AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 68

I

I was at Sky Harbor for Lake Country Air's two-day multiengine seaplane rating course. Lake Country's training
is only open to pilots with both a multiengine land and
a single-engine seaplane rating. The program focuses
on the exclusive experience of flying one of the most
iconic twins ever built, only a handful of which are on
floats. The MES isn't the main draw to Lake Country's
program; anyone looking to notch ratings can find more
practical alternatives. Lake Country's program is for the
romantics, the adventurers, and those willing to pay
$8,775 for five hours of inimitable flying.
Sullivan, my instructor for the weekend, is a
25,000-hour GA pilot. He's instructed in N33JP since
2012. Early in his career, he set sales records at Cirrus
Aircraft that remain unbroken. He's got a fun, energetic
way about him. I quickly grasped his success in sales.
He likes people and loves to fly. More than anything, he
wanted me to savor the incomparable experience of flying a Twin Beech off the water. I did, thanks in part to
his unobtrusive instruction that stood watchful guard
while I did all the flying, from the first engine start.
Doug Haala, an A&P/IA who's maintained this particular Twin Beech for some 36 years, led an extensive
preflight, then Sullivan and I climbed into the cockpit
via a custom hatch just above the pilot seats that I found
easier and more fun than the typical rear cabin door.
After a couple of dry run-throughs I flipped primer,
starter primer, starter, and then-following a few propeller swings-turned on the mags and coaxed the
throttle. I smiled at success with the Twin Beech's notorious " three-handed " start, which created one of the
most enjoyable sounds in aviation: an awakening radial
engine. We kept the oil bypass doors closed while the
engines idled and the oil warmed, which took some 20
minutes on a temperate October day.
We shut down and Carl Nephew, Lake Point's
smiling line agent, towed us to the water ramp. A commercial-rated college student, he's in pursuit of ratings
so he can join the pilots who fly Lake Country's classic radials for hire. Nephew's the kind of person you're
happy to see coming up the ranks in GA. He eased
us down the launch ramp and the 8,725-pound Twin
Beech floated off the trailer effortlessly. I recranked the
engines, and my first surprise was how maneuverable
the Beech 18 is on the water. Effective water rudders and
differential power allow for excellent water taxi control.
68 | AOPA PILOT February 2021

CRANE LAKE in northern Minnesota is the site of
Scott's Seaplane Base, where we refueled Lake
Country Air's Beech 18. Legendary handling
characteristics makes this Beech a " true " flying
airplane, even with a challenging checklist.



AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 4
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover4
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