LAKE JAMES — The Indiana Seaplane Pilots Association Splash In at Lake James and Pokagon State Park set a high bar for what will be a 20th anniversary event in 2022.

But enough about that.

This year’s event was greeted Sunday with temperatures in the 80s and light wind that made for an event that drew a large crowd to the lawn of Potawatomi Inn, hundreds of boats on the lake and 27 pilots from all over the Midwest.

“The seaplane gods waved the magic wand for us once again delivering to our Splash In yet another magical weekend of weather and an incredible line up of volunteers, pilots along with all of their beautiful water birds,” said Lake James resident Randy Strebig, who is president of the Pilots Association.

“Once again the event would like to report a 100% safety record and a lot of smiles from the pilots and guests. We had 27 aircraft attend between both days from all over the Midwest. While we missed some of regular attendees due to other commitments we enjoyed having many new faces and airplanes coming from close by and as far as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin,” Strebig said.

Back for a second visit was the pilot and featured airplane this year, Rick Kaskel, Evansville, who brought in his Republic SeaBee, a World War II era plane.

“Also attending were many variants of the Cessna and Piper line up of seaplanes, Seareys, Lake Amphib, Aeronca, Maule, Vulmer, and a couple very cool arrivals one being a Kenmore restored Dehavlin DH-2 Beaver that was a sight to see and our first ever AirCam that graced the lawn at Pokagon, and another first being a Kingfisher. Truly an aircraft enthusiast line up,” Strebig said.

Also back this year to give the event a very informative and entertaining touch was aviation announcer Jakob McKenney.

Strebig called McKenney a “Google search of aircraft knowledge.”

And he sprinkled some humorous anecdotes and comparisons to keep folks entertained.

Due to relaxed restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, rides were provided again this year, this time for some 50-plus guests and seven veterans from the crowd of hundreds if not thousands.

“A big thanks and standing ovation for all of our pilots who brought in their aircraft for the event, they all did a top-notch professional job. I would like to extend my appreciation to the community for coming out to Pokagon State Park and Potawatomi Inn this weekend to enjoy our annual event, and again some of the most perfect weather we have ever experienced all throughout the Midwest to enable our success this weekend,” Strebig said. “The volunteer team just continues to amaze me and gets stronger every year, there is absolutely no way we could do this without the uncompromised selfless participation from the volunteer team.”

Though the times and dates for the 20th anniversary Seaplane Splash In have not been set, generally you can put it on your calendar for the third Sunday in September.

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