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Sun ‘n Fun Wrap-Up

April 26, 2009

The 2009 Sun ‘n Fun has been a spectacular event!  The weather couldn’t have been better, with blue skies and 80 degree temps throughout the week.  Going into the final day this Sunday, we are all proud of the accident-free celebration of aviation. Attendance was excellent every day, with record-breaking numbers at the April 22nd Seaplane Splash-In at Fantasy of Flight.  We had over 100 seaplanes participating, bringing the Sun ‘n Fun Splash-In well into the leagues of the veteran AirVenture and Greenville events.  The Seaplane steak dinner banquet capping the Thursday splash-in, co-sponsored by SPA, at one of Fantasy of Flight’s hangars was a sell-out.  The distressing news at the banquet was the announcement that SPA Canadian Field Director, Bill & PJ Gillespie, will conclude their run as Chair Persons of the Sun ‘n Fun Splash-In this year!  Bill & BJ have been a mainstay of the event and deserve huge kudos for their fabulous accomplishment.  They will be a very hard act to follow, but have promised to be remain engaged in years to come. Bill & PJ intend to take off and see the world, “until their money runs out”.  Good luck guys, and a sincere thank you from us all! 

It was wonderful to see so many old friends and new members at Sun ‘n Fun this year.  Some new SPA members joined me for breakfast Friday morning – welcome aboard.  Several new members from Germany plan to hold a similar splash-in event in their country which will hopefully stimulate water flying in this corner of Europe which is not too friendly to seaplanes.  Another group of members have asked SPA help in promoting a seaplane event in the Dominican Republic.  Please watch the website and WaterFlying Magazine for more details on these events as they are developed.  Seaplanes are fast becoming the star attraction of Sun ‘n Fun. 

The board of directors of the SPA Foundation met on Wednesday, April 21 at Sun ‘n Fun.   Very special guest was Harvey Cohen, from the AOPA Foundation. 

From the warm waters of Fantasy’s Lake Agnes, I am looking forward next weekend to the hopefully ice-free waters of the Minnesota Seaplane Safety Seminar in northern Minnesota.  SPA will also have a booth next weekend at the Alaska Airman’s Show in Anchorage, with AK SPA Field Director, John Pratt.  

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