ISPA Sun 'n Fun Events

Sun 'n Fun: 2007

What a difference a few years makes. In 2005-06 we had a few owner built Seawinds in attendance. This year there were no Seawinds to be found, except for the company's N46SW and the #1 certification test aircraft, C-GDBS. It was quite a treat to see the test aircraft there. It was enroute from the midwest to Canada in order to continue the testing process. I have included pictures of it below.

The aircraft was literally crammed full of computers and sensors and was sporting the spin chute on the tail. I talked with Dick Silva at some length and he sounded very positive with the progress. Of course, he would like to see everything finished by now but at least it's still making forward progress. That in itself is a huge accomplishment, especially when working with the government.

Dick mentioned that they have learned an immense amount in the testing program, but the overall changes needed thru certification have been small due to our robust design.

Some noticable changes, include: trim tabs with a second bracket connected to a dampener (in case of trim tab acuator rod disconnect), vortex generators/fences on the outboard leading edge, and of course different gear location and operation. There is also a change to the flaps as they will be driven at the middle rib. Dick did mention that he will publish facts learned during certification. He still needs to wait until testing is finished as the items learned are in a constant state of flux. He also mentioned that the items they have learned during certification may not be applicable to Seawinds that have been modified from the original manuals. The cowling is a much cleaner installation with the Continental under the hood (bonnet as Tony would call it!). No scoop under the cowling , very clean indeed. There is a narrow scoop on the top of the engine cowling.

The beautiful N73NT has found a new home. (photo from prior Sun n Fun)

Our old friend Tony Irwin was also in attendance. It's always great to hear Tony announce during the manufacturers' showcase. He always adds that international flair to the presentation. His son-in-law is under his tutelage now and was learning the Seawind. He has been helping Tony during the European airshows. I did ask about the Lithuanian builders' center and one aircraft has been completed and shipped back to the United States. The other aircraft they were working on has been finished and is one of the most high-tech Seawinds built to date. Unfortunately for the owner, he is no longer able to fly it due to a job change to another part of the world. Unfortunately that particular country does not allow homebuilt aircraft. Any European interest in this high tech Seawind please contact Tony Irwin. His contact information can be found on the website.

Hopefully some Seawinders will get together over the weekend at Sun n Fun and we can get an update and some photos from some of those folks. Any other observations or comments from attendees, please let me know so I can include them here.

Photos of C-GDBS Test Aircraft

Sun 'n Fun: 2005

Sun n' Fun 2005 saw at least 5 Seawinds in attendance. A highlight of the event was Keith Walljasper earning Best Composite Amphibian for N80CC. Keith attends 'ALL' of the major events with his Seawind and is always finding fun ways to enjoy his ultimate amphibious machine.

Seawind, SNA was there with promising news concerning the certification of the Seawind design. They are hoping to have an airplane flying this fall. Also in attendance was George Osborne with the beautiful N184WL. George had just finished his second condition inspection (annual) and has fine tuned his Seawind to be an extremely reliable cross-country cruiser. He will see many round trips this season between the Philadelphia area and Duluth, Minnesota. Try that trip in a normal amphib!

Also it was learned that another beautiful Seawind was for sale. N73NT owned by Nancy and Ted El Hajj is for sale and it is a beauty. Details will be on the Seawinds for Sale page shortly. Reluctantly, Nancy and Ted have put it on the market as part of downsizing and simplification of their lives. Nancy's accurate portrayal of the Seawinds flying characteristics were instrumental in refuting initial reports that the Seawind needed after-market modifications to improve it's handling characteristics. Nancy's testimony and vast flying experience quelled any rumors that the Seawind was not a great flying, stable machine. Nancy and Ted's input to the Seawind community will be sorely missed.

Another Seawind present was the former N83FB which was built by Fred Benton. It was originally equipped with a 340HP Demers Lycoming engine and had radar installed in a pod on the right wingtip. The pod is still there but I'm not sure about the installed equipment since I did not get to see it at the show.

A great synopsis of the event was given by ISPA member Tom Saccio. His description follows:

Sun N Fun was great. There were 5 Seawinds there - one of which I didn't know existed. It was owned by a fellow by the name of Schaeffer from FL. I think it was Kit #46. After he landed, he was taxiing on the grass and the nose wheel collapsed. The weld, just forward of the strut, completely separated. Evidently it was a very poor weld job. I believe he had it repaired with the help of Paul Marshall and I was told he was on his way by Sunday.

Other than that, the plane was beautiful. Ed and Mary Lou's barbecue was the highlight of the event. About 15 people attended, including Dick Silva and his gang. Dick was very open about the Seawind and the problems they had been having. He now seems to think that he's got it all together and they will probably have a plane flying by the fall with certification coming (if all goes well) 3 months after that. He also said that he didn't want the Seawind kit folks to think that he has been avoiding them - he's just been extremely busy. He wanted to make sure that everybody at SNA was giving us all the help we needed.

We told him that everyone has been terrific and that Paul Marshall has been super. He discussed all the changes that the kit builders have made to their planes. As we all know, he's not pleased with that. But he takes it personally every time some crashes one and Seawind gets blamed for it; when basically none of the accidents have been attributed to the plane itself. He said that if they didn't go for certification, Seawind would be out of business by now.

As for my own plane, I just passed the 2900 hour mark in 6 years. Hopefully I will be flying next year with the help of God and the Saints on the wall. Jack Ardoyno and his wife Lynda visited with us a few weeks ago. He looked over my plane thoroughly and thought that everything was fine. Except that the nose wheel steering motor was hitting the strut on the downward motion. He suggested that we shim the stops back a little to keep it from hitting. That seemed to solve the problem. I recently sent my Matco brakes back to Matco to have them upgraded to their latest version. They seem to think that this will improve the brakes tremendously. Sorry for being so long-winded. Blame it on Brent. Congratulations to Keith - he does have a very beautiful airplane.

Tom Saccio.

The beautiful N73NT owned by Ted and Nancy El Hajj is looking for a new home (preferably near the water!).

Sun 'n Fun: 2003

SPA members and friends. Welcome to the Sun-n-Fun 2003 page. Thanks to our ISPA members, we have several photos of this great event. There were six Seawinds at the show and a lot of new happenings.

George Osborne's newly finished prize winning Seawind made its debut. Keith Walljasper's Seawind was there with a newly reconditioned IO-540. SNA, in their new display tent, introduced the availability of the new 300C certified version of the Seawind in 2004.

There was a dinner for the ISPA and all Seawind enthusiasts on Friday night, and a cookout at Ed Lynch's motor home on Saturday night. Both events were attended by several people, including Tony Irwin, Dick Silva and his staff from SNA.

ISPA Member George Osborne's beautiful new Seawind N184WL was recognized at SNF 2003 as the best amphibian composite aircraft. Congratulations George (John Ricciotti photo)

ISPA members around Art Culver's Seawind Tom & Sandy Saccio, April Kapusta, Earl Boeve, Art Culver (Ed Lynch photo)

Keith Walljasper's Seawind Earl Boeve & Keith (Ed Lynch photo)

The New Seawind Display (Ed Lynch photo)

The New Seawind Display (Ed Lynch photo)

The New Seawind Display & the Forum (Ed Lynch photo)

Friday night dinner (John Ricciotti photos)

From Left: John Borman, Richard Day, Tony Irwin, Noeleen Borman, Vince Parisi, Mary Day (Ed Lynch Photo)

Keith Walljasper, Mike Bowes, John Borman, Jody Bowes, Tony Irwin (Ed Lynch Photo)

Clockwise from L: Bob Hall, Bill Fostwick (standing) Linda Fostwick Tom Saccio, Dick Silva, Brandon Fostwick (Ed Lynch Photo)

Kathy Taylor, Art Culver (standing), Tony Jerkin, Mackey Jerkin, April Kapusta, Sandy Saccio, Dick Wolf (Ed Lynch Photo)

Saturday Night Cookout at Ed and Mary Lou Lynch's

Jody Bowes & Tom Saccio (John Ricciotti photo)