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'Seaplane Invasion' brings fans to Montana

'Seaplane Invasion' brings fans to Montana
Posted at 8:29 AM, Aug 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-14 11:13:46-04

The Seaplane Invasion on Lake Mary Ronan brought in about 15 vintage seaplanes to land right in front of the Lake Mary Ronan Lodge. Pilots flew in from all over to join the event with their unique aircraft and inspiring stories.

“Now that flying boats have been become appreciated, this is what you're going to see today. And the ones that we have are very special, there are only four in the world that have turboprop engines, and they are all here today," said Loel Fenwick, a flying boat pilot from Idaho.

“It’s a flying boat and that’s unusual. It’s a kind of seaplane where it doesn’t land on floats, the whole airplane is a boat and it lands on its belly. Flying boats were popular in the 1930s and 40s," said Fenwick.

Fenwick became interested in seaplanes after taking a trip with his mother as a child and landing in the Mediterranean and Nile River.

“The first plane I ever flew in was the flying boat. I was five years old. And I always wanted flying boat after that. Finally, I was able to find one about 30 years ago,” said Fenwick.

Part of the attraction of seaplanes is being able to land in some of the most beautiful places the Northwest has to offer. This is the second year of the Seaplane Invasion on Lake Mary Ronan and the event happened to occur right after the Elmo Fire had shut down the lodge during their peak season.

Spectators listened to live music and watch firsthand the excitement of planes landing on the lake.

“The experience of landing on the water is really very, very exciting because sometimes the waves are very big. And you've got to be handling storms and things like that. But it's all part of the skills we need to develop,” said Fenwick.


'Seaplane Invasion' brings fans to Montana
'Seaplane Invasion' brings fans to Montana