engita
Aero Club Como
Associazione sportiva dilettantistica
federata all'Aero Club d'Italia e al CONI
Via Masia 44
20100 Como ITALY
info@aeroclubcomo.com
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Seaplanes and the environment

 

Seaplanes: The perfect method for transport in nature, with almost no impacts on the natural environments, except positive ones made by observation from above.

Water aerodrome: An airport made of natural elements, simply water
.

 

Who would say that there is an airportin Como?
However there is, even on the 1st basin.

An activity with almost zero impact

Seaplanes are a dream for administrators and land surveyors, as they require none, or very little infrastructure. No runway, parking nor crossings. They only require what is already present in nature, water. Needing only some light infrastructure for passengers embarking and disembarking the aircraft, consisting of a jetty or slipway.     
The seaplane has no negative effects on the water; it doesn't discharge oil or other fluids into the lake. The fuel used in aviation doesn't contain toxic additives present in other fuels. The department of ecology of Washington USA use seaplanes for collecting data, and water sample, considering, as it's the only method that doesn't contaminate the research.
The propellers of the aircraft are completely out of the water and thus don't disturb sediment, marine life nor other life on the water surface.

Swans at home in the seaplane base.

The floats that are in contact with the water are not treated with toxic paints, and the small trails that are left don't factor in the erosion of the banks nor disturb the animals that live on them.

In addition, seaplanes don't require exclusive use of an area; if an area doesn't seem suitable due to whatever environmental issues, usually there are nearby areas that can be used as an alternative..


Birds finding food ...
 

Seaplanes and birdlife

A myth can be soon disproved, that flight has a negative impact on birdlife. The reality is actually quite different. Seaplane usage areas, in fact have become in many cases true sanctuaries, as often the only green space in an otherwise urbanised area. At the Seaplane school of Como, the situation is even more interesting, as there are is a wide variety of birdlife. 

It should also be said that pilots view birds as representations of the perfection of flight. Nature is a much more refined version of human technology thanks to thousands of years of evolution compared to only just over 100 years of flight for humans.
The safety involved in takeoffs and landing, having to avoid in-flight collisions, temperature and air density problems are problems shared by pilots and birds.
Many birds have chosen the Aero Club Como as their residence either permanently or seasonally. Under the docks and in the yard the birds find shelter and food and treatment when injured or ill.
 

 

 

... shelter ...                                    ... and care at Como seaplane base.
 
A destra, anitra con una zampa spezzata portata in clinica veterinaria per le cure. Qui sotto altra anitra
curata all'Idroscalo.
 

Members of the club operating to free a seagull from the hook that it had ingested.
 

 

 

 

The club and the LIPU (the Italian bird protection association) have created a leaflet for the observation and knowledge of birdlife in Como. Such leaflets are distributed to many people, students, and children.

Click on the images to enlarge.

 

The etologist Konrad Lorenz would have found an interesting place at Como seaplane base
to study the behaviour of the birds.
 

The activity of the seaplanes, in relation to other activities

on the same basin

The activity of the seaplanes on the lake is very light, when the seaplane is on the surface at low speed or even at the shore it can be considered as any other vessel (conforming to the same regulations). The takeoff, landing and flight procedures, only last a few seconds and the strips of water used for both procedures are carefully selected in order not to impede other vehicles on the lake.

 

The operations of seaplanes are compatible with other activities.

The pilot always has the possibility to abort a take off or landing if the conditions are not adequate or an issue is spotted on the lake. The friction of the water can very quickly reduce speed when the power is cut. You can easily state that there are no incompatibilities between the seaplanes and any other form of transport on the lake.

 

A tool to discover the natural environment

The seaplane, an aircraft that can operate in areas with no infrastructure is the ideal means to discover nature. Fulco Pratesi wrote an article for 'l'espresso' after using a seaplane in Canada, the country where seaplane use is the most widespread, and environmental sensibility is highest.
Each year the Aero Club Como introduces many people to the lower alpine lake giving them rides in seaplanes.

Click here to view images showing how interesting is to see the teritory from above.

 

A service for the community in emergency

and environmental welfare

 

The aero club Como makes available its aircraft, sea and land, for emergencies and natural disasters, but also for routine checks and environmental welfare. For example, the club, quickly transferring oxygenated bags of fish fry to the desired location, carried out an operation for the repopulation of fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Conclusion

 

On the theme of the relations between seaplanes and the environment, we let two pictures talk.

Both show how a seaplane can armonically stay even in the most incontaminated environment.

 

Republic Seabee on the shore of a small lake of North America.
 
 

A Newfoundland stamp of 1933. A seaplane and a canoe in a remote lake and a bivouac in the forest: an idilly between nature and technology. 

 

 

     
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