After the closing of Antilles Air Boats it certainly left a void in downtown to downtown air transportation between the islands.  The expertise in flying and maintaining seaplanes was certainly available as was the Grumman Mallard. Virgin Island Seaplane Shuttle came at the right time for the many Virgin Islanders both as passengers and employees. 

The PT-6 Turbine conversion made the Grumman Mallard a much better aircraft for commercial service with the increase in available weight as well as its reliability.  It all came at a price.

It was unfortunate timing that a number of aircraft were out of service and could not fly out to avoid Hurricane Hugo.

 

The last of the hull seaplanes in service between the islands.  Enter Seaborne. 

J-4
J-9
J-10
J-11
J-25
J-28
J-32
J-38
J-53
J-55
St. John, U.S.V.I.

Video shows the destruction on St. Croix. 45 minutes in shows VISS and the catastrophic results of Hugo at the STX seaplane ramp.

mallard cover.jpg

Chapter 9 - The Caribbean Shuttle

The above excerpts posted with approval of Matt Rodina Jr,

N611SS

Charlie Freehling and Matt Rodina on the G-73 Mallard. VISS Mallards operated with either the PT-6 turbine or PW  R1340's.

Former VISS pilot Kathleen Bangs sent photos of a rare collectible.

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