Bill Weist is the newest addition to the Shoreline Aviation crew. We met him working in St. Thomas last year flying Caravans just like ours, and invited him to join us. He has a great deal of experience flying a variety of seaplanes and flying boats. He is flying seaplane charter for us in the Caribbean from our base in St Croix. In the spring he will be joining us for the New York – East Hampton seaplane season.
Bill grew up in North Dakota and Minnesota. His dad was a pilot during WWII and his mother built bullets during the war. Bill always loved aviation and at 18 started to pursue flying. He attended flight school in Alabama a few years later and has been in aviation ever since. After school he returned to Minnesota working at Page AvJet at MSP International. He earned his CFI and CFII (Certified Flight Instructor Instrument) and taught for a few years. Then he returned to school to get his Aircraft Maintenance Technician ratings as well.
When it was time to move on to a new venture, Bill chose to fly in Alaska. He went to Juneau where he flew through southeastern Alaska for six years, all in seaplanes. One day a friend called and asked him if he’d be interested in flying for the Cousteau Society in their Cessna 206 seaplane while they produced a film. Bill jumped at the opportunity and to this day considers this the highlight of his career.
Bill went back to Minnesota for family reasons, and drove a truck during the winter and flew during the summers, for a couple of years. One day the same friend who got him involved with the Cousteau project, called with a new one. Bill leapt at the chance to fly an experimental twin-engine flying boat seaplane throughout the world shooting documentary films. This journey lasted five and a half years. Bill feels truly blessed to have seen the world through two once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
When that project ended, Bill went back to Alaska flying a G21A Goose, in Dutch Harbor (known for its fishing and crabbing industry) in the Aleutian Islands. As he puts it, he flew everything from diapers to dynamite. For the past six years, Bill has been living and flying in St. Croix and St. Thomas, now preferring the warmer climates for seaplane pilots. He is happy to be working with Shoreline flying customers to their vacation destinations in New York and the Caribbean. As he says, “People going on vacation are always in a great mood!”
Welcome aboard Bill!