Lake LA 4-200 “EP”
Amphibious flying boat
The Lake, with the "Republic Seabee", is the aircraft that enables the Como flying school to offer instruction, and the chance to fly in two of the principal types of seaplane. Those equipped with floats and those with a central hull. The Lake owned by the club is an EP, modified with a tri-blade propeller in order to have a reverse function; it is also equipped with instruments for modern navigation, GPS and an autopilot configuration.
It is a central hulled aircraft, possessing two floats under the wings that also act as additional fuel tanks. It has an engine in an elevated position, to keep the propeller away from the water. The lake has four seats and exceptional performance; the visibility from the cabin is also very good. The engine is a solid four cylinder that delivers 200HP at 2700 RPM.
Click to read or download:
Click to go to the Lake Amphibian Flyers Club website
||200 hp at 2700 rpm
||Mt-Propeller MTV-12-B-C-R(M)/CRLD188-119a - 3 blades, reversible
|Diameter of the propeller
|74 in / 188 cm
||24’ 11’’ / 7,59 m
||9’ 4’’ / 2,84 m
|38’ / 11,58 m
|164 sq ft / 15,23 m²
|Maximum takeoff weight
||2600 lbs / 1180 Kg (2690 lbs / 1220 kg con tip piene carburante)
|1930 lbs / 876 Kg
|670 lbs / 304 Kg (760 lbs / 344 kg with fuel in the tip tanks)
|54 US Gal. / 204,39 l / 321 lbs
||38 l/h / 10 gal/h / 60 lbs/h (2000 ft / 23’’ / 2400 rpm )
||5 h 20 min
|Never exceed speed (VNE)
Information not to be used for piloting or navigation..
Lake aircraft are flying boats, otherwise seaplanes on a central hull. They are the most widespread seaplane for civil use in the world, and have been constructed for the longest time.
Il Lake LA 250 I-AQUA, used for 22 years by Aero Club Como.
Frenchman Olivier de Pramont made with his Buccabeer a 5-years ride with his wife and 3 children,
from Siberia to Patagonia. Above, from left, the aircraft on the Iguazu waterfalls; relaxing in a port
with the children; on the Amazon River.
The history of the Lake was fortunate, and was produced in numerous great examples, of around 1300. The Lake has undergone continuous development and today 56 years after it's birth is still undergoing substantial production, although in recent years factories producing lakes have had ups and downs.
The solid construction of the Lakes is made evident by these images. A LA4 on skis and anothe one
taxiing on the snow.
Lake Bucaneer I-AIIA on the waters of Lake Como.
Lake I-AQUA taxiing at Venegono airport.
Reviews on Lake aircraft are usually positive, the aircraft is considered as the most advanced in the field of lightweight amphibious aircraft, flourishing in the 30's and then undergoing a halt in production and work in the years of the war, but post war activity and productivity recommenced vigorously.
The Lake has proven to be the most long-lived evolution of technology and economy. The many pilots who have performed a safe flight on board of a Lake aircraft will confirm this fact.
Cover of the author's book on Lakes.
The history of Lake aircraft is summarized in the book (in Italian) I Lake dalla A alla Z ("Lake aircraft from A to Z").
The 1st Lake purchased by the club, was a real pioneering initiative by the club. In a world where few Italians spoke English, civil aircraft generally didn't have radios and travel to the USA cost a fortune. At the time the clubs major source of income came from, flying to beaches to give people a change to take a ride onboard a seaplane for a small cost, this generated enough money so that the club could afford to pay for one instructor. It was at this time, the club decided to purchase a Lake aircraft.
The Lake that was to be bought was found in Finland at a European dealer of Lake aircraft, a nice woman who was a very skilled pilot, she told of incredible life adventures in the cold peaks of Scandinavia.
The aircraft arrived in Como, brought by the Finnish woman and Eduardo Albonico, a passionate member of the club. The aircraft was then registered as I-BUKA. In aviation it seems there is a certain rule for acquiring aircraft, the more effort that goes into the acquisition of an aircraft, the less time it serves, whereas those acquired more easily end up serving for many years. The I-BUKA only lasted a short time, flying over a villa too low on the coast of the Tirreno Island, the wing made contact with the surface, the nose tipped into the water and the aircraft capsized. All passengers on board survived.
In 1980, the memories of the I-BUKA were now distant. The director's board was completely changed. Musumeci, the President took out a loan to purchase a new Lake Buccaneer, and would be registered as I-AIIA, it was taken due to being required by the Aero Club Italy.
With the I-AIIA , the world was made aware that seaplanes were not dead, but in fact living and flourishing. The aircraft also participated in 3 air tours of Italy, this aircraft lasted well over 20 years, and was used to introduce many pilots to flying on a central hulled aircraft.
Musumeci had the privilege of purchasing an excellent second Lake in France at an incredibly low price, almost a third of what was paid for the I-AIIA. It was the I-COMM that would soon be damaged by a student pilot.
Lake I-AIIA taken by author Baj (first at the left) up to Rovaniemi - Lapland, in summer 1981.
Il lake I-AIIA flying over
the Gulf of Bothnia, Baltic Sea,
almost at midnight.
In 1987, another Lake arrived, the Renegade I-AQVA, in reality it was purchased by a club member, it would then be given to the club after two years. At this time the situation of the club was a strange one, the lake was being considered as a difficult aircraft, and in the club only a few supporters remained for it. Everyone argued that aircraft on floats were the best, but opted not to mention that very few of them ever lasted long enough to perform a few hundred hours of flight, on the contrary the Lake had performed thousand of hours of flight over Como.
The new directors board, elected in 2001, included one of the 'Old dogs' of the club, a strong supporter of the Lake aircraft. His enthusiasm led to the purchase of a Lake Renegade that was to be certified as I-AQUA. It was immediately well liked for it s solidity, excellent performance, visibility outwards and its economy, But also because it was a special aircraft and allowed pilots to experience flight on a hulled aircraft. The Lake quickly became an aircraft of great appeal and was sponsored by a large transporting company; Bianchi Group. It is an aircraft equipped with STOL (short takeoff and landing) gear meaning it could takeoff and land on small mountain lakes, but also was ideal for longer journeys, perfect for touring Europe for promotional purposes.
The club used the Lake Renegade up until the 4th May 2009, when the aircraft left the fleet the same day as having completed a special mission, transporting thousands of fish fry from one lake to another.
Lake I-AQUA, used to go skiing,
at St. Moritz airport.
Lakes protagonist of special operations. Left, I-AIIA parked at Morcote - Lake Lugano,
Center, Ivo Noseda takes the lake to the shore of Isola dei Cipressi, on Lake Pusiano.
Right, Giorgio Porta, on the wing, counterbalances the strong crosswind during a taxiing
on Lake Biscarrosse, France.
A little resourcefulness and a little luck meant that the club had the possibility of purchasing in exceptional condition a Lake LA4-200 EP. It was seen as a complete aircraft, equipped with sophisticated instruments and very economical. The small flying boat continues to give pleasure to its pilots...
Tests with sails, to be used in case of
forced landing on the sea.
I-AQUA at the buoy and on the shore of Bort-les-Orgues castle,
in Central France.
I-AQUA in the Giudecca canal, Venice, and i a bay of Mykonos island in the Aegean Sea.
The liveree is that requested for the shootings of a Nestlé commercial.
Now and then the Club used two Lakes, a 200
and a 250.
Lake 270 Turbo Renegade N197TF taking off from Lake Como.
“Nnose art” on the Lake of the Australian John Daley.