"Seaplane Pilot of the Year" for 1999 is Oregon's Dave Wiley, for more than 30 years operator of Wiley's Seaplanes on the Willamette River near Portland.
The Seaplane Pilots Association's annual honor went to Wiley for his outstanding record as a seaplane instructor (he holds 14 instructor ratings/designations.) He was also recognized for his role in passing Oregon legislation that equates the water rights of seaplanes with those of power boats.
In addition to his instructor ratings, Wiley holds airline transport pilot, airframe and powerplant, and inspection authority certificates. He gives flight instruction at all levels, from beginners to seasoned airline captains wanting to add a seaplane rating to their pilot certificates.
Wiley launched his flying service in 1970, incorporating it in 1977. His instruction philosophy is expressed in the company motto, "No quickie ratings." Wiley says most pilots, trained to land on airports with standard patterns and operating procedures, must learn to operate in an environment that has no standard operating procedures and no standard conditions.
"You have to think about where you're going to land, where you're going to taxi after you land, and how you're going to cope with the beach or the dock or wherever it is you're going," says Wiley. "You have to design your own airport—you have to think that far ahead."
The Seaplane Pilots Association's 2000 Water Flying Annual, published in March, carries excerpts from an interview with Dave Wiley. Additional excerpts can be found on the SPA Web site.
April 27, 2000