Maule M-7-235 floatplane

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.

Maule at the dock big flaps! taking off Orlando

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.

glassy water landing glassy-water landing glassy-water landing glassy-water landing

Sealord has a mock-up of Baghdad Airport, a fake "missile site", and a fake "Iraqi village" made out of shipping containers.

Sealord Sealord Sealord Sealord Sealord Sealord Sealord

River landing at Deleon Springs for lunch.

Deleon Springs Deleon Springs floatplane at the dock Charlotte in cockpit

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.

Blue Spring manatees at Blue Spring manatees


free T shirt




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Last modified 14 June 2016