As demonstrated by Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III, the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 who made a skillful landing in the Hudson River earlier this year, “great pilots don’t always need runways,” said Kermit Weeks of the Sun ‘n Fun Splash-In at the Fantasy of Flight lake, scheduled for April 23.
While Sullenberger proved that the water can provide an emergency landing strip for commercial airlines, there are many accomplished pilots who simply prefer water landings, Weeks pointed out.
For the second year in a row, Fantasy of Flight at Florida’s Polk City will be host to the annual Splash-In part of the April 21 to 26 Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In, where this year’s theme is “Spring Break for Pilots.”
Fantasy of Flight’s Lake Agnes is the landing strip for the hundreds of seaplane pilots attending this year’s Splash-In, taking place on April 23 from 10 am to 5 pm. That “fly-in within a fly-in” will include “the amazing spectacle of water take-offs and landings” as well as competition flying, water-bombing and spot landing, Weeks said.
“Mastery of the wild blue yonder of both the sky and the sea is something that inspires the dreamer in us all,” said Weeks, who is the founder and creator of Fantasy of Flight. “This event will give guests a chance to see firsthand pilots and planes taming both.”
Guests at Fantasy of Flight will be able to watch as pilots of amphibians and seaplanes land on Lake Agnes to participate in events ranging from a “bomb drop” contest to slaloms with floatplanes and flying boats. Those who wish to enjoy the excitement a little longer can also buy tickets to a banquet in the Fantasy of Flight hangar, where hundreds of guests will dine amidst the attraction’s large aircraft collection.
The Splash-In is included in the Fantasy of Flight admission price of $28.95 for adults and $14.95 for children, ages 6-15, plus Florida’s 7% sales tax. Those wearing Sun ‘n Fun wrist bands get $5 off the regular admission, good for multiple visits and expiring May 31. A shuttle between Fantasy of Flight and Sun ‘n Fun will run throughout the event.