|In 1991, designed
mainly as a proof of concept salvage mission, a Republic Seabee was recovered from Lake
Washington. Submerged south of Interstate 90 off the East End of Mercer Island, the plane
was discovered, documented, and recovered from a depth of 73 feet.
The Seabee was found upside down with the wheels
extended as if it had been parked on land. Little is known about how or when the plane
ended up in the lake. Its likely that the plane was parked at a nearby airfield and
blown into the lake. Another scenario could have the plane attempting a water landing.
With the wheels down, the plane may have flipped.
This four-seat single engine amphibian
was designed as a low-cost utilitarian sport airplane. About 1,200 of these seaplanes were
built from 1946 to 1948. There are still as many as 500 in service around the world.
Restored Seabees are worth $50,000 to $60,000.