The Flying Boat Amateur Radio Society

Welcome to the net of Webfooted People of the World

Established March 1989

The idea of a net for amateur operators that flew or maintained the old flying boats was conjured up while in QSO with Don Dahl (W3MK). We were on another net operation named the International Association of Airline Hams and there was mention made of the PBY Catalina. Don and I moved off to another frequency to further discuss our days of past with the old boats. A few other members of the IAAH joined us in the discussion (KN4CH-Joe Kelly, W0QP-Don Tyson, W4REO-Ralph Williams, KA8FIO-Chic Childs and WA4UJR-Kelly Gross, the last two now silent keys). We thought there were probably many hams out there that would be interested in this type of net.So we set up a schedule for the following week On the next few nets we decided,why not throw it open to any and all types of seaplanes or float planes.That was the start of the The International Flying Boat Association, later renamed to "The Flying Boat Amateur Radio Society".

Over the next few months the word spread about our net and we picked more and more new check-ins. Our first overseas call in was G3BKG, Ken Field, who in turn alerted a few more of his mates and fellow members of RAFARS (Royal Air Force Amateur Radio Society). Before long we had members from Australia, Canada, Norway,Great Britain, South America , Bermuda and the Bahamas. In short order the members grew from a starting group of about 25 to the present 379 on the roster. The background of the members includes, pilots, crewmen, factory reps, ground maintenance, beaching crews, and seaplane tender personnel, military, civilian and private operations. One day we hope to contact flying boat people from Germany, Japan, Russia, or wherever ....they are all welcome.

Many enjoyable hours have been spent on the nets listening to a variety of tall tales, sea stories, exaggerations, half truths and downright lies..... hi. The real pleasure is hearing one of the members contact and old lost (but not forgotten) mate of years gone by, who served in the same squadron or base (and we have had quite a few of them). We also try to keep abreast of progress on ongoing restorations of old flying boats, news of the boats still in flying status, in museums, and also on occasion the discovery of one that was lost and recently found in the jungles or on the bottom of a bay. We make an effort to keep track of upcoming squadron or ship reunions of interest to the membership. Input information of any kind from the net members is always welcome i.e.; photos, stories, newsclips, old squadron rosters, etc. This net belongs to the members and they make it what it is.

Come swing on the buoy with us for a while...... we know you will enjoy it. With your support and dedication we will never, ever, let the old flying boats be forgotten

Best 73',

Bill / AB4FK - ab4fk@norfolk.infi.net

Fred / K9YER - k9yer@juno.com

Dub / NY4B - cshealey@pilot.infi.net