by Chris Miller
Nestled deep in the trees on a picturesque
cove along the Lake Winnebago shore is a hidden treasure of
AirVenture — the EAA Seaplane Base. For one week, these 27 acres of woods and fields are the center of activity for those with an interest
in water-based aviation. It’s a place AirVenture visitors should try to get to during their stay.
A shuttle ride makes daily runs between the AirVenture grounds and the Seaplane Base ($2 round trip) approximately every hour (8 a.m.-8 p.m.) from two grounds locations. The stops are located just south of the ultralight runway, and at the Bus Park.
Ever wonder what it’s like to fly in a seaplane? Rides are not officially organized
during the week of AirVenture, but often times there are pilots who are flying in the local area and may offer demonstration
It’s been said that the best parts of the Seaplane Base are the stories and camaraderie of seaplane enthusiasts. You can partake in both at the 19th annual Watermelon Social scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, August 2, at the base. Tickets are $15 each (get them while they last!) and include roasted pig with all the trimmings, soda or a beer and, of course, watermelon! Tickets to the annual event are available at the base.
If you’re not able to visit, you can still view the seaplanes at AirVenture. Every year the EAA promotes seaplane awareness
by sponsoring a “flyby” of floatplanes and amphibians past the crowds at Wittman Field. This is usually performed around noon on Saturday.