GREENVILLE, Maine — Pilots from across the country and Canada are expected to attend the popular International Seaplane Fly-In from Sept. 8-11 in Greenville.
The annual event, which allows pilots to test their flying skills against others and to learn about the latest products in the aircraft industry, typically draws thousands of spectators and some unique aircraft to this tourist community. This year, Wipaire Inc. of Minnesota is expected to bring a Fire Boss aircraft for display.
The fly-in got its start in 1973, when local bush pilots, who flew people in and out of the remote areas in the Moosehead Lake region, got together for a weekend of camaraderie. By 1995, the event was such a hit that a nonprofit organization, the International Seaplane Fly-In Association, was formed. The growth of the organization has expanded over the years and this year it took a giant step with the opening of an office at 38 Pritham Ave.
“Safety is our major emphasis at the event, and so far we’ve had a good record,” said Duane Lander, a founding member. “We have a very dedicated group of pilots who are very professional.”
This year’s fly-in kicks off on Thursday with registration and a sunset cruise and buffet on the Katahdin with music by Dave Mallett.
On Friday, registration will continue at 8 a.m. at the Stobie hangar at the Greenville headquarters of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Also that day, a poker run and a lobster and steak cookout at Telford’s hangar at the Greenville Municipal Airport will be held.
In observance of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a moment of silence will be held Saturday, Darralyn Gauvin, fly-in secretary, said this week.
Saturday’s events also will include a 7 a.m. public breakfast at the Masonic Temple, refreshments throughout the day offered at the local American Legion Post, a craft fair, various displays and demonstrations, and pilot contests. The contests will begin at about 10 a.m.
The Katahdin will offer cruises on Saturday with music by Rockin’ Ron and the New Society Band, which performs music from the 1950s and ’60s. The band is performing as a fundraising event to help with the restoration of the Katahdin. The day’s activities will end with an awards ceremony and buffet starting at 6:30 p.m. at Telford’s hangar.
Sunday’s activities include a 7:30 a.m. ecumenical church service at the gazebo near the Katahdin and a public breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. at the American Legion Post. Any remaining contests also will be held starting around 10 a.m.
From dawn until dusk Saturday, Sept. 10, Pritham Avenue will be closed to traffic from the intersection of Moosehead Lake Road and Lily Bay Road to the end of Eveleth Hill. Traffic will be rerouted over Eveleth Hill.
For more information, visit www.seaplanefly-in.org.