|This page will be
devoted to bringing you news and activities of the club members. You
are invited to send in Seabee anecdotes and experiences. Notice of Bee
fly-ins along with anything of general interest. We will be updating
this page as newsworthy items develop. Your turn! This is
whats happening in the Seabee world! Fly-ins, places to visit, and
members escapades. If you have some news, let us know. Just e-mail us and we
will be happy to add your adventure!
Seabees from down under
A comprehensive list of Seabees in Australia from our brothers down under.
(Click on image to open PDF file)
Our Philippine brother
Russell, from Australia, vacationed there and tracked down Elpio.
The Twin Bee is hangared there and Elpio
is anxious to get it flying again! Thanks Russell and Elpio!
(I wondered how you were doing Elpio)
New member Eric Huppert
(somewhere in Florida)
(photo by Eric Huppert)
Club member Eric Huppert caught this VW Bus and his Seabee. He says,
"Which one's the VW bus? Or is there a Seabee missing it's wings?"
(A restored 1964 VW next to NC6517K in Pensacola, FL)
(Eric Huppert in Florida)
Member in Maine
Somebody's Seabee in Maine. Beautiful!
Experiments with water devices
Check out this neat video on the Grumman Mallard! (It's really a Grumman Goose)
I never knew!
John and Dorothy Murphy Accident
See the newslink here.
We don't know what happened as of yet but will keep the membership updated with the latest information. Crash took place right after takeoff from Winter Haven, Florida.
Update: John and Dot are okay but still in intensive care.
8-16-2016: More info here. Some confusion about the status of John and Dot.
Update: From a member who knew John...
8-26-2016:"I just reviewed the incident report and found it to be pretty accurate as I remember from the conversation I had with John about a week after the event while he was in the hospital. He mentioned few facts that I will pass on.
After takeoff at about 300 ft. he experienced a reduction in power and he turned towards Lake Echo in an attempt to land in the water but he lost altitude and hit the trees surrounding the lake about which time the power came back to full. The drag of the plane in the trees prevented gaining altitude . The plane ended up about 200 ft. from the water. I asked if the gear was up or down and he said it was down so a landing in the lake might have been dicey.
As a side comment,the Murphy's own a home on Lake Echo so he was familiar with the territory. When I talked to him he did not mention the head injury but said he was pretty beat-up but expected to be discharged from the hospital in few days but Dot more seriously injured and would be hospitalized longer.
I talked to him a few (days) later and he was home. He called me few days later to report he was back in the hospital because a collapsed lung but nothing else had changed.
The next contact was from a friend of the family that told me of John's passing. I don't know the cause of his passing. He was buried in Rocky Mount, NC last Friday with full military honors.
As a side light, I helped put that plane together both at his house and at the Rome, Ga. Airport and witnessed its first flight. He bought that Bee in a thousand pieces. A phone call with Dot revealed that there were lots of Bee parts in the FL hanger that have since been moved to the home garage and wanted to get them to someone that could use them. Any suggestions?"=============================================================
John Cuny wins again!
(Photos by John Cuny and ?)
See MOV video here
(Photos by John Cuny, video by Mary Hardcastle)
New member Jason Knier and his crew are restoring
N6113K! (In Alaska)
(Photo by Jason?)
You can follow their progress here http://tugmoe.com/knier-seabee/.
They have made some good progress in a very short time and there are some GREAT photos!
Member Rick Kaskel on a Marston Mat
As far as I know, this is a first! A steel ramp (Marston Mat) was put down on a river shore and Rick successfully ramped it. There are a few setbacks as the tail wheel started to slide down the ramp sideways as he entered the water. After much knashing of teeth, the Seabee was righted and flew away unharmed. Good job Rick!
Update! Member Buce Hinds says they have used these at Clear Lake for years. I didn't know that! Here's what he says,
"The steel mess mats had been used at the Clear Lake Splash-In for years. The ramp could not be permanent, so each year they'd lay the mats. Haven't been there in a few years, not sure what they are using now. They can get really slick. I know Richard Bach used them at a house he had in FL, they were about an inch or two below the sand surface and worked really well." (I stand corrected; S.M.)
This is what Seabee-in' is all about!
(Photos by Jaren's wife Alyssa)
Look at the little boys eyes. Priceless!
Great looking family!
1950 Amateur Film winner
Click on image for Youtube video.
Thanks to member Rick Kaskel.
Photos from Speculator 2005
Left: Late Captain Chuck Bassett.
Right: Late Captain Jim Poel, Miller Monarch, Bill Bardin, Richie Brumm,Chuck Bassett
The newest Seaplane pilot in the USA!
(as of April 9, 2016)
Finally! My son Cris got his seaplane rating today!
(Photo by his very proud dad, Steve)
Cool photos and movies from "anonymous" member!
(Somewhere over the northern hemisphere!)
NOTE: If the above videos won't play, right-click on the MP4 or MOV link and save it to your desktop. Then double-click the file to play.
Member Bill Bardin wins Best Amphibian at Oshkosh 2015!
Photo by Bill Bardin Photo by John Cuny
Photo by Isaac Alder
Member John Cuny
had his first flight!
WON GRAND CHAMPION SEAPLANE
at Oshkosh 2014!
Above is a photo of member John Cuny accepting the "Golden Lindy Award" for Grand Champion Seaplane at Oshkosh. (Left photo by Bill McCarrell; Right photo by John Cuny)
"Sorry if you get this twice but I know so many of you supported my effort for so long I wanted to include you (meaning the e-mail recipients). The Seabee won the Golden Lindy for Grand Champion Seaplanes Oshkosh 2014. Thanks again for all your support over these long and trying years."
Sun 'n Fun 2011
Sun 'n Fun was fun with all the Seabee guys from all over the country. We even had a few new members show up! Below are some photos taken by Michele Brignac (Henry Ruzakowski's significant other).
Your webmaster-Steve Mestler L-R: Karen Brumm, Steve Mestler, John Cuny
Henry Ruzakowski, Donna-Lee Bardin.
everybody's eatin' Henry's food! New member - Lou Pizarro (from the hit TV show "Operation Repo", John Cuny.
PACIFIC EAGLE AVIATION offers international and domestic charter trips and operates AIR TOUR ADVENTURES that feature Custom Tours; Whale Watching; Flight Seeing; etc.
(Jim O'Donnell says he believes this is the only commercially flying Seabee in the country. I believe it. SM)
Member Jim O'Donnell's Seabee
(Ed. note: I got this e-mail from Gary Brush, the inventor's son. It's got to be the most unusual use of Seabee Hulls I have ever seen!)
"Steve and James,
Are you or someone you know in the International Republic SeaBee Owner's Club interested in an "Autoboat" made from two SeeBee Flying Boat Hulls? The Autoboat was invented by my late father, John Brush, as relayed in the news article below. Since my father recently passed away, my brothers Jay, Burke and I are looking for a new home for this unique piece of SeeBee History.
We are looking for only a nominal sum ($950) for both the car & hulls which make up the Autoboat, as our primary goal is finding someone who appreciates SeeBee's and their unique use in this invention.
Please let me know by phone (281 687-9400) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you or someone you know in the SeeBee Club may be interested, so we can work with you to arrange a new home for the Autoboat.
Fyi, the Autoboat is currently at my father's house in Cincinnati, Ohio. My brother Burke lives in the Cincinnati area, Jay lives in Inman, SC and I live in Houston, TX.
Also, please see attached pictures of the Autoboat, a text version of the newspaper article noted above and copies of the Autoboat Patents. Thank you for taking the time to touch base with your club members on this request.
From "99 Miles of River", November, 1964:
The Brush Autoboat
Here is probably the weirdest contraption cruising the Ohio River . It is the Autoboat (later named the Autamaran), the brain child of John Brush from Cincinnati, Ohio, while he was in a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines during World War II. The idea for the craft came from conversations with a fellow prisoner and former harbormaster for the United States Government at Manila.
The boat-auto combination is lightweight and easily trailer-able on the highway. It can be launched and removed at any beach or launch ramp accommodating outboards.
Here is how he built it:
John Brush, a mechanical engineer with Procter & Gamble Co., purchased two non-flying WWII See-Bee flying boats for their hulls in 1955. After the cabins and several feet of the tail section had been removed, the hulls were modified.
Next, a frame of steel tubing was designed to connect the two floats, and ramps for the car wheels were fabricated from high-tensile aircraft aluminum sheet.
The See-Bee landing gear wheels were altered and remounted, one on each float, for towing on the highway. All aluminum parts were riveted and all steel tubing welded. Another Cincinnatian, Donald Witte, handled the critical parts of the welding and riveting fabrication that were needed for the desired light weight.
The 21 foot long, 13 foot wide catamaran is folded down and into itself keel-to-keel, so that its maximum width on the highway is six feet, 2 inches. A three-point tractor-type trailer hitch, connected to the major members of the steel tubing frame, joins the car and catamaran for towing on the highways. Its height when folded is only six feet and the car can easily tow it at speeds up to the legal limit of all highways.
Launching takes about 15 minutes. Similar to any outboard launching, the car backs the catamaran into the water until it floats. The nature of the hull construction makes it tend naturally to open up to its floating position when the catamaran reached its normal draft of about 18 inches. The trailer wheels now stick out the sides, above and horizontal to the water.
Next, a six foot bridge-ramp and a four foot beach-ramp are laid into position from the shore to the front of the Autoboat. Lines are fastened amidships on each side of the craft. Line handlers on the beach steady the craft. The car is then backed up the ramps and onto the catamaran. Wheel-stops position the car exactly. Through a trap door under the rear seat, the drive shaft of the car is then connected to a counter-shaft on the boat. The countershaft drives the propeller through two universal joints. The automobileâ€™s front wheels are now in position on wheel disks that are connected to the rudder by cables.
After the ramps have been pulled aboard and tied down, and steadying lines tossed to the pilot, the amphibian is ready to take off. Putting the car in reverse gear backs the craft off the beach and from then on the car is driven up to 25 miles per hour (22 knots). The craft is steered from the driverâ€™s seat.
Since nothing has been left on the beach, the driver need not return to his starting point. He can drive up to any shore that will support his car. He then reconnects the drive shaft to the carâ€™s rear wheels. Using the ramps again, he drives off the catamaran and onto the shore. After disconnecting the ramps, he uses a built-in electric winch to fold the hulls back up, keel-to-keel. The trailer wheels now face down, so after connecting tie cables and hooking the hitch back up, the car pulls the boat out of the water. The ramps and other gear are then stowed, and final tie-downs secured.
The car and boat are now ready to speed off to the next launch point.
(Click on images for full size view)
Italian Seaplane Club Requests Seabee Information
(Ed note:This is truly a global Seabee Club! The e-mail below was received a while back from an Italian Flying Club/Museum and it is impressive! Perhaps you all have some input into their questions about Seabees!!-See below)
Bill Shaver and Uncle Wally are going to be
"at it again" on May 17th, 2008!
(As he would say, "Y'all come!")
Bluegrass Music included!
Republic SeaBee Makes Hard Landing In Southern California
Member Mark Dimmock has done it!Photos by Mike Lush
The restoration of CF-DLX is complete. It looks terrific!
Bruce Douglas in the great white north with NO heater!
(Click on image for .MOV file)
Member Brian Robinson explains what happened. All are okay.
Read his explanation here. Yes, they will rebuild!
Photo 2 Photo 3
The Seaplane Homecoming splash-in
Hammondsport 2016 took place last weekend (September 17-18) and was a big success. Members Bill Bardin, KC Ostronik and Ed "ET" Tello represented the Seabee community. Other seaplanes were in attendance as well but three Seabees is a pretty good showing.
The "Pickle" at Belair Airport in NY (Photos by KC Ostronik)
Josh Kaskel and the gang with a new video
(Click on image for Youtube video)
Tavares, Florida Splash-In! (2016)
Four Seabees showed up at Tavares April 7, 2016.
Great time at the perfect seaplane base!
Photos by Bill Bold and waiter at the Tiki Bar.
Bill Lissow, Dick Rogers, Steve Mestler. Shon Limor, Miller Monarch, Cris Mestler (not shown),
Mandy ?, John Walrath (Lake Amphib), Edgar Tello aka: ET,
Bill Bold, Gerry Belcher, Scott Vanderweel.
More photos from member Dennis Dent
Our newest Seabee pilots! (As of Aril 2016)
the "Queen Bee" (2M0 - Kentucky)
See Josh's video here! Thanks Josh!
Photo of the last Republic Production Seabee S/N 1060
(Photo courtesy of Steinar Sevdal, Norway. Thanks Steinar!)
AQUITANE HYDRAVIONS AEROCLUB!
(Photos by Patricia Gregoire)
See video here. Great job!
Tres bien! Jean-Luc and his Club in France just finished putting this Seabee together. From what I understand, it is part of the Seaplane Flying Club in France. Congratulations Jean-Luc! First flight was January 23, 2016.
Jean-Luc and his crew. They all have that distictive Seabee smile!
Nice looking sweat shirt!
I love the hat too!
Video by Bruce Douglas
Our brothers up in the Northwest had a great Splash-in! ('15)
Photos below by Member John Cuny
Member Henry Chapeskie is flying again!
After an emergency landing that damaged his Seabee, Henry Chapeskie has his new Seabee flying. He says he has about ten hours on it and it is running fine as indicated from the photos below. We are glad to have him back in the air. Especially in a Seabee!
Photos by Henry Chapeskie
Message from down under:
The Flying Tadpole was used to advertise for a radio station in Australia and to spot for sharks! That was years ago but Howard Frankenburg remembers. Thanks Howard!
Gidday mate! Howard says:
"Hi Steve, Well done excellent work my friend ! It's a big Thank you to you and your club this little plane is etched in everyone's mind around summertime in Melbourne in the seventies it holds huge memories not to mention potential shark attacks to warned of to protect beach goers.This plane, to people of my vintage, was as recognisable as " CocoCola " we all knew the flying tadpole.Thanks again mate I will keep in touch with interest and follow your site. If I get any news on this Aussie icon I will pass it on.
Thank you. Kind regards from down under, Howard"
(photos courtesy of Airliners.net)
Check out this Flying Tadpole video!! (.MP4 file)
Member Mike Lush sent these photos to us. Thanks Mike!
(sorry it took so long to post)
Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3
Speculator Splash-in is on!
(2/8/2012-Only 6 rooms left!)Hola Amigos y Amigas! We are starting to make plans for the 2012 Speculator Splash-In, first weekend in June (1st-3rd). The most exciting news is that the beautiful Lake Pleasant Lodge is open again for business. Splash in, beach your seaplane, and walk a few steps to your room and cold beer! I know some of you made plans to stay at the Cedar Hurst, but for those of you who haven't made plans or are undecided, the Lake Pleasant Lodge is an excellent option. Here are the details: 11 rooms total,
5 King size - $75 Thu night (May 31), $85 Fri & Sat
4 Queen size (2 beds) - $85 Thu nt, $95 Fri & Sat
1 Mini-suite, 2 queen beds, 1 queen sleeper sofa- $105 Thu nt, $125 Fri & Sat
1 Mini-suite, 2 queen beds, 2 queen sleeper sofas- $125 Thu nt, $145 Fri & Sat
Prices are $10 less than posted rates. Lodge manager is Peter Welch, phone # (518) 548-LAKE (5253). www.lakepleasantlodge.com, email@example.com.
Please let me know, so I can make proper plans. I also attached a photo of their business card.
Hasta Pronto, E.T.(firstname.lastname@example.org)
N64PN Water Videos available.
Very cool camera angles!
See the all at http://vimeo.com/12875737
(Click on images for video. All videos by Pete Norman or his associates)
Seabee Mystery Crash!
(Below are some photos and an e-mail from Mr. Shea DeLaMare from British Columbia, Canada. Very fascinating story...)
"Hello Jim and Steve from British Columbia Canada,
My name is Shea De La Mare, and I am currently trying to find some info that you may be able to help me with. I as recently hiking in central british columbia, and I stumbled across an old aircraft crash site deep in the woods. Being a pilot myself, it certainly caught my curiousity, but I am having trouble identifying the aircraft or finding any information about it. When I first saw the wreckage I had a few clues that led me to believe it may be an old Seabee, but I am not certain. I have asked various local residents about the crash site but have come up empty handed. One old timer thought he remembered something about a crash that took place in the 1970's where 3 or 4 people were killed, but he wasn't really sure. I have tried to search the internet for any information but as far have not located any. I am attaching a few pics of the crash site as I thought that you may be able to confirm whether this is indeed a SeaBee aircraft?Any info or help would be greatly appreciated.
First answer from Jim Poel...
"Hello Shea. It definitely is a Seabee. I can't tell you more than that right now, but if you were to find the serial number which is stamped on the keel and all the trailing edges of the flight controls, we could narrow it down and possibly find out about the accident. The number is stamped on the keel shown in picture 7 about a foot down from the end, or six inches down from the riveted seam. Also it is stamped on the trailing edge of the flight controls near the inboard end.
Good Luck! I hope we can get to the bottom of the mystery.
Second e-mail from Mr. De La Mare:
Hello Steve and Jim from BC again,
As to our emails of a few weeks ago regarding the mystery Seabee crash site in British Columbia, I have a few more pics and information for you. Thanks for the info on where to look for the serial number. I returned to the site today and was able to locate a serial number stamped on the trailing edge of a control surface on the port wing. The serial number is not totally clear but as far as I could make out it is: 1007A or maybe 107A??? Hopefully you guys will be able to identify it from the pictures.
I could not find any numbers on the keel, but I may have been looking in the wrong place. I spent a fair amount of time searching... but to no avail.
I have also included 2 more pictures of the crash site. You are more than welcome to post any or all of my pictures and story on your website, it might be very interesting for the Seabee community. All I ask is credit for the pics, using my name: M. Shea De La Mare
I have spoken to another local rancher who seems to remember that this crash might have happened in the early 1970's and that 3 people were killed. The story he told me is that 3 friends flew the aircraft up from Vancouver, and were circling the area at low altitude to indicate their arrival to people on the ground....they were then going to proceed to a nearby lake (Lac La Hache) to land. While circling, the engine began to run rough, stopped, and the aircraft either stalled and spun, or spiralled and crashed into the mountainside.
All three on board were killed instantly. From my investigation of the crash site, and the state of the wreckage it is my guess that the a/c hit at a fairly substantial speed. (I think I mentioned before that I am a pilot myself).
There was obviously an intense post crash fire as there are numerous melted parts, as well as actual ingots of melted metal littering the crash site.
The crash location is about 5 miles NE of the southern tip of Lac La Hache lake in central British Columbia. Lac La Hache lake is easy to find on google earth.Well thats about it guys....hopefully you can shed some more light on this!
Second answer from Jim Poel:
"HI. As luck would have it, Henry Ruzakowski is here visiting as your email came in. We found out that s/n 1007 is alive and well, so it can't be that one. In a previous investigation into another Seabee hull, we found out that Republic didn't build every serial number, so they may have used previously made parts on a different hull number. Henry has agreed to research this and get back to you.
UPDATE!(Ed note: Well we weren't far off! Serial number is actually 1008.)
March 21, 2010-I just got an e-mail from Seabee historian and fanatic Steinar Sevdal in Norway. He says:
I hope everything is fine with you, your family and “Marty B”! I visit the IRSOC website almost every day, and you do a tremendous job for the Seabee community!
Recently I read the story of the Seabee wreck found in BC, Canada. You will know that I am researching the histories of each and every Seabee built. However, I was not able to indentify the crashed Seabee until you wrote it was “CF-ISW”. The s/n is 1008. With some help from fellow avition history nuts, I was able to compile the following history on # 1008;
From my memory I thought I had seen the registration “CF-ISW” before, and after checking my small Seabee slides collection, I was amazed to find that I have a photo of CF-ISW, taken just over a month before the tragic crash!
I would very much like to send the enclosed scan to the Calvert family. Do you think you can put me in contact with them? If they do not mind, I would very much like to learn more about their Dad and his Seabee, perhaps for a story for the “Seabee Stories” pages:
Could you please also put me in contact Mr. Shea De La Mare? I would very much like to get his permission to use some of his photos of the wreck for the # 1008 webpage.
You can of course use the enclosed photo of “CF-ISW” on the IRSOC website, Steve!
Thanks a lot for your great work, Steve!
Bob Peterman and the "Spruce Goose" Museum are making great progress with their Seabee!
Thanks to Jeremy Brown, Bob Peterman has found his original gas cap! Thanks Jeremy. Good progress is being made on the "Spruce Bee". When it is completed the Seabee above will be located next to the Spruce Goose. Yup, the real thing! What an honor and these guys are doing a fantastic job. Great work! You can see the museum website at http://www.sprucegoose.org/. Thanks Bob and keep us updated.
Steve for the IRSOC
December 2006: Update! The "Spruce Bee" is done! At least Bob Peterman says he doesn't need any more parts. That's a good thing.
Don Anderson makes page 32 of Flying Magazine!
May 2006- ...if you haven't already seen it, a painting of our SeaBee, N681CB made page 32 of the June 2006 ussue of Flying magazine.
The painting (shown above) was done by a close friend of John's (Kosir), Felix Mocilnikar (don't try to pronounce it), who is a very accomplished artist, living in the Dallas area. He is also a Technician (still a mechanic to me) for American Airlines. The location was the shore of beatiful Lake Erie, here in Willoughby, OH. That's John and his squeeze, at the time, in the pic.
The other pics were taken last Fall, a few miles East of here. The looney in the Decathlon took the CB pics (Capt. Chris Megan, American Airlines).
Thought you might want to post this on the web site.
Hope life has been treating you both well. Things are good at this end.
Our best to you.
New Seabee Project Started by
Jeremy and Tania Brown
AFTERUpdate! August 2006-
Thanks for your help.
Here is some pictures of our Seabee 612. Things are going well with the project. We have done everything to it. Overhauled all Main/Tail Landing gear and all Hydraulic Cylinders. There was all new control cables with the paint job that is close to the original style. We are quite excided to get it together. Now down to the interior and final installation of the dash panel. It will be nice to send you more photos of C-FGPY when it is in the air.
(Ed note: Looks great Jeremy and Tania!)
January 2004- An e-mail recieved by
the club shows a major restoration started by Jeremy and Tania Brown
(S/N 612). Below is the e-mail. Keep us posted JEremy!! Good Luck.
"We are in the middle of our project of rebuilding our SeaBee from the ground up. I have completed all of the components and we are just waiting for the paint to be finished. We are putting our SeaBee back to its original color. It will be a green metallic bottom with the strips to match and the main color to be silver metallic. I have attached some shot so you can post them on your site. The main paint should be completed mid December.Thanks, Jeremy & Tania"
Ben and Melody are at it again!
(no-no, not that...this!)
December 14, 2004 - The IRSOC received the following e-mail from Melody and Ben Coleman...
"...going to pick up a Seabee, S/N 581, in Maryland, that has been sitting in the woods for 15 years. Local kids started using it for target practice. The trip is being dubbed "Operation Seabee Target Extraction". Will provide a visual memo after Christmas.....
Love, Ben and Mel"
Then...December 15th e-mail...
"Here is a composite page of pics.....pretty sad. If we collect all the orphaned Seabees in the land, will we get to go to Seabee heaven?"
Notice the bullet holes.
(Ed Note:Way to go Ben and Melody!!! I'll send a little note to St. Peter!)
Fly-In at Killarney, Ontario!
March 10, 2004-Brian Robinson writes:
The V-8 Seabee group is planning a get-together at Killarney Mountain Lodge on 25 June to 27 June. The details are outlined below. Please post a notice on the Seabee club web site inviting all Seabees to join us. There is excellent water access, as well as an airstrip close to the Lodge.
If people need further information, they can contact me at (705) 340-2408.
Lodge website details: www.Killarney.com
Date: 25 June to 27 June 2004
Coordinates: See Killarney Mountain Lodge Web Site (Airport Info)
Group name: Seabee
Contact person: Bonnie Sharp
Telephone Number: 1 (800) 461-1117
Procedure: Participants to call Bonnie directly and reserve their own room. Register under the group name of Seabee. Participants to send me an e-mail, or phone me, so I know how many people will be attending.
Jim, I need to call Bonnie on March 22 to confirm how many rooms they will hold for us.
February 16, 2004-The "Jungle Bee" has moved indoors to begin the extensive restoration project, rivet by rivet....
If you will notice in the photo, N87515 has sidled up to another project in the hangar....a P40 Warhawk....(she thinks it will make her fly faster.....)
The other photo is of the parts donors.....both the aircraft and the operator !
Will keep you advised with a wish list of bits and pieces.
Ben R. Coleman
Coleman Aeromarine, Inc. and
Melody L. Coleman
Coleman Aeromarine, Inc.
(Ed. note: See the previous article about the "Jungle Bee" here.)
(Click on image for full size view)