Oshkosh 2001 Audio Coverage:
Day Four – Thursday, July 26

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Thursday OSHtalk (July 26, 2001) – OSHtalk left its friendly confines under the Twin Beech wing this Thursday evening and traveled to the EAA AirVenture Seaplane Base on Lake Winnebago’s west shore. Host Rick Durden sat down with Michael Volk, the president of the Seaplane Pilots Association (SPA), who briefed OSHtalk listeners on the SPA’s advocacy for seaplane pilots and operators, its magazine and its educational and support role. Rick and Michael discussed the association’s very detailed Web site, with Rick stressing that he asks all of his seaplane flight students to use it for the educational materials it contains. In addition, the SPA has a ten-minute videotape on access for seaplanes that it makes available free of charge to those who are involved in working to open lakes and waterways to seaplanes.

As the sun set, Rick sat down with Dan Nickens, Rolf Anderson and Jim Shadoan, all of whom were camping at the seaplane base. Dan and Rolf had flown their seaplanes to AirVenture and described the tranquility of the base, its sheltered lagoon and congenial atmosphere. They explained the procedures for arriving and mooring their seaplanes and praised the volunteers who seemed to know what they were doing when dealing with the seaplanes. Jim Shadoan, currently building a homebuilt amphibian told about the support available to those who are interested in seaplanes and the people he met that were helpful to him in getting more involved in seaplane flying.

Jim Shadoan also sat in on the third segment of OSHtalk, along with two other builders of the SeaRey, a two-place amphibian. All were attending a cookout organized by the SeaRey owner user group. The group was formed a little over a year ago to support SeaRey owners, builders and pilots. The SeaRey is a two-place homebuilt amphibian that was profiled in one of Rick’s columns about two years ago. Jim’s SeaRey is still in the construction phase while Roberta Hegy and Bill Canino are flying their SeaReys. The three of them described the process by which they reachedtheir individual decisions to first build an aircraft and then to build a SeaRey. They recounted the support they received from either a local EAA chapter, friends on their airport, through the user group or via communications with the factory. When asked what they would recommend to a person considering building an airplane, they all said to do a lot of homework, then Roberta said to “build your dream.” Jim Shadoan’s granddaughter, Amelia Durden, was asked what she thought about her grandfather building a SeaRey and responded that it was cool and that she wanted to fly in it. She also gave us a forecast of an upcoming OSHtalk as she told us a little about her day as a volunteer at the wildly popular “KidVenture.”

OSHtalk then spoke with Eduardo Castresana, chief engineer for Progressive Aerodyne, manufacturer of the SeaRey kits, and company owners Wayne Richter and Page Lynette to get some history of the airplane as the company had grown from the world of ultralights into homebuilt airplanes. They described the support they give to builders and the orientation flights they offer to builders to assist them with getting to know their airplanes. While the future plans for airplanes from Progressive are not public, engineer Castresana was able to tell us about a four-place amphibian that is in the works.