READ WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...

Ian Patrick Delos Reyes,
Philippines
Canadian Seaplane Rating.

Hello to all fellow av geeks there through out the world. If you're looking to make a career in seaplane/bush/mountain flying or even into the big leagues of airline flying - set and build your foundations right and go train with Captain Tom and his boys down at Island Coastal Aviation in Pitt Meadows, Canada. They have the facilities, equipment and most importantly the most professional and kindest people the aviation industry could offer that will help you get where to want to be.

I'am Grand Caravan Ex Land and Seaplane pilot here at the Philippines. I have an amazing time and learned a lot from Tom. Its one of the best trainings I had in my career. With this training and Gods grace I believe Im one step closer to be the first filipino commercial seaplane captain in our country.

Aurelio Garcia Munguia
Mexico
Private Pilot Licence and Commercial Pilot Licence

My name is Aurelio Garcia Munguia, I arrived at Island Coastal Aviation at the beginning of March 2015, and my dream was always to become a pilot, unfortunately in Mexico I could not finish because of various problems.This gave me the opportunity to travel to such a beautiful country as it is Canada, full of friendly and professional people. I finished my private and commercial license in 8 months with the support of all members of the school who helped me in every question that I had with a smile, always seeking my success. At Island Coastal Aviation I achieved fully my dream of flying and won a family in the process.

Frederic Phaneuf
Levis, Quebec
Canadian Seaplane Rating

Since I was a kid I wanted to become a CL-215 waterbomber pilot and now I still want more then ever to fly the big yellow ducks at the end of my career. Thanks to Tom and Island Coastal Aviation, I get to be one step closer to my dream and with all I have learned with Tom besides the floats, I will probably still be alive when the time comes !

Not only will you learn the fine art of reading the water, weather and the infamous ''AIRSPEED-BALL-POWER'' but you will also find a dedicated team and mentor wich will correct your minor pilot ''deficiencies'' and improve your overall flying skills while flying at 500' in the BREATHTAKING rockies scenery.

I have been looking and asking around for months for the best ''float school'' in Canada and Island Coastal Aviation kept popping up so I called! When Tom picked up and took the time to really answer all my questions, the chemistry was immediate!

Once there, Tom and Kristene will make you feel welcome and at home with familly right from the start and until you reach YOUR goal so SEARCH NO MORE, your float rating is waiting for you in beautiful B.C. with Island Coastal Aviation !!!

Michael Baisley
Wayerton, New Brunswic
50 Hour Professional Seaplane Mountain Bush Pilot Course

After having completed the 50 Hour Professional Seaplane Mountain Bush Pilot Course I would highly recommend Island Coastal Aviation .Tom and his team were extremely knowledgeable and provided a through and much enjoyable training experience. Tom is very enthusiastic in sharing his years of experience. Not only did I achieve my certification but also had the opportunity to fly in some of Canada’s most beautiful lakes, rivers and coastline. Having travelled from Canada’s east coast I was immediately made to feel at home. Tom and his staff were very accommodating in every aspect. Thank you for the great experience.

Amara Drysdale
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canadian Seaplane Rating

Growing up on the East Coast, I didn't have many experiences with float planes, or even aviation in general. After completing my training, I decided I wanted to become a bush pilot, and more than anything, I wanted to fly floats. The freedom and adventure that's associated is unparalleled. When trying to narrow down where to do my Seaplane Endorsement, my search led me to a number of companies on the West Coast. After reading many of the students' testimonials, I knew that Tom would be a perfect instructor.

As soon as I arrived, I felt like family. Tom made sure to include an extensive amount of information in a small amount of time, leaving me feeling comfortable at the helm. He even went as far as to recommend possible employment opportunities that would be well suited to my abilities.

The cross-country journey was well worth it! I had a lot of fun and learned a great deal from these wonderful people. To anyone who is still considering where to train, the answer is simple: Island Coastal Aviation.

Adrien Treu
Bordeaux, France
50 Hour Professional Seaplane Mountain Bush Pilot Course

If you read it, got for it!!! Flying with Tom was a great experience. You will learn a lot on the weather, floatplane and how does it work. And i will always remember 3 words from Tom : Speed Ball Power. Really enjoy!!!

Alba Dobarganes
Reinosa, Spain
Canadian Seaplane Rating

When I arrived at the airport I knew I was in the right place. I used to ask the other students how was their first flight on floats but they couldn't find the words to describe it. Now I understand why, I think there aren`t enough words to explain how do you feel when you take off and land on water for the first time of your life.It´s a unique experience plus the orography and weather make Pitt Meadows the best place to do it. Tom shows you, every second you spend with him, his passion for aviation and his professionalism. And Kristene cares about you and guides you since the very first second you meet her. I would recommend this experience in Island Coastal Aviation to everyone who wants to improve their flying skills and know whats real flying!

Alex Morris
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canadian Seaplane Rating

Island Coastal Aviation was a very huge help to me for my acquisition of a Seaplane Rating. I would especially like to thank Tom Drybrough for his excellent training and expertise and Kristene Drybrough for picking me up at Abbotsford Airport when I arrived. I would like to thank them both for making this rating possible. I definitely, one-hundred percent, recommend this training facility to anyone who wants to get their seaplane rating or any other type of rating or licensing that they require.

Daniele Cappellato
Italy
Private Pilot Licence

A great flying experience shared with great people! I suggest every foreign pilot to come to ICA and have a really good time flying in one of the best countries in the world.

Steve Coetzee
Coquitlam, BC
Private Pilot Licence

Since coming to Canada in 2000 I have been dying to renew my PPL. At Island Coastal Aviation I was introduced to Tom and Alistair. Both gents went the extra mile to ensure I was well equipped for the task ahead. Professional, thorough and flexible, they made it easy for me to complete a Canadian PPL. I enjoyed the process and would gladly recommend this flying school to anyone, young or old, to spread their wings and fly. Thank you Alistair for your guidance in the air and Tom for your tutoring on the Ground School items. Kristene on the other hand is the glue that keeps them all together and with her friendly, professional help, makes the transition into flying so much easier.

Gordon Brett
Pickering, Ontario
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane Course

Before I actually arrived at the hanger in Pitt Meadows, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I knew I was there to get 50 hours of float training, but I had no idea the level of experience I was going to receive. All the training was REAL LIFE training, something you don't see very often and something that will hopefully get me a job one day. Tom is one of the greatest instructors I have had so far in my pilot training career, and with Kristene they make a flight training team that actually cares for the success of their students. To Tom and Kristene, our goals became their goals, and they did everything in their power to help us achieve them. I wouldn't think twice about recommending a fellow student to them, thank you so much Tom and Kristene!

David Reynes
Spain
15-Hour Floatplane Proficiency Course

When I first arrived from Barcelona, the welcome received was extremely friendly and inviting, Tom and his wife Kristene are both great people and better hosts. Tom has passion for what he does and from the very beginning it's obvious he has a lot of experience on floats and West Coast flying.

Tom is a great instructor, and with the breathtaking scenery they have in BC, makes the perfect combination to learn and enjoy your floatplane rating. The experience of flying a floatplane in some of the most beautiful lakes and rivers was simply incredible. I would totally encourage anyone thinking of having the floatplane rating or simply willing to do some floatplane hours to go to Island Coastal. They will not only enjoy a great time there, they will meet a lot of interesting and friendly people.

Megan McStea
Switzerland
15-Hour Floatplane Proficiency Course

I've been interested in getting a float plane rating for a while, and when I was sent to Vancouver with my work for a few days a month over summer, I decided to use the spare time and get my rating. Pitt Meadows was the perfect location, being easily reachable from the city by public transport (especially with some help from my loyal Taxi-driver Kristene ;-)) and in an amazingly beautiful location. Even though I was very limited for time, Tom always managed to fit me into his busy schedule even on short notice. Tom teaches very thoroughly and was endlessly patient as I attempted to achieve his level of precision flying (I will never forget "power - speed - ball" :-)), master Canadian radio-communications ("Floatplane GKNH, ...where are we again?" :-)), analyze from which direction the wind was coming and whether or not the waves were too large to land on. Both he and Kristene were very professional while at the same time making me feel like part of the family. Thanks so much to both of you for the great time I had, the awsome training and helpful tips and contacts for future career plans!

Chantal Dienstbier
Anola, Manitoba
Canadian Seaplane Rating

I had been dreaming about getting a float rating for a few years and after completing my CPL and Multi IFR decided the time was right to check out float flying! After doing some research, I chose Island Coastal Aviation.

My experience was amazing. Tom and Kristene instantly made me feel at home and were both highly professional and full of great advice, stories and experiences. Pitt Meadows is a beautiful location and provides lots of great learning opportunities for float flying.

Not only did the Seaplane rating teach me a lot about flying in general, it has also opened up a world of career opportunities that I had never previously considered.

To anyone thinking of getting a float rating – Go for it! With Island Coastal Aviation of course!

Rune Balle
Co-Owner of Samsoe Seaplanes, Denmark
Canadian Seaplane Rating

Excerpt from Maple Ridge Times Article: I've flown with a lot of instructors in New Zealand, Australia, and Denmark, and this is the best instruction I've ever had.

Pascal Aubert
FranceCanadian Seaplane Rating

Once again, thank you so much for sharing your expertise, for your availability, patience and a great training opportunity for me while in Vancouver.

I'll be sure to get in touch again when I next visit Vancouver.

Thies Schärer
Switzerland
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

I came to Pitt Meadows, Canada to learn how to fly floatplanes and bush pilot training. To do this with Island Coastal Aviation was the perfect decision. Tom showed me how to fly a sea plane, to read the conditions in the bush and mountains and last but not least to.... stay humble. Tom and his very nice wife, Kristene are great people and Island Coastal Aviation and Pitt Meadows was the perfect place to learn to fly floatplanes and for bush and mountain training. Different weather conditions, beautiful scenery with lots of nearby lakes, rivers and mountains are just a few of the things you will experience there.

Go to Island Coastal and feel the spirit of floatplane flying with Mr. Seaplane, Tom Drybrough....I will be back to do my Canadian CPL, for sure. Thanks Tom and Christene.

Corinna Fuchs
767 Captain, Germany
Canadian Seaplane Rating

To anyone who's reading these testimonials: Go for it with Tom! I've been into aviation for almost 20 years now and flying floatplanes has been on my big list of "things to do before you die"! I finally got the opportunity to visit BC and decided to go for my sea plane rating there. I chose Island Coastal Aviation, since they already had experience with foreign pilots and they didn't dissapoint me!

Tom works in a very professional and calm manner as well as on a high standard. It was a lot of fun flying with him and I felt very comfortable all the time. I can highly recommend him as an instructor to anyone!

What I love about flying floatplanes: the challenge, the freedom, the nature, being independant... and the possibility to combine my love for water & air as well as low level flying ;-) !

Thanks soooo much for these great & unforgettable flights and for all your help concerning the rest of my flying in BC! ... can't wait to be back!

Keegan Rink
Air Ronge, Saskatchewan
Canadian Seaplane Rating

After working on the ramp in La Ronge for Transwest Air I heard of an opening coming up on the Twin Otter. Obtaining my Float Rating was something I wanted to do before I moved up here but I didn't have the time. I was able to get limited time off work and after looking around and with some recommendations from friends I gave Tom a call. Right away Toms was very helpful and accommodating and I was able to finish my rating within 5 days. Tom was very patient and his training was very thorough. I learned a lot and am very excited for the up coming float season! I just completed my training and achieved my PPC on the Twin Otter! I want to Thank Tom for everything. If you are looking to learn bush and float flying I highly recommend giving Tom a call!

Bre Bryce
Kelowna, BC
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

Thank you Tom and Kristene for the wonderful experience! I had wanted to take my float rating for a long time and I was very happy with my choice to fly with Island Coastal Aviation. Tom was a great instructor. He teaches everything you need to know plus more, all while having a great time. Pitt Meadows is also a wonderful area to learn. Always a different setting and beautiful scenery. Tom and Kristene treat you like family the minute you walk in the door. Flying floats is an amazing challenge and it was great having Tom and Kristene there to help and support me along the way. If your thinking of doing your float rating...DO IT! With Island Coastal of course.

Florian Rhyn
Switzerland
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

It was always my dream to become a floatplane pilot. Just after finishing my PPL I went to Island Coastal for the 50 hour course. I learnded a lot in the environment of Pitt Meadows: I learned to find my way between all the boats on the river, I learned to handle current, tides and salt water. You find everything in this area! I loved to fly along the rivers at 500 and below. Also the mountain flying in B.C. prepared me well to fly in the Alps. It was a great time-builder towards my CPL and I appreciate to have flown my first 100 hours with instructors. Now I can't wait to get my floatplane career started. And last but not least, it was a blast to live in a hangar! I will come back some day!

Alexander Gogin
Vancouver, BC
15-Hour Floatplane Proficiency Course

With commercial floatplane flying being my present career goal, I have chosen Tom's 15-hour floatplane course as an initial foundation that could then be used for further building of my water experience. I have no doubt that I came to right place. Tom's experience, knowledge and calm style of instruction have made for a very enjoyable and rich learning. The fact that Tom's company is also active in aerial survey field is an additional plus, since I was able to see - for the first time - actual practices of a real-world commercial operator. The training area around Pitt Meadows, with its tidal and river currents, dense air- and watercraft traffic, numerous floating debris, shallows, power lines and steep surrounding terrain, is challenging to say the least, and certainly instills the important sense of caution and respect for the elements. Even despite having flown in the Lower Mainland and the surrounding territory for over three years, I was surprised by how strange the supposedly familiar landscape looks from the low altitudes at which most of the training is done. It is a completely different perspective indeed! Thank you, Tom and Kristine, for the great time! I will definitely be back for more flying with you.

Dr. Iain Dommisse
Port Moody, BC
Canadian Seaplane Rating

Thank you so much for the amazing experience I had with you guys. You are a very kind and patient teacher and a very memorable one, as I have have had many over the years. You are also a very practical thinker & I thank you for making me a better pilot. Your course is more demanding than than the practical flight test I had for my Commercial Exam. I look forward to flying with you again soon. We are enjoying the sun on the Island.

Gerard Charlton
Vancouver, BC
7-Hour Floatplane Course

Once again, thanks for all the training. I really do appreciate the 'airmanship' you've provided in the training. I appreciate I won't learn a whole lot in 7 hours, so what you can provide is all the 'gotchas' that you can in the short span of training.

It was all a worthy exercise and has given me a new respect for another aspect of aviation.

Reinhard Bentrup
Germany
Canadian Seaplane Rating

The precision and accuracy of the flight training was outstanding which is something you get on owners operated flight schools only, if any. Unnecessary to mention the scenery and beauty of the Vancouver area which made the experience even more winning.

 

 

Luiz Hernandez
London, Ontario
Canadian Seaplane Rating

After receiving a job offer last winter to go overseas to fly a Twin Otter on floats, I had to find a school to go to and get my Floatplane Training. I called around my area (London Ontario) and quickly found out that it being winter I would have to go out west for it. I contacted Tom and Kristene at Island Coastal Aviation and quickly got a friendly response. Tom filled me in on the procedures so I went out west. Tom and Kristine greeted me with such a warm hospitality. The flying experience was fantastic and the scenery was breathtaking. Tom is an awesome instructor! His ability to assess every student's strengths and weaknesses makes each and every student gain the maximum benefit from every flight! Being an instructor myself I am most definitely recommending any of my students and friends to Island Coastal Aviation!

Rosh Jaypalan
Surrey, UK
15-Hour Floatplane Proficiency Course

Having flown heavy helicopters for the last 10 years within the Offshore Oil and Gas industry, I renewed my PPL (A) this year, having not flown fixed-wing for over a decade.

Flying floatplanes has always been on my list of things to try. The 15 hour course was a great opportunity to hone my fixed wing handling skills after such a long time away. What better place to fly floats than B.C? Both Tom and Kristene made me feel very welcome. Tom’s relaxed and knowledgeable manner put me at ease immediately in the aircraft.

I’m hoping that I’m not required to use any of the water landing techniques which were learned on the course, during the day job. I had a great time. I’ll be back for more.

Cliff Patteson
Grande Prairie, Alberta
Canadian Seaplane Rating

Tom and Kristine,

I can't thank you enough for the time we spent together in June helping me to add a float endorsement to my existing license. It was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences I have been privy to in a very long while. Your accommodations are fabulous, your hospitality superb! To the both of you, I thank you for your efforts! Kristine, you have always been so kind, and so accommodating ... Tom ... Well, we are going on 15 years since I've known you first. You are an excellent instructor and mentor. I say that with all degree of certainty. I wish I would have had more time, seven hours was just not enough to really get the feel of things... C'est la vie! Airspeed, Ball, Power...

I got it!

Daniel Aarts
Lakeside, Ontario
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

I had planned to eventually get my floatplane rating, but decided at the last minute to go ahead and get it done in February. Being winter, with the lakes in Ontario all frozen, I had to go somewhere else. I decided to take a 50hr float/bush/mountain course in BC for the experience and sheer beauty of the area. I was leaning towards Island Coastal Aviation after searching float schools on the Internet and after talking to Tom and another pilot who had gone there, I made my decision. I gave Tom another call on a Monday and flew out on Tuesday. Tom and Kristine were extremely friendly and hospitable, and helped me get settled in quickly so I could begin my training. Although the bad weather followed me from Ontario, Tom worked hard to get me finished on my schedule without sacrificing safety or my training.

The experience of flying in the rivers and mountains of BC is invaluable. I learned about, and experienced, more weather in my 50 flying hours there then I did in my previous 200. Tom’s vast experience as a pilot and instructor become evident pretty quickly while flying with him, and his teaching ability is as good as it gets. Tom also shared his knowledge about the entire aviation industry and provided guidance and assistance for going forward into the working world.

Overall, the scenery is absolutely great, the freedom of flying floats and picking your own runway is great, Island Coastal Aviation is great company run by great people. I had a great time, and if I had the money, I’d do it again. Thanks Tom and Kristine.


Ryan Gale
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canadian Seaplane Rating

Growing up surrounded by lakes in Manitoba and Ontario, float flying has always been a goal I've wanted to pursue. When the opportunity arose this past winter, while all the water in Manitoba was frozen solid, to travel to beautiful British Columbia and receive my Sea Plane rating, I didn't hesitate.

The welcome we received was extremely friendly and inviting, Tom and Kristene are both great people and perfect hosts. Their love and passion for what they do combined with their knowledge and experience on the west coast, make them the perfect choice for anyone who shares the passion for flying.

The experience of flying a float plane through the mountains, landing and taking off from some of the most beautiful lakes and rivers was simply incredible. Absolutely some of the most memorable flying I'm sure to ever experience. The training received from Tom was also not soon to be forgotten. Tom is an excellent instructor, with an incredible amount of experience to draw off of with an amazingly friendly yet professional cockpit demeanor.

The entire west coast flying experience was both incredibly beautiful and exciting, as well as education. Any pilot would benefit from the experience and will take the skills and knowledge gained from it with them for the rest of their flying careers.

Cody Neill
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canadian Seaplane Rating

Watching float planes around Manitoba is what got me into flying, and I finally was able to get the opportunity to do my float plane rating right before my Commercial flight test while all the lakes were frozen at home. Thankfully I decided on Island Coastal and Tom’s experience and knowledge not only helped me get my float rating, but also helped my flying skills immensely for my flight test by uncovering bad habits of mine that others didn’t see. Tom shared all his industry insight with me and helped me gain knowledge on not only my rating, but all parts of the aviation world. The aircraft was beautifully maintained and the training is top notch with some of the nicest scenery you can ask for in Pitt Meadows. Thank you, Tom and Kristene, for the most enjoyable flying experience yet!

Dr. Ken Jady
South Wales, UK
Canadian Seaplane Rating

In British Columbia, January is not the most popular month to embark upon float plane training but circumstances did not allow choosing a more clement time of the year. In the event, the weather - seasonally cold and wet - rendered only two days unflyable and I completed the course in five days. My success, of course, was due entirely to Tom Drybrough, an unusually gifted instructor whose relaxed manner is able to bring out the best in you as he gently and painlessly nudges you towards the exacting standard he demands. In short, he is simply the best instructor I have ever flown with! I have an abiding memory of Tom, ankle deep in icy water at the northern end of Pitt River, waiting for me to complete the required five take-offs and landings as the sole occupant of the aircraft on the only small patch of non-glassy water that existed on the river that day. What a guy! Should they ever decide to award a Nobel Prize to a float plane instructor, Tom will get my vote!

I would urge anyone contemplating float plane training to contact Tom. In my view, the Island Coastal Aviation experience cannot be beaten.

Kristoffer Hård
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course
Military Meteorologist, Commercial Pilot, Floatplane Pilot, Sweden

During my CPL training I realised that when flying for a big company you don´t have much "hands on" flying. That's when the idea of flying floatplanes came to me, coupled with the need for some mountain training since Sweden has a lot of mountainus terrain. After some browsing on the internet I found Island Coastal...

The 50-hour professional floatplane/mountains/bush course was exactly what I was looking for. What impressed me most was Island Coastal's flexibility about the course start, intensity of flying and lodgings. Add Tom's knowledge about floatplanes and his will to really get the best out of a student, it was the best weeks of flying in my life.

I can really recommend the 50-hour course to anybody who wants to fly hands-on, in an enviroment that differs from most other types of flying. I learned more about flying a plane in those 50 hours than the previous 200 hours, including hours on military jets and the IR/ME training.

Mike Koldawee
Tofino, BC
Canadian Seaplane Rating

Thanks again for the warm welcome and the great training. I really enjoyed my time in Pitt Meadows and I can't wait to come back for more flying. I really appreciate the thorough training you provide and the advice you have given. The accomodation you provide is perfect and very comfortable. I found the Pitt Meadows area a great place to learn to fly floatplanes, all the training locations are close by with plenty of variation.

Kelly Campbell
St. Thomas, Ontario
15-Hour Floatplane Proficiency Course

After completing my Commercial Pilots Licence, I was unsure what to do next. My flight instructor suggested I learn to fly floatplanes. Wanting to make the most out of my training, I decided to travel to British Columbia in order to get experience flying in the mountains. After starting to look for a floatplane school in BC, however, I quickly realized that making a selection would be very difficult, until I came upon Island Coastal Aviation's website and started emailing Tom. His prompt replies and welcoming tone made me feel he would be the best choice for me. I had no idea that my experience would be so amazing! The flying experience was fantastic and the scenery was breathtaking. Tom and Kristene were incredibly welcoming and made me feel right at home. Tom is an amazing instructor. His ability to assess a students strengths and and learning style allowed me to gain the maximum benefit from every minute of flight time. He is extremely knowledgeable not only about flying floats but about the aviation industry in general. I will take the knowledge that I have gained during my stay there and put it to good use. Thank you Tom and Kristene for pointing me in the right direction to get my career off the ground.

Dr. Doug Martin
Ontario, Canada
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

Not only does BC provide an exciting and varied environment for float training, but Tom is a uniquely talented instructor. In taking the time to recognize and address each student's individual learning style, Tom's teaching is creative and personalized. I left with a solid base of experience in float and mountain flying, had a pile of fun, and gained a friend and mentor in the process.

Jim Barlow
Tisdale, Saskatchewan
15-Hour Floatplane Proficiency Course

My background is a retired high school teacher and educational curriculum consultant, so I recognize the excellent quality instruction Tom Drybrough provides. He was thorough, safe and patient with my bad habits formed from flying Cessna 172 and 182 aircraft from Hudson Bay to Newfoundland to the Yukon. The experience of flying mountain winds, rain and low ceilings along the Fraser River with current, tides, loose logs, barges making big waves, fishing and pleasure boaters all inside the very active airport control zone of Pitt Meadows presented challenges that Tom mentored me through. This experience for the 15 hour proficiency floatplane rating was invaluable a I plan on touring across Canada in an amphibian. After the five mandatory solo take off and landings I returned to pick up Tom from a muddy shore of the Pitt River it looked like he was walking on the water. This image describes the respect I hold for him. The next day we barbequed a fresh sockeye salmon at his hangar fulfilling my second goal for this trip. Tom is concerned that the pilots he signs off with a float plane rating will be safe pilots with good habits.

Kyle Morton
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

When I got into aviation, I had no idea what my best options were. When I arrived in Pitt Meadows Tom and Kristene immediately helped me feel at home as well as Tom was more then helpful to show me all the options that where available to me. He also introduced me to many of his successful students who have shared many stories on their growing success in the industry, mainly due to Tom's expertise and willingness to help others become successful in aviation. Taking Tom's 50 float course was the best decision I have made so far, he helped me improve my flying skills as well as perfect float and mountain flying, it was a great experience that I can't see anyone ever regretting.

Stephen Bursey
Castlegar, BC
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

I am a 20-year-old aspiring pilot. I completed the 50 hours Float program during my build up time for my CPL. When I was researching where to do my float rating, I came across Island Coastal Aviation Inc. and it was a pleasant surprise. Instead of the sales pitch I was getting accustomed to, Tom informed me on what the program involved and what I would learn while I was there. When I arrived to start flying I was welcomed into Tom and Kristene's home like I was family.

The training was top notch, the plane was well maintained, and Tom's calm personality and attention to detail made for an amazing learning atmosphere. The training started off slow to expose your weaknesses then built on them till your competent being behind the controls. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't dream of flying over the mountains and shorelines of the West Coast. There is no better way to be going to SCHOOL!!!

NOV 26/2011 UPDATE: I've actually had a fairly busy couple months of flying. My time is slowly starting to creep up on that 1000 hour mark and its looking good for an upgrade in the spring.

Evan Kolbuc
Parry Sound, Ontario

I would like to thank Mr. Drybrough for a great experience while I was doing recurrent training on Floats with him. I was able to learn and refresh on floats throughout my training time. What a spectacular place to fly floats! It was great to be able to fly on a tidal river with current and many challenges. It is also nice to fly in and out of controlled airspace at the Pitt Meadows location. Thanks Tom!

Theodore Penner
Hearst, Ontario

Island Coastal Aviation is a great company to do float training with. Training with Tom Drybrough was a real treat. His in-depth knowledge and experience are fantastic, but even more helpful was the calm manner that Tom encouraged me and the straightforward techniques that he bestowed. Tom is a genuine individual that seeks to develop quality, well-rounded pilots. I grew a lot during my time with Island Coastal Aviation and would wholeheartedly recommend doing training here. On top of the excellent training you get to experience fantastic scenery and a variety of flight conditions (tidal, river, lake and control zones).

Matthew Michayluik
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

I am 19 years old from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and studying towards a CPL. A dream of mine has been to get a seweaplane endorsement and after I spoke with Tom on the phone for the first time, I realised it was within arms' reach. I took the seven hour basic course and completed it in four days. Not only was the experience absolutely amazing, the gorgeous landscape, and the weather that I lucked out with. The instructing from Tom was second to none. Very thorough in every aspect of being on the water, looking for an appropriate landing spot, and which direction the wind is coming from. The friendship I made with Tom and Kristene as well will last a life time. Thanks for your instruction, help and knowledge. Thanks again, Tom and Kristene.

Michael Goehler
Chilliwack, BC

When I got into aviation, I had no idea what my best options were. When I arrived in Pitt Meadows Tom and Kristene immediately helped me feel at home as well as Tom was more then helpful to show me all the options that where available to me. He also introduced me to many of his successful students who have shared many stories on their growing success in the industry, mainly due to Tom's expertise and willingness to help others become successful in aviation. Taking Tom's 50 float course was the best decision I have made so far, he helped me improve my flying skills as well as perfect float and mountain flying, it was a great experience that I can't see anyone ever regretting.

I consider my self one of the lucky low time pilots in these hard times to have a job in aviation.

After finishing my 50 Hour Floatplane course at a school near Vancouver in May 09 I got my first job in the aviation world with Island Coastal Aviation as a fire spotter and then later they trained me as a fire patrol pilot. As soon as I arrived I felt like a family member.

When I did my company check-out with Tom, I soon realized I should have done my 50 hrs float/bush course at Island Coastal Aviation on their C172 instead of with another school on their C180, who I chose because it was closer to my home. It requires such finer skills to fly a C172 on floats, much more so than the C180. I share this opinion with many others in the industry. When you learn on a C172 you develop a much higher skill level which will be used all throughout your float flying career. It prepares you much more for the real world out there, always flying close to, or at gross weight. Others have told me that learning on the C172 makes it so much easier to upgrade to larger aircraft later on, and I agree.

Tom has been a great employer/instructor for me and I'm really happy that I can profit from his experience. There is not one day that goes by where there is not a new situation. He's always willing to share his experience and makes you focus and aware of different scenarios. He doesn't just teach you how to fly floats; he goes the extra mile to turn you into a better pilot. As a past PPL and CPL instructor with thousands of instructing hours, he's always on top of your flying and advises you how to fix things. Even on the way to our base and the drive home after work you get ground briefings. I remember the days at my flight school all too well where I got charged big money for extra instructor time. I've also seen him doing it with students while on course, if you need a little more of his time, he won't charge you more. Isn't that special?

Also, he doesn't have hidden charges when you do your float plane training with him, fixed price that's it, not like most places with extra fuel, insurance surcharges and so on.

You can also use the float/ bush course for time building towards your CPL. It makes you such a better pilot. You get so much more knowledge and experience out of it. Besides, it's fun to fly through the mountains.

I recommend to every one who wants to get float training to see Tom at Island Coastal Aviation.

Last but not least, make sure you choose a school like Island Coastal Aviation that can issue you a tax receipt at the end of your course. At the end of my 50 hour course I found out that the school I attended could not issue me a tax receipt. ... that cost me thousands of $$$.

Thanks again to Tom and Kristene!

Scott Neuman
Edmonton, Alberta

My name is Scott Neumann and I'm a flight instructor at Centennial Flight Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. I had the privilege of receiving training from Tom and his flight school in the early part of 2007. I came out for the 15 hour float training course to see how I'd like it. Throughout the whole time I was there, the service was great! Tom really cared about his students. When the training started, I was amazed on how well the aircraft maintenance was kept and how the aircraft sparkled in the sunlight each morning. The training was tough and Tom definitely pushed you to be the best that you could be. After the 15 hour was completed, I just had to do more...it was addicting, fun, intensive and it gave you that freedom of flying in between the valleys! Less than a month later, I came back and finished another 35 hours of float training for the professional float course that he offered. It was great value and I was able to see a lot of the West Coast as well as the BC lower mainland. While I was there, I was exposed to a lot of like minded people which made the training that much better. I had an amazing experience and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks Tom, for everything!

Eric Hung
Markham, Ontario

My name is Eric Hung, I am currently a flight instructor in training. I came out to Canada's West Coast to get my 7-Hour basic float endorsement so I could add to my flying experience. I certainly wasn't disappointed. Tom is a very experienced instructor and I definitely learned a lot from him. I also appreciated the hospitality offered by him and his wife Kristene. Thank you Tom and Kristene for everything!

Garett Overmars
Flight Instructor
Moncton Flight College
Fredericton, New Brunswick

Thanks Tom, for all of your patience and expertise. Flying on the West Coast of Canada was some of the most memorable that I have experienced. Like you said, it was both a float rating and mountain flying course in one! Thanks again for your patience and assistance, I strongly recommend Island Coastal to anyone else looking to get their float rating.

Marina Droogers
London, Ontario

I always dreamt of flying a floatplane; however, after completing my CPL last fall it seemed easier to get my instructor's rating and find a local job. I soon realized I had made a big mistake and should have followed my dreams. A friend of mine told me about the awesome experience she had with Island Coastal Aviation. I emailed Tom and immediately received a friendly response. A few weeks later, I headed west to beautiful BC to take the 50 hour course. Tom, along with his wife, Kristene, welcomed me with warm hospitality. Being introduced to float flying on BC's West Coast is an experience any person who is passionate about flying would both appreciate and love. Tom works patiently with you on an individual basis to hone your flying skills and to give the best float training possible. Along with the training I learned valuable insights about the industry which ultimately helped me get that first job. I cherish the memories from my training and the amazing views the coast has to offer. Thank you Tom, for helping me establish solid direction in my aviation career! Thank you, Tom & Kristene!

Sheldon Larkin
Northern Manitoba

I had only started my aviation career and I knew that it would be hard to break into the aviation field with only a handful of hours. I also knew that becoming an instructor wasn't the path for me. I needed adventure and so I considered the float aspect of it all.

It took me months to find a float school that could give me the edge. I needed a school that would make me more attractive then the other hundred pilots graduating that year. I had contacted Island Coastal and my conversation with Tom helped my decision.

Tom just doesn't let you glide through the training and then take your money like most schools do. He takes the time to get to know you, find you weakness and makes them a strength. He really makes you think about what your doing and ultimately this makes better decisions in which could save your butt!

When I had completed my training, I knew that float driving was a career that I would be happy doing for a long period of time. I enjoyed it immensely.

Shortly after leaving Island Coastal I found my first job. My boss could not believe that I was a low time pilot and thought that I had been flying floats for years. My aviation career is taking off and this I owe all to Tom. Thank you!

Patrick Rogers
Creston, BC

I began my aviation career over 34 years ago as a bush pilot in northern Canada where I flew Cessna, Beaver, Otter, Beech 18 and Twin Otter floatplanes over a span of 5 years then had an enjoyable 27 years with the airlines. I simply wanted to renew and relive the memories I had of those early days on the lakes and rivers, the sense of freedom I felt with a floatplane, the daily exposure to magnificent scenery and the hourly personal challenge of this type of flying. I was surprised how quickly the old instincts returned under Tom's easy going, patient manner. As has already been stated by many others, the aircraft are indeed clean and well maintained and you will be thoroughly checked out on floats! I can also guarantee you will find the West Coast of British Columbia a challenging and beautiful place to fly! Tom and Kristene, all your hard work has paid off, I thank you and can't wait to return for my annual review!

Alex Jones
United Kingdom

I just wanted to thank you both for making our stay so enjoyable. The location is quite stunning, and the Floatplane Rating is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. I have been in aviation all my working life--41 years, to be exact--and have amassed over 16,000 flying hours on many types of aircraft, including Vickers VC-10, Lockheed Tri-star, Boeing 747 and the Concorde, as well as light aircraft ranging from Cessna and Piper single- and twin-engine aircraft, up to Short 360 and Cessna Citations. Tom, thank you for your very nice style of instructing, it certainly makes for a very relaxing introduction into this wonderful world of Floatplane flying. Both Auli and I really enjoyed our stay with you and of course beautiful Canada. I am now well and truly hooked on Float-plane flying and will be back for more in the future.

Josh Penner
Chilliwack, BC

I came to do a 50 hour floatplane course as part of my time building towards the commercial license, but left with much more. The course was excellent, and the skills taught by Tom have been a great aid in working towards the commercial license. Tom did not just teach me how to fly floats, but about all aspects of the industry. Always professional, yet friendly and accommodating, I can't think of a better place to learn to fly floats.

APR 29/2012 UPDATE: I flew a 206 on floats and 207 (wheels) in Northwestern Ontario for a year, and am now FO on a Beech 1900 and King Air 200 for Pacific Coastal out of YVR. Lots of fond memories flying with you, hope you are well.

Stephen Witherly
Ontario, Canada

For anyone considering a 50-hour professional floatplane course, the professional and calm instruction provided by Tom and the beautiful & spacious accommodation (provided by) Tom and Kristene really makes you feel like you are at your own home. The training environment on BC's West Coast is second-to-none. From coastal harbours, mountain terrain and beautiful freshwater lakes, this is the only place a pilot wanting to do their floatplane training should consider.

David Brant
Manchester, United Kingdom
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

Many thanks to Tom and Kristene for your kind hospitality and expert, patient instruction. Your aircraft are all in great shape, and together with the beautiful BC scenery it all adds up to a fantastic experience. The accommodation is comfortable and well appointed. The floatplane instruction is of the highest standard and I can recommend Tom's services to anyone wishing to fly in challenging terrain.

Lawrence Foster
Manchester, United Kingdom
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

As part of my hours building towards a JAA ATPL, I travelled to British Columbia from the UK to experience the thrill of float flying. The photos and information prepare a pilot somewhat for what will greet them on arrival here... but do not portray the feeling of flying in such beautiful countryside. For that, one must simply visit and experience. Tom, in common with all his staff, is both professional and friendly - be it in the cockpit or away from flying altogether. With his wife, Kristene, their efforts make the student feel very much at home. The aircraft is very well maintained and a pleasure to fly - the scenery makes any flight an experience in itself, but the floatplane has the capability to show the pilot places otherwise inaccessible. I would strongly encourage any pilot considering advancing their training to come and see a different side of flying and experience the very best of Canada.

Ben Peck
United Kingdom
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

Mountain and Bush Course: Navigating through the maze of steep sided valleys, maneuvering amidst canyons and glaciers, not only felt like flying through Jurassic Park but proved an invaluable experience for the world of bush flying. Thanks to everyone for a totally enjoyable and informative course.

50 hour Floatplane Course: Prior to commencing the course I had heard many good reviews of the 50 hour floatplane course. It exceeded all my expectations. It didn't take long to see why the West Coast is regarded as one of the best places for float flying. Tom and Kristene really made me feel at home and not having my own transportation proved not to be a problem. The course was very much geared towards getting that all important first job. Tom is a very experienced, committed instructor and easy to get along with which made the flying great fun. I would recommend float flying to anyone in aviation, whether their ambition is the airlines or becoming a Blimp pilot. Float flying really refines the skills and tests your ability to read the weather. I'm personally now hooked on flying floats.

Ian Beatty
Armstrong, BC
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

Going to Tom to learn floats was the best training decision I made. Doing the 50 hour floatplane course during the winter prepared me to get a float job in Ontario the following spring.

My new employers were impressed with the level of float knowledge I had when I started flying that spring. Doing 50 hours was also a wise decision, as they were considering other pilots with less float time. The training was thorough and enjoyable, and the setting was second to none. Being right next to the ocean as well as numerous fresh water lakes provides lots of variety during the course. Tom has got lots of knowledge to pass along and keeps the atmosphere in the cockpit relaxed and easy going. He and Kristene were great hosts as well, as I stayed in their house while doing the training. A thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience from start to finish.

UPDATE: I've done close to 300 hours so far, they are talking about checking me out on the turbo Otter and I'm studying for the ops manager test. Busy busy busy!

Bob Reid
Yellowknife, NWT
7-Hour Floatplane Course

I was looking for basic (floatplane) flight training, and I found excellent flight training coupled with hospitality and service to match the training. The employees and students went out of their way to make every part of the training fun and easy. The top notch instruction, equipment and accommodation makes for a package that puts them ahead of the rest in flight training in Canada.

Matthew Tinker
Burns Lake, BC
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

Thank you for the excellent training experience. I found the staff to be extremely helpful and dedicated to providing the best training possible. Tom and Kristene went the extra mile to meet my training needs and schedule. Their aircraft were clean, well maintained, and always ready to go. The terrain on the West Coast was both spectacular and challenging for any pilot. The skills I learned while flying with Tom are helping me greatly as I begin my new career as a professional pilot. I would recommend you as a top notch training facility to any pilot. Thanks again!

Melvina Nicca and Matthias Steiner, Switzerland
7-Hour Floatplane Rating

The float training we did with Tom was a unique and fantastic experience, even for us as Commercial pilots. They treated us like friends!

Sanjay Sharma
Bombay, India
15-Hour Floatplane Proficiency Course

I was relaxed from the very first day, I never felt like I was out of my country. I flew 15 hours with Tom Drybrough. Flying with him was an unforgettable experience. I came to know that Tom is one of the best floatplane instructors in Canada. He is the best training according to me.

Marco Spadafora
Comox, BC
Recurrency Floatplane Training

I could not believe that in only one hour of instruction, you had helped me to be successful with my docking and fixed the left-turning tendency I had on my take-offs. I learned more from you in that one hour than I had in all the hours of float training I had previous to that. So I would just like to say 'Thank-You'. I also like the bush and charter programs you offer, those beach landings sound like a very creative way of making a landplane flight a lot more exciting.

Robin Kilroy, Ireland
50-Hour Advanced Floatplane, Bush Pilot and Mountain Flying Course

I did my 50 hour Professional Floatplane Course as part of my hour building towards my JAR commercial licence. Starting out with very little idea of where to train on floats, Canada seemed an obvious place to start as float planes and Canada are synonymous with one and other.

Typing in 'Float Planes Training Canada' in an internet search came back with many schools. Very few were as helpful as Tom over the email. There were obviously many questions to be answered before I came here as a foreign student. They also seemed to have the best deal as accommodation and transport were included and course availability was good.

I was left with no worries except to go and fly. The float flying is mostly done in an area with a lot of remote lakes situated between the highest mountains along the beautiful west coast of BC. There are also a number of coastal islands which are explored during the course in the hunt for a good spot to do some circuits.

Robin is now a captain with a major airline.

Tom is a very thorough instructor who keeps on top of all your mistakes and bad habits whilst keeping the cockpit an enjoyable place to be. At this stage in my flying, this meticulous approach is important to me if I am to reach the commercial standard.

In summary, the course was all I hoped it would be and the fifty hours on floats over BC's West Coast was one of the most memorable months for me so far - not to be missed.