AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 69

We idled to the takeoff point, radials chugging,
running pretakeoff checklists, scanning the area for
water traffic, and managing shutter doors to optimize
oil temperatures-a process that continued throughout the flight. Watching sideways, Sullivan suggested
we not worry about carburetor heat in these temperatures. I knew enough about Pratt & Whitney R-985s
on Beech 18s that I didn't take the bait. We pulled on
carburetor heats, and both engines coughed from ice
discharge. The air intakes underneath each engine,
directly over the water, draw moist air to the carburetors, increasing the potential for carb icing on the
water. The fun, impressive demonstration was a hallmark of Sullivan's instruction.
I set approach flaps and steadily pushed the throttles to 35 inches manifold pressure, less than full
throttle to preserve engine life. Even on floats, at our
weight, the Twin Beech didn't need all 450 horsepower
from each engine for takeoff. The nose rose considerably as the EDO 7850 straight floats plowed the water.
Sullivan gave me a reassuring nod, indicating all was
normal. Visibility over the nose was poor, similar to
the Beech's ground posture on wheels, but after a few
seconds the nose began to lower as the floats planed. I
relaxed back-pressure to hunt for the optimum planing attitude, a sweet spot noticeable by smoothness
and acceleration. After 15 seconds and about 2,500 feet
of water run, I banked slightly leeward to unstick the
upwind float, and the Beech lifted crisply off the water
at 80 mph. The takeoff was smoother and easier to fly
than a Super Cub on amphibious floats.
Shortly after takeoff I leveled and accelerated
beyond VMC (107 mph), then initiated the first power
reduction-carb heat on for a few seconds of preventive heat. I began a climb at 115 mph, retracted the
flaps, and initiated the second power reduction-manifold pressure to 30 inches and rpm to 2,000.
Out of the water, it was just a Beech 18 with
more drag and fuel burn, but the core characteristics remained. Floats didn't affect the Twin Beech's
legendary characteristics: aesthetically beautiful,
aurally soothing, physically stable, and predictable.
It was smooth on the controls, balanced with control
pressures that felt just right-meaning not too heavy,
which I had expected. Responsiveness in pitch and roll
matched what I intuitively expected when I moved the
yoke. Such is a characteristic of a " true " flying airplane,
a frequent adjective used to describe the Beech 18.
We cruised north to Scott's Seaplane Base on Crane
Lake in northern Minnesota, which gave me an hour
or so to get comfortable with the instrument scan
and enjoy the stunning fall scenery, framed through
the Beech's cockpit. En route I managed the radial
engines, which insisted on frequent primping. The
radials grumbled at each other slowly, back and forth.
I refereed them with rpm levers, coaxing agreement-
a process I fiddled with the entire weekend.
aopa.org/pilot AOPA PILOT | 69


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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
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 10
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 12
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 16
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 18
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 20
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 21
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 24
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 26
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 28
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 30
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 32
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 34
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 36
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 42
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 69
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 112
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover4
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