Republic Seabee News 2006

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N6255K (Photo: Bob Gould 2006)

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2006 Dec 18

George Sandy - A Tehachapi Aviation Cornerstone


George T. SandyGeorge T. Sandy started an aerial photography business, Aerial Eye, Inc., at the Tehachapi Municipal Airport in 1970. That means he's still in business after 36 years, which is a long time for a successful business these days. Using his specially-equipped Cessna 177RG, he takes breathtaking photographs of the ground from the air, including a recent one of Tehachapi. He owns three hangers at the airport, the largest of which contains several aircraft, including a vintage Ryan military trainer, a Republic Seabee flying boat that he's restoring, and a one-man helicopter of which there are only three known to exist that he intends to restore and donate to a museum. His hanger also shelters a vintage boat and a Ford Model T, both meticulously restored. He loves sharing his treasures with others and opens his hanger to the public at least twenty times a year.

Sandy is currently president of the Tehachapi Society of Pilots and is active in the continuing development of the Tehachapi Airport. He has a keen mind for flying as well as the business aspects of aviation.

Originally from Massachusetts, Sandy first started flying with the Marine Corps in the closing months of World War II and has accumulated over 22,000 hours of flight time. He didn't see much combat in the Marines, but is very proud of his Good Conduct Medal, which isn't easy to earn in the Marine Corps. 

He is also proud of his membership in Pancho Barnes' Happy Bottom Riding Club, which was frequented by Chuck Yeager and made famous in The Right Stuff. The bar/restaurant/motel was changed into a private club so that Pancho could exclude those that she didn't like. As Pancho was quite particular about her friends, George has a right to be proud his membership.

Although 78-years-old, he has no plans to retire. Should he sell his current business, he'll start another.

Written by: Dale Hawkins, Tehachapi Skywatch,

2006 Dec 16

N6255K Hawaii


N6255K (Photo: Bob Gould)Bob Gould reports from beautiful Hawaii that by this December he has flown approximately 37 hours since the long-time restoration of N6255K (s/n 462) was finished last April.  Bob purchased his Seabee from Fred Sorensen in 1979, after the Seabee had been in storage since her last flight in 1968! Bob and his wife Gretchen are a co-trustees on the Seabee.

Modifications to magnificent N6255K include a Lycoming IGO-480-G1D6 engine (modified to injection), 3-bladed propeller, extended wings, droop wing tips, extended spray rails, etc.  The Seabee has a Total Time just over 800 hours.  N6255K is based at the Gould's beautiful home by the sea in Kaneohe.

Bob is a retired NW Boeing 747 Captain.  His son Scott is an Airbus A319 Captain for Frontier Airlines.

2006 Oct 10

N6467K Crashed


N6467KIt has been reported that Seabee N6467K (s/n 718) crashed on Tuesday 10 October 2006 in East Jordan, Michigan.  According to the preliminary report, the aircraft sustained substantial damage when it crashed 22:00 local time.  

The pilot was alone in the Seabee and was uninjured.  Any details on this accident will be appreciated.  Please contact webmaster.

Update - Nov 04, 2006: We are glad to have received new information on this "accident", which shows that the original report was strongly exaggerated (filed by an overzealous local sheriff).  The facts are that there was a partial gear failure due to a faulty hydraulic pump. Fortunately, however, the only damage to the Bee was minor damage to a float. The local FAA inspector amended the report, and no ferry permit was required. The a/c was flown back to its home airport without incident and will be repaired soon.

2006 Sept 20

UC-1 Twin Bee Amphibian Design Rights for Sale!


UC-1 Twin BeeDesigner, builder and owner of the UC-1 Twin Bee, Joseph Gigante, president of the STOL Aircraft Corp., is announcing that he is selling the FAA Type Certificate No. A6EA, all design and production rights, documentation, tooling, jigs, molds and parts for the unique UC-1 Twin Bee amphibian aircraft.

The UC-1 Twin Bee, designed by Mr. Gigante in the early 1960s, is a twin engine version of the Republic RC-3 Seabee, remanufactured from components from the single engine amphibian.  First flight was made in 1960 and on June 25, 1965, FAA Type Certificate No. A6EA was awarded. A total of 23 Twin Bees have been built to this date, the last one in 1987.

UC-1 Twin BeeThe Twin Bee exhibits exceptional short take-off and landing capabilities and has proved to be the perfect personal yacht as well as one of the most popular aircraft for multiengine seaplane ratings with flight schools in the USA.  Twin Bees are also flying in Switzerland and in the Philippines.

This is a unique opportunity to get an already FAA Type Certificated twin engine amphibian, without spending millions to obtain design and approval.  In addition, Mr. Gigante is prepared to assist the new owner of the Twin Bee to achieve production capability.

Mr. Gigante will consider any reasonable offer from any party seriously interested making the Twin Bee available for the market again.

For more details, please contact Mr. Joseph Gigante at e-mail:

Serious inquiries only, please!

More information on the Twin Bee!

2006 Sept 20

David C. Reeve - Skyway Airlines


N6102KSkyway Airlines Appoints Chairman, President and CEO

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Skyway Airlines, Inc. today announced the appointment of David C. Reeve as chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. He will be responsible for all aspects of Skyway's business performance, including flight operations, inflight services, airport operations and aircraft maintenance, as well as finance, human resources and administration.

Skyway Airlines, which operates as Midwest Connect, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Midwest Airlines. Midwest Connect offers connections to Midwest Airlines jet service and point-to-point service between select markets on regional jets and turboprop aircraft.

Reeve originally joined Skyway Airlines (then Astral Aviation) in 1997 as president and chief executive officer. He served in that capacity until late 1998 when he moved to Midwest Airlines as senior vice president of operations. In 1999, he was named chairman of Skyway's board of directors.

"David is truly committed to the regional side of our operations," said Timothy E. Hoeksema, chairman and chief executive officer of Midwest Airlines. "Even after he moved to Midwest Airlines, he remained loyal to his roots as chairman of Skyway's board - continually championing Skyway's vital contributions to Midwest Air Group." He added that naming a senior Midwest executive to head Skyway underscores Midwest's corporate commitment to Skyway, especially now as the regional airline expands its 328JET fleet and other business services.

The appointment is effective immediately, with Reeve continuing to fill his current role as senior vice president of operations on the Midwest side until a replacement is named.

Reeve's aviation career spans more than 40 years and includes serving as director of flight operations for DHL Airways; director of flight operations and managing director of flight operations at Pan Am Express; chief of systems control and vice president/director of operations for San Juan Airlines; and pilot, manager and manager of flight operations for Reeve Aleutian Airways. He holds a bachelor of business administration degree in management from the University of Alaska.

Reeve serves on the senior advisory committee of the Air Transport Association and as a member of General Mitchell International Airport's noise advisory committee.

A native of Anchorage, Reeve nurtured his love of flight at an early age while growing up in a family known for pioneering aviation in Alaska. He and his wife, Laurie, now reside in the Milwaukee area and enjoy exploring the Midwest in the vintage Republic RC-3 Seabee amphibian (N6102K) they restored.

Skyway Airlines, Inc. - a wholly owned subsidiary of Midwest Airlines (Amex: MEH) - operates Midwest Connect. Skyway offers connections to Midwest Airlines and point-to-point service between select markets. Together, the airlines fly to 47 cities. More information is available at

SOURCE: Midwest Air Group, Inc.

2006 Jan 16

Simuflight Relocated


N87465 (Photo: Roger Cain)Simuflight has finally completed the move to their new 6,000 square foot facility in Fallon, Nevada, a project that took longer than originally planned.

The last of unloading of parts and tooling took place in the week of January 9th, and this also marked the first shipment of Seabee parts in two years.

- We are still a little disorganized and expect that to last for a couple of months, but we plan on accepting aircraft starting the 1st of February and have already begun shipping parts to customers; president Scott Henderson reports.

Simuflight's Nevada Facility is located at the Fallon Municipal Airport (KLFX), approximately 50 miles east of Reno (KRNO) and has a 5703 x 75 ft runway, tie downs and local services for those who need to stay while their aircraft is being worked on. Fallon is also conviently located on major trucking routes, if your Seabee can't be flown to the facility.

The Fallon shop is being run by Ken Thompson (ex Kenair) who has been maintaining and restoring Seabees for more than 25 years and who knows more than most about these unique aircraft.  Long time Seabee owner and mechanic, Tim Sutter, has also joined the Simuflight staff.  Tim is dedicated to travelling to your location to handle Seabee work.  Simuflight offers the largest inventory of Seabee parts anywhere in the World - and of course all the Simuflight kits that most Seabee owners have come to depend on.

New STC kits are under development, including an electric trim system and a wing landing light kit.  The STCs are still pending on both of these kits, but final flight tests on these kits will be made within the next few weeks.

Simuflight was founded over 30 years ago by Joe McHugh out of a passion for the Seabees. Over the years Joe developed some of the most innovative and popular modifications available for the Seabee and in that time became the man that everyone came to for Seabee knowledge.

After the tragic death of Joe McHugh in 2003, his children decided to continue the legacy and the support for Seabees that their father so loved.  Scott Henderson, Joe's son, has taken over the engineering for the company and is moving forward projects like the electric elevator and rudder trim, a new engine package, in-wing landing lights and more to expand the variety Seabee kits. Engineering is out of his Alaska office, so you will have to bring a fishing pole if you want a face to face with the engineer.

Joe's daughters Penny (Larson) and Kris (Goldman) are taking over the business and financial operations of the company as well as the FAA relationships.

- Our goal over the next couple of years is to increase our production capacity to be able to produce a minimum of two restored Seabees (SuperBees) annually and support maintenance and parts demands from the Seabee community. We expect this growth to take time and we hope that everyone can be patient as we grow.

We look forward to working with the Seabee community and encourage you to contact any of us on the management team and let us know what you think and provide suggestions and comments so that we can continually improve the services that we provide.

For more information on their services, go to the Simuflight website at   President Scott Henderson can be reached at telephone 907-339-8085 / 6101 or e-mail Address; Scott Henderson; McHugh Aviation Inc., 3763 Image Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99504, USA.

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