HAMMONDSPORT - Andy Sable and Bob Knill were longtime coworkers at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association in Frederick, Md. Both pilots at heart, the two decided they wanted to experience more with their careers.

“Working for the AOPA, it’s not so much a flying job. You’re kind of flying a desk,” Sable said. “We made aviation safety material, videos, publications, online courses and all that stuff. But you get to the point where you just want to spread your wings again.”

One night over a bottle of bourbon, Sable and Knill decided to go out on a limb and open their own business.

“We were out on Bob’s porch … and I finally said, ‘Why not go to work for ourselves?'” Sable said. “'Let’s buy a seaplane and do scenic tours out of my dad’s marina.’ (Knill) said yes immediately.”

The next day, they learned of a single-engine Cessna seaplane for sale in Minneapolis, Minn., and verbally committed to buying it. They flew out there three weeks later to pick up the airplane and fly it six hours home to Keuka Lake.

In early July, the two began offering seaplane tours of Keuka and the Finger Lakes out of Harbor Lights Marina in Hammondsport, which was purchased by Sable’s father in the 1970s.

Finger Lakes Seaplanes has begun to take off locally, and the two haven’t looked back.

“Every day is a different day, everything is an adventure, everyday is something different,” Knill said. “No matter how many times I’ve flown or seen this, the lights are a little bit different, or my passengers are telling me something that I didn’t already know. So I’m learning ... every day; it’s awesome.”

The two said the reception from locals has been very positive, with Sable saying they've been receiving a lot of engagement on Facebook. 

"It's been incredible," Sable said. "People are really loving it." 

Finger Lakes Seaplanes offers a 30-minute Keuka Tour for $180 plus tax, and a one-hour tour of Seneca and Keuka Lake for $325 plus tax.

To book a flight, call (607) 868-4848.