2010-01-23 / Editorials & Letters

Seaplane captain says thank you to Buckeye Lake

Editor:

Many thanks are offered from Captain Belford and all the pilots at Belford Seaplane Base, located on the open waters of Buckeye Lake just north of Lieb’s Island on the lakes west end. The area of water has been well suited for our operations and makes respecting other boaters much easier. Did you know that once a seaplane in on the water it is just another boat?

Jimmy Carter’s Cessna floatplane has been in operation on the lake for many years; and we of Belford Flying Service are about to start our fourth year. We use a Lake Amphibian LA-4 aircraft to train existing pilots to add a seaplane rating to their certificate and qualifications. So every flight has a pilot and a flight instructor on board who continually exercise safe activity.

Air traffic for the is over the water to avoid habitat areas and homes in the area as part of the permit; But most importantly to maintaining good neighbor status with the residents and visitors, plus maintain “gliding distance” to a water landing.

The positive impact on tourism in the area has prompted the Buckeye Lake Civic Association along with ODNR and ODOT to relocate Belford Seaplane Base to the western end of Buckeye Lake to offer a larger area for operations and to accommodate the “Peanut Gallery” of boats and wave runners who wish to float along either side of the water landing area and view the proceedings. Seller’s Point Marina on the north shore and Lieb’s Island on the south shore are good observation spots for the land-lubbers to bring lawn chairs, cameras and coolers.

Several other Ohio inland bodies of water are being researched for suitability and potential access for seaplanes. Pilots and pedestrians alike are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch or plan on a carry out meal from one of the fine restaurants when you come enjoy the excitement in the air and on the western waters of Buckeye Lake.

To everyone from the Buckeye Lake area, from all of us at Belford Flying Service and Buckeye flight Services: a heartfelt “Thank You”.
Captain Richard Belford
Westerville

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