Flying a Maule M-7-235 on straight floats, north of Orlando, with Rich Hensch of Florida Seaplanes. This was a fun day of mostly glassy-water landings, overflight of the "Sealord" military area, a river landing at Deleon Springs for lunch, overflight of Blue Spring and its manatee population, and then a series of river landings. Paul in the back seat provided still photography, and we also recorded cockpit video. This plane felt comfortably familiar to me; its engine is the six-cylinder version of the engine in our Cessna, and I could get used to those nice big flaps. This excursion was not only a whole lot of fun but also got me my high-performance and complex signoffs - and a free T shirt, too.
Paul, from the back seat, had a much-better idea of how close I was to the glassy-smooth surface of Lake Apopka and the other dead-calm lakes than I did because he could see our shadow out the side window. The exact time of our touch-down under these conditions was always a surprise to me. The Maule, with its big engine, had no problem getting off again from the smooth water despite the extra drag.
Sealord has a mock-up of Baghdad Airport, a fake "missile site", and a fake "Iraqi village" made out of shipping containers.
River landing at Deleon Springs for lunch.
Yes, it's a deHavilland Beaver! And yes, I will fly one of those some time...
Manatees in Blue Spring. This was a chilly day (by central Florida standards, anyway). The manatees are attracted to the always-72-degree spring water when the air is chilly.
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Last modified 14 June 2016