any water, but when I arrived the clouds had blown to the east and risen a few hundred feet. As a result, I was able to easily get under the clouds and shoot some excellent video while remaining outside of the clouds. Since I was below 1200 feet and in Class G, the legal requirement was that I remain clear of clouds. Had I been in Class E, it would have been impossible to shoot this video, since I would have to have been either 1000 feet above the clouds or 500 feet below them.
Since the winds were calm, the water was like a mirror, reflecting the clouds off the surface. Glassy water landings are among the most difficult water landings to make, since it's often impossible for a pilot to judge his or her height above the water. Seaplanes pilots use a glass water landing technique where they descend at 100 to 150 feet per minute until they contact the water. In this case, with a narrow canal, there were many visual references around me, making my glassy water landing much easier than if it were performed on a larger body of water, far from shore.
I hope you enjoy the video. If you do, please click the "Like" button on the YouTube player. And I also hope you consider getting a seaplane rating!