August 2004 - May 2005

May 11, 2005:

I have been informed that the owner of the Seawind turbine N42HA is in the process of determining if it will be repaired. It sustained quite a bit of damage when the main gear legs sheared off on landing. Once again the damage the Seawind can absorb and still protect it's occupants is truly amazing.

This particular Seawind did not have a header tank in the fuel system. According to sources it will have a header tank installed during the rebuild process. More details will be reported as they are made available to me. As stated in the NTSB report, the engine ran fine in the post crash test cell run. Once again, fuel system design played an important part in contributing to this accident. Fuel is one of the leading causes of accidents in homebuilt aircraft. The simpler and more fool-proof the better.

May 8, 2005:

Recently I received an email from ISPA member George Blosser with news of the IO-540 converted to run on ethanol in a production aircraft.

What About Ethanol?

The high price of avgas has a Brazilian plane-maker turning to alcohol. Neiva, a subsidiary of Embraer, delivered the world's first production model ethanol-powered crop duster in March and has plans to build 70 more this year.

For 30 years, Brazil has been developing ethanol-fueled vehicles to reduce dependence on oil imports and at least a third of all cars produced there can run on alcohol. There are about 400 aircraft adapted to run on ethanol but the EMB 202 Ipanema is the first certified production aircraft. It's powered by a Lycoming IO-540.

While Brazil lacks oil resources, it does have the ability to grow huge amounts of sugar cane, from which the ethanol is produced at about a quarter the cost of gasoline, which now runs at about $7 a gallon in Brazil. The ethanol-powered Ipanema costs about $14,000 more than the avgas version but the fuel savings, plus the greater durability and what the company claims is a 7-percent increase in power output from the modified engine, makes up for the higher initial cost.

Neiva director Acir Padiha also noted that ethanol pollutes less and is a renewable resource, assuming you have the land and climate to grow millions of acres of sugar cane. The company is now planning to convert six-passenger Sertanejo and Minuano aircraft to ethanol.

May 4, 2005:

The Annual Seawind Splash-in will take place this year in Duluth, Minnesota. It is scheduled to start right after Oshkosh. Those attending should plan to arrive on the 31st of July (Sunday) and the activities will take place on August 1st and 2nd. A tremendous amount of knowledge will be shared again this year. Any interested parties are welcome to attend. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Canal Park Inn. Here is the information forward by ISPA member Chad Fey:

I have a block of rooms at the Canal Park Inn under the name of the ISPA for July 31, August 1&2. City side rooms are $85.00/night and Lakeside rooms are $95.00/night. I looked into the other hotels along the lake and the room rates were $179.00/night and up.

After discussion with George Osborne, we decided to get rooms again at the Canal Park Inn. There were a few rooms at South Pier Inn on the city side for $99.00/night for those who may be dead set against staying at the Canal Park Inn. The construction at the Canal Park Inn is finished. Call and make your reservations prior to June 30. After that, the rooms will be released to the general public.

The Canal Park Inn phone number is 218-727-8821. Hope to see you in Duluth. We will be having presentations again, evening meals on the lakes at the homes of the Osborne's and Fey's, and a tour of Cirrus Design. It will be fun and informative. Submitted by Chad Fey.

Check out the Splash-in 2004 web page for photos and a description of last years event.

April 12, 2005:

We just received notification from the NTSB that the preliminary findings have been posted on the NTSB website in reference to the Hare turbine Seawind accident (N42HA). The report will be added to the incident log in our Members Only section also. The link is;=fa (Ed. note: this link is no longer working)

You should be able to just click on the link to go to the website or copy and paste the address into your web browser.

April 8, 2005:

I just received word that due to job commitments Dimitri Mamais will not be at Sun n' Fun with his Seawind for sale. You are welcome to contact him with information from the Seawinds For Sale page for further information on his Seawind CF-RGP.

March 23, 2005:

With Sun n' Fun approaching rapidly another building and water flying season is upon us. For those Seawind aficiondos there are a few Seawinds still for sale. One such Seawind will be at Sun n' Fun for any interest buyers. It is CF-RGP and is owned by Dimitri Mamais. He is very motivated as he has just recently dropped his asking price. Check out the details on the "Seawinds For Sale" page. If there are any other Seawinds for sale that will be at Sun n' Fun, I will post that news also.

January 15, 2005:

ISPA member George Osborne recently sent in a copy of the NTSB report for N42HA which apparently had an engine failure followed by a landing short of the runway with the resulting shearing off of both main landing gear legs. Thank you George for providing this information. The Seawind incident log portion of our Members Only section has been updated with this information also. This portion of our website details a number of past accidents and incidents so hopefully our members will learn from them and not be destined to repeat history.

One other item to note is that I have received unconfirmed information that this aircraft was turbine powered and not equipped with the Lycoming IO-540.

The link to the NTSB report is:;=fa (Ed. note: this link is no longer working)

December 9, 2004:

Ted Dirstein recently emailed ISPA with a few details of a recent engine failure incident during test flying a Seawind in Brazil. Below are the emails received yesterday:

Engine failed because of fuel system problems. Emergency landed (gear up) in sugar cane field (in Brazil).

Yes, I was the pilot and this occurred on the initial test flight of this aircraft. Approximately two minutes into the flight at an altitude of 500 feet, the engine lost all power and fuel pressure went to zero. I retracted the landing gear and landed in a sugar cane field. The aircraft was not damaged during the landing and subsequent inspection found the engine had starved for fuel. It was later determined that during construction, in an effort to reduce water spray entering the fuel system, the fuel vent had been relocated from the vertical fin leading edge rearward by a few inches. This placed it in an area of low pressure air and created a vacuum in the fuel system.

There was/is another Seawind in the Sao Paulo area of Brazil which was involved in a water landing accident and heavily damaged sometime prior to my engine failure. In addition, there was another one being assembled in Ipeuna by the same builder as the one I was flying. I understand that one is very close to being completed.

I'm sure this lead to uncertainty as to who did what.

December 4, 2004 :

Our newest ISPA member and newest Seawind owner Bracey Bobbitt sent your editor the following letter:

Hi John, Enclosed is my membership for the Seawind Pilots Association. I do not have a home computer but use the computer at work. So please mail me the password to get into the members only website. Enclosed is a self-addressed envelope also.

I purchased Pat Sampson's N88PS several weeks ago and have had my dual time with Jack Ardoyno at my home on Lake James, North Carolina at the foot of the mountain from Ashville, North Carolina. I live waterfront and have a hangar and runway at my house. I've been a pilot since 1982 and have a single engine land and sea rating. I also own a SeaRay with a 914 Turbo Rotax. I am semi-retired from construction and pharmacy. I've had the Seawind for one month and already put 28 hours on it. I'm having a great time as to finally fulfilling all my material dreams.

Look forward to meeting you and all Seawind owners. All Seawind owners have and open invitation to my bachelor pad on Lake James anytime.

Best Regards, Bracey

Ed: I wrote Bracey back and welcomed him into the Seawind community. What a great setup. He has many of us drooling at his set up. It's sounds like he did it right. Had the SeaRay as his primary water trainer and now has moved up to the Ferrari. WOW. I am hoping that Bracey can keep us updated on the lessons learned while gaining experience in his fabulous Seawind. It's great to see a Seawind with loving home to play at.

Thanks Bracey for motivating all of us!

November 16, 2004:

ISPA member and Seawind Instructor Jack Ardoyno recently sent a letter in describing the change in ownership of N88PS. You might remember N88PS was featured in front of the Concorde at Oshkosh a few years back. Jack says it best:

Hi, John! I want to introduce a new Seawind owner to our group. On Friday, November 5, 2004, Bracey Bobbitt finalized the purchase of Pat Samson's Seawind, N88PS. Bracey engaged me to fly the plane from Livingston County Airport (near Detroit) to his home in Nebo, North Carolina (near Asheville) and provide dual instruction for him to become comfortable in the airplane.

I am extremely pleased to report that Bracey's new airplane is a marvelous flying machine and Bracey is becoming very adept in flying it. On Sunday, November 14, 2004 Bracey dropped me off at my airport in Hayward, WI and on his second solo flight in the airplane, flew non-stop from Hayward to Concord, NC (800+ NM) with gas to spare.

I wish to congratulate Pat Samson and Mike Bowes for an excellent example of workmanship in building 88PS. If our airplanes turn out as well we will be very well rewarded for the effort. I have attached two photos for the website. One is of Bracey posing by the tail numbers in North Carolina and the other is on departure from Hayward back to North Carolina.


Photos courtesy of Jack Ardoyno

October 30, 2004:

Membership renewals were due in September. If you haven't renewed, please do so now as I will be purging non-active members from the Member's Only side of the website beginning in November. I have received construction photos from a couple of our members but could still use more. I am in the process of organizing them into specific topics and will publish them on our Member's Only side of the website soon! Thank you to the members who have contributed thus far.

Also note that if you are looking for a completed Seawind or a kit, now is a great time to be in the marketplace. We have many listed on our site and I believe there were 5 listed in Trade a Plane recently.

October 9, 2004:

Discussions on our members only section brought up a very important subject on brake pedal geometry and effectiveness. A link and some pictures from MATCO Manufacturing's website are included. Please check the Landing Gear section under the Builder's Tips section of the Members Only section of our website. You will find the information at the bottom of the Landing Gear page.

September 22, 2004:

Recently I received a letter from Len Carlson, one of our very early builders, who continues to make dream trips in his Seawind. Trips such as these, are why builders continue to build and dreamers continue to dream of one day owning a Seawind; the fastest single engine piston amphibian on the planet. I will add the letter below and later add it to a Letters page in our Members Only section. It is posted here as everyone in the Seawind community will be able to enjoy Len's travels.

Tuk & Back

A trip to the Arctic Ocean in Seawind C-GIFD

On Monday morning July 12, 2004, my flying companion, Jim Ulmer from Ft Lauderdale Florida and I departed my private Airstrip at Craik, Saskatchewan Canada on what was to prove to be the perfect trip for the Seawind. It was 6 a.m., temp. was plus +12 C, I had removed the rear seats and packed the plane with survival gear and camping gear (which we never used). I also had a neat little Satellite phone, which really worked well.

We departed Craik with about 40 gals of fuel and planned a stop in Prince Albert SK to top up. We arrived in P.A. In about 45 minutes only to wait for another 45 for the gasman to show up. We departed P.A. Enroot to Uranium City but ran in non VFR Conditions and had to return to P.A. At 12 noon we an again made an attempt. This time we were able to reach our cabin at Pink Lake in Northern Sk. We decided to spend the night.

July 13 after a breakfast of fresh fish and bannock. A weather check, which proved we had to change plans. We proceeded west to Ft McMurray, Alberta a nice 1&1/2 Hr flight. Air Traffic was very busy around McMurray with up to 40 water bombers working in the area. We took on some fuel and departed for Hay River, Northwest Territories. The forest fires in Alaska and the Yukon Territories created a very bad smoke fog which reduced forward visibility anywhere from 0 miles to 3 miles. Hay River is a unique community, as it is the staging area for a great percentage of the products moving north to the Arctic Ocean. Large barges are loaded at Hay River to begin their journey up the McKenzie River to Inuvik and the Arctic Ocean.

After a bite to eat and a top up with fuel we were off to Norman Wells following the McKenzie River northwest bound. Passing by Fort Providence where another Seawind builder used to live but has since moved to British Columbia (at least that's what the locals had told us). As we proceeded enroute we began to encounter some moderate rain and thundershowers, so with smoke and low visibility we decided to land at Fort Simpson. While we were waiting we added a bit of fuel from the local FBO. He didn't have a meter on his gas but just told us to estimate how much we used. He was a real nice guy and ran a nice clean operation. After a walk around Ft Simpson and some lunch we were off to Norman Wells, which is a busy oil town where they have built Islands in the middle of the McKenzie River where they have their oil rigs. We overnighted at Norman Wells in a motel that was within walking distance of the airport, The rooms were clean but not fancy but the dining room served a 5 star meal (Caribou Medallions in red wine sauce, and Arctic Char served with a white cheese sauce)

Wednesday, the low pressure had passed to the east and we were able to continue on to Inuvik. It was during this leg that we crossed the Arctic Circle. We arrived in Inuvik about 2 pm local time and decided to continue on to Tuktuktuk, NWT (The Arctic Ocean). It is just a short 30 minute flight to Tuk (there are no roads to Tuk, so all goods must come by barge in the summer or by air) We arrived at Tuk around 5 PM to find a quiet little Community right on the edge of the Arctic Ocean. We spent a few minutes flying around the area looking for wildlife (Caribou or Beluga Whales but didn't see either, although the locals had shot a caribou right on the airport that day)

The runway at Tuk is 5000' of packed gravel and it runs right into the ocean. One of the interesting sites around Tuk were the Pingos, which are small inland lakes that have somehow frozen from the outside in to form small hills that look like mini volcanoes.

We called for a taxi to take us to town but had to wait while the radio operator came out to check out the Seawind. The taxi took us to the only hotel in town. Rooms $195 Per night and $12 for breakfast.

We spent the evening walking around town, visited with some locals smoking fish and whale meat. As walked along the ocean we saw that the buildings are all built on stilts because of the permafrost. They also have a cave dug into the permafrost where the locals store their wild meat.

We realized it was 1:a.m. in the morning and still broad daylight. The sun just goes around in a circle. We went back to our room, which has black out blinds and had a really good sleep.

We awoke about 7 AM and went for breakfast to find the dining room open but no one around. Some contractors who were also staying there said no problem just make your own coffee and someone will be along sometime. People were very relaxed.

After breakfast we walked down to the Northern Store to purchase some souvenirs. They didn't have much but we met a local native carver who took us to his home where he showed us some of his ivory carving made from walrus tusks.

We headed back to Inuvik about noon, on a nice cloud free day, but smoke was still a limiting factor. Upon arrival back at Inuvik, we parked on the ramp and again had pilots and ground crew checking out the plane. We also met up with a couple of other aircraft doing the same thing, one group was an RV7 and a Cherokee, the other was an old Cessna 140 with a father & son. They had flown all the way from Northern Alberta to Tuk and back to Inuvik in 1 day (Nearly 24 hrs all in day light).

We planned to spend a couple of days in Inuvik, as I had a nephew working there and there was an Arts festival just about to begin so we spent the evening checking that out, It is a very interesting show that runs for 10 days and features all kinds of native arts, it was really impressive.

The next morning we found the smoke to bad to fly the Demster Highway to Dawson City in the Yukon (Actually they weren't even allowing vehicles over the road). It didn't look like things were going to improve in the near future so we decided to return by following the Mackenzie River back the same route we had come up. Which was a bit of a bummer. We returned back to Norman Wells and then on to Hay River where we ran into thunderstorms and had to spend the night. Monday was a nicer day and we filed to Ft. McMurray with visibility 3 miles in smoke.

Arriving in McMurray it was still full of Water bombers. We fuel up and filed direct to Craik with a bit of a dogleg to miss the Cold Lake Military Bombing range. We arrived back home at around 3p.m. to 35C temps.

The trip had taken 25 hrs and about 4000 miles. An interesting note is we only had tail wind for about 30 minutes on the whole trip, how unlucky is that! Last year my wife and I had driven through western NWT, the Yukon and part of Alaska and had 2-1/2 weeks of perfect flying weather.

If anyone is planning a trip to the far north don't be intimidated, there are lots of facilities and great people but be sure and leave time for weather delays and be flexible as to your route.

The Seawind performed flawlessly and although we didn't land on the water very often during the trip it was really nice to know we had that option. If we had had better weather we had planned on camping at some remote lakes but that will be for next time.

Len Carlson

September 19, 2004:

A note has been added in the Builders Tips section entitled Fitting the Rudder originally submitted by Roger Isackson. Details about more possible weight saving tips, which were learned from other builders, are included. In a recent post the editor requested construction photos which would be de-identified and posted to add to our builders library. This would give all builders assistance in the more troublesome areas. Any photos that you would like to submit would be greatly appreciated. Snail mailing a CD or even e-mailing a few digital photos of the more confusing areas (and how you solved them) would be greatly appreciated. Once I get a collection of builder's photos built, I will somehow (not sure yet in what format?) post them to our website. Also, any comments on the Rudder notes would be greatly appreciated.

ISPA received an email with attached photos announcing the availability of one of the best Seawinds in the world. Art Culver's N666AC, which is featured in many areas of our site, is now for sale. Art spent many years crafting N666AC into an award winning aircraft. At Oshkosh this year it still looked brand new. Whoever is the new lucky owner of N666AC will be getting an amazing, well thought out example of the Seawind design. I personally have flown this aircraft and it flies like a dream. Art attached a document to his email which I have not been able to open yet in Word (yuck!). As soon as I get something that my computer can read, I will post his ad and pictures on the Seawinds For Sale page.

Hi John-----It was good to see you at Oshkosh. Sorry I couldn't make to the splash-in. I'm selling my Seawind and would like to submit an ad with a photo or two if possible. Please let me know what I have to do. Thanks--Art Culver. My email is or

The asking price will be $249,000

As a side note please submit any attachments to emails in something that Word 2004 can read. I am sorry that I am not able to read any WordPerfect documents at this time. Any .jpg's are fine it's just the WP files that I am having trouble with. Also if you email multiple large pictures, it is better to send one per email (Thanks, ed.)

September 10, 2004:

Fred Lohr's beautiful N55SW became the newest member of the Seawind fleet last fall and first flew off the water. (I believe that is only the first or second time that has been done!) Fred had lots to tweek after his first flight so he has now updated us in the Members Only section. I will copy it for those of you without access to that area of the website (you should really consider that area as a MUST SEE if you are serious about learning the finer points of the Seawind) . I think Fred says it all!

Posted by Fred Lohr on July 20, 2004 at 11:39:01:

I thought I should post an update on flying N55SW for some of the newer members. I got my kit in 97 and completed it last fall and had a very short first flight. Weather and other issues delayed further flight until just recently. Keep in mind, I'm a first time builder. I followed the manual closely and got as much advice from other builders as I could. Love This Website!

Visited MIke Bowes shop several times, checked the factory plane and looked at as many Seawinds as I could. Learned from each and every encounter. Had multiple inspections towards the end and virtually every one found something I overlooked or could have done better. Made no major changes from the manual. My weight came in at a reasonable number (see prior posting 945, (2476 lbs w/o rear seat, Ed.))

So got to test it and IT FLEW GREAT. I am a low time pilot with time in a Cherokee six and a Piper Cub mostly the last few years. I got a seaplane rating in a Lake last year (great Idea). I am not a great pilot. I bounced the first 4 landings then it clicked and it was a piece of cake after that. To quote a fellow builder "treat her like a Lady" on landings and all is well. We did multiple land and water landings and the aircraft and the IO-540 performed flawlessly. Added lots of weight in the nose to get the CG up there around 140-141 which was a great suggestion. Had plenty of elevator control. Stall with 20 or 40 flaps was 58. Speed in pattern 80kts. Slowing to 75kts on final helps. Airspeed indicator is not calibrated but cruise is gonna be about like everybody else. Plane flew straight with just some rudder trim.

THIS IS A GREAT AIRCRAFT. Build it like they say and you will do fine!!

September 2, 2004:

Splash In pages have been updated with new photos. Splash In page now has button on the Home page of our website. I will try to change the photos periodically. Enjoy!

August 30, 2004:

Congratulations is in order to George Osborne for his winning of the Reserve Grand Champion at Oshkosh. This is the Reserve Grand Champion for the entire AirVenture not just amphibians! Please check the Letters section in the Members Only section of our website for some pictures of the trophy and plaque. Also you can browse to the EAA AirVenture website at Airventure aircraft awards. What an incredible accomplishment.

August 25, 2004:

We have received an offer to fly our Seawind for close to zero cost. How can we do that you might ask? Thru simulation of course. Just like the airline, military and corporate operators do, we can now fly a Seawind simulator. We just need some accurate test flying of the simulator by our experienced Seawind pilots. The benefits of an accurate simulator are enormous. If we can get some good feedback from our experienced pilots, we can have a great resource available to our Seawind community. I suggest that those who are not experienced in PC based simulators (like me), enlist the help of your children or grandchildren (or neighbor's kids). They'll get you up to speed in no time at all. Below is the email from Renier and Odendaal Meyer. Thank you Renier and Odendaal for all your hard work!

Dear Dick, Millie, Brent and John,

Our Seawind 300C simulation finally made it to the website at under New Resources.

X-Plane started as an engineering calculation and simulation software to simulate the effects of airflow on wings, and to accurately simulate flight characteristics of planes under design. See for information, software and updates. Austin Meyer and his volunteers have really done a tremendous job!

I needed to simulate the plane for prospective users, and was thrilled when I found a good aerodynamic simulation package. We have tried to stay as close to the dimensions and bits of information that we could find from your websites. Unfortunately the webmaster loaded the real and not the simulation pictures.

We will be very grateful if your members can test the Seawind's flight characteristics and help to further improve the realism of the simulated flight. High definition pictures looking at the two sides (from inside) and looking towards the back seat can be included into the simulation to add to the realism thereof. If you want your plane for all to see, this is your chance!

Any inputs, pictures, comments or constructive criticism can be sent to us at

Best regards and hoping to join the Seawind family soon.

Renier & Odendaal Meyer
Penang, Malaysia

August 25, 2004:

August 20, 2004: The ISPA members held their annual splash-in in Duluth MN, on August 1& 2. Member Chad Fey has provided us a great synopsis of the weekend and it can be found on the page entitled "2004 Splash In". The button at the top of this page still links you to the very successful 2003 Splash-in.

(All photos were provided to the ISPA by member Chad Fey, thank you Chad.)

Many Seawind owners are using composite props. ISPA member Philip de Ridder sent the accompanying photo and letter. You can click on the small photo to see full size. Then use your browser "back" button to return here. (Photo courtesy of Philip de Ridder, Thank you Philip.)

----- Original Message -----

From: Philip G de Ridder

To: [ISPA]

Sent: Sunday, July 11, 2004 11:39 AM

Subject: Emailing: Seawind New Prop

Drdr_prop_500.JPG (27381 bytes)Hello Friends. A shot of our new Aerocomposite Prop. We are really impressed with this change to our Seawind.

We are now quieter, smoother, lighter, and faster. The engine starts easier and quits instantly when the mixture is pulled. To look at their website:-


Philip de Ridder