by Dave Weiman
This issue of Midwest Flyer Magazine is dedicated to two very special activities in the Midwest this spring – seaplane flying and airport conferences.
In Minnesota, the annual Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Safety Seminar & Fly-In is at Madden’s Resort on Gull Lake in Brainerd, May 6-8, 2011. Minnesota has long been known for seaplane flying with more than 10,000 lakes and its close proximity to seaplane heaven – Canada!
We have personally participated in this event for the past two years, and find it interesting and a lot of fun! The things you learn at this seminar will help you whether you fly floats or wheels, like the emergency egress demonstration, which teaches you how best to get out of your aircraft if you land on water, and how to clear Canada and U.S. Customs. Experts like Darrell Bolduc of Bolduc Aviation Specialized Services at Minneapolis-Anoka County/Blaine Airport, which specializes in aircraft engine repairs and overhauls, will teach you how best to operate your aircraft to maximum performance and avoid costly engine maintenance. Officials from the Minnesota DOT Office of Aeronautics, Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Customs & Border Protection cover regulations.
The fun comes when seaplanes arrive and depart on Gull Lake. If on wheels, land at either East Gull Lake Aiprort (9Y2), a 2618 X 160 ft. grass airstrip, located less than a mile from the lodge, or at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (BRD) with hard surface runways. For additional information visit www.mnseaplanes.com, call Mary Alverson at 612-240-0123, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Madden’s Resort for room reservations at 1-800-642-5363.
In Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa, there are airport conferences during the months of April and May. These conferences have always been serious business, but are more so today with tightening budgets, locally and nationally. Without well-constructed and maintained airports, our aircraft are worthless to us. Encourage your airport manager, fixed base operator and airport boards and commissions to attend the conference in your state.
So while these are certainly serious times, they also should be fun times, and whether you fly on wheels or floats, support these events with your attendance.