Virgin Islands Seaplane Shuttle
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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 Islands 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. 

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J-4
N609SS
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N611SS
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N2968
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N628SS
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N632SS
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N653SS
J-53
N655SS
J-55
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photo credit Michael Prophet
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photo credit Michael Prophet
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.

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Charles Mallards destroyed in HUGO copy-
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Chapter 9 - The Caribbean Shuttle

An Accident
The above excerpts posted with the approval of Matt Rodina Jr,

N611SS

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Former VISS pilot Kathleen Bangs sent photos of a rare collectible.
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Charlie Freehling and Matt Rodina on the G-73 Mallard. VISS Mallards operated with either the PT-6 turbine or PW  R1340's.

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photo credit Charlie Freehling
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photo credit Charlie Freehling
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photo credit Charlie Freehling
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photo credit Matt Rodina
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photo credit Charlie Freehling
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photo credit Charlie Freehling
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St.Croix  Terminal   Grill

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photo credit Matt Rodina

N611SS was spared by Hurricane Hugo in St. Croix in 1989 only to be destroyed by Hurricane Wilma in Miami in 2005

J-11 

Mfg. 12/31/46 NC2948

June 1947  Air Commuting Inc. - NY, NY

June 1948  Texas Co. Inc - NY, NY

          Reregistered  N1628  (6/63)

          Ferried to Houma, Louisiana 

Sept 1983  Dean Franklin - Miami, FL

           Reregistered N76DF

1984  Virgin Islands Seaplane Shuttle

           Reregistered N611SS (3/21/85)

May 1990  Caribbean Airline Services. Inc. - P.R.

Dec 1991  Sea Air Shuttle, Inc. - P.R.

May 2000  U.S. Distributors, Inc. - Miami, FL

Severely Damaged by Hurricane Wilma 2005  

on Watson Island, 

April 2006  Lake Air, Inc. - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Registration expired in 2011 / Current status unknown.

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N2948 - Texaco  
N611SS Watson Island, Miami, FL 
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photo credit Matt Rodina
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Jeff Johnson

shared some of his VISS photos on Facebook G-73 page and I thought I would include them here. Great photos!

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more photos by Michael Prophet
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