OSHKOSH -- A unique group of pilots at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh prefer to land on water, rather than on solid ground. A seaplane base is located just a few miles from AirVenture, but it seems like a world away.
Each year, up to 150 planes invade the small bay on the west side of Lake Winnebago. Camping, food and friends are all part of the small sea plane community.
"People who fly float planes are a different breed," pilot Rick Kluver from Poplar Grove, Illinois said.
"While all pilots share a general love of aviation, these pilots consider themselves to be adventurers, because they say their planes can take them just about anywhere," pilot Chad Doran of the Town of Black Wolf said.
"I can throw all of my camping gear in my plane and go land on almost any lake. The versatility of being able to land on land or on water is amazing," Ed Tello of Long Island, North Carolina said.
The seaplane base is located just a few miles from AirVenture, but it seems like a world away. A quiet place far from the thousands of people at the grounds.
"It's just a real small version of what happens up at the airport. The only difference is our runway moves," Seaplane Base Chairman Paul Seehafer said.
Planes are towed to moorings out in the bay, where boat tours take visitors for a close up look at this side of aviation.
"It's a combination of boating and flying all together and you options of new vacations and destinations are just unbelievable," Kluver said.
The pilots say they make sure AirVenture is a destination that is always on their list.