Flight Evaluation: Tailwind Air Seaplane Commuter From Manhattan to Boston

Tailwind makes use of a two-year-old Cessna 208B amphibious plane on the route from New York Skyports Seaplane Base to Boston Harbor

Tailwind Air isn’t a mean commuter airline. There are undoubtedly similarities to Seattle’s Kenmore Air, in that each fly seaplanes and do charters via a few of the world’s busiest airspace, however Tailwind Air positions itself as a boutique service for the time-pressed Northeastern traveler.

Together with saving time, the flight affords some fairly wonderful surroundings – the Empire State Constructing is on the correct

That is their math: it takes at the least 4 hours to cowl the 200 street miles between Manhattan and Boston by rail or automotive, relying on site visitors or service delays. By air, it’s constantly lower than 90 minutes. And much more comfy and glamorous.

Our flight was on Friday, March 5, 2022, which marked the airline’s annual resumption of service on the route – the flight doesn’t function within the winter months.

The flight from Manhattan to Boston took 70 minutes because of a useful tailwind, though we paid for that by having to battle the corresponding headwind on the way in which again, in order that leg took 90 minutes. Contemplating it’s taken me 90 minutes to drive the size of Manhattan in Friday afternoon site visitors, this flight is an excellent possibility.

Our airplane approaching the dock in Manhattan

That, mixed with their schedule, means you’ll be able to simply do a morning or afternoon assembly in a single metropolis or the opposite and never be gone all day. It’s additionally a good way to do a day tour between the 2 cities.

On the flip aspect, it’s additionally significantly dearer than the practice or a automotive, so all of it will depend on your private time-versus-money calculations. It does make for a pleasant AvGeek expertise whatever the purpose for the journey.

The Brooklyn Bridge with the Statue of Liberty within the center distance. The annoying rope within the higher proper is a regular seaplane characteristic, permitting the airplane to be extra simply maneuvered whereas at a pier. It additionally does a wonderful job of irritating photographers

We had been informed the surroundings can be nice, and I’d name it stellar. You get a mini tour of Manhattan on each legs, because the flights depart from the New York Skyports Seaplane Base on the Decrease East Facet, only a bit north of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.

We departed to the south into the prevailing wind, and banked onerous to the east as soon as away from the bridges, making a 180° flip after which overflying LaGuardia Airport at lower than 2,000 toes, which was tremendous enjoyable.

A enjoyable steep flip quickly after taking off from the East River

One of many pilots informed me that Tailwind labored with each middle (ARTCC) and TRACON air site visitors controllers to develop the routes, as beforehand nothing appropriate had existed via the very congested airspace.

Behold: LaGuardia Airport from above

The airplane is a two-year-old Cessna 208B on amphibious floats, which means it additionally has wheels and may land at common airports in addition to on the water. It has a really fashionable cockpit with an upgraded model of the Garmin G1000 navigation and instrument system that I fly with again residence within the C172 and C182.

The seating space is comfy and comparatively primary – 9 passenger seats organized alongside a single aisle behind the two-pilot cockpit. There are 5 seats on the correct and 4 on the left, with the aft entry door taking the place of the fifth left seat.

One aisle and loads of legroom

Underseat storage is basically not an possibility, so that you hand your bag to the attendant on boarding and it will get stowed within the again. Everybody will get a window. Headroom is low – you hunch over whereas shifting round on board and there aren’t any toilets, no flight attendants, nor any facilities like snacks or drinks. However it nonetheless feels spacious inside, particularly in comparison with the smaller Cessnas we fly for enjoyable again residence.

That stated, when you solely ever fly jetliners and suppose a 737 is on the small aspect, you’ll want to regulate your perspective a bit.

A Tailwind Air flight arriving at New York Skyports Seaplane Base on a flight from Boston Harbor

Due to that tailwind that helped us alongside, it was a bit bumpy, however the turbine-powered Cessna dealt with it like a champ.

I logged the return flight from Boston to NYC on ForeFlight. Display seize: ForeFlight

We flew the route at a most altitude of about 7,000 toes, so there was loads to see out the massive home windows.

Lining as much as land in Boston Harbor, which is the the higher left nook of the picture. Boston Logan airport is to the correct

Boarding flights like that is delightfully straightforward. The plane used are nicely beneath the minimal passenger numbers required to have commonplace TSA checks, so that you mainly simply flip up on the seaplane base at the least quarter-hour earlier than departure, present your ID, and get on board.

In Boston, there isn’t a devoted seaplane pier as in NYC, so the airplane ties up at a big floating dock in Boston Harbor, nearer to Boston Logan airport than to downtown, and also you’re shuttled from there to shore by way of a water taxi.

The seaplane ties up at this platform that floats on the east aspect of Boston Harbor; a water taxi then takes you in to Fan Pier

Tailwind Air operates a fleet of 16 plane for scheduled and constitution service, and serves 4 cities in New York (NYC, East Hampton, Montauk, and Shelter Island), together with Boston. Additionally they have a codeshare settlement with Southern Air.

*Editor’s be aware: Tailwind Air supplied AirlineReporter with round-trip airfare for this evaluation. Our opinions stay our personal.

EDITOR-AT-LARGE / LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER – SEATTLE, WA Francis Zera is a Seattle-based architectural, aerial, aviation, and business photographer, a contract photojournalist, and a confirmed AvGeek.

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