I am 35 Years old and live in New England. I was blessed with my grandfather, Hubert Eilbacher, who instructed pilots for 64 years, before retiring in 2004 and I continue to be blessed with my two awesome parents, Inge & Otto, who never stopped to support me in my dream to be a pilot and aviator. I was able to start flying sailplanes at age 14 in Germany, where I grew up and went to school. Flying gliders at such a young age taught me to fly by the seat of my pants- and to this day- I benefit from the stick and rudder skills this activity taught me. From 18 years old and on, I was a Private SEL Pilot, mainly flying Scenic & Low Level Photoflights for our local flying club in Germany. In 1999, I was able to relocate to the U.S. for nine months, to pursue my U.S. Private Pilot Certificate SEL. In 2004, I finally relocated to the U.S. for good, where in the late fall of 2008 I completed the ratings, I currently hold.
I hold a FAA Commercial Pilot; Single Engine Land, Single Engine Sea, Multi Engine Land as well as FAA Ground Instructor Certificates, Advanced & Instrument.
Since 2004 I participate in the FAA Wings Program and have retained “Master” Level Wings in 2008 & 2009. From December of 2008 until April of 2010 I administrated & moderated the Seaplane Pilot Associations Forum and with this volunteer activity, the opportunity for this Seaplane Safety blog came along. I also participate on several other aviation related forums and enjoy the perks of getting to know “airplane people” from all over the world.
My introduction to floats happened through a family member. I stopped flying floats, as I truly thought, that this was not meant for me. Maybe not all family members always benefit from flying with each other… It would not be until 2008 that I thought I could try again, shortly after finishing my Instrument & Commercial Ratings for SEL & MEL. Flyingwise, I was pretty sharp, and I figured, if there was a way for me to learn this right, it would be then.
I talked to Timothy Hodgkins at Pushaw Lake (Luckey Landing SPB) close to Bangor. Tim agreed to take me under his wings and a short time later I had learned about having fun in a swimming airplane. I fell in love with Seaplanes again, joined the SPA and thought I would spend the rest of my lifetime wondering where to get the highly sought after SES experience, like so many of my peers. Hmmm… I still do that…
However, I have a very strong interest and passion in Seaplanes and things that relate to Seaplane Safety. I believe that people learn from reading about and understanding other pilots mistakes, and I believe also that, to truly be a good pilot, one must share his mishaps and close calls with his/her peers. Even if nothing really bad happened, someone may take this tiny bit of information, or find him/ herself in a similar circumstance one day! Then is the best time to remember, or be aware of what others did – to get out of trouble.
I am looking to collect as much information as possible, and would like to foster and support your flight schools, or individual efforts in this industry of “Safety Nuts”. It is my declared goal, to invite people (CFI’s & Designated Pilot Examiners and experienced airmen) to share their stories and tips with those of us willing to read, listen and learn. The blog will eventually grow rather big and get categorized into several subjects – but it’s main line will always be “Aviation Safety & Seaplanes.