June 2006 - May 2008

May 8, 2008

Many of you have received a notice from Dick Silva

December 12, 2007

Leon Pesche's PT-6A powered Seawind came to life today as Leon commenced engine trials. I'll let him describe it as I think he tells it best:

Hello aviation enthusiasts,

My PT6-20A got alive, this afternoon 12-12- 2007 ~ 1500 LT It was lighting up ~5 seconds after reaching 19% turbine RPM. ITT went up to 720 Deg. Cel. then stabilizing at 500 Deg. Cel. and 52% N1 Ground Idle.

After opening the starter lever completely, it accelerated to 71% with 50 L/H Fuel F/F =~ 13.2 GAL/H. Running up the power to 350HP= 840 FTxLBS Torque, my MAX GREEN RANGE.: 120 L/H =~ 31.5 GAL/H.

The PROP RPM was at low pitch with 2180RPM. The ITT in the range around 500 C.

As I tried the reverse, with high Idle, the CANOPY protection plastic was blown off.

October 3, 2007

It appears that things might be moving again at Seawind in Quebec. They now have an ad for employment opportunities on their website www.seawind.biz . We wish them success and are firmly behind their efforts.

October 2, 2007

Memberships were due starting September 1. The Member's Only list on our website has been partially updated to reflect those that have not renewed in the past. Soon, I will send out an email reminder to our regular members who might have forgotten to renew. If you cannot connect to the Member's Only areas of our website, please contact me. Thank you for your continued support of our website.

September 25, 2007

Proud Seawinder Tom Saccio's N516SW took to the skies today. I will let Tom describe the day with some words from his posting on our Member's Only Forum board:

"Well at 10:16AM today, Sept 25 2007, 516SW flew for the first time. I took off from the water and flew to the airport. Did as many landings as I could before tiring out. It was quite an experience. A few minor problems here and there but all in all it was a great day. I have a lot of practicing to do. I hope that all of you who are still building will keep at it so that you all could share the experience that I had today. I owe much thanks to all the people who have helped me get this far. I will keep you all informed as to my progress.

August 21, 2007

Seawind has halted business operations until the cause of the fatal crash of the test aircraft can be determined. More news can be found on their website at www.seawind.biz

August 16, 2007

Reports today indicate that the certified Seawind serial number 001 has crashed in Manitoba, Canada. A truly sad day for pilot Glen Holmes and his family as well as all involved with the Seawind program.

July 20, 2007

Tom Saccio submitted pictures of his engine-run. What a pretty paint scheme. Looks like the 2008 Splash-In is in sight for Tom & Sandy.

June 15, 2007

We learned today that George Osborne passed away yesterday in Pennsylvania. We have lost the most supportive and successful Seawinder of all time. The Seawind community is in total shock at this loss. It is difficult to find words to express the feelings from this tragedy. A few ISPA members comments follow.:

I am extremely saddened to inform the Seawind community of a terrible loss to us all yesterday. My good friend and friend to all Seawinders, George Osborne, died yesterday at his hangar in Pennsylvania. I was devastated to receive a phone call this morning from Joan, his wife, telling me of some of the circumstances. George was literally the best. He was the glue that kept our Seawind community together and we will be hard pressed to find his like. I personally counted him as a very good friend and I will miss him tremendously. Jack Ardoyno

I don't know how at this time to express my feelings over the loss of George Osborne. He was a rock as well as a kind and gentile soul. My heart goes out to Joan and his whole family. Sandy and I will truly miss him. Tom and Sandy Saccio

Being out of town I too just got the word George has passed from a a group and a life so rich in care, Love, and kindness. In this short time I have come to know of George as a kind, gentle, and very active soul. My heart sunk and my prayers go out to the family of a man so "good" in life as George was. In that I count he will guide over all of us as we fly this plane he loved so much. I for one will think of him often for many years to come as I begin to enjoy in a passion we all share together. Thank you George for all you have done for each of us ..... and with Love, God bless you eternally! Russ Kotlarek

When I received the phone call that George had died, I was driving home from work and had to pull off the interstate to absorb what I had just been told. George is the inspiration for my decision to own a seawind, my source for advice concerning the plane, and my partner in planning and carrying out the splash-in here in Duluth. Needless to say, there is a trememdous void for me. The seawind community has lost a very active paternal icon that leaves a painful wound in the very heart of the seawind community. We have lost a foundational stronghold which we will be reminded of for a long time to come because of George's integral roll as a mentor, fellow seawinder, and friend. A truly unbelievable and painful loss. Chad Fey

This is rough, George was the about the most positive, fun, bright seawinder ever. We had just talked about him getting new brakes for his seawind, and about getting together over the summer. He will be sorely missed by us all. Fred Lohr

It was an honor and a privilege to know George and we count him as a friend. His true passion to help others is an inspiration to us all. His good humor and friendliness will stay with the world forever. To his family, we are sorry for your loss. To George, we say “goodbye friend.” All of use here at Planemakers, Inc. John, Chris, Jim, Pat and Paul.

May 15, 2007 Seawind 521GR Supercharger performance

The Supercharged Seawind is flying. It took a while (a few months) however, well worth the time and money.

February 2007

Taking off from VGT, (2200’ elev.), at a gross weight of 3550 lbs. I dialed in 30"MP for a 500’ rate of cruise/climb 125 knots all the way to 14,500’. Leveling off with 28"MP 2400 rpm at 19.5 gph I was able to achieve a true airspeed of 158 knots with an EGT of 1250 and CHT of 375.

Before the supercharger my maximum MP was 26.5 on the runway with a 400’ rate of climb at 90 knots slowing to 150’ rate of climb and 20.5"MP at 11,000’ and a maximum cruise speed of 129 knots.

The most impressive performance is on the water. On Lake Mead, (elev. 1100’) using full power, 33"MP and 2700 RPM with a gross weight of 3575 lbs. the Seawind climbed onto the ‘step’ the moment I applied down elevator. Once on the step, the Seawind accelerated to takeoff speed within seconds. Better yet, I can expect this kind of performance on lakes of higher elevation such as Lake Powell at 4700’ and Lake Tahoe at over 5000’ including summer flights in higher density altitudes.

March 3, 2007

Builder Alert: The main landing gear axles need to be positively fixed in their respective swiveling gear legs.

While landing a Seawind at night at MLB, the port main gear departed the aircraft in its entirety, snapping off the rod end at the top of the strut. What appears to have happened is that the pin, not being perfectly aligned in the gear pocket bushings, was screwing itself aft with every successive extension and retraction of the landing gear, until it was just flush after the last retraction. Upon touchdown, it departed the aircraft and we went along for the ride on the main hull and port sponson.

I recommended to the owners the fix that I employed on my plane years before I ever flew it. I drilled a 3/16 inch tap thread hole through the gear leg, continuing slightly into the gear pin. I then tapped the gear leg with a 3/16 inch thread and inserted a stainless set screw into the threads, holding the pin in place. I did this in two places on each gear pin. I considered this event to be an anomaly until flying N40SW with Gene Underland and Rick Woltjer in Winter Haven, when we noticed, after a couple of flights, that the starboard gear pin had worked its way forward and the gear was presumably ready to leave the aircraft soon. Surprisingly the screwing force in the incident was sufficient to drive off the pipe thread plug on the shoulder bushing. If this is not clear enough, please feel free to contact me for details. Jack

March 1, 2007

This note from a budding engineering student is published here in the hopes some of our readers can help him.


I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering with Aeronautics at Brunel University, London.This year, I have been assigned a project which entails establishing the feasibility of fitting a turboprop on a light aeroplane (VLA class). To be precise, I have to look into the ways of converting an aeroplane of choice from a piston powered engine to turboprop. During some research, my interest was captured by Allison Engine powered aircraft owned by your members and I thought it would be quite helpful if I got some information about the work they have done.

For my project, I have selected the currently piston powered AT-3 VLA trainer kit plane and, I think the Allison engine might just be a good match for it. I would like to know whether your organisation (seawind pilots) would be able to supply me information about the Allison engine and how they were able to adapt it to a seawind. Or would you be in a position to pass my request to your members, or supply me with any relevant contacts that you feel could be helpful. Primarily, any technical information about the engine for example or any detailed engineering drawings with dimensions, and performance etc would be useful. I fully understand the need to protect sensitive company information and if required, I and the University can sign a commitment to abide by any such restriction your company outlines with regards to confidentiality. It is a defining year in my studies and this project will give me a chance to learn personally and gain experience towards building my career in aeronautics. Your support will be greatly appreciated. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards, Simon.

February 4, 2007

This note from George Osborne should have all Seawind owners looking very closely at their fuel system performance.

After determining the flow was off, removing the check valves, and replacing the pressure regulator I still was developing fluctuating fuel pressures (leakage through the connectors in the regulator). Following the advice of Fred Lohr I changed out the Mallory Pump, regulator, and Facet with the Airflow dual pump. Eliminated about a dozen fittings and am happy to report engine pump now maintains 23 psi on the ground and between 17-21 to 7,500 feet. The pressure begins to fluctuate above 7,500 to 10,000 with no change in fuel flow. The new pump increases pressure to 25 psi in all configuration. Also removed the vent from the header tank so the header tank now works like a 'wide spot' in the fuel line.

Thanks to Jack and Fred we will be flying safer, George

(ed: And thanks to George's posting, we will all be building a safer aircraft . Anybody want to buy some 'new' Facet pumps/regulators? Still in the box!!

February 3, 2007

A recent note from Jack Ardoyno introduces our newest member of the Seawind family:

I want to introduce another great addition to the Seawind family! Please welcome Greg Shaffer, owner of N829GS. I flew with Greg, in his plane, from his home in Texas to Leesburg, FL where we had a couple of days of training. I am happy to report my experience with a fine gentleman and a strong performing airplane. I have a commitment from Greg to join us at the 2007 Splash-In in N829GS. I know you all will enjoy his great spirit and wit. Jack

February 2, 2007

It seems as though insurance, although pricey, is still available for the Seawind. Here's a quote a ISPA member recently received:

Facts: I am a 5,000 hr pilot with single, multi, instrument, and seaplane ratings. About 2,000 hrs in each of a Bonanza and Baron. 350 hours in Seawind over past 3 years.

Quote from Falcon Insurance 2-1-07:

All Risk Hull @ 250,000 Deductible , Liability $1,000,000, $100,000 limit each passenger. Medical $3,000 Use: Pleasure & Business

Total Annual Premium: $11,023 Liability only would be $2,021.

January 17, 2007

Leon Pesche has informed us that there are manual overrides that connect to our hydraulic poppet valves to allow pressure to bypass the valve and allow 'free falling' the landing gear. Read more about it in our Member's Discussion Board area.

December 22, 2006

The mixer wars are still alive and well as discussed in our Member's Only forum. Tune into the forum for some great learning. A few of our members, including Fred Lohr, Jack Ardoyno and George Osborne have given us real world data to ponder. Thank you gentlemen!

November 30, 2006

A recent posting from Planemakers on availability of Seawind exhaust systems is posted below:

We have purchased the Jigs and any spare parts from the guys that made the exhaust systems for SNA. We have not received them yet so we don't know exactly what we have. It will be a few weeks before we know. But in the mean time, in our quest to hone the breed, I have a few questions and requests...

For those who have had exhaust system failures: Which parts failed and where? If you still have them and are willing to part with them, please send them to us to study. We will try to keep the failure prone parts in stock for those who already have systems and fix the problem on the new systems for those who buy new ones. Does anybody have any suggestions for improvements as far as routing the pipes to clear the cowling and oil drain goes? Anybody intrested in getting a new system please let me know so when we try to find someone to bend us pipe we can have an educated guess as to how many sets we need. Check out this niffty throttle Quad that Chris made for Chad. www.planemakers.com/sw002/sw002046.JPG

Be well and happy holidays,

John J and Chris D

October 30, 2006

Hello Seawinders, John J here from Planemakers, Inc. in Palmetto Florida. We have been busy here the last few months and thought you guys might be interested in what has been going on.

N369JB and N137GM have both been sold to a man in Russia and shipped there via container. We just got finished doing the final body work and painting of a Lancair IV-P for a man in North Carolina. Check it out on our website. www.planemakers.com We are also moving along on the 4 Seawinds that are in our shop now. Pictures also on our website. Chris met a nice couple at the Duluth fly-in that were interested in sending their wings to us for a nice winter project. He didn't write down their names and we would like to get a hold of them. If you have the contact info for this couple or you are this couple give us a call 941-723-0255 or send us an email planemakers@planemakers.com We have the room and the time to do this project. Now that the Lancair is gone we have an open slot to get your project in also. Have a great holiday Season from all of us here at Planemakers, Inc.

September 12, 2006

eBay has a Seawind listed for sale at a fairly high level of completion. The engine/prop combination is not included in the bid, but can be purchased separately from the seller. Happy bidding!

August 2, 2006

Congratulations to Keith Walljasper for winning the Bronze Lindy award at Oshkosh for seaplanes. One of the amazing feats about this accomplishment is that this is an airplane that has actively flown for a number of years. It shows how well Keith built N80CC and how well he maintains it.Usually this award is won by someone who has 'just' finished building. Keith has be instrumental in helping others with his water rudder steering design and he nose gear reinforcements that has probably saved countless other failures.

July 13, 2006

We were advised that N8025Q was involved in in-flight panel fire on 7-10-2006. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Thank God. What a sad loss of a beautiful airplane.

The information from our Seawind registry states: This was the fourth Seawind to be completed by Bowes Aviation (now Planemakers, Inc.). It was sold to Robert Cohen by Obi Jacobsen on or around November 5, 2002. Asking price was $240,000. Having flown for only 37 hours, it had been sitting in a hangar in Sarasota, FL for two years at time of sale. This information was provided by Mike Bowes in post 332, November 5, 2002.

That's all the information I have for now. We don't know the cause or if it was extinguishable. Question, do you fly with an accessible fire extinguisher? Food for thought.

June 25, 2006

We received word today that N142BW, Dick Wolf's Seawind flew for the first time today. Congratulations go out to Dick and John, Chris and Jim at Planemakers who helped in the creation of this most amazing Seawind. We can't wait to see it up close.

June 18, 2006

Earl Boeve just updated our message board with the following news:

"I have completed 8 days of testing and all I can say is WOW! What a great plane. Last flight weight 3000 lb, 8000 ft elevation, 2400 ft runway, climb to 11,500 ft at 500 feet per minute. I checked out true track autopilot; to my surprise it worked great. Turbulence was moderate to severe. It flew the heading and altitude better than I could have. Great piece of equipment. The Grand Rapids EFIS is also doing great. So far no temperature problems. My landings still need a little work. Thank you all for your great comments and hope to see you all in DLH." Earl

June 12, 2006

George Osborne has posted some information on this summer's Splash-In. It sounds like this one is going to be the best Splash-In of all time.

June 4, 2006

Earl Boeve sent us some great news of his first flight in N46EB. I'll let Earl's words describe the feeling. Congratulations Earl!!

Saturday 8am N46EB left the surly bonds of earth and became an airplane. I lifted off from Buena Vista, Colorado 7V1. Elevation 8000 ft., runway 8500 feet, gross weight 3000 lbs., 40 gallons of fuel, pilot 250 lbs., nose ballast 70 lbs. I climbed to 10,000 feet.

Thanks. Earl Boeve