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Feb 08th
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Home News Latest Planes to begin arriving Friday for annual Clear Lake Splash-In

Planes to begin arriving Friday for annual Clear Lake Splash-In

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Seaplanes that took part in the 2010 Clear Lake Splash-In in Lakeport, Calif. Photo by Terre Logsdon.

LAKEPORT, Calif. – The skies over Lakeport will soon be filled with the sounds of seaplanes as pilots arrive in town for the annual Clear Lake Splash-In.

The 33nd annual event, organized by the West Coast Seaplane Pilots Association, will take place this weekend. It’s the oldest and largest seaplane gathering in the Western United States.

Mike Dunlap, the event organizer and acting president of the pilots association, said registration will begin at noon on Friday, but he anticipated planes will begin arriving in Lakeport on Friday morning.

Planes will land on Clear Lake and then use a temporary steel ramp at the Natural High School property on N. Main Street to roll into the field there, where they will stage for the festival. Regular aircraft will fly into Lampson Field.

Dunlap said the bulk of the events will take place on Saturday, with Sunday being a departure day.

Dunlap said there were 29 planes registered to take part as of Thursday evening, with another plane, a Grumman Albatross, set to come from Santa Rosa. Another half dozen planes are to land at Lampson Field.

Pilots are coming from Arizona, Oregon, Nevada and Northern California, Dunlap said.

The association handles the quagga and zebra inspection process for the pilots, issuing their mussel inspection stickers. “We’ve had 100 percent compliance for three years,” he said.

New this year will be a $2 admission fee for the public to enter the Natural High field, where the planes will be on display. Dunlap said that fee, along with increased fees for pilots, was necessary to help cover expenses.

He credited the Lake County Chamber of Commerce and the Lakeport Main Street Association for their efforts to support the splash-in, and also recognized the Lakeport Public Works Department for being one of the event’s biggest supporters and always helping make it happen.

“It’s a large undertaking,” but also an event that benefits the community, Dunlap said.

On Saturday night, there will be a tri-tip dinner, silent auction and raffle for participating pilots at Skylark Shores Resort.

At that time the Seaplane Pilots Foundation will announce the winners of the Tyler Orsow-Chuck Kimes Flying Forever Scholarship, which is meant to fully fund training for a single-engine sea rating.

Kimes, a former splash-in organizer, and Orsow died in a crash in the United Arab Emirates in February 2011 while taking a 1940s seaplane from the Middle East to Texas, as Lake County News has reported.

At Thursday night’s Clearlake City Council meeting, Vice Mayor Jeri Spittler encouraged community members to attend the fly-in.

“It’ll blow your mind,” Spittler said.

Email Elizabeth Larson at [email protected] .

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Comments (5)Add Comment
Planes without pontoons
written by Greg_Cornish, September 28, 2012
Planes without pontoons will be landing on the AstroTurf in Soda Bay. smilies/wink.gif
@Vogel et. all
written by a guest, September 28, 2012
In case you are just not educated I'll say this again. The BOS and the County are not funding ANY of the new courthouse! This is a State of California project solely as they are in charge of Judges and Courts. This lake is a natural lake which is filled every year by rainfall and run off! It is totally at the mercy of what goes into it and how it reacts every year is a direct result of the weather and the contents that entered it during the rainy season. Is it smelly this year, yes has it been in the past, yes it has, it is the oldest lake recorded in North America and possibly one of the oldest lakes in world! It has managed through millions of years and will manage through millions more! We just need to make sure that what we allow to run off into the lake does not do more harm to it's ecosystem. It can not flush itself out as fast as a lake fed by a river or year round water source. Enough said! Check your facts! Bring on the planes this is one event that I always enjoy!
written by a guest, September 28, 2012
Y'all are failing to grasp the science behind Clearlake. Educate yourselves, then ask what can people do for the "rotting" lake. It's a natural occurence. Maybe y'all aren't praying hard enough?
written by Vogel, September 28, 2012
The county BOS will spend money for a new courthouse but ignore the rotting Lake.
nasty lake
written by MountainBreeze, September 28, 2012
Yuk, what a cesspool that lake is

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