Let's see now ... we have a motorboat, a sailboat, a rowboat,
two inflatable boats, a floating palace boat, and a catamaran.

No, wait a minute, that cat's a Challenger!

And that cat crouched on the float is the owner Russ Bateman!

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(Photo from Russ Bateman.)

Russ Bateman is a high school teacher in his fifties who had never flown before. Russ decided that if he was ever going to fly it should be now. He took delivery of his Challenger kit over the Christmas holidays and by spring was taking lessons on wheels in one of the prettiest Challengers around.

Russ received his pilot permit, built up some hours and by mid summer was getting his sea legs on amphib floats. Float flying from his cottage near Parry Sound was Russ's dream and over the course of only eight months he had gone from dreaming to doing! When winter arrived Russ iced his dream cake by putting his Challenger on skis. He's one happy dude and thanks his wife Brenda as well as his sons Jack and Russ Jr for their enthusiastic support!

One of Russ's favourite Challenger stories is from a flight he made to Killarney on Georgian Bay. He landed on the runway and taxied to the ramp where there was parked a Lear Jet. Russ in his ultralight of course felt somewhat humbled in the presence of such power, speed and money. Imagine his surprise when the Lear Jet's crew came pouring out the door and rushed over to see Russ's amphib Challenger! He says they were positively drooling! Joie de vol!

Webmaster's Footnote: We thought you might be interested in a big picture perspective on the armada and their anchoring place - click below to enlarge:

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