A new videotape being produced by the Seaplane Pilots Association will help local pilots convince officials to keep waterways open for seaplane use.
Flying America's Waterways, slated for distribution early in 2001, will show nonpilot policymakers and others the beauty and value of seaplane flying. It will also demonstrate the safety of seaplanes and their compatibility with other waterway uses. Portions of the 10-minute video are being taped along prime waterways in outdoor-oriented Florida, Louisiana, Maine, and Washington.
"Seaplane use is under attack from virtually every quarter," said Seaplane Pilot Association Executive Director Mike Volk, "This video is part of SPA's 'advocacy in a box' concept to help our members properly represent seaplane interests in local and regional issues."
The new video includes scenes of a seaplane maneuvering and docking in a marina, a comparison of seaplane and boating accident statistics, and emphasis on the high level of training for seaplane pilots compared to boaters. In addition, environmental myths used by anti-seaplane forces are dispelled.
"Seaplane pilots know very well that our environmental footprint is minimal compared to boaters, but most public officials do not," said Volk. "So our video highlights the differences between boats and seaplanes, clearly illustrating our relative environmental cleanliness."
The new video will be distributed at no charge to a variety of national, state, and local officials, as well as to all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers division and district offices and key National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service offices.
Additional copies will be available to SPA members, seaplane base operators, legislators, waterway homeowner associations, and others who could be involved in regulating seaplane activity. To request a copy of the video, contact the Seaplane Pilots Association, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD 21701, or visit the SPA Web site.
SPA is seeking donors for completion of the project. Donations thus far include contributions from individual Seaplane Pilot Association members and grants from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, EDO Float/Kenmore Air Harbor, and the NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education.
The 7,370-member Seaplane Pilots Association was founded in 1972 to keep seaplane flying safe, fun, and as inexpensive as possible. In recent years, SPA has stepped up efforts to fight regulations that could unnecessarily restrict water flying.
August 15, 2000