Seaplanes Splash In (with video)
After a two-hour weather delay seaplanes were able to squeeze under a thick layer of clouds blanketing Lake Tahoe Monday for the 2nd Annual Mike Brown Splash In at Obexer’s in Homewood.
A crowd waiting on the beach and pier cheered as the first plane, a Cessna 185 flown by husband-and-wife team of Helga and Hank Sallmon, arrived from Minden, Nev. The couple were determined to return to the Splash In this year to honor Mike Brown, who helped leave a legacy of seaplane flying in Lake Tahoe for decades before he passed away in 2001.
“He was a very dear friend of ours,” Helga said. “We decided we were going to come even if we had to paddle the plane.”
A break in the clouds above Clear Creek, Nev., allowed the plane to make it into the Basin and land safely, but the flight was not as easy as the inaugural year’s event, which took place under clear blue skies.
“The wind was starting to move around so it was choppy,” Helga said. “But it means its going to break up the low clouds.”
Watching the planes arrive with a smile was Lois Brown, Mike Brown’s widow who also has a passion for aviation.
“It’s a wonderful event,” Brown said. “(Mike) wouldn’t believe it. He would be very thrilled about someone thinking about him.”
Despite unfavorable weather Brown was pleased the event could still take place and with the help of Truckee Tahoe Airport District, EAA 1037 Chapter, Lake Tahoe West Shore Association, California Chris Craft and Obexer’s Boat Company. The Splash-In also celebrated the opening day of boating season on Lake Tahoe.
“It’s the weather that doesn’t cooperate and that’s normal for this time of year,” Brown said.
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