A 1941 Widgeon Seaplane Ride
Thanks to Captain Mark Futch volunteering his time and Randy Baird volunteering his seaplane, Mike and Karen Albert along with Brian and Mary McColgan were the lucky winners of a ride in a 1941 Grumman Widgeon over Useppa Island.
At the recent Fire Department Fundraiser, one of the donated items was a chance to explore our island neighborhood from the air, watch Tarpon daisy chain off Boca Grande, watch Manatees swim along the beaches, and then, experience an Osprey’s view of our island from the top down.
After the ride, climbing out of the plane, Brian Sninsky, Karen Albert’s nephew said, "This was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done." He spoke for everyone.
Widgeon owners Randy and Patty Baird sipped cocktails sitting in old rocking chairs on the Collier Inn porch looking out over Pine Island Sound. They watched their plane take off and land an hour later. Then they had lunch with Mark Futch and Useppa Chronicle Editor Virginia Amsler before Futch and Amsler went back up in the air on a Tarpon hunt.
Finally, their good deed done, the Bairds and Mark took off one last time, tipping the wings of the World War II plane in good-bye. Useppans on the beach waved back.
Photographs and Story