What are the rules with regards to landing a float plane on a body of water? Can I land anywhere (non-emergency, obviously) that would also accommodate the take-off? If not, how do I determine which bodies of water would allow it and which would not?
It really depends on the state, though you can't land in National Parks (the National Park Service regulates that, not the FAA). The FAA doesn't care where you land it, though if you ball it up due to poor choice of landing area then they'll have something to say.
Some states don't really care where you land (like Oregon), others don't let you land anywhere (like New Jersey). You should contact your state and get the regulations from them.
1$\begingroup$ Any idea generally which state agency you would ask? $\endgroup$– CanukDec 19, 2013 at 18:52
2$\begingroup$ I'd start with the state department of transportation. If they have a specific aviation department then they'll direct you to it. $\endgroup$– KhantahrDec 19, 2013 at 19:00
4$\begingroup$ The AIM specifically says request and it also says it's the park/forest service that is making the request. It's very rare that that phraseology is used. Requests are not regulatory and never have been. I'm aware of may certificate actions referring to the AIM, I'm not aware of a single one that refers to part of the AIM that is including a request from a separate government entity. In fact, I'm not aware of any legal cases of any nature that are based on a statement that "requests" unless accompanied by stronger language. $\endgroup$– KhantahrDec 19, 2013 at 21:11
3$\begingroup$ I was soo confused what "USPS" was referring to - I wasn't sure what the Postal Service was doing renting ice cream stands. For the record, I can't find an official abbreviation but most of the time it seems to be called
Park Service$\endgroup$– SSumnerMay 13, 2014 at 0:41
3$\begingroup$ @SSumner it seems to be NPS, a la their website and stuff on info page: nps.gov/aboutus $\endgroup$– Nick TMar 28, 2016 at 21:40
This is handled on jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis. While sea plane "bases" are marked on the sectional, this only means that the location has been registered with the FAA.
The air space over the water is handled federally. The water itself is handled locally. When the aircraft is on the water, it is generally considered a boat under the law, except where a jurisdiction has chosen to single out sea planes.
Unfortunately many jurisdictions have done just that. Any little mud puddle can potentially be banned for sea plane operations by the local community.
There is an association of sea plane pilots who involve themselves in advocacy to keep waters available. They publish some useful materials on this subject.
If you plan on going for your sea plane endorsement, your instructor will give you the pertinent details. If you would like to fly locally, you will need to check out your local codes. If operations have not yet been banned, it would be sensible to join the association, and take an active role in keeping local waters open to sea planes in your area.
$\begingroup$ On the water, considered a boat, there may be local speed limits which you have to take into consideration as well. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2018 at 19:56
States with coastlines often manage this through a "port authority" association, like Massachuesetts.
Sometimes it is a joint association, like in the case of the PA-NY-NJ Port Authority.
According to my research. It comes down to the owner of the body of water. Please read this link as it will explain everything in detail. When it comes to landing a plane and a body of water the FAA has Little to no say. There are some inspections that have to be performed. You have to consider the zoning, other traffic, possible hazards, neighborhoods and flightpath, The amount of traffic and whether or not there is a viable airport within 5 miles. Of course it also depends on the state.
2$\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE. Please consider putting relevant information (e.g. regulation quotes) here rather than behind a link. $\endgroup$– FedericoOct 24, 2018 at 5:11
Drawing on some personal observations, many float-plane sites around Seattle are marked on maps.
But I've also observed float planes taking off and landing at sites that are not appropriately marked on the map.
I cannot cite regulations, but my eyeballs suggest that any safe place may be legally okay.
faatag, as I'm pretty sure the
lbawill cut your ears of if you land anywhere except a designated airfield... :) $\endgroup$
asesmean here? $\endgroup$