International Seawind Pilots Association
Seawind: The Airplane
by Brent A Carlson PE
Fourth Edition April 2022-B: Over a span of more than 20 years, the author purchased, built, and flew his own high performance amphibious seaplane from a kit; a Seawind. This is the story of his personal experience, the Seawind, and some of the people he met along the way. Seawind: The Airplane is 392 Pages.
Welcome to the ISPA
Why is this site and the information it contains important? Short answer, it is a matter of life and death. For just one, and the first example, if someone buys an existing Seawind and crawls in the back to work on it, and opens a fuel line, they are extremely likely to die instantly from a “confined space” or “oxygen deficient atmosphere incident.” Two persons died this way in the beginning of Seawind building. To this day, very few people know about this kind of hazard.
The Seawind is not an ordinary airplane. They are not currently being manufactured. From the late 1980 until 2003, 171 kits were originally sold. Even though the safety record of the Seawind was horrible, and several were lost, primarily due to pilot ignorance and error, there are still a few out there, and people are buying them and restoring them.
Seawinds require special piloting and very specialized and complex maintenance knowledge. Much of the original information from the manufacturer was misleading and wrong. For example the company advertised that they could be flown by low time pilots capable of flying a Cessna 172. While this may approach the truth under fair weather and normal conditions, it certainly does not apply for abnormal flight conditions in a Seawind.
The most recent demonstration of this fact was the chilling story of Seawind N8UU in July 2021. Seawind N8UU was purchased by an unsuspecting buyer, and the aged, surly, crotchety seller provided no help whatsoever about the airplane, which had been sitting for years. In attempting to fly it home, the buyer had seven incidents in seven days as he flew across the country, ending in a crash and loss of the airplane in Lake Michigan. There are so many things about this story that are just plain sad, and could have been averted had the information provided here would have been readily available. The buyer is very lucky to be alive, he lost a huge investment, and one of the few remaining Seawinds is more than likely lost forever at the bottom of Lake Michigan.
There are a few persons that we know of who are now refurbishing and or flying Seawinds. During the years since the late 1970s there have been volumes of information about all of the unique characteristics of Seawinds. Our goal in establishing and maintaining this website is to make the required information readily available to all who are interested in the Seawind. As can be seen from this brief thumbnail sketch about Seawind uniqueness, this could very well save someone's life.