Founded as a newsletter in 1972, the now four-color, 48-page professionally produced magazine is published six times a year and distributed internationally to members. The magazine is not sold on the newsstand—it is an exclusive SPA member benefit. A separate special issue, the Seaplane Training Directory, is published every spring. SPA members receive both print and online versions of each issue.
Each issue covers the range of interests to active seaplane pilots and members who hold the seaplane rating but are not actively flying seaplanes at the moment. The core content focuses on seaplane piloting skills, proficiency and safety—avoiding mistakes that can lead to a gear-down landing on the water in an amphibious seaplane; how-to landing technique for glassy, rough and otherwise abnormal water conditions; speed and attitude control on water landings; reading the wind; and other hands-on piloting topics.
Water Flying also covers unique seaplane destinations ranging from state-maintained Alaska lake cabins to privately operated lake camps in Maine. Members write us about their bucket-list seaplane adventures, such as accomplishing a water landing in each of the 35 counties in Washington State—in one day. We profile seaplane pilots, both new and veteran. And we tackle current issues affecting seaplane access, such as efforts to control waterborne vessels to inhibit the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Each issue also includes a detailed report on current activities and initiatives the Seaplane Pilots Association is involved in.