AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 52

" Everything about it was so distinctive and so striking. Even the sound of those two geared
engines stood out in my young mind. "
One of the big, stylish, Italian seabirds splashed into his grandfather's seaplane base at Crane Lake in northern Minnesota in
1960, and Mohr was entranced. That Gull was taking a group from
Duluth to a remote fishing lodge-and the sleek twin with growling Lycoming engines was a fast and fashionable way to get there.
" The airplane made quite an impression on me, even though I was
about 5 years old at the time, " said Mohr, who had notable aviation
careers as both an airline pilot and airshow performer. " I never forgot
the Gull, or the first time I saw it. Everything about it was so distinctive and so striking. Even the sound of those two geared engines stood
out in my young mind. It sounded like a P-51 [Mustang]. "
Decades later, while Mohr was raising his family, he went in
search of a seaplane for recreation and adventure. The iconic de
Havilland DHC-2 Beaver was beyond his price range. He was
intrigued by flying boats after an introduction to a Grumman Goose,
but those were even more costly to own and operate than the Beaver.
Then he saw an ad for a derelict Gull-a restoration project.
The fact that the aircraft was in pieces didn't bother Mohr, an airframe and powerplant mechanic who liked doing his own work.
And the price was right. Few U.S. pilots knew about the Gull, and
those who did were put off by its scarcity, metric parts, and geared
engines. Mohr bought the project, and then got busy improving it.
Reversable propellers were at the top of his wish list, and he
located a Gull with that modification in Texas. He visited the airplane and met the owner, and later bought that airplane-pictured
here-in 1993.
" The first Gull I flew was the one in Texas, " he said. " My wife
and son came with me for the ferry flight home to Minnesota, and
that was the first of many adventures with it. "
52 | AOPA PILOT May 2021

Since then, Mohr has flown the Gull to Alaska, the Bahamas,
Central America, and Europe, as well as numerous trips to arctic
Canada. He's landed his 1956 airplane on Loch Ness in Scotland,
been awakened by a herd of musk ox, and been visited by a hybrid
polar bear/grizzly in the Arctic while logging about 2,000 flight
hours in the airplane.
The Gull was originally certified in the acrobatic category in
Europe, but here it's operated under utility rules. And Mohr, a
master aerobatic pilot who performed for decades in a Stearman
PT-17 biplane, has never looped or rolled it.
" I don't want to tumble these old gyros, " he said. " It's hard on
the equipment. "
Mohr also has become the go-to guy for Gull owners and pilots
seeking technical information, annual inspections, and supplemental type certificates. Of the 30 or so Royal Gulls imported to
the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, just four are currently flying. Several more are being restored-including the project Mohr
originally purchased years ago.

THE GULL'S IMPOSING SIZE is accentuated by its broad, thick,

upturned wings (right). The mechanical gyros and analog gauges
in the instrument panel are relics of their time. This Gull has been
updated with GPS, but the old-school NDB still works and can
be useful at remote airfields in Canada. The red knobs (second
row, center) are used to move the propellers in and out of reverse
pitch-a feature that, combined with the water rudder (second
row, right)-makes water taxiing, docking, and beaching
extremely precise.



AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021

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

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 5
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 7
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover4
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