Knapp taxis his Micro
Mong Rocket at the Seaplane
Base on Wednesday. Photo by Jim Raeder
help fuel up a classic bush plane on floats getting ready to
take to the skies.
and daughter seaplane pilots, Jack and Jacque Avery.
the Key West of AirVenture," says Paul Seehafer, chairman of
the EAA Seaplane Base, describing the laid-back atmosphere and
island-like surroundings of the base. And it certainly is. After
getting let off the bus, visitors stroll down a winding wooded path,
and after a short walk an opening appears, the oasis of AirVenture.
You walk into a refreshingly cool breeze from Lake Winnebago that is
a respite from the scorching sun and humidity.
attention can get pulled in several directions, the seaplanes and
amphibians taking off and landing, planes being taxied in and out of
the base, and the picturesque display of "water birds"
gently rocking in the lagoon. Most visitors find a nook on the shore
to gaze at the "water birds."
seaplane that wanted to was flying on Wednesday. "The weather
is beautiful, and the water is just right for landing," said
Jacque Avery, who flew in with her father, Jack from Trego,
Wisconsin, on Wednesday morning. "A little chop is nice because
it’s easier to judge your distance above the water. Smooth water
gives off a reflection and makes that harder."
and Jacque, both pilots, flew into the EAA Seaplane Base in a
GlaStar on floats, an experimental plane that Jack built and won two
awards with at the Seaplane Base in years past. Jacque also
volunteers at the base, and they both say their favorite part is
seeing their friends every year.
are a lot of aviation speed records out there, and you can see the
biplane on floats that holds the fastest takeoff record of 2.5
seconds, the Micro Mong Rocket. The biplane is owned and was built
by John Knapp, a longtime Seaplane Base judge and volunteer.
Seaplane Base is a place every AirVenture visitor should 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 locations. The
stops are located just south of the ultralight runway and at the Bus
Seaplane Base is like its own little community—a fly-in inside a
fly-in. You can camp, eat, and talk with seaplane vendors about
getting your seaplane endorsement, buying a seaplane, and more!
you just want to enjoy the camaraderie of other seaplane
enthusiasts, you can partake in the Seaplane Pilots Association
(SPA) Corn Roast tonight at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the
base and are $20 for SPA members and $30 for non-members. The roast
is to support the Open Water Fund.
You can also
attend 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 are 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.