Seaplane pilot Dave Bahnson at the Lake House Pub and Grille, along Route 30, on Lake Bomoseen. He enjoys flying customers on tours of the Lakes Region aboard his circa-1947 refurbished Piper PA12 seaplane.
The Lake House Pub and Grille is a popular destination for boaters on Vermont's Lake Bomoseen. During the summer and early autumn months, the boat-friendly restaurant located on Route 30 offers outdoor dining on its lakeside deck. Docks make it easy for boaters to pull up, tie-up their motorboats, and have a relaxing meal or drink on the waterfront. This year, the Lake House included another lure to its relaxed ambiance: seaplane moorings and airplane rides.
Enter pilot and flight instructor David Bahnson of Mendon. A veteran pilot, Bahnson acquired a two-passenger, circa 1947 Piper PA12. He refitted it throughout and added a pair of pontoons for lake landings and take offs.
“People love the thrill of take offs and landings on the water,” he said, “and they get a nice perspective of Lake Bomoseen and others.”
Bahnson flies the Piper low over the lake for a rush that few passengers get to feel while taking off from a ground landing strip.
“We’re very safety conscious,” Bahnson said. “We strictly follow FAA rules about flying over water. A seaplane pilot must always keep a safe distance from boaters, swimmers and lakeside structures. It’s a kind of flying that requires a special set of skills.”
In past years, Bahnson would fly his Piper seaplane to Tavares, Fla., for the long winter—but not this year. This year, he will winterize the plane and keep it in the Bomoseen area in order to get a jump start on Lake House rides in the spring.
Through the gracious permission of the Lake House’s management, Bahnson gives one-of-a-kind rides that last from 10-15 minutes or longer depending on the desire of the passenger.
For example, an introductory seaplane flight, from the Lake House aviation dock, is a good entre for first-time passengers. The flight costs $40 and includes an envious introduction to Vermont’s largest lake—from 200 feet in the air.
“Our seaplane rides continue through Oct. 3,” he said. “So, if you missed us this year, come back next year and take a ride.”
We’ve heard of the tantalizing seafood selections on the menu of the Lake House Pub and Grille, but now the management has cleverly added a new menu item—seaplane. Sounds delicious. We’ll have ours down at the pub dock—how about you?