COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — After being grounded for more than two years, Brooke's Seaplanes Services are finally returning to Coeur d'Alene.
Brooke's seaplanes have been grounded since a tragic mid-air collision between a seaplane and a charter plane in 2020. The crash happened during the city's Fourth of July celebrations.
Eight people were killed, including a father, his three children, and the previous owner of Brooke's seaplanes. Brooke's completely stopped operations following the crash. Two years later, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation regarding what caused the crash is ongoing.
After being grounded for two years, Brooke's seaplanes are finally in the air again. People were already riding on flights on Thursday, and so far, the response has been positive.
Under new ownership, Brooke's Seaplanes Services has several new safety features this time around. One of those features is an automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast data system. This means that the pilot can see any planes within a three-mile radius. Previous planes did not have this feature.
Shane Rogers, the new owner of Brooke's Seaplanes Services, is excited that everything can finally come together and wants people to know it's safe to fly.
"We've had all kinds of aviation people to get us here, but we're here. Getting the first one of the way is a huge weight off of my shoulders," Rogers said. "We know it works. We know the airplane's perfect for it. It's a great, great day."
Another new safety feature is a new flight plan for the seaplanes. Before the collision, Brooke's did not have a flight plan, which meant other planes did not know where the seaplanes would be flying at any given time. The new flight plan informs other planes of when and where the seaplanes will be flying, according to Rogers.
Anyone who wants to book a seat on a seaplane can call Brooke's Seaplanes at (208) 664-2842. Tickets are $150 for adults and $100 for anyone under the age of 11.
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