What does one wear to fulfill a dream? This is the thought that fills my groggy mind when the 5 a.m. alarm goes off. Today is the day I get to fly a Grumman Albatross flying boat—a bucket-list goal that consumed me since watching the graceful behemoths fly in and out of San Diego Harbor as a kid in the late ’60s. Of the 464 originally built, only about 24 remain airworthy, and of those, maybe a dozen are in flight-ready condition at any time. This one is the elusive G-111 model, rarer than a ghost orchid, and the only one flying that we know of.
Become a Plane & Pilot Member to explore our complete range of flight reports, technique articles, gear reviews and aviation buyer’s guides written by our experts.