Mountain Splash-In – July 14

This weekend  the next splash-in!

Place: Kenney Reservoir

Date: July 14, 2018 at 8 am to 4 pm

Support Airport: Rangely (4V0), All participating aircraft must land at 4V0 for invasive species inspection

The event is a splash-in BBQ picnic and is open to all.

This year we expect to have a large-scale RC seaplane demonstration performed by Ricky Thomas. It is interesting to note that RC seaplanes are treated the same as actual seaplanes, they are prohibited in State-controlled waters. And since they are, we will have them go through an inspection, just like their “big brothers”.

If you are planning to attend and will be flying into 4V0, we will arrange ground transportation.

Seaplane pilots please respond by July 7, with your aircraft number

Download a copy of the poster to remind you!

SB18-275 NEWS

May 7, 2018 – SB18-275 Dies in the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee

I am sorry to report that SB18-275 was killed in the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee. I am awaiting a postmortem of the factors leading to the defeat. Outwardly, it appears to have been a victim of opposition by Denver Water and the Colorado Water Congress, with a dose of political infighting.

While the Bill has failed, Colorado Department of Natural Resources (CoDNR) remains committed to developing access procedures. We will work with them to ensure the procedures are safe and effective without being overly burdensome.

I remain even more determined to succeed. If I have your confidence, I will continue the fight.

May 4, 2018 – SB18-275 passed the Senate
The vote was 22 YES – 12 NO and 1 Excused as the Senate’s gavel slapped. it’s on the house!

May 3, 2018 – SB18-275 Passes Second Reading with minimal opposition
SB18-275 Passes Second Reading. The Bill would had been held over for debated if there was significant opposition. Only one Senator spoke against so a debate was not considered necessary.

Next up, is the Third Reading tomorrow. The Third Reading is a recorded vote that should mirror the “voice vote” of today. Given the limited opposition expressed today, we expect the Bill to pass and be sent to the House to begin their deliberations on Monday.

May 2, 2018 – Senate Bill SB18-275 Is Before The Full Senate, May 3, 2018
Bill SB18-275 will receive it’s “Second Reading” on the Senate Floor tomorrow, May 3, 2018. A big thank you to Senator Ray Scott, the Bill’s primary sponsor and Senator Nancy Todd primary Cosponsor. Without their support the Bill would never had been possible.

The Bill is expected to PASS and be sent to the Colorado House. In the House it will most likely be assigned to the House Agriculture Committee. With the support of Rep. Jovan Melton and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (CoDNR), the Bill is expected to be rapidly pushed through Committee to the House Floor early next week.

This whirlwind push through the Legislature could not be possible without the support of our sponsors and CoDNR.

May 1, 2018 – SB18-275 PASSES Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee 4 to 1

On a vote of 4-1 Colorado made history as the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee voted to refer the first seaplane access legislation to the full Senate.

Our Bill was presented to the Committee by Senator Ray Scott and is cosponsored by Senator Nancy Todd.   Colorado Department of Natural Resources (CoDNR) testified before the Committee in support of the bill.  There was opposition testimony by Denver Water.

We are very confident the Bill will be passed by the full Senate and will be sent to the House.  We believe it will be assigned to the House Agriculture Committee.T hat is where collaboration with CoDNR will really pay off.

April 27, 2018 – SB18-275 is Introduced

Senate Bill SB18-275 is the right Bill at the right time!  Colorado Department of Natural Resources (CoDNR) co-authored the Bill and is supporting it’t passage

Discussions have already begun with Metro area waterways!  They are rushing to the table to be the first to allow seaplane access.

This is happening! This year!

I know many of you have been excited about our previous Bills only to be disappointed. not is time! Your donations have been put to good use securing legislator/policy makers support and votes.  The attitude of the Legislature is very much like that of the Governor, who when told that seaplanes were not allowed in Colorado, he responded, “Why the hell not?!”  We agree and now so does CoDNR.

PDF of Bill

PDF – Fact Sheet

Lake Meredith – June 2, 2018

79 Days until Colorado’s Second Annual Lake Meredith Splash-IN!

at Lake Meredith, Ordway, CO. Colorado’s First and Only Public Use Seaplane Base!

This year we have joined the Mile High Meet and Greet Wakeboarding group.

Lake Meredith Splash-in Schedule


Attending Aircraft
Other Activities
Grumman Widgeon – Arizona Pilots may be offering rides
Lake Amphibians from Colorado & Kansas Hospitality Tent
Supercub – Florida Food Vendors
Cessna 185 from Erie, Co Concurrent Boating Event


Our support airport is LHX (12nm SE). We will have bus transportation to/from LHX and event.

All aircraft intending to land at Lake Meredith (CO1) must:

  • Land at LHX for an invasive species (ANS) inspection
  • Sign a release of liability

The ANS inspection station will be open at 8 am on the day of the event. Each aircraft must undergo a hot spray decontamination. The decontamination will be performed by either event personnel or the aircraft’s pilot.

Volunteers are needed to assist with vehicle and aircraft parking, aircraft inspection, communications, VIP assistance, and many other activities. Write or call!

Lake MeredithPoster

Connect & Collaborate – Sept 18 – 22, 2017

General Aviation Week

Tammy Schmidt, On-Air Producer with Co-Host Kelly Sloan talk about policy and legislation that impact what some pilots are allowed to do, where to fly where to land and much more. During the week various aviation associations are introduced and their role in aviation is discussed.

In the September 22nd installment, Ray Hawkins, Colorado Field Director for the Seaplane Pilots Association, discuss seaplane issues with Kelly Sloan. The discussion includes legislation efforts to allow seaplanes to land on Colorado lakes and waterways. Ray will also offer us a taste of Aviation History.

Listen to the interview on KDMT 1690 AM

Water Resources Review Committee – Oct 5, 2017

2017 Regular Session

Hearing Items

  1. Shepherding Water Rights in Colorado
  2. Water for Outdoor Landscaping
  3. Forest Health Advisory Council
  4. Water Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency (WISE) Project
  5. House Bill 17-1289 Concerning Historical Consumptive Use
  6. Follow-Up on High Groundwater Issues
  7. Seaplanes and Colorado State Parks
  8. Seaplanes and Aquatic Nuisance Species
  9. Public Testimony
  10. Final Recommendations on the Colorado Water Plan
  11. Discussion on Final Committee Legislation

The Committee will meet in Room 357, of the Colorado Capitol Building. Hearings are open to the public.

Steve McCaughey, Executive Director, Seaplane Pilots Association will be present to discuss seaplane operations and invasive species.

Read the full article at Water Resources Review Committee  (PDF)

Peninsula Daily News – August 10, 2017

Emergency Respondents, Volunteers Practice with Seaplane


On August 9, 2017, seaplanes, community resources and emergency services planners came together to help pave the way for a better future for Jefferson County. After doing exercises for so many years, starting in 2009, it is a special privilege to get to see everything come together and all that hard work by so many provide such a life-saving resource.

A special thank you to all involved in Jefferson County and our Washington Seaplane Pilot Association pilot who flew quite a distance to provide his aircraft so lives could be saved.

Read the full article at Peninsula Daily News.

July 15, 2017 – Colorado’s First Mountain Splash-In

Kenney Reservoir – Splash-In

Saturday, July 15th, opened to a beautiful Western Colorado blue sky.  By the time the day was over most of the attendees were describing the 96-degree day as the “coolest” they had ever seen.

Several hundred attendees converged on Kenney Reservoir for the First Ever Mountain Splash-In in Colorado.  As many Coloradans will tell you, the western half of the State is usually left out of these events because the ease of travel and the larger population centers of the Colorado Front Range make it much easier to draw the crowds to make events “profitable”.

Our “profit” came in the form of Mary.  Mary, in her 70’s, and very petite,  approached me and asked if she might be able to get a ride since riding in a seaplane was on her “bucket list”.  She got the first ride of the event in a 180hp Super Cub flown by SPA member, Wayne Rudd (Kenney2017CS01.jpg).  Wayne said, “The whole day was highlighted by giving Mary that ride.”

As it turned out, Mary’s last name is Kenney and it was her relatives that had built Kenney Reservoir.

A BBQ picnic provided courtesy of the Seaplane Pilots Association topped off a perfect day!

It is a good thing that Kenney  Reservoir is owned and operated by the Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District (RBWCD), a private organization that is not under the jurisdiction of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.  Colorado is the only State in the country that has a total prohibition against seaplanes in all public waters.  We owe a great debt to the people of Rangely, Rio Blanco County, and the RBWCD.  Without their support, this would never have been possible.

When AOPA’s Northwest Mountain Regional Manager, Warren Hendricks heard about our successful event, he wrote, “Imagine that! Boats and airplanes successfully coexisting!”  …just like they do in the other 49 States.

Photo credits to Images
Jeff Haitt & Chris Swathwood of the Colorado Pilots Association

Kenney 7-15-2017 Splash-in

Kenney 7-15-2017 Splash-in

Kenney 7-15-2017 Splash-in

Kenney 7-15-2017 Splash-in

Kenney 7-15-2017 Splash-in



May 20, 2017 – Second Annual Spring Splash-In

Lake Meredith – Splash-In

The Splash-In was a great success!

The weather leading up to the event was horrendous and caused the turnout to be lighter than expected.  A couple aircraft canceled fearing the weather and conditions at the lake would not be suitable.  I must confess that I too was doing a bit of panic.  But, I did something I rarely do…I believed the forecast.  Mother Nature must be a seaplane pilot, for just as predicted, the morning of the event dawned with beautiful blue skies and light winds.  The ideal day!  A hastily arranged dump truck of beach sand was poured over the worst of the mud at the park, and we were in business!

The invasive species inspection station was established at the LHX airport and performed flawlessly.  Cade Sallee, was our volunteer that obtained all the training and equipment needed to expertly manned the station.  A video of the inspection process is available on Youtube.  The video was captured and produced by Chris Swathwood.  I am told that Chris will have a couple more videos for the splash-in available soon.

After successfully completing the inspection, the Cessna Caravan departed LHX just after 8 am and arrived at the lake at 8:20 am.  I was honored with the opportunity to fly it from LHX to 11CO.  The aircraft is a beautiful example of Cessna workmanship and quality that we have come to appreciate in all their aircraft.  This was my first opportunity to fly a Caravan and it responded very much like its smaller brother the 206, except of course it can carry 10 pax and.  I highly recommend anyone that has the opportunity to jump at it.  This aircraft was provided through the courtesy of Textron Aviation as part of their ongoing support of general aviation and the Colorado Seaplane Initiative.  Thank you to the Cessna flight and ground crew!  We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Mike Smith from Kansas flew his Lake Renegade 250 to the lake.  Mike can always be counted on to support our events.  Mike is a professional crop duster and his business is in high demand most flyable days.  Nonetheless, Mike made the commitment to support our event.  Furthermore, Mike has contributed donations to the Colorado Seaplane Initiative and our legislative efforts.  He is also the only one to have brought his seaplane to both our events at Lake Meredith.  He is truly committed to water flying and general aviation.  His aircraft is featured in the invasive species video.  Thank You, Mike!

The seminars were well received and attended.  Rick Durden, aviation author, attorney, and seaplane instructor was a big hit.  His comments on instructing in seaplanes and the techniques used by seaplanes pilots to integrate safely with other water users were both informative and entertaining.  His words of wisdom were developed from years of aviation and seaplane experience.  Rick committed to us even though his schedule is quite demanding and he had to drive several hours to be with us.  Please visit Rick’s website at  Rick, we are honored by the gift of your time and experience…Thank You!

There were many others involved in organizing this event.  I know that I might miss someone; so, please know that all your efforts on behalf of the Colorado Seaplane Initiative and the Seaplane Pilots Association are deeply appreciated.
Bruce Hughes
Tobe Allumbaugh
Cheryl Rivard-Baker
Chris Swathwood
Cary Alburn and Molly
Kelly Sloan
Barb Marsh
and the attendees at our event…you all are making a difference!

Moving on! – Colorado’s First ever mountain Splash-in is Scheduled on July 15, 2017, at Rangely, Colorado!
See you there!

June 18, 2016 – Colorado’s First Ever Seaplane Splash-In

Lake Meredith – Splash-In

We had a wonderful and historic time at Lake Meredith on June 18th.  There were ~500 attendees and 4 seaplanes.  We established a permanent seaplane base and created an airmark at the site.  We have proven our concept of operations by establishing an inspection process that was recognized by a sitting State Senator.  Everything we accomplished was a Colorado “First”.

This success demonstrates that the general public of Colorado will embrace seaplanes, even if Colorado Parks and Wildlife will not.  This is just the encouragement needed to move the immovable.  Each of you shares in this success.  Yes, we are moving forward.  Senator Crowder will be helping us develop a new round of legislation to permanently remove Colorado Parks and Wildlife strangles hold.  The Lake Meredith Company and Crowley County are working on new agreements that will remove the “indemnity” requirement and we will convert the Tamarack Beach Seaplane Base into a public use facility; the First Public User Seaplane Base in Colorado!  As more Colorado residents become aware that seaplanes are bringing new and exciting activities closer and as seaplanes demonstrate that they are fully compatible with all other water uses, we will see a steadily expanding ring of accessible water.  This has already begun and it is because of you!

I had a lot of help putting this event together, there are far too many for me to thank each one personally.  Be assured your contributions are not unnoticed.

Anyone that has pictures of the event please send them to me.

Please join or renew membership with the Seaplane Pilots Association and the Colorado Pilots Association.  These organizations have been fighting for our rights as pilots, aviators, aircraft owners, aviation enthusiasts, passengers, in other words; All General Aviation.   The small membership fees go a long way to enable these organizations to continue the fight; but, more importantly, by becoming a member these organizations can go to our legislators with hard numbers; numbers that show that Coloradans support the aviation industry, economic growth, and seaplanes.  It is easy to ignore one person; but, the government cannot ignore thousands.

Kenney Reservoir

Small park with restroom, picnic facilities, and 40’ wide Boat ramp on east shore.


Coordinates: N 40° 06’ 52.97” W 108° 42’ 30.56”

Elevation: 5350

Description: Approx 7500′ X 1500′; 280 Acres

Landing Fees: None

Restrictions: None

Current ANS: None; Perform Self-Inspection at land airport

Contact: Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District, 970-675-5055

CAUTION: Mountainous terrain all quadrants, check density altitude. The boat ramp is steep and submerged portion is covered with algae. Boat Ramp Not Recommended for Seaplane Use.