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  • 03 Mar 2016 12:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello All,


    I just wanted you all to know that the seaplane float is back in service on the north end of the Thea Foss Waterway in Tacoma!  We look forward to seeing your planes coming and going and we hope you have a very busy and exciting season. 


    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail or call us. 


    Louise Dreyer

    Executive Assistant/Office Manager

    Foss Waterway Development Authority


  • 04 Dec 2015 12:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Please read about upcoming seaplane runway on lake Union and thoughtfully answer the poll if you have something constructive to add.


  • 12 Nov 2015 1:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello All,

    It is that time of year again – time for Turkey and high winds – so we are having the Seaplane Float in the Thea Foss Waterway removed from service this afternoon.  We will notify you when it is returned to service after the storm season has ended.  

    In the meantime, enjoy your other fall/winter activities – we look forward to seeing you (or at least your planes) in the Spring!

    Louise Dreyer

    Executive Assistant/Office Manager

    Foss Waterway Development Authority

    535 Dock Street, #204

    Tacoma, WA   98402



    All e-mail communications with the Foss Waterway Development Authority are subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act and should be presumed to be public.

  • 26 Oct 2015 2:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello Everyone,


    The Washington Seaplane Pilots Association announces a new Website and Social Media Presence for 2015.  If you are a past, current or future member, please read on as all of our communication and membership management will be performed via the new website.


    Our new website is washingtonseaplanepilots.org  The old address www.wa-spa.org can still be used as it has been redirected to the new site. 


    We also have a new Facebook page. You can find it by searching for “Washington Seaplane Pilots” on Facebook, or by clicking on the link at the bottom of the website homepage.


    The WSPA Board spent the past two years looking at our overall system needs and then the past three months implementing and testing our new website, membership and event management systems and accounting system.  We hope you like it. We moved most of the data from our old site to the new one. The old site still be accessed if you go to the “About” page at washingtonseaplanepilots.org.


    At the new website we made it easier to:

    • ·      Pay your annual dues and make donations to the open waters fund.
    • ·      View our event calendar and sign up and pay for events
    • ·      Communicate and ask questions of your fellow WA Seaplane pilots
    • ·      Find useful links for flight planning and destinations
    • ·      Read our latest newsletters and blogs
    • ·      Find Seaplane training materials


    Newsletters will be delivered online henceforth with news posted as it occurs, not several months later. The new system provides a convenient and flexible mechanism for us to communicate news to the entire Washington seaplane community and membership.


    The new system automates the membership renewal process. Each member has their renewal date set to the month/day they signed up. Previously membership had been by Calendar Year. Most existing or recent members have their renewal date set to January 1st, 2016. Some more recent members have their renewal date set later in the year coinciding with the month/day they paid. Annually, you will receive three renewal notices and (hopefully not) two past due reminders. These emails include a link to our online payment system where you can pay securely with Credit Card or by using Pay-Pal.

    We imported 381 member names and contact information from our old spreadsheet based system. If you do not want to be a member or receive communications from WSPA you can opt-out.  Anyone is able to join or renew online. 

    No personal information is available on the website. When you log in you can edit your profile, enter information about your seaplane, and opt-in to enable your visibility for other members to see.


    Please take a look at washingtonseaplanepilots.org, and stay in touch.  You can communicate directly with WSPA board members via email links on the website. We look forward to hearing from you. We encourage you all to visit the new site and will appreciate your feedback.  If there is missing information, or things you’d like to see added, changed, or removed, please let us know by sending email to admin@washingtonseaplanepilots.org

    Most of all I would like to thank Austin Watson, WSPA Board Member, for driving this to conclusion.  His leadership has been instrumental in making this happen.  And thank you to our board of directors for providing much of the content.


    Stephen Ratzlaff


  • 05 Oct 2015 8:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    My wife and I visited this seaplane base on return from the Clear Lake, CA splash-in this summer. Lake Woahink is the only charted seaplane base on the Oregon coast.  The lake is 2nm long and oriented north/south.  The seaplane base is on the south end of the lake adjacent to Highway 101 and opposite an RV campground.  The current owners, Greg and Jan Murphy have created a vacation rental on the property.  100LL is available 5 nm to the north at Florence (6S2).  Greg and Jan are happy to provide transport to Florence if they are available.  The Columbia Seaplane Pilots Association have recently held a splash-in there.  Note – watch the coastal wind, lake orientation helps but it can get pretty stiff.

    Contact Greg Murphy – 818-512-0256 for current dock status and accommodation details. 

    Also visit http://www.lake4you.com/home.html.

    Don Goodman

    lake woahink spb.jpg

  • 05 Oct 2015 7:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kenmore President Todd Banks said, "...state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) signed an agreement with Kenmore to design, certify and manufacture the floats that will convert 100 Chinese Harbin Y-12 twin-engine turboprops into seaplanes.

    See Seattle Times article dated Oct 2, 2015


  • 02 Oct 2015 10:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AOPA will host a fly-in at Bremerton Airport on August 20th, 2016. WSPA will concurrently host a Seaplane Splash-In at nearby Long Lake. Look for further information at the AOPA link below and in the  coming months here on the WSPA website.


  • 22 Sep 2015 3:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Washington Seaplane Pilots Association  (WSPA) Fall 2015 Splash In was held September 11th through the 13th at Tanglefoot Seaplane Base (D28) in Cavanaugh Bay in the town of Coolin on Priest Lake, Idaho. Dr. Loel Fenwick and his wife Olson kindly shared their dock, ramp, and hangar facilities for the weekend. We had over thirty seaplanes arrive between Wednesday and Saturday and managed to dock, beach and ramp all of them without bumping any wings or tails.

    Planes and Pilots from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, and Arizona flew in. WSPA volunteers provided and prepared meals Friday night through Sunday morning. Notable makes and models included, from small to large, Scout, Super Cub, Lake(s), Glasair Sportsman (very popular), Cessna 18Xs, Seawind, Beavers, Mallards, and The Turbine Supergoose.

    The Washington Pilots Association (WPA) was holding an annual fly-in at Cavanaugh Bay (66S) nearby. Pilots from both groups visited and shared over the weekend. Both WSPA and WPA have common charters to protect, maintain and grow access to the areas we want to fly.

    During the day Saturday, a fly-out was organized to several local destinations on Priest Lake, Sullivan Lake and in other Northern Washington and Idaho lakes. Two WSPA members familiar with the local lakes, terrain and procedures volunteered to organize and marshal the fly-out and hold a pre-launch pilots meeting. Late in the morning after making picnic lunches about twenty planes were off the water to the north.  Through all the launching and retrieving of seaplanes all went well again.

    Being at 2,439 feet and with the day warming into the 80s, it took some heavier planes up to 40 seconds to get off the water. A few CFIs remaining on the shoreline scoring takeoffs and landings noted that the common (but rare) observed mistake was departing directly into a steep Vx climb instead of accelerating level in surface (water) effect post liftoff. With a 19 mile long lake there was a lot of time to reach the proverbial 50 foot tree so why not get some speed before the climb? Level acceleration puts the pilot and plane in a better position to manage an engine out at takeoff than does a slower nose high orientation. Remember the lesson, “Accelerate in Ground Effect then transition to Vx or Vy”.

    The weekend weather was perfect (cool mornings and evenings, and warm afternoons) and a welcome respite for all of us after a very hot and smoky summer. Arriving and departing planes did have to plan flights around nearly the dozen remaining fire fighting TFRs. Most pilots noted smelling smoke during some portion of the inbound journey. The fires are expected to burn until the snow comes this year.

    On Saturday evening after all the planes go back and tucked in for the night, the Fenwicks hosted a social hour and then WSPA hosted a sit down dinner for everyone in the hangar. After dinner we had two speakers. Kevin Strait spoke on history, geography, flora, and fauna of the area, and Burt Rutan spoke on his almost-complete Ski Gull motor glider seaplane. First Flight is very soon. Both were exceptional speakers, appreciated and well received by the attendees.

    On Sunday as we all were departing the weather west of the Cascade Mountains was changing with a cold front and on shore flow building up quite a cloud deck in the Puget Sound Basin. In addition strong winds a loft were forecast. Pilots were seen pacing and tapping smartphone screens to get weather updates all through the morning hours and phone calls west for observed conditions were being made. This is a common pattern in fall in the PNW and often by later in the day the low layers burn off and crossing the mountains is made possible. Our two last resort contingencies were park east of mountains and wait or cross south following the Columbia River through The Gorge (expect hellish wind) and then proceed north under the layer, a 5+ hour option with no great fueling options for those on straight floats. Off we all went, and the typical pattern held, and we were able to cross Stampede Pass to the south late in the afternoon and easily descend under what were by then 3,000 foot ceilings. The northern mountain crossings were all covered by the black wall of doom and we were glad to be home.

    By 7:00 PM Social Media was lighting up with pictures and likes and comments about the event. For you Facebook-ers, go snoop Flights Above The Pacific Northwest (FATPNW), Washington Seaplane Pilots Association, and SPA Facebook pages for lots of pictures.

    Thank you goes to Fenwicks for the spectacular facility, Kenmore Air for kickoff funding, and the WSPA board members who organized and managed the event; in particular Jack Jacobson whose idea it was and then took the yeoman leadership position to make it happen, and also Stephen Ratzlaff (President), Greg (and Mary Jo) Corrado (VP) who did the food, and Kevin Wyman, and Austin Watson who filled in the gaps. Recognition also goes to all the attendees who offered to help and did help with the myriad of things needing doing to make a successful event from marshaling planes to hauling trash.

    Next year anyone?

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