• Islands of the Pacific Northwest

    2023 August 17, 18, 19, 20


    Learn emergency water landing survival skills, coastal weather and flight planning,

    search and rescue services, scenic tours over Vancouver glaciers for owners and renter


  • "Even as a relatively experienced aviator, I learned a ton on this trip. There's no substitute for the hands on experience of trying to climb into a life raft or the wisdom one can get by talking with a bunch of expert flight instructors around a campfire. I would highly recommend it."

    Chris Clearfield



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    Day 1


    1400 -1600 - Arrive at Orcas Island

    1800 Welcome + Hors D'Ouvres
    1830 Dinner
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    Day 2

    KBFI tour to KORS, lectures

    0800 Breakfast


    0900 - 1230 Ground Lectures:

    • Executing a Forced Landing
    • Post Crash Survival

    1230 Lunch

    1330 Ground lectures:

    • What's Important In a Survival Kit
    • Fire Starting and Signaling
    • ELTs, PLBs, and other tracking devices



    1830 Appetizers/Drinks/Dinner

    2000 Ryan Van Haren gives Firelight lecture on border crossing

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    Day 3

    Crossing The Border, Life Raft

    0700 Breakfast

    0800 Preflight Briefing

    0900 Wheels up for Canada / Glacier Tour



    • Touring the glaciers north of Vancouver 
    • Olympic Peninsula 

    1200 - 1300 Lunch

    1400 Cold Water Immersion Survival Lecture by Dr. Howard Donner

    1500 Life Raft Deployment

    1800 Seafood Boil Dinner - Featuring fresh Buck Bay oysters on the half shell



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    Day 4

    Seaplane flight, Island flying

    0700 Breakfast

    0800 How to Ditch an Airplane - Peter Lert

    0830 Preflight Briefing

    0900 Reposition to Seaplane Base on Orcas Island

    1000 Seaplanes / Signaling - Seaplane Scenics


    1200 Lunch

    1300 Depart

  • A Truly Unique Experience

    We believe that by immersing you in the environment and surrounding you with decades of experience, you will learn as much as absolutely possible about the art and science of flying safely near the open water. We believe an emphasis on survival planning is an important factor of your education if you plan to fly across large bodies of water. Our staff has experience in over 50 single engine ocean crossing flights.

    The course includes ground lectures on the following topics:

    • Flying the Islands
    • Cold Water / Island Meteorology
    • International Procedures
    • ELTs, PLBs, and other tracking devices
    • What's important in a survival kit
    • Post crash survival
    • Cold Water Immersion
    • Search and Rescue

  • Special Guests

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    Peter Lert

    Burt Rutan's test pilot

    Peter has over 20,000 hours of flight time and has worked as a test pilot for Burt Rutan. He has been a training program developer for FlightSafety International, editor of Air Progress Magazine, a Part 135 charter and Air Ambulance pilot, and an international ferry and demonstration pilot. Peter has made over 50 ocean crossings, almost entirely in single engine airplanes.

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    Ryan Van Haren

    ATP, Air Traffic Controller

    Ryan Van Haren is an accomplished pilot who works as an air traffic controller in the airspace between the San Juan islands and Vancouver BC. He is here to help us understand the border crossing procedures between the two countries. He also leads survival "shakedowns" which leave pilots stranded overnight to test their survival preparedness.

  • Pricing

    Whether you join us in your own plane or rent one of ours, we will help pair you with an instructor to tailor the weekend to your needs.


    We provide the learning environment for you to get the most out of your weekend adventure in the Pacific Northwest Islands.

    • Accommodations
    • Custom TFP survival kit
    • Gourmet food
    • Lectures by Jason Miller, Peter Lert, and Dr. Howard Donner
    • Sea plane flight experience

    A huge part of the value on this trip are the lectures, the life raft deployment, the Seaplane time, and signal mirroring. Come join us! Stay on the island, attend the lectures, workshops, life raft deployment, and seafood boil. Fly a Seaplane! Beginners to Experts welcome. This will be the time of your life!

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    Airplane Owners

    Fly with us in your aircraft. We help partner you with an experienced mountain flying instructor.

    KBFI Boeing to KORS Orcas roundtrip with CFI


    If you own an airplane, we will connect you with an experienced dedicated instructor for your airplane to train you in island flying in your own aircraft. Kids 12 and under free with owners.


    $4950 Course fee

    $2000 Instructor fee


    Non-flying guests $1250

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    Fly with us in a rented aircraft. We help pair you with an experienced flight instructor.

    San Francisco to (KORS) Orcas Island, roundtrip with CFI.



    $4950 Course fee + aircraft rental

    $2000 Instructor fee


    Non-flying guests $1250

  • “I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the San Juan Islands adventure. We learned a lot about the Diamond, the airspace, the 'what would we do IF?' and the geography while in the air. I also enjoyed Howard and Denise's great breakfast on Saturday morning, going into town for pizza on Friday night and Adam's outstanding "seafood boil" on Saturday night. I really enjoyed Howard's lectures...I found his information very helpful and relevant as we have Lake Michigan to deal with in our neck of the woods. And I've already put my 'survival kit' in my plane. I am looking forward to more cool adventures in the future...”



    Christine Duncan

  • Videos

    Be sure to catch these highlights from the San Juan Islands 2017 maiden voyage...

    Blowing $5,000 in 5 Seconds! Life Raft Deployment

    Survive Ditching an Aircraft

    ...courtesy of Flight Chops

    Check out this Flight Chops Coast Guard rescue video. Our course will help prepare you in the event you ever need a rescue like this.

    Wilderness Medicince

    Immersion and Drowning

    Dr. Donner discusses swim failure, hypothermia, drowning, hyperventilation, cold water cooling, life jackets, and more.