History of Experience
Air Whitsunday commenced operations at Happy Bay resort on Long Island in the Whitsundays in April 1973. Kevin Bowe was founder and Chief Pilot and the only aircraft was a Lake Buccaneer amphibian, VH-ETY. Services offered were scenic flights and charter flights between the island resorts and the mainland. After 12 months a second Lake aircraft was added to enable services to be expanded to include tours to Hardy Lagoon on the Great Barrier Reef and so began a growth phase that was only limited by available capital.
By 1978, when it was necessary to expand beyond three aircraft, the business moved to the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour (operated then by TAA). Within 3 years the fleet had grown to five Lake amphibians operating in formation to the reef up to four or five times a day. At this time up to 14 pilots were online. All had been endorsed by Kevin Bowe or pilots that he had trained.
In 1983 two Grumman Mallards, one with the original Pratt and Whitney R1340 radial engines and the other with the Pratt and Whitney PT6-34 Turboprop conversion were added to the fleet. Endorsement approval was extended to include these twin engined aircraft of 5,700KG AUW.
Since selling Air Whitsunday, Kevin has continued to carry out FLOATING HULL ENDORSEMENT training in Australia, New Zealand and the Fiji Islands. Types covered include the Searey, the Lake Buccaneer, the Lake Renegade and the Seawind. Kevin can use his own Lake amphibian for endorsement training or will train an owner on his own aircraft.