Amphibious planes fly in to Frogs Hollow

SeaRey amphibious planes line up at Frogs Hollow airport.

SIX SeaRey amphibious planes flew in to Frogs Hollow recently.

Member of Frogs Hollow Aero Club and owner of Ocean Lake Caravan Park at Wallaga Lake Ted Munckton said what made it particularly special was there are only around 30 of these planes in Australia.

The pilots are friends of Mr Munckton, who invited them to fly to the Bega Valley.  

Mr Munckton said it was a “really good” day and the club was “really excited to have visitors”.

The pilots were Rob Loneragan from Rylstone, Jack Peters from Melbourne, and Keith Clark, Brian Dehlsen and Ben Hunter from Sydney. 

Mr Loneragan is the Australian importer of the plane kits, which come from Orlando, Florida. 

Mr Munckton said a kit costs around $50,000, but comes without some parts such as an engine, so can cost around $100,000 to complete.

He said once you get the kit you build it yourself, which can take from eight months to two years, depending on “how keen” the builder is.

“It’s a really good, popular plane,” he said.

Mr Munckton said the reason there are so few of them in Australia was “it takes more talent to be a seaplane pilot as opposed to a land plane pilot”.

The SeaRey can fit a pilot and a passenger inside, and travel up to 75–80 knots.  

Mr Munckton got his pilot’s licence in 1988 and took a SeaRey for a test fly with Mr Loneragan in 1995, then decided he wanted one. 

He bought the kit in 2000 and by 2001 had it up and flying. 

“I’ve always loved aeroplanes,” he said.

Mr Munckton and his SeaRey-owning friends have gone on a few trips in their planes, flying to Morea, Victoria, in 2001 and to South Australia in 2007.

He likes flying more than driving as he gets “a much better view”. 

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