For most general aviation plane owners, the opportunity to fly one’s pride and joy to a gathering of like-minded individuals is one of the highlights of each year’s flying. The pleasure of seeing other aircraft, what their owners have done to them, sharing what you have done to yours, swapping stories and learning about new adventures, perhaps even watching aerobatics and arrivals of warbirds and other classic planes, fills one with a unique sense of pride – that you share with an unusual group of people.
For seaplane owners, that fly-in will also generally include water, and the unique thrill of water operations, which always fascinate the non-aviation spectators, of which there always many, often hoping for a ride! Some of the more popular seaplane fly-in events include:
• International Seaplane Fly-In, Greenville, ME, held annually the weekend after Labor Day
• (EAA) Airventure, Oshkosh, WI
• (EAA) Sun ‘n Fun, Lakeland, FL
• Northern Lake Fly-In, Killarney, ON, held annually the weekend after Labor Day
• Tavares, FL holds two events a year
• Ostego Lake, Gaylord, MI, holds their event annually in June
• Hammondsport, NY, holds their event annually the second weekend after Labor Day
• Pokagon Park Indiana Seaplane Fly-In, held annually in September
For Lake owners, having the advantage of being an amphibian, our LakeFest gatherings take on special significance. They are always held at a location adjacent to an airport with either grass or asphalt runways, and space sufficient to tie down up to 50 aircraft. The events are structured to maximize both the educational and social benefits of the Club. Educational sessions cover flying techniques, and maintenance techniques and practices. Not every place that a Lake may land has a qualified mechanic waiting to help. That unexpected problem may happen on a lake hundreds of miles from the nearest airport, and Lake owners are encouraged to learn as much about their plane, and how to diagnose and fix minor problems to enable them to get the plane safely back to civilization.
In addition to LakeFest, there are many other opportunities to gather with other Lake owners. Several members hold small gatherings, generally for one or two days over a weekend, where the emphasis tends to be social vs educational. Check the Forum for the latest information.