Lake Coeur D'Alene is a popular destination for many different water activities, including float plane tours. 

Brooks Seaplane pilots take-off from the lake everyday but it is not always easy to find a clear path of water.

The pilots need approximately 3,000 feet of open water to safely take off, which can be hard to find when the lake is crowded with people swimming, paddle boarding and boating. 

Planes travel at about 45 mph before leaving the water. 

"Some people, they'll see and they'll stop what they're doing. Paddle boarders if they see something they'll stop. Boaters, if they see us, they'll stop," said Noah Lunt, manager of Brooks Seaplane.

"The jet skiers, usually they're the ones that always want to try to come up against us and try to race," he added. 

Lunt said a pilot recently had a close call with a jet skier. 

"It was one of those times where if we didn't cut it, we probably would have hit him, so it's really close," he said. "I would say if you see us going, don't try to race us, don't try to cut in front of us, because we have to make a split decision. If we don't make that, something could happen." 

Lunt said that there a few key things to remember for everyone's safety when sharing the lake with float planes: 

  • Don't swim out past the buoys because you become a small spec in the water that pilots can barely see
  • Dull colors blend into the lake and are hard for pilots to spot, so wear bright clothes
  • Avoid erratic tricks around the area where planes take off and land
  • Don't change course for a plane, as they are accounting for where you are headed if you are moving 

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