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I was approached by their organiser to see if I could suggest a suitable water location in Southern England where they could stage an event. Unfortunately, I was unable to offer any accessible lake location, but suggested that they might consider Calshot, where the aircraft could go up the ramp and be inspected by their friends.

This idea was seized upon and I was asked if I might brief the American pilot as to the Air Traffic and Marine procedures in that area. I proposed that it might be more fruitful if it could be arranged for me to act as Copilot and be on-board to assist their Captain, MAF Chief Pilot, Chad Tilley.

Copyright of The Seaplane Club - 2018

There was a new amphibian in the UK skies and on the water in March. This was a Cessna 208 Caravan, registration N648JN, owned by the Missionary Aviation Fellowship.

It was being positioned from the USA to Bangladesh, where it will join the other aircraft in the MAF fleet in Dhaka.

Various sponsor and supporter events had been planned in Scotland and England, some of them affected by the snow and wind that the UK ‘enjoyed’ in March.

Photo courtesy of David Stanley-Ward.

Photo courtesy of David Stanley-Ward.

The first flight was planned to consist solely of fly-bys of Calshot, but we were asked if we could attempt a landing, if conditions permitted. Although it was rather windy, the decision was taken not to land because we were having communication difficulties on the marine radio, such that we were unable to confirm that we had permission to land from the Port Authority.

Before the next day’s flight, we arranged suitable ground-to-air signals to provide this confirmation and the premier water landing of the new amphibian was smooth and uneventful. Similarly the trip up the Calshot ramp was easily achieved to a round of applause from the assembled crowd!

After a stay of 110 minutes, we departed down

the ramp, catching the ebbing tide and took off

for the five minute flight back to Lee-on-Solent.

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After much planning and discussion with all interested parties, two flights took place. The original plan was for the $3M amphibian to stay at Blackbushe for two nights, which would offer both Blackbushe Airport Limited and myself the opportunity to get some good publicity shots of the two amphibians together. Unfortunately the arrival of snow at Blackbushe meant that we had to use Lee-on-Solent as the base for the flights.