Floatplane explorers at international fly-in

Posted Sept. 02, 2008, at 7:46 p.m.

GREENVILLE, Maine —Two adventure pilots who departed Seattle, Washington, early last month on a 10,000-mile flight in an effort to be the first floatplanes to reach the magnetic North Pole plan to attend the 35th annual International Seaplane Fly-In this weekend.

Seattle Pilots Mark Schoening and Doug DeVries, who both are flying de Havilland Beavers and are being filmed on their trek by Eric Thierman, Oscar-nominated director of photography, plan to make the seaplane fly-in a side trip on their adventure, according to Darryaln Gauvin, fly-in secretary. The pilots operate under The Great Arctic Air Adventure.

Gauvin said one of the Beavers that is being flown was in the film “‘Six Days, Seven Nights” and was deliberately destroyed in the movie, but lovingly restored to flight ready.

Schoening and DeVries will be joined by more than 100 other pilots from throughout the northeast, Florida and Canada at this year’s event that starts with registration at 1 p.m. Thursday at Stobie Airport.

There will be demonstrations, displays, a craft fair and refreshments during the three-day event that attracts thousands of spectators each year.

“I expect as many people as usual,” Gauvin said Tuesday.

Gauvin said a sunset cruise and a buffet offered Thursday night has been sold out, but tickets are still available for a lobster and steak cookout starting with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Telford Allen’s hangar at the Greenville Municipal Airport.

Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, pilots will compete in a variety of air events, including the bomb drop and takeoffs. When spectators aren’t watching the air events, they may visit the displays that will include a Grumman Albatross from Virginia and a Grumman Goose from North Carolina.

Refreshments during the event include a public breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday at the Masonic Lodge and from 7 to 9 a.m. Sunday at the American Legion Post.


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