Severn River (Getting Into Annapolis)

By: Rob Richardson, SeaRey Pilot (6/7/13)

While Annapolis is surrounded by water getting a seaplane walking distance from the inner harbor should be rather easy, but it is not.   The only nearby  public seaplane base (Annapolis MD81) is on the South River 2 miles down the Bay from Annapolis and it has a very number of fast moving power boats. Better to go into Lee Airport (LEE) which is a mile south. There is a private SPB (01MD) the next creek up from the Severn River in upper part of Mill Creek that is used  by a  local resident. I checked it out in late 2011. It is on a East-West narrow creek with lots of boat docks. The owner did not have a ramp to pull up on and his small pier had pilings that poked up; so water ops could be a challenge. Also  you are 1.3 miles over back roads from the Severn River and any commercial services.  

The best option is to alight on the Severn River next to the Academy or just above it.  Living across the Severn River from the Naval Academy, I have noted the lower Severn River is very wide with high cliffs that block the wind (see below Google satellite view). The Blue Angels use the airspace below the lower bridge for their annual Naval Academy airshow.   There are two beach areas either side of the Severn Inn River Front Restaurant and Rt-450 Bridge that one could beach a seaplane and drop in for a bite at the Inn or walk across the  bridge to the Academy, the Navy-Marine Corp Stadium, or downtown Annapolis. The Boat wakes are not so bad, since it is mostly sailboats and the River is so wide that it is more a bay than a river.  On the weekend the boat traffic can be heavy, but mainly in the main channel. Though I mean to fly in sometime this Summer I need to workout the best flight path to the water.  Landing in the Bay is not really an option for my SeaRey and the closeness of the two high bridges (2 miles apart and each 100+ ft high) with the high cliffs (100+ ft off the water) on each bank makes dropping a plane between the bridges a challenge. It will definitely draw attention if one overflies either bridge.   I should note there is no MD restriction to landing on the Severn river, since it was a subject of 1980s or 1990s court case.