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Bowden's Landing at Island Lake Seaplane Base

Home of the Annual Searey Inaugural Flight Anniversary Fly-In

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Back in the 80s, I was working for a vending company that filled the vending machines at Walt Disney World. After Epcot opened, there was a show on and over the World Showcase Lagoon at Epcot that had boats made up to look like dragons. Buccaneer amphibian ultralight aircraft would fly over the lake and engage in a mock battle with the dragon boats.      See the video of the show at 

When I saw the Buccaneer, I knew I had to get one. At that point I decided to get a pilot certificate so I could fly the two-seat version of the Buccaneer. 

  I took my 1st lesson on February 24 1986, at the Kissimmee airport from a flying club, but that lasted only 10 lessons before air sickness and a mean Instructor ran me off.

  I decided to try again in 1993, this time at a Cessna dealer in Orlando. It took from January 3 1993, to January 6 1994, of Sunday lessons to get my private pilot certificate. Around that time the company that made the Buccaneer went out of business, and some of the people involved started Progressive Aerodyne and made the SeaRey, which had its first flight on November 13 1992.

  This was a 20-year dream in the making. I started a quest to find and purchase lakefront property, build a house with a garage large enough to build and house a SeaRey, and wait 12 years for the economy to improve to buy the SeaRey kit. I figured if I got a kit plane, I would have to keep it at a country airfield 20 miles away. I did not want to get an airplane until I had a place to keep it, and wanted to hangar it and fly it from my own lakefront home. I found the perfect lot in Umatilla, Florida and built the house in 1999 with a garage large enough to build and keep the plane. Once the house was done, I did not have the money to get the SeaRey Kit. You could not get a loan for a kit plane in the earIy 2000s and I did not have enough equity in the house for a line of credit. I guess I did things backwards.

As the years passed and bored on the weekends, I got involved in boating and motorcycles but always wished I could have got into the SeaRey life style.

  In January 2009 I went to the Sebring Light Sport Aircraft Expo and saw the new improved SeaRey LSX. It had a new finished interior and a lot of improvements. It did not look like an ultralight kit plane anymore. I got the bug again and decided I was getting older and losing my dream fast. After all, the reason I got the pilot certificate and looked for lakefront property and built a house with a garage/hanger was for a SeaRey. I did not want to give up on my dream so I put a deposit on the SeaRey LSX kit. They held on to that deposit, and I added to it for three years till my business and the economy got a little better. After waiting for the economy to get back into the black for a couple of years, I finally received kit 1LK537C and started building on July 4 2012. 

  In January 2010 I decided to host a SeaRey Fly-In and posted it on the SeaRey owners forum, Splash-N-Dash Seaplane Delights. I picked Sunday February 21 2010 and requested RSVP's to judge how much food to buy. By the week before the event I got RSVP's from about 20 guests with 8 SeaReys flying in. I was happy that I would get 8 SeaReys to show up since not many of the people in the forum knew who I was other than posting on the Splash-N-Dash site. By that Friday the RSVP's started pouring in. The day of the fly-in I had 21 SeaReys, 5 Cars and over 40 people and all had a good time. It was an overwhelming success and I got to talk one of the SeaRey owners to put his plane in my garage to see if I designed the garage/hanger right. I was happy to finally see a SeaRey sitting there and made sure I could still park 2 cars in with the plane.



Now the Fly-in is an annual event, and since Garner's Landing has a Fly-in in the Spring,(see I picked the 2nd Weekend in November for a fall fly-in. Since the anniversary of the SeaReys first flight is November 13th, I call it "The Annual SeaRey Inaugural Flight Anniversary Splash-In"

Now I have my own SeaRey in the garage

See Thomas's SeaRey Build Web Site Here

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