Splash In 2013

Splash

For the last 6 years, as a part of Sun n Fun, Kermit Weeks has hosted an event as unique as his Fantasy of Flight attraction.   You see when Kermit was looking for a place for Fantasy of Flights, he was looking for a nearby lake too.   So he bought lakefront property on Lake Agnes in Polk City Florida.  Not only does he have a very nice specially constructed grass runway, he also has a lake.

Seaplane or amphibian fly ins are a bit rare since it takes flyers and water.  At Oshkosh there is a water event that runs during the show, but it’s a bus ride away from the normal flying.  With the competition from the runway events, most people don’t even know it exists.  During Sun n Fun, that isn’t a problem.  If you are going to Fantasy of Flight, you are going to see the Splash In, you simply can’t miss it.

The crowd was in the vicinity of 750 people with about 60 airplanes.   Not a bad turnout.  There were flying events; grapefruit bombing, trying to hit a target on the water.  There were takeoff and landing contests to see who could land or lift out of the water as close to a point as possible.

The aircraft were as varied as the people attending.  Sizes ranged from ultralights to a huge Cessna 208 Caravan Turbine on amphibious floats.  There were Cubs, Super Cubs, Lake Amphibians, Republic SeaBees, Huskies, a Beaver,  even an AirCam on amphibious floats, as well as many other types.

Of course during the time I was there, the high point was Kermit flying the Sikorsky S-39.  This particular airframe was a restoration that took 40 years and 40,000 man hours of work.  To call it magnificent is an understatement.  The paint is a unique “Giraffe” pattern that was the same as one used on a S-39 flown by Martin Johnson (of the “Johnson Wax” family) to explore Africa.

The day passed quickly and everyone had a great time, especially those who flew.

You can contact the author at TNMark@Me.Com.

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Mark Hrutkay

Mark has been a member of the International Association of Aviation Photographers (ISAP) for several years and attends all their events and seminars. He has won several awards for his work and has been published in several aviation magazines, domestic and foreign. You can contact Mark Hrutkay at TNMark@Me.Com.

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