Wings Over Water Seaplanes

Seaplane training in the land of 10,000 lakes

Conveniently located in St. Paul, Minnesota, we have quick access to the great Mississippi River, scores of local lakes for seaplane training purposes and are a beautiful flight away from Minnesota's north country with its thousands of lakes, deep pine forests and spectacular scenery. With a choice of aircraft on either straight or amphibious floats we offer Single-Engine Sea add-on ratings for your private, commercial or ATP certificate.

The airplanes

PA-18 Super Cub

Our 1969 Piper Super Cub started it's career in Alaska before being purchased and shipped to Minnesota, where it spent several years in a garage.

It was then purchased by Jim Ayotte, who along with Don Loughrea lovingly restored it to the fine condition it is in today.

The Super Cub is the ultimate bush airplane and a fantastic float aircraft. It is simply a classic and fun to fly. N4434Z has a 160HP Lycoming engine, sits atop Wipline straight floats and cruises at a sedate 90 m.p.h.

Fitted with floats, N4434Z weights 1,303 pounds and has maximum gross weight of 2,000 pounds, leaving a useful load of 697 pounds. It can carry up to 36 gallons (216 pounds) of fuel, leaving a full-fuel payload of 481 pounds

Cessna 172 Amphib

The latest addition to our offerings is N1489E, a 1978 Cessna 172 on brand-new Wipline amphibious floats.

The amphibs make "89Echo" a perfect aircraft to add commercial sea plane privileges to your ticket or to simply gain experience with some of the operational and handling characteristics of amphibious floats.

The rating

The training for your private or commercial seaplane rating begins by learning the specialized procedures for pre-flighting an airplane on the water, taxiing and right-of-way considerations. There are no brakes, so as soon as the engine starts you'll be moving and enjoying the challenge of operating an airplane on floats.

As you start getting comfortable and proficient with the airplane you'll move on to the advanced techniques every seaplane pilot must know in order to operate safely and confidently. These include rough-water takeoffs and landings, confined area takeoffs, glassy water landings, step-taxiing and emergency procedures.

When you've mastered those aspects of seaplane flying you'll take your checkride, the examiner will shake your hand, fill out a temporary certificate with the coveted "single-engine sea" rating and you'll know you've accomplished something very special.

Rates and packages


Supercub: $350/hr

C172 Amphib: $450/hr

All rates include aircraft, fuel and instruction.


Wings Over Water Inc. has teamed up with Madden's on Gull Lake, the Midwest's Top Fly-in Destination, to offer a Sea Plane Rating and vacation package.

The Sea Plane Rating Package, includes four days/three nights lodging, breakfast and dinner each day, golf on our Pine Beach East or Pine Beach West golf courses and a special guest rate at "The Classic at Madden's", Minnesota's only 5-star rated golf course (Golf Digest).

For more information on this unique opportunity contact Ben Thuringer at 800-642-5363.

About Mary

A pilot since 1991, Mary Alverson has loged nearly 5,000 hours and is a CFI, CFII, MEI and Cirrus Standardized Instructor. Before forming Wings Over Water Inc., Mary was an instructor at Wings Inc. in St. Paul for six years.

Mary is also an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner, conducting checkrides for Private and Commercial single-engine-land and single-engine-sea certificates.

Mary retired in 2012 after a 38-year career as a flight attendant, first with North Central Airlines, then Republic, Northwest and ultimately Delta Airlines.

Learning to fly was a desire from the day she was hired as the first married flight attendant at North Central Airlines. She was hired at the same time the airline's first female airline pilot, Barb Wiley, was hired.

Like most pilots, Mary is fascinated by anything that flies but seaplanes are her first love. It was the combination of a love for seaplane flying and teaching that drove her to start Wings Over Water.


To schedule a seaplane rating or for more information, please contact Mary Alverson at 612.240.0123 or via e-mail at