Sea Plane: Seattle Sea Plane Information

Sea Plane: Seattle Sea Plane Information

Posted 05.23.2012 in Articles by Caitlin

Few regions in the lower 48 have as much need for seaplane services as Seattle and the nearby Puget Sound, and even fewer have more beautiful countryside to overfly. Although the weather is usually a high overcast from September through May, the area in summer months is truly stunning, especially from the air.

Seattle Seaplanes

Seattle Seaplanes is the quintessential Northwest water taxi and charter. Operating from a charming vine-shaded bungalow on the southeast docks of Lake Union, the outfit provides sightseeing, charter flights and training for private pilot and seaplane ratings. 

Seattle Seaplanes founder Jim Chrysler has been flying in the Puget Sound area since 1966. He started Chrysler Air in 1981, and renamed the business Seattle Seaplanes in 1995.  Walking through the garden-like deck into the bungalow's lobby area is like walking through a time tunnel into a more relaxed, friendly time.

Three floatplanes are in daily operation; two 300 HP Cessna 206s on Peekay 3500 floats in red, white and blue livery, and a blue and white 180 HP Cessna 172 on Aqua 2200 floats. A classic two-seat 1947 Stinson Voyager with Edo 2425 floats is currently undergoing restoration.

Pricing for Scenic Flights from Lake Union start at $87.50 for a 20 minute circuit that includes aerial views of the Ballard Locks, Gasworks Park, the University of Washington, Bill Gates Estate, the Floating Bridges, Lake Washington, the Space Needle and downtown Seattle.

Longer scenic flights are available; the Olympic Mountain Range to the west, the San Juan Islands to the northwest, Victoria and Vancouver to the north, Mount Rainier and Mount Saint Helens to the southeast. 

If you plan to fly to Vancouver, Victoria or other locations in British Columbia, remember to bring your passport; other government ID or NEXUS cards are not valid for air travel.

If you're planning your seaplane flight to celebrate a special occasion, you might be interested to know that Seattle Seaplanes invites you to use their beautiful dockside deck for a before or after flight party or gathering. The garden-like setting, with a terrific view of Union Bay and the edge of the downtown skyline, make a hospitable and memorable setting.

Kenmore Air

Kenmore Air, headquartered on the northern shore of Lake Washington, is tone of the oldest and largest seaplane operators in the world. Founded in 1946 by high school friends Bob Munro, Reg Collins and Jack Mines, the company grew to 25 aircraft in operation today. 

Kenmore Air has two seaplane terminals. Kenmore Air Harbor in Kenmore, WA is the point of origin for the company's seasonal seaplane service to destinations in the Gulf Islands and along BC's Inside Passage. It is also an alternative terminal for most year-round seaplane flights to/from the San Juan Islands and Victoria.

Lake Union is the main seaplane base for Seattle sightseeing, for year-round flight to the San Juan Islands and Victoria, and for seasonal flights to the Gulf Islands.

The floatplanes used for scenic flights are piston and turbine Beavers. Turbine Otters, seating up to 10 passengers and one pilot, are used for regular scheduled air taxi and larger group charters. Flight training is offered in Cessna 180s and a classic orange tandem seat Super Cub. The company also operates 9 passenger Cessna Caravans from land based airports.

Northwest Seaplanes

Northwest Seaplanes also provides both scheduled and charter seaplane service from South Lake Washington.

Clyde Carlson, owner and founder, started Northwest Seaplanes in 1988

Transportation to BC fly-in resorts, fishing lodges and boating destinations are a regular part of the company's air operations. 
The company operates a fleet of five, six passenger Dehavilland Beavers. The Beaver is the classic bush plane with a 450 HP radial engine originally designed and built in the 1940's.  The ruggedness of the aircraft is demonstrated by it's continued popularity in air taxi operations several decades after production ceased in 1967.
Coastal Seaplane Service
Coastal Seaplane Service is a small operation based at Renton Municipal airport, about 12 miles south of Seattle. Pilot Tim McKee provides the personal touch for scenic flights, fishing tours, romantic get-a-ways and special occasions. He also provides harbor to harbor air taxi service aboard his Cessna 206 amphibious floatplane. 


Seattle Seaplanes

1325 Fairview Ave. E.

Seattle, WA 98102

206-329-9638 1-800-637-5553

NW Seaplanes

1 800 690-0086


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