AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 71

SPLASHING AROUND in Crane Lake, I got
comfortable with the Twin Beech, especially its
T-formation flight instruments, hefty trim wheel,
and many engine and propeller controls. I joined the
ranks of seaplane pilots by losing my favorite pair of
sunglasses in the water.

engaging, he seemed delighted to be in the Beech again,
which he flies frequently. He's an ATP-rated airline
captain, a retired fighter pilot with Navy and Air Force
experience, and has a few thousand hours in multiengine seaplanes. He got down to business with the oral
exam. I stumbled on a buoy question, and he picked at
that topic a bit before we moved on. He quizzed me on
seaplane basics and engine failure response in the Beech
18. After a little more than an hour he was satisfied, so
we stepped to the airplane and launched.
Since I'm multiengine rated and single-engine
seaplane rated, two takeoffs and two landings would
suffice-if all went well. I didn't do anything " dumb,
different, or dangerous " and flew the Twin Beech as
Sullivan and I had practiced. After the second landing,
Padden advised he'd seen enough, but I could keep flying. I was tempted; it was so much fun, but it was still
a checkride. And as long as Padden was on board in his
DPE capacity, the checkride was still in progress and a
small mental mistake could ruin the day. It took some
discipline, but I reluctantly passed.
A direct tailwind made it easy to line up with the
ramp. We kept a little speed and added a smidge of power
to beach onto the wooden trailer Nephew had waiting.
He attached cables to the bow of the floats and activated
a winch that pulled us completely out of the water and
onto the trailer. The entire process took five minutes.
The Twin Beech, having graced her subjects, retired
for the evening. The local crew offered beer from the
nearby hangar refrigerator, and I tried to absorb the
entire experience, made special by an enjoyable group
of talented pilots who seemed to delight in sharing their
love of one of the most unique flying experiences in GA.
I booked my trip with an extra day for weather
contingencies, which allowed me to loiter on the Sky
Harbor ramp the next day, helping Nephew launch and
recover a few Beaver flights carrying tourists. When
the Twin Beech emerged, I scurried over to help, now
proud to be one of her humble attendants. Sky Harbor
was tough to leave, and so I lingered, chatting with Alex
Vickory, a 31-year-old United Airlines captain, A&P/IA,
and one of Lake Country's owners. Wearing shorts and
flip-flops in 60-degree weather, tanned, with dark sunglasses spearing thick, unmanicured hair, he threw more
California surfer than ATP-rated instructor. Vickory's
comfortable demeanor and his understated, yet clearly
evident joy in flying and teaching in Lake Country Air's
iconic radial airplanes perfectly reflected the essence of
the entire experience at Sky Harbor.
There are certainly more practical ways to achieve
a multiengine seaplane rating. It's hard to imagine one
as enjoyable. 
AOPA
RICHARD MCSPADDEN is senior vice president of the AOPA

Air Safety Institute.	

aopa.org/pilot AOPA PILOT | 71


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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
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 13
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
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 22
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 24
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 25
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
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 38
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 40
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 41
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 42
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 44
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 50
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 52
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 55
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 64
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 65
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 67
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 72
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 76
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 78
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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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