Sun ’n Fun Splash-In at Fantasy of Flight Thursday

Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida, will once again play host the annual Sun ’n Fun Splash-In, a one-day event specifically designed to celebrate seaplanes and other amphibious aircraft.

Throughout the day on Thursday, March 29, dozens of seaplane pilots will use Fantasy of Flight’s sparkling Lake Agnes as their chosen landing strip.

“Splash In” is a “fly-in within a fly-in”— just one portion of the Sun ’n Fun  International Fly-In & Expo, which has been dubbed “Spring Break for Pilots.” Guests will be transported by shuttle to and from Sun ’n Fun headquarters at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport and Fantasy of Flight throughout the event.

The public is encouraged to come and meet the daring pilots and watch as they maneuver their amphibious planes from the sky to the surface of the water and back again, competing in various air- and water-based competitions, including spot landing, a “bomb drop” contest and slaloms with floatplanes and flying boats. Fantasy of Flight’s own Grumman Duck is scheduled to be featured at the event, while the PBY Catalina and the only airworthy Short Sunderland MK5 in the world also will be on display at the attraction.

Seaplanes are most easily categorized as airplanes capable of taking off from or landing on the surface of water, including flying boats and float planes. Seaplanes with retractable wheels allowing land and/or water operation are known as an amphibian.

The all-day event is included in admission to Fantasy of Flight, which is $28.95 for adults and $14.95 for children, ages 6-12, plus 7 percent sales tax. Children 5 and under are free. Sun ’n Fun ticket holders who do not wish to visit the Fantasy of Flight attraction may pay $5 for parking and admission to “Splash-In.” Visitors who do not wish to visit the Fantasy of Flight attraction and are not Sun ’n Fun guests may pay $10 for parking and admission to “Splash-In.”

Fantasy of Flight will offer Sun ’n Fun attendees an “Extended Spring Break for Pilots” by giving $5 off general admission to Fantasy of Flight with proof of admission to Sun ’n Fun (wristband or ticket receipt). The offer is good for multiple visits and is valid March 29 through May 31.

At 6 p.m. on March 29, Fantasy of Flight will host the 2012 Lindbergh Awards Celebration which honors the legacy of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The event benefits the Lindbergh Foundation, which in turn furthers the aviator’s legacy through Aviation Green Alliance, Lindbergh Grants Program and other educational grants and programs. During the ceremony, the 2012 Lindbergh Award will be given to Dr. Forrest Bird, World War II veteran and lifelong pilot who pioneered the respirator industry. The event will also honor James C. Ray, a pilot and businessman known for his philanthropic efforts to support aviation-oriented youth education programs in Central Florida. Ray will receive the 2012 Spirit Award.

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