Florida’s Fly-In Access Lakes and Seaplanes
One of the biggest benefits of living on the water is the peace and quiet it provides. A steady stream of noisy seaplanes flying in and out of your pristine lakefront setting could be a nightmare scenario for some folks. With a few fairly well-known exceptions noted below, most lakefront residents will rarely, if ever, experience a seaplane landing or takeoff from their waterfront.
Of course, the notable exception to this is if someone else on your lake happens to own and maintain a seaplane, and in this case, the amount of plane traffic you experience will depend on the frequency with which your neighbor uses his or her plane. It has been my experience that most seaplane pilots are sensitive to being good neighbors, and as I previously noted, watching a plane take off from your lake can be downright thrilling.
A list of lakes that have high seaplane activity will be added soon.
There really aren’t any major environmental concerns with a seaplane. Seaplanes do not introduce any significant exhaust gases or oil into the water itself, unlike most outboard motorboats that are powered by two-cycle motors. Most seaplanes don’t require much more than 18 inches of water depth, so there should be no real impact to lake bottom or vegetation, under normal operating conditions.
Boats and Seaplanes
There is well-established hierarchy on the water, and essentially it is this – the larger vessel always yields to the smaller. In the case of seaplanes, when they are taxiing or otherwise operating on the water’s surface, they are considered a vessel that must yield to all other vessels on the water at that time.
Lake Characteristics Suitable to Seaplane Use
According to Hensch, a safe minimum distance for a takeoff for a seaplane is approximately 1/2 mile. Anything less than that can get “tight”.
So, how does that translate to a lake size? If we were to assume an approximately circular lake, then that works out to a surface area of about 125 acres.