Last Updated: May, 2018
Philadelphia SPB (9N2)Contact: Rob Dant (advocate) Phone: 484 301 0879.
N39-51.54; W075-17.98. Elevation: 0. TPA: 250 msl.
Sealane: 11-29 9100 x 250, fresh wtr, rgt tfc rwy 11.
CTAF 122.9 (unmonitored)
Taxi: Tinicum Taxi (610) 888-8294
More base info available at AirNav.com
The floating dock is in good shape, and the gravel ramp (left of dock) is usable at high tide +/- 1 hour. Note, river material washes up every day with the tide, possibly making the ramp unusable without cleanup.
The Delaware River at Tinicum is fresh water according to the Delaware River Basin Commission which monitors the brackish salt line (greater than 0.25 gram/liter = 0.25ppt = 0.25%). The normal brackish line is 3 miles north of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The Oct 2014 line was 11 miles north, or a few miles south of the Chester. During extreme drought, the river can become brackish at Tinicum.
Spotting the base from the air:
You’d think it’d be easy to spot, with the big Lazaretto house and two wind socks. The best landmark is the large, boxy, medium blue industrial building next door to the east. The seaplane base is adjacent to the west.
The typical approach to 9N2 is from and underneath the west side of Class B. The approach cutout ceiling is 600 feet and the sea lane is 300 feet. Communication with approach is not usually necessary, but it’s useful to monitor west tower (135.1) and call them if desired to announce your appoarch. For special events, the Philadelphia ATC Operations Desk can be contacted in advance at 215 492 4123.
WEST WINDS: The sea lane is on the north side of Tinicum Island with a 300 ft ceiling (the Class B terminal chart floor isn’t drawn right). We typically fly down the south side of the island, eastbound at 250 ft. Turn base by mid island, fly over the island and land to the west. Jet traffic climbing out of runway 27 Left is usually at a good altitude by that point and aren’t an issue.
EAST WINDS: This landing approach is easier, but jets landing runway 9 right present a wake turbulence concern. Fly down the south (NJ) side of the river, then turn right base in order to see the approaching jets from the west. If a conflict is obvious, then fly westbound again and come around for another approach.
Generally land into the wind without regards to tidal flow.
Approaching the floating dock, river flow may be important. At its highest rate, the river may flow up to 5mph. The dock is approachable from 3 sides and sits 15 inches out of the water with no poles. There is a windsock on the stationary walkway leading to the floating dock.
The gravel ramp is to the left as you approach the floating dock, between the big Sycamore and the walkway. Approach at a slight angle. The distance between the tree and the walkway is 45 ft. The ramp is in decent shape at high tide +/- 1 hour, but probably unusable at lower tides due to ruts and metal plates that are out of place. Debris builds up at each tide change.