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Minnesota seaplane group spreads safety messageMinnesota seaplane group spreads safety message

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association's Spring Safety Seminar is all about the safety and fun of flying seaplanes. Seaplanes lined a portion of the beach at Gull Lake May 18 through 20 when more than 200 people attended the event.

Floatplanes beach at Gull Lake, Minnesota, for the Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association's annual safety weekend May 18 to 20. Photo by Kyle Lewis.

AOPA President Mark Baker, an avid seaplane pilot who owns a Super Cub on floats, AOPA Air Safety Institute Executive Director Richard McSpadden, and new seaplane pilot and AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Kyle Lewis participated in the event sponsored by the Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association.

Baker and McSpadden participated in panel discussions about dealing with in-flight emergencies, so-called ATC privatization, fixed-base operator pricing, and AOPA’s You Can Fly initiatives. Lewis spoke about legislative and airport issues at the state level. Jeff Skiles, first officer of US Airways Flight 1549, known as the “Miracle on the Hudson,” was the keynote speaker.

“The safety message is resonating in Minnesota as there have been zero fatal seaplane accidents in recent years,” Lewis said. “Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association President Steve Guetter has brought together a great set of people who are able to positively influence the seaplane community in Minnesota.”

Seaplane influencer Bob Wiplinger was honored with the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award during the event for 50 years of demonstrating professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise while flying.

Topics: Advocacy, Safety and Education

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