Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Farewell to another Splash-In

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A seaplane leaves Lakeport after the Splash-In. Photo by Harold LaBonte.

 

 

LAKEPORT The highly anticipated Western States Seaplane Festival came to a close Sunday as the last of the very popular sea and floatplanes released themselves from the bounds of gravity for one last pass by Library Park.

 

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This was one of many planes that lit up Lake County this weekend. Photo by Harold LaBonte.

 


The two-and-a-half day festival began with the arrival of more than two dozen aircraft on Friday,with many of them ramping out and parking at the ball park adjacent to Natural High School in downtown Lakeport.


By mid-day Saturday several more planes had arrived with dozens of land-based aircraft touching down at Lampson Field.


Downtown Lakeport, from Library Park on up through the high school grounds, was covered with classic automobiles, remote-controlled racers and a street full of visiting vendors displaying and selling shirts, skirts and artistically crafted gourds.

 

Also on display were three helicopters. A REACH Bell model 407, a CHP AS-350-B3 and the much larger U.S. Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin Rescue helicopter.


Saturdays change of weather did not prevent the US Coast Guard copter and crew from demonstrating a sea rescue.


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The Coast Guard demonstrates a rescue. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


Festival organizer Damon Trimble complimented the large group of owners and pilots, and was appreciative of their willingness to bring the entire event much closer to the public.


The public enjoyed the opportunity as well, with attendance estimates well above 2,000 for the main events held Saturday, according to festival officials.


Weather conditions prevented two of the Splash-In’s much-anticipated aircraft from participating on Saturday. The Coast Guard's C-130 and a Grumman Albatross were unable to join the celebration of flight.


Sunday’s weather gave photographers and pilots a background that few could resist. Many of the smaller aircraft’s pilots provided those on the ground with several opportunities for that last great shot.

 

E-mail Harold LaBonte at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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A few were treated to view the scene from the pilot

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