The Seaplane Pilots Association, a non-profit organization based in Lakeland, Florida, has concluded an exhaustive search for a new executive director to replace Dr. James McManus, who recently stepped down from the position, with the appointment of Steve McCaughey to the position.
“I’m honored to be given the opportunity to share my passion for flying and for seaplanes,” says McCaughey, “and to promote and protect this wonderfully unique, adventurous lifestyle.”
The seaplane enthusiast’s lifestyle is central to McCaughey’s character. He earned his single-engine seaplane rating in 1993, and subsequently added a multi-engine seaplane rating to his certificate. Within days of relocating to central Florida so that he could take the reins at the SPA’s national headquarters, he was airborne with floats beneath him, exploring the area from both the air and the surface of a multitude of lakes in the area.
“My seaplane adventures have taken me from Alaska to Australia,” says McCaughey. It seems that “adventure,” might be exactly the right word to describe his relationship with seaplanes, too. The new SPA executive director was actually married aboard a Grumman Albatross, which was in flight over the Grand Canyon. He is noticeably proud of his 10-year marriage, and his wife, Mary, as well as the fact that he is type rated in the Albatross.
McCaughey brings that same sense of excitement, adventure, personal enrichment, and passion to his new position as the top dog at the Seaplane Pilots Association.
“I would like to reinvigorate a sense of adventure among seaplane pilots,” says McCaughey. He goes on to explain that he has hopes of being able to break down the perceived barriers to participating in aviation as a seaplane pilot, and to attract and encourage young aviation enthusiasts to join in the world of seaplane flying.
The new executive director of the SPA is quick to point out that the organization is more than a mere collection of like-minded individuals. The SPA’s advocacy has been a major factor in securing and preserving the rights of seaplane pilots to have access to waters that might otherwise have been closed to them. He also notes their work with manufacturers is also important to the cause, as the supply of high quality floats and seaplane specific goods remain as vital components of a vibrant and truly viable seaplane flying community.
Membership in the Seaplane Pilots Association is priced at $45 per year, which includes a subscription to Water Flying magazine. For more information: Seaplanes.org