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Jack Brown's Seaplane Base was started, in 1963, by Jack Brown. His fondness for seaplanes began at an early age, flying an Aeronca C-3 Float plane on the Kanawha River in West Virginia. This continued during WWII when he flew the Grumman "Flying Boats" and PBY's. Following the war, Jack was a civilian instructor and test pilot for the U.S Air Force station in central Florida. He put down roots here and became the fixed base operator at the Winter Haven Airport, now Gilbert Field.
Jack's affection for seaplanes gave him a grand vision for an overgrown area on Lake Jessie, located just southwest of the Winter Haven Airport. Jack launched a Piper J-3 Cub on floats to introduce a friend to the freedom of float flying, and a seed was planted for Jack Brown's Seaplane Base.
In 1975, Jack Brown passed away. His oldest son, Jon, carried on what his father started, and over the 42 years that followed he established the solid reputation the base has today. In 2018, Jon's son-in-law, Ben Shipps, an instructor at the base, became an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. In early 2019, Jon sold the business to Ben to carry on a legacy of sharing the wonderful world of floats.
History is one of the many things that sets our school apart, not dwelling in it, but building upon it. With over 57 years of specializing in seaplane training, certifying more than 22,000 pilots from around the globe, and thousands of hours logged each year, we constantly are seeking ways to improve our operation and enhance customer/student experience. Our mission is to provide clear, concise, objective based seaplane training that not only will challenge you but improve who you are as a decision maker and pilot. We take pride in offering personalized seaplane instruction, in a friendly atmosphere, to the highest standard.
Along with Jon and Ben, you will find family working in the office, with old friends, and past students always dropping by to say "Hello". As much as this is a business, it is also a place where you will come as a stranger, leave as a friend, and know you are always welcome back!
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