Saturday, September 5, 2009

Responsible Float Flying

We are fortunate to have many beautiful, clean lakes and rivers in which to play in Alabama. These are largely open to seaplane activity, while the majority of Georgia waterways are closed to seaplane traffic. We must cherish and protect the privilege of using our state’s wateways by being considerate of lake residents and boaters.
Most people living on the lake appreciate calm, quiet days, and almost none of them bought a lake house to be under an airport traffic pattern. Most of the comments I get from lake users are positive and they think the seaplane is pretty cool, but I am very careful not to frighten or annoy anyone.

Most of the time the seaplane attracts its own trouble. We will do two or three landing before boats start to congregate to watch the seaplane. The simple solution is to wave to the boaters and find a new place to play. During the summer and on busy lake weekends I try not to stay in one spot too long anyway.

There are many un-inhabited areas of the lake. Sometimes one side of the shore has houses and the other side does not. It is very easy to use a right hand pattern instead of left to use the side that does not have houses. Simple, painless and effective, but you do have to think about it to make it happen. I am also really carefull not to fly directly over houses climbing out when the engine is screaming. Just a few simple thoughts can keep a lake open to seaplanes.

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