Tavares Sea Plane Base Fly In

At the end of April, the Tavares Sea Plane Base (FA1) held its annual seaplane fly in. In addition to some large crowds, 25 or more seaplanes flew in for the event.

About a dozen seaplanes participated in a “bomb drop” that comprised a crewmember dropping a watermelon at a target anchored offshore, while the pilot concentrated on flying the aircraft.

The highlight was “Zeus”, an HU-16C Grumman Albatross that flew in for the event. She was built in 1954 and served in the US military. A quick search shows only 2 of these rare aircraft still on the FAA registry.

Powered by supercharged Wright R-1820 radial engines, she made a loud statement as she took off from Lake Dora, in Tavares, FL for a series of fly-bys. Each engine puts out over 1,425 horsepower, and the crowd nodded their approval as she thundered past.

After the second fly-by, Zeus took up a bearing for home, Lone Star Executive Airport, Conroe, TX.

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