at Philadelphia

How to plan a seaplane splash-in?

Seaplanes at Essington

Seaplanes at Essington

How do you plan a successful seaplane splash-in? There seem to be at least four key ingredients….

Big rocks:

  1. Gathering interest of pilots
  2. Planning food
  3. Getting volunteers
  4. Setting a Date

Things to do:

  1. Add event details and RSVP to website(s)
  2. Advertising (public): Flyers, Local newspaper, Facebook
  3. Invitations (aviators): Seaplane Pilot List, Fly-in Calendars, Flyers, Local aviation clubs
  4. Invite the neighbors
    Always a nice gesture and better to have them on the good side of the sport.
  5. Solicit Volunteers for site prep, food, setup.
  6. Plan Food
    Hard to plan for food, especially if it’s a public event. Ideas:

    1. Options: Caterer, Food Trucks, BBQ.
    2. Plan for food that is non-perishable (frozen burgers, chips, snacks, etc)
    3. Ask for donation from local vendor, deli, grocery store
    4. If it’s a private event, attendance is more predictable and a BBQ is easy.
    5. Can always plan to run out of food: first-come-first-serve.
  7. Plan other activities (optional)
    The Splash-in and camaraderie may be sufficient, but, ideas:

    1. plan at the same time as a local fair
    2. Get a local car/motorcycle club to have a meet at the same time
    3. Invite the local firestation
    4. Boy Scouts merit badge
  8. Coordinate with local ATC, Depending on proximity to local ATC facilities.
  9. Coordinate with municipality
  10. Facilities check: windsock, ramp, mow grass, trim, dock, porta-potty
  11. Plan cleanup/setup activity
  12. Reminder email(s).

Contact reminder list:

Pilots (3 months)
Municipality (3 months)
Organizations (2 months)
Caterer (2 months)
 Public: Email, Social media, Flyers (1 month)
 Supply crew: Tables, chairs, tents (2 weeks)
 Ground crew: Mow, cleanup, porta-potty (2 weeks)
 Setup crews: Cleanup day, day of (2 weeks, 2 days)
 ATC: (week of)

Cleanup/Setup day:

Cleaning supplies, paper towels
Broom, rakes, trashbags
 Ground paint, cones, caution tape, stakes (optional)
 Ropes, windsock, bumpers

Things to bring:

Tables, chairs, tents, awnings
Grille, tools, propane
 Water, Ice, Drinks, Food, Condiments
 Napkins, plates, paper towels, plasticware
 Trashbags, paper towels
Ice Cream (sandwich 36, pop 36 (2+ boxes), fudge 18 (1 box))


Radios, batteries, chargers
A/V equipment, power, extension cords, media,
Cash, cashbox, credit card reader, donation jar
Sale items: hats, shirts, momentos, etc
 Banners, tape, velcro, newsletters, brochures, etc

Things to do (day of):

 Reminder email
Call ATC
 Entry signage
 Clean ramp and dock
 Caution tape (ramp)
 Setup power
 Get ice, drinks
 Trash bins
 Tables (7=8), Chairs (30), tents (4-5)
 Setup displays, signs, banners
 For sale: shirts, hats, signs, paypal, money box
 TV, Music, Mic, Radio
 Donation jars