The Lone Palm Airport is Margaritaville’s attraction featuring Jimmy Buffett’s very own seaplane, the Hemisphere Dancer. The 60’ Albatross has landed at the airport next to the lagoon at Margaritaville! The “airport lounge” serves a variety of drinks and quick eats with plenty of comfortable outdoor seating. The parakeet beach area is the perfect place to keep the little ones busy while mom and dad relax with their toes in the sand.


  • Type: Grumman HU-16C aka: Grumman Albatross
  • Manufacturer: Grumman
  • Serial Number: 137928
  • Fuselage Length: 60' 7"
  • Wingspan: 80' 0"
  • Height: 24' 5" (weight dependent)
  • Horizontal Tail Length: 29'0"
  • Wing Area: 883 sq ft
  • Beam: 7' 11"
  • Service Ceiling: 25,000 ft
  • Empty Weight: roughly 20,000 lbs.
  • Max Takeoff Weight (land): 33,000 lbs
  • Max Takeoff Weight (water): 29,500 lbs
  • Max Landing Weight (water & land): 29,500 lbs
  • Internal Fuel Capacity: 1075 gals
    (internal wing tanks = 675 gal, each float is actually a fuel tank and holds 200 gals)
  • Additional Fuel Capacity: 300 gals per (2) MK12 external drop tanks (150 per tank)
  • Engines: Equipped with (2) Curtiss-Wright R-1820-76 engines. 9 cylinders / supercharged / carbureted with auto mixture control. Each engine produces 1425 HP on 115/145 octane military fuel about 1400 HP on standard 100LL (low lead AV gas) during cruise each engine burns about 50 to 55 gals/hr. At takeoff power each engine is sipping about 110 gal/hr.
  • Props: Hamilton Standard 43D50-3's - 11 ft. diameter
  • Range: Range is highly dependent on airspeed, head/tailwinds, weight, power settings, and altitude, but with the MK8 drop tanks range is around 2800 to 3000 NM.


If you haven’t heard the song, you mightn’t be aware it hasn’t always been smooth flying for Jimmy in Jamaica. In 1996, during an island fly-over aboard the Hemisphere Dancer, Jimmy and his crew were inspired to touch down on the water just outside Negril to lunch on some Jamaican jerk chicken. Unfortunately, at the time, the local authorities were particularly edgy about contraband being smuggled in and out of the many caves on Negril’s west end. Well, a seaplane anywhere is an uncommon sight but on this day, the picture of the Hemisphere Dancer taxiing on the water towards the caves was too much to bear; so the local police opened fire on what they thought to be some “doped-up cowboys.”

As it turned out, no one was hurt, at least not physically. As for the Hemisphere Dancer, aside from a few bullet holes, she lived to fly another day.

Jamaica Flag