Frequently Asked Questions PDF Print E-mail

 Questions:

General:
  1. How many seaplane pilots are there in the United States?
  2. How seaplanes are there in the United States?
  3. Can I rent a seaplane?
  4. Are seaplanes more dangerous than landplanes?
Facilities & Landing Areas:
  1. How do I determine where I can legally land?
  2. Where can I keep my seaplane?
  3. Do I need to license my home or landing area as a seaplane base?
  4. How to I create or license a seaplane base?
  5. Are there any design guidelines or templates for seaplane docks, ramps, and other supporting facilities?
  6. How can I address discontent and opposition among my neighbors?
  7. How should I respond if approached by law enforcement?
  8. What should I know about new security procedures and restrictions?
  9. What should I know about cross-country flight planning?
  10. Are ultralight seaplanes subject to the same waterway regulations as certified seaplanes?

Seaplane Ownership:
  1. How much will insurance cost?
  2. Why is insurance so expensive?
  3. Where can I keep my seaplane?

Technical:
  1. How can I determine which floats are approved on my airplane?
  2. How can I determine what modifications are approved on my airplane?
  3. Do "riblets" or "speed tape" products improve seaplane performance?

Airman Issues:
  1. Can I fly an amphibious seaplane without a seaplane rating?
  2. Can I fly an experimental seaplane without a seaplane rating?
  3. Where can I obtain a seaplane rating?
  4. What is required to obtain a seaplane rating?
  5. Does a seaplane rating also count as a flight review?
  6. Will my seaplane rating upgrade automatically if my pilot certificate is upgraded?
  7. How should I log amphibious flight time?
  8. Is it legal to laminate a pilots certificate?

Operations:
  1. What can I do about invasive species, such as milfoil and zebra mussels?
  2. Who has the right-of-way, the seaplane or the boat?
  3. Am I required to carry Coast Guard approved life preservers?
  4. Is it legal to land at night?

SPA Governance:
  1. When was the Seaplane Pilots Association founded, and why?
  2. Who owns the Seaplane Pilots Association?
  3. How do I obtain copies of the bylaws, membership meeting minutes, and financial reports?
  4. Who runs the Seaplane Pilots Association?
  5. How are officers and Directors appointed?
  6. How do I vote without attending the Annual Meeting of Members?
  7. What are proxies, and how do they work?
  8. Are officers or Directors compensated?
  9. What is the role of a Field Director?
  10. How are Field Directors and other volunteers appointed?
  11. Are Field Directors compensated?
  12. When and where is the Annual Meeting of Members held?
  13. How many members belong to the Seaplane Pilots Association?
  14. Why doesn't the Seaplane Pilots Association publish a membership list?


 Answers:


General:

Q: How many seaplane pilots are there in the United States?

A: There are approximately 35,000 seaplane-rated pilots in the United States with current medical certificates. Of those, only a small fraction are presumed to be active. Approximately 1,500 new seaplane ratings are issued each year.

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Q: How seaplanes are there in the United States?

A: Since the FAA does not distinguish between airplanes on floats, wheels, or skis, and in part because it is difficult to put a multi-use (seasonal wheels/skis/floats) airplane in a single category, there is no hard data on the number of seaplanes in the United States. Educated guesses put the count between five and ten thousand.

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Q: Can I rent a seaplane?

A: Yes, but there are only a few facilities that will rent seaplanes, and even then only with numerous restrictions. See the Solo Rental Directory for details.

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Q: Are seaplanes more dangerous than land planes?

A: While no formal research has been conducted to compare the safety record of land planes and seaplanes, seaplanes clearly operate in a more dangerous environment. Conventional wisdom holds that seaplanes are more likely to be involved in minor accidents involving damage to the airplane, but less likely to be involved in accidents with serious injuries or fatalities due to the protection offered by float structures and generally lower cruise and stall speeds.

Common incidents include upset due to mis-positioned landing gear, improper attitude, or adverse wind conditions, striking submerged or floating debris, and docking or beaching mishaps. Although seaplanes operate in an integrated environment with other recreational water surface users, collisions are exceedingly rare.

Additional information on safety is available in SPA's Seaplane Compatibility Issues Report, available from SPA Headquarters.

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Facilities & Landing Areas:

Q: How do I determine where I can legally land?

A: While most pilots assume the FAA has jurisdiction over landing areas, including water-based landing areas, the truth is much more complex. Jurisdiction rests with the person or organization that "owns" the waterway. This may be a Federal or state agency, a local government, a private corporation, or an individual. Determining who controls a waterway is the first step in determining whether it is legal to land on that body of water.

A second complication enters in the picture with overriding jurisdictions, most commonly state-imposed seaplane base licensing requirements. In several states, notably Ohio, New Jersey and Indiana, seaplanes may not land unless the proposed landing area is certified as a seaplane base, regardless of whether the waterway owner provides permission or not. To determine whether this is an issue in your area, call your state aeronautics office (often a division of the state department of transportation), check the Water Landing Directory, or call SPA Headquarters (863/701-7979).

The Water Landing Directory, available online to members, is the fastest way to determine whether a body of water is open. The Directory is the only publication that lists seaplane restrictions around the nation, and although only 1,300 bodies of water are listed in the Directory, many of those water bodies are among those used most frequently by seaplane pilots.

As a member of the Seaplane Pilots Association, you can also ask SPA staff to assist you in determining the legal status of a body of water. These requests prompt research that expands the Water Landing Directory as well as providing you with the information you need.



Q: Where can I keep my seaplane?

A: A seaplane can be kept at a certified seaplane base with permission, or at an airport if it is equipped with amphibious floats. If you want to keep your seaplane "off-airport", however, you will need to explore the issue with your state aeronautics office, local government, and the owner of the waterway.

Some specific problems include mooring restrictions imposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, seaplane base licensing requirements imposed by state governments, and zoning regulations imposed by local jurisdictions.

See Do I need to license my home or landing area as a seaplane base? for more information.



Q: Do I need to license my home or landing area as a seaplane base?

A: The answer to this question depends on the state in which you reside, and on the proposed use.

In California, for example, you will not need to obtain certification of either a landing area or mooring area. In Florida, you will need to certify an area used for mooring (your home if that's where you keep your seaplane), but you do not need to certify landing areas. In Ohio, New Jersey and Indiana, among others, you are not permitted to land, take off, or moor unless the site is an approved seaplane base.

For more information on your specific situation, contact your state aeronautics office or SPA Headquarters (863/701-7979).



Q: How do I create or license a seaplane base?

A: The specific procedure required to license a seaplane base varies by state, and in some states, most notably California, licensing is not required at all.

In general, the licensing process is driven by the state office of aeronautics (the specific agency name varies by state). That office will usually require routine contact and ownership information, evidence of zoning approval, evidence of FAA airspace approval, a public hearing, and a review of the proposed landing area to ensure basic standards of safety.

In some states or circumstances, approval may also be required from the organization or individual who owns the waterway in question.

The FAA airspace review process is lengthy, and will typically delay state certification by at least 3 months, and often more than 6 months. The FAA will review existing airspace utilization to ensure that the proposed facility will not interfere with existing uses. If there are no airports or special-use airspace within 5 miles of the proposed site, airspace approval is very likely. In those cases where an airport or special use airspace exists near the proposed site, careful planning and coordination with other airspace users (controllers, airport managers) will enhance the chances for airspace approval. The FAA airspace review process is initiated by filing FAA Form 7480-1 - Notice of Landing Area Proposal (PDF, 26KB).

The local zoning approval, and, if required, waterway owner's permission, are the requirements most likely to cause insurmountable problems for the seaplane base applicant. Potential seaplane base owners are well-advised to seek zoning approval in writing from the appropriate local jurisdiction prior to closing on the property to be used as a seaplane base.

The site inspection is intended to detect unsafe circumstances, such as insufficient length or depth, inadequate obstacle clearance, and other circumstances generally identified by law. This inspection is rarely cause for denial of a seaplane base application.

The public hearing is frightening to many seaplane base applicants, and is likely to attract controversy. Applicants are advised to approach hearings with a thick skin and plenty of patience. In many states, while public testimony may be taken on any topic related to the proposed base, only that testimony related to safety or other specific base licensing criteria can be considered by the state when approving or denying the application.

Following the conclusion of inspections and hearings, the state will approve or deny the application. If denied, the applicant will have an opportunity to appeal the decision to an administrative judge. If approved, the applicant will be granted a certificate and must renew that certificate according to the schedule set by the state.



Q: Are there any design guidelines or templates for seaplane docks, ramps, and other supporting facilities?

A: There are two noteworthy publications: Advisory Circular 150/5395-1 (PDF, 396KB, 45 pages), published by the FAA, and Seaplane Facilities (PDF, 1,017KB, 64 pages), a 1940's booklet originally published by the U.S. Commerce Department.



Q: How can I address discontent and opposition among my neighbors?

A: The best course of action to address discontent is prevention. Take your neighbors for rides, and explain what you're doing and why. Do not fly early in the morning or late in the evening. Leave yourself open to suggestions from your neighbors, and avoid direct or low overflight of homes, boats, or people. Hold an "open house" or barbecue if you're so inclined. In other words, be neighborly.

If you run into opposition, do your best to meet that opposition face-to-face to discuss (with patience and calmness) the concerns others have about your operation. Use resources available from the Seaplane Pilots Association, such as the Flying America's Waterways video and brochure.

If problems continue, contact SPA Headquarters for help.



Q: How should I respond if approached by law enforcement?

A: Cooperation is best. Many law enforcement contacts are motivated by curiosity, not enforcement action. Even in the latter case, law enforcement officers themselves often do not know whether seaplane operations are legal. It is best to work with law enforcement officers rather than against them. That is even more true today in light of 9/11 concerns, which give a whole new dimension law enforcement's reaction to a fleeing or uncooperative pilot.



Q: What should I know about new security procedures and restrictions?

A: The Seaplane Pilots Association publishes a brochure, Security Tips for Seaplane Pilots (PDF, 139KB), with guidance for seaplane pilots on security-related issues. This brochure addresses only waterway use issues and sensitive sites, not TFRs, airspace issues, or airmen certification issues. For information about these topics, obtain a thorough preflight briefing from a qualified FAA Flight Service Station briefer.



Q: What should I know about cross-country flight planning?

A: It would be impossible to address this topic thoroughly here. However, keep in mind that when flying cross-country on straight floats, fuel, especially 100LL and Jet grades, will be difficult to find. Extensive pre-flight planning and creative arrangements (such as landing near an airport and ferrying fuel in containers) may be necessary depending on your proposed route of flight. Consult the Water Landing Directory for facility information, as well as member feedback in the online version, and use SPA's forum to seek information about fuel stops not included in the Water Landing Directory.



Q: Are ultralight seaplanes subject to the same waterway regulations as certified seaplanes?

A: Generally, yes. The FAA makes a distinction between ultralights and other aircraft, but the FAA plays no role in waterway use regulations. With very few exceptions, the agencies, organizations, and persons responsible for waterway use regulations do not distinguish ultralights from other seaplanes, and thus ultralights are usually subject to the same waterway use regulations are all other seaplanes.




Ownership Answers:

Q: How much will insurance cost?

A: This question will depend on the coverage desired, your experience (particularly in seaplanes or amphibians), the configuration of the insured airplane (straight or amphibious, number of seats), length of the flying season, and countless other variables. You should expect insurance premiums to be considerably higher than those for a comparable land plane, particularly as a new pilot, due to the risks inherent in seaplane flying. Just remember that the same reason seaplanes are less than attractive to insurers - access to remote, uncontrolled areas - is the same reason flying seaplanes is so worthwhile!

For a personalized quote, contact Falcon Insurance Agency, SPA's endorsed insurance agency.



Q: Why is insurance so expensive?

A: Insurance for seaplanes is expensive for two primary reasons: risk and insured population.

Risk is considerably higher in seaplanes, a fact borne out in the loss history, due to the uncontrolled nature of the seaplane environment. Risks in this environment include not only debris, obstacles, and other vessels, but also the elements, as seaplanes are more vulnerable to high winds, hail and other weather hazards than land-based aircraft due to lack of facilities. Further, otherwise minor losses (the water equivalent of a ground loop, for example) usually result in a total loss with limited salvage potential.

The insured population also contributes to high premiums. In a small insured population, premiums must be elevated to ensure that a major loss will not bankrupt the program. In larger populations, that small but very real risk can be spread over a larger group.




Technical:

Q: How can I determine which floats are approved on my airplane?

A: First look at the Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) for your airplane. That document will specify the approved landing gear for the airplane. Switching between landing gear specified in the TCDS required a logbook entry, but not a Form 337.

If the floats you want to install are not listed in the TCDS, you need to look for a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) that permits installation of the floats on your airplane. STCs are proprietary, meaning that you must obtain the STC owner's permission to utilize the STC. Installation of floats in accordance with an STC may require the filing of a Form 337.

If neither an STC nor the TCDS provide for the installation of the desired floats, you can pursue a field approval or one-time STC, neither of which is likely to be granted, or you can pursue your own STC for the installation, which will require engineering and flight testing.

You may also be able to place the airplane in the experimental or restricted category with uncertified floats. It is generally difficult to return such an aircraft to the normal category, and a experimental or restricted category aircraft is more expensive to insure and less valuable when it comes time to sell.

Supplemental Type Certificates and Type Certificate Data Sheets are available to the public on the FAA's web site, www.faa.gov. SPA staff will gladly assist you in locating these documents. Additional information is available in Water Flying Annual, which contains a list of currently manufactured floats and the aircraft on which those floats are approved.



Q: How can I determine what modifications are approved on my airplane?

A: See How can I determine which floats are approved on my airplane. The same procedures apply to all modifications, including floats.



Q: Do "riblets" or "speed tape" products improve seaplane performance?

A: Riblets or speed tape products are textured surfaces that reduce boundary layer drag. They have been used on competitive sailboats, swimsuits and aircraft, among other things, to decrease drag and improve performance. Although it has been asserted that these products work wonders for seaplane performance, scientific evidence to back this claim is not available. Riblets have been shown to reduce drag by as much as 6% and reduce race times by as much as 2% on racing yachts. Presuming these results can be safely correlated to seaplane takeoff performance, properly designed and applied boundary layer textures may reduce a 20-second takeoff run by two- to four-tenths of a second. Presuming an average speed of 20 mph during takeoff (remember that a disproportionate amount of the takeoff run's time is at slow plow speeds), and an equal drag reduction effect at all speeds, 0.4 seconds will yield a 12-foot decrease in takeoff distance.

Regardless of the performance merits (real or imagined) of these products, it is worthwhile to consider the potential for corrosion. Any tape or coating on a float will eventually allow water to seep under it, where that water will be trapped against the float and could potentially cause corrosion.

And if you're still interested, you may be disappointed to learn that 3M no longer manufactures this product.




Airman Issues:

Q: Can I fly an amphibious seaplane without a seaplane rating?

A: You can exercise the privileges of "airplane - single engine (or multi-engine) land" to operate an amphibious single-engine (or multi-engine) seaplane from hard-surface runways. You cannot land that same airplane in the water, however, without a seaplane rating.



Q: Can I fly an experimental seaplane without a seaplane rating?

A: Possibly.

A loophole in FAR 61.31(k)(2)(iii), when combined with the absence of a stipulation in an experimental aircraft's operating limitations (specific to one aircraft) requiring the operator to hold a seaplane rating, at one time allowed many experimental seaplanes to be operated on the water by pilots not holding a seaplane rating.

The FAA in part closed that loophole in 2005 by modifying FAR 61.31(k)(2), adding a new subparagraph (iii)(B) making category and class ratings a requirement for any pilot of an experimental aircraft carrying passengers.

However, pilots without a seaplane rating may still be permitted to operate an experimental seaplane without passengers provided that the aircraft's operating limitations do not require that the pilot hold a seaplane rating.

Even if the FAA permits operation of your experimental seaplane without a seaplane rating, it is unlikely that your insurance company will be so lenient. And even if you don't carry insurance, you should carefully weight the considerable risks of flying a seaplane--any seaplane--without type-specific training.



Q: Where can I obtain a seaplane rating?

A: The Seaplane Pilots Association publishes a directory of flight schools and flight instructors online. In addition, the flight school directory is published in Water Flying Annual.



Q: What is required to obtain a seaplane rating?

A: A seaplane rating is granted only on the basis of demonstrated proficiency, not on the basis of a specified level of experience. Most pilots will find that certifiable proficiency is reached in 6 to 8 flight hours. Some flight schools specialize in "quickly" ratings that can cut that time in half, and some students will need more than 8 hours to reach self- or government-imposed standards.

In any case, you should be aware that the basic level of proficiency required to obtain the rating is nowhere near enough experience to arm you for the "real world" of water flying. Insurance companies often impose their own minimum experience levels, and regardless, it is advisable to pursue additional training in the aircraft and area you plan to utilize.



Q: Does a seaplane rating also count as a flight review?

A: Yes.



Q: Will my seaplane rating upgrade automatically if my pilot certificate is upgraded?

A: No. If you obtain an add-on seaplane rating as a private pilot, then upgrade to a commercial pilots certificate in a land plane, you will not be able to exercise commercial privileges in a seaplane until you upgrade your seaplane rating as well. If you don't plan to fly a seaplane commercially, you can continue to use your seaplane rating in the capacity of a private pilot while exercising commercial land privileges.



Q: How should I log amphibious flight time?

A: In a nutshell, any way you want. Strategies vary from person to person, and there is no known guidance from the FAA on this subject. Insurance companies are often interested in logged amphibious time as a distinct subcategory of logged seaplane time. Many seaplane pilots who fly amphibs primarily from land-based airports consider their amphibious flight time as land plane time. Others consider it seaplane time. A third group breaks it down according to number of land and/or sea operations. The bottom line: it's up to you.

For insurance purposes, it is best to log amphibious time as seaplane time, since total seaplane time is a much more important factor in determining seaplane insurance rates than total time overall or total land plane time.



Q: Is it legal to laminate a pilots certificate?

A: Yes. Although the FAA prohibits "alteration" of any certificate (FAR 61.59(a)(4)), the FAA has determined that lamination does not constitute an alteration. However, you must sign your pilots certificate before laminating it. A letter from the Assistant Chief Counsel of the Regulations Division is on file in evidence of this assertion.

Operations:

Q: What can I do about invasive species, such as milfoil and zebra mussels?

A: This is a hot topic, particularly in the Northeast and Adirondack Park. The U.S. Coast Guard has issued voluntary guidelines for the control of invasive species transport by seaplane and other modes of transportation. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the USCG recommendations, and avoid flying from lakes with invasive species present to lakes without such species. Local contacts are the best source for information on the status of a specific lake, although the Water Landing Directory including information about which lakes in Maine and New Hampshire are infested with invasive aquatic plants.



Q: Who has the right-of-way, the seaplane or the boat?

A: FAR 91.115 places collision avoidance responsibility on seaplane pilots with the language, "[Seaplane pilots] shall, insofar as possible, keep clear of all vessels and avoid impeding their navigation." This language is echoed in 72 COLREGS.



Q: Am I required to carry Coast Guard approved life preservers?

A: The U.S. Coast Guard does not require seaplanes to carry "safety equipment", including life preservers, on the premise that such equipment is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Federal Aviation Regulations require carriage of FAA approved floatation gear when operating under Part 91 for hire (FAR 91.205(b)(12)), but Part 91 flights not conducted for hire are not required to carry floatation equipment by the FAA.

It is worth noting that local authorities, including state, county, and municipal authorities, may require that all vessels, including seaplanes, carry U.S. Coast Guard approved floatation gear on board. It is possible that such rules may be deemed preempted by federal regulation of safety equipment required onboard seaplanes, but this has not been tested in a court of law and should not be relied upon as fact.

If seeking floatation equipment approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, look for inflatable vests with a CO2 cartridge that must be manually triggered. Vests that automatically inflate upon contact with water are dangerous to the occupants of a seaplane, as a passive (non-inflatable) vests when worn in the aircraft, as these vests can trap occupants inside a submerged airplane.





Q: Is it legal to land at night?

A: While many Part 135 operators are specifically prohibited from landing a seaplane at night on a water body not lit specifically for that purpose, Part 91 operators are not specifically prohibited from landing at night on an unlit body of water. However, FAR 91.13, prohibiting careless or reckless operations, could potentially be interpreted as prohibiting night landings on unlit water bodies. Case law includes one example in which a pilot was charged with violating 91.13 for landing at night on an unlit airfield.

Of course, there are some bodies of water, such as the landing lane between Lakes Spenard and Hood in Anchorage, Alaska, that are lit specifically to facilitate night landings.

For the record, SPA does not advocate landing at night without the benefit of lighting specifically designed to facilitate the landing of aircraft.





Governance:

Q: When was the Seaplane Pilots Association founded, and why?

A: The Seaplane Pilots Association was founded by David Quam, Robert Murray, Al Lisch and William Hooper in 1972. The founding purpose of the Association was to protect seaplane access to public waters, promote seaplane flying and publish a member Newsletter and Seaplane Base Directory.



Q: Who owns the Seaplane Pilots Association?

A: The Seaplane Pilots Association is a not-for-profit corporation, and thus although it is managed by its members, its assets, revenue, and profit do not belong to anybody. In the event the organization is dissolved, the assets of the organization must be donated to a public charity.



Q: How do I obtain copies of the bylaws, membership meeting minutes, and financial reports?

A: The current bylaws, annual membership meeting minutes, and financial reports are available in the Miscellaneous Information section of the members area of SPA's web site or upon written request.



Q: Who runs the Seaplane Pilots Association?

A: Ultimately, through annual elections, the members run the organization by electing the members of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors in turn manages the organization and elects officers, who in turn hire staff to manage the day-to-day business operations and carry out the objectives set by the Board.



Q: How are officers and Directors appointed?

A: Directors are elected to one-year terms in office by the membership at the Annual Meeting of Members. When a vacancy opens up between Annual Meetings, the Board of Directors is responsible for appointing an interim Director, who must be elected at the next Annual Meeting of Members to remain on the Board.

Officers are appointed by the Board of Directors to one-year terms in office.



Q: How do I vote without attending the Annual Meeting of Members?

A: As a voting member of the Seaplane Pilots Association, you are entitled to vote in proxy. See What are proxies, and how do they work? for more information.



Q: What are proxies, and how do they work?

A: A proxy is a person (or group of people) authorized to vote on your behalf at an annual meeting of members. The term "proxy" also refers to the document that grants another person or group the authority to vote on your behalf.

The standard proxy form, printed on the back of SPA renewal notices, grants authority to any two or more directors to vote on behalf of the authorizing member. Gathering enough proxies is key to ensuring that there are enough voting members present at annual meetings, either in person or in proxy, to reach the quorum necessary to hold an annual meeting of members.

When executing a proxy (the document), you need not give your proxy (the person) freedom of choice in how a vote is cast, or on which issues a vote may be cast. For example, you may wish to vote for a specific director, in which case the proxy (document) can specify which director your proxy (the person) is authorized to vote for.

Finally, under New York law, proxies are valid by default for 11 months from the date the proxy was signed, or for the period of time specified on the proxy. Proxies may be revoked or superceded at any time.



Q: Are officers or directors compensated?

A: Directors are not compensated for their work as Directors, but may be compensated for work performed at the direction of the Board that is beyond the customary role of a Director. In current practice, three of nine Directors receive compensation: one for legal services rendered, and the other two in connection with other official capacities, as outlined below.

Officers, including the Chairman of the Board, President, Vice President(s), Treasurer, and Secretary, may be compensated at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Currently, only two officers are compensated. The President is compensated for his services as a full-time staff member, and the Chairman of the Board is reimbursed for reasonable and customary travel expenses in connection with the execution of the duties of his office.



Q: What is the role of a Field Director?

A: Field Directors are volunteers who provide eyes, ears, and "boots on the ground" to address local waterway access conflicts, help members plan flights, and assist when possible in answering technical questions.



Q: How are Field Directors and other volunteers appointed?

A: Volunteers, including Field Directors, are appointed by the President.



Q: Are Field Directors compensated?

A: Field Directors are reimbursed for reasonable and customary expenses associated with the discharge of their duties, such as telephone expenses, travel, and postage, provided such expenditures have been authorized in advance. Field Directors are also provided with complimentary membership in the Association, and may from time to time receive insignia apparel to assist them in promoting the Association.



Q: When and where is the Annual Meeting of Members held?

A: The Annual Meeting of Members is held at a time and place set by the Board of Directors. The time and location is typically the Stobie Seaplane Base/Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife hangar in Greenville, Maine, during the annual International Seaplane Fly-in. Notice of the Meeting's site, date, and time is typically published in Water Flying magazine, but may also be mailed directly to members and published on SPA's web site.

The location of the Annual Meeting is a regular point of contention among members. Although light attendance at the Annual Meetings is commonly attributed by members to location, an experiment undertaken in the late 1990s showed that attendance did not vary significantly with the location of the Meeting. Thus, the Board opted to return the Meeting to its traditional home in Greenville during the International Seaplane Fly-in, the largest single gathering of seaplanes in the lower 48 states.



Q: How many members belong to the Seaplane Pilots Association?

A: As of August, 2005, membership rests just above 7,950. Membership has been steadily increasing, with the occasional brief interruption, since 1985.



Q: Why doesn't the Seaplane Pilots Association publish a membership list?

A: For two reasons: first, for the privacy of our members, many of whom have expressed concern about being the target of solicitors; and second, to protect the value of display advertising in Water Flying magazine, which accounts for approximately one-third of the organization's annual revenue.



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