Saturday, July 05, 2014

Mac's Seaplane Service hosting big fly-in

RISING SUN, Ind. (Joe Webb) -- A lot of people spent their holiday on the Ohio River, most of them in boats but not all of them. 

Dakota and his family went on a unique river excursion Friday afternoon.

It's not often a person gets to take off after sharing the runway with party boats and a barge.

But that was what Mac's Seaplane Service does every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 in the morning until dark.

A 20 year Comair veteran, Troy Macvey played to part of a modern day river pilot.

"It's my best idea to come up with an aviation business that fills a niche," he said.

The workhorse of Macvey's fleet was a sleek, shiny 1949 Cessna 195.

Before it got to the heavens, the plane had a water baptism that can be smooth or bumpy, depending on the boat wakes and wind.

Once in the air, the birds-eye view of the Ohio valley was as good as it gets.

The landing was much different from touching down on a concrete strip.

It's smooth, but even though the runway runs from Pittsburgh to Cairo, it can get crowded. Mac's operates three seaplanes out of the base in Rising Sun.

But in a couple of weeks they hope to have 15 or 20 more planes there.

They will be hosting a fly-in they call a "Splash In" and have invited seaplane operators from all over the place.

"We're looking forward to a great event coming up July 19th and 20th," said Macvey.

"We'll have about 15 seaplanes we hope and people will be able to see and takeoff and land for two days over that weekend."

Mac's hangar will host a banquet and talks from well-known pilots.

And they'll swap sea stories, a long way from the nearest sea.

Mac's Seaplane Service is open weekends from 10 a.m. to dark.

They are available other days by appointment. A 30-minute seaplane ride costs $80.

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