Seaplanes Attract Lots Of Spectators At ILA 2018 Airshow
Opinion Editorial written by Jason J. Baker – Traditionally, the ILA 2018 event doesn’t quite smell like a big event for seaplane pilots and seaplanes. The fairly military heavy show features around 1.100 exhibitors from private, corporate and defense, space and science environments who all flock into the Schönefeld Airport in Berlin. This years airshow saw more than 180.000 visitors from 41 countries and ran from April 25 – 29, 2018.
This event was a positive move for the further promotion of seaplane flying in Germany and the team on site had a ton of fun and good camaraderie. The friends from the UK who had plans to bring the PBY Catalina to the event had to cancel due to technical difficulties with their aircraft. I imagine we would have been flooded with guests with this rumbling and temperamental old lady on display – so here is hope for ILA 2020.
Seaplanes were represented by the German Waterflying Association (Deutscher Wasserflieger Verband e.V.) with no less than 4 aircraft on display on the flight line. Malte and Andrea Höltken brought a Lake Amphibian which is fairly famous for being the aircraft used by the German Coast Guard Association.
The German SPA had flown the Degen SeaRey to the event. The Flight School Otto Lilienthal under ownership of Winfried Rall brought the FlyWhale who’s developer and manufacturer Helmut Rind made a surprise visit and answered questions. A fun flying machine, the Catalina NG which is distributed by Ulrich Diez attracted a large number of spectators.
While the airplanes on display make people stop and ask questions, its the open atmosphere and chats that make people realize just how little they know about seaplane flying in Germany, especially in terms of the regulatory framework.
I do personally believe we would all benefit from making more information available openly. Attending such gatherings is crucial as the number of seaplane people on site had a positive net effect in that every onlooker who had questions to ask would find a person to speak with.
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