Beech 18 on floats.

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Cat Driver
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Beech 18 on floats.

#1 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:38 pm

How does the Beech 18 on floats compare to the piston engine Beaver / Otter?
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#2 Post by Big Pistons Forever » Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:43 pm

On Aug 24 2012 you wrote
I flew CF-TBD on floats for two summers ( 1966/67 ) best float plane on earth. :mrgreen:
So I would guess you have already answered your own question..........
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#3 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:49 pm

True, but it never hurts to get other opinions.

So from your experience flying these airplanes what are your thoughts?

My question was asked to get feed back from other pilots because we are thinking of using a Beech 18 on floats for a lodge operation.....

.....it has been a lot of years since I flew them and I am wondering if it is harder to keep them maintained etc.

By asking an open question it is my thought that I will get more comments from pilots who have fairly recent experience flying them and engineers maintaining them.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#4 Post by CLguy » Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:41 pm

Best float plane I ever flew, until I got into a Twin Otter. Great float plane though, just remember to fly it like a single engine airplane. You lose one on take off or on climb out, you close the other throttle and take it like a man!!
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#5 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:05 pm

Hows things going for you CLguy?

You should be retiring soon I would think, retirement can be really great.

I am involved in the start up of a new lodge that will be aimed at the high spenders and there is a Beech 18 in this area that we plan on using for a while and if it works as well as I think it will my thinking is we can do a lot of upgrading to it and still be hundreds of thousands of dollars ahead of a turbine Otter or Twin Otter.

For sure the Beech will fly further than a Beaver or single engine Otter if you lose an engine. :mrgreen:

As far as I can determine there is no problem getting R985's rebuilt.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#6 Post by CLguy » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Hey Chuck all good here thanks! Still have a few seasons to go. If you compare the purchase price to the DeHavillands it's a no brainer. Beech will haul a good load, not as much as the Otter but will carry it further and faster and you will be much more comfortable. No fighting while trying to taxi in a wind. It is just a real pleasure to fly and very dependable. A couple of 985's won't give you much grief.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#7 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:24 pm

Exactly my thoughts.

Back in the sixties I flew one for George Terriault for two seasons and just loved the thing, hell I may even fly this one just for the hell of it.

The real attraction for me in this lodge thing is the owner and I have known each other since we were kids and I have convinced him we need a Bell Jetranger as our personal form of transportation and he agrees.....

......so I can have fun without all the headaches of a commercial operation.

I plan on quitting flying when I turn 90.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#8 Post by Duffman » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:37 pm

Seems like you can pick up a somewhat servicable beech for next to nothing. There was the wing spar problem and now there are issues with engine mounts. I don't know the details but a few operators in NWO have parked their beech fleet because of it.

I only have 20 or so hours in one but it was lots of fun. If it was my operation i'd rather go turbine otter or caravan, high end lodge customers want quiet and comfortable, nobody really wants to ride in the beech/norseman/beaver anymore.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#9 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:53 pm

I have flown as a passenger in the Turbine Otter and the Beech 18 is more comfortable.

As to what high end lodge customers want that can be a matter of how you market the flying. There are a lot of rich people who like well maintained classic airplanes.

If they are not happy with flying in a Beech there are lots of turbine airplanes for charter on the West Coast.

Cost wise a Beech on floats can be bought for around $150,000 to $200,000.

How much is a Turbine Otter on floats?

The nice thing about the operation we are starting is there is a nice looking Beech 18 already operating here and it will not cost us anything extra to see how it fits into our operation. :mrgreen:
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#10 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:08 pm

How does a Cessna Caravan on floats handle rough water?

For sure a Beech is built like a tank.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#11 Post by Duffman » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:25 pm

I agree with you about the classic airplanes but I heard "I want to fly in that new jet plane, not the old twin engine one" so many times.

I only fly the Caravan on fairly small lakes in NWO so we don't really get the same kind of rough water you get on the coast but here it handles it well. The panel squeaks and rattles which they all seem to do. Water rudders aren't really that effective. The beech is indeed a tank and can handle anything. Just don't let any pilots start up and smack the prop into the dock (wasn't me...)
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#12 Post by Antique Pilot » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:11 pm

Cat Driver wrote:Hows things going for you CLguy?

You should be retiring soon I would think, retirement can be really great.

I am involved in the start up of a new lodge that will be aimed at the high spenders and there is a Beech 18 in this area that we plan on using for a while and if it works as well as I think it will my thinking is we can do a lot of upgrading to it and still be hundreds of thousands of dollars ahead of a turbine Otter or Twin Otter.

For sure the Beech will fly further than a Beaver or single engine Otter if you lose an engine. :mrgreen:

As far as I can determine there is no problem getting R985's rebuilt.

Cat Driver,

Is the Beech 18 currently owned by a bank and located in an eastern Prairie Province?

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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#13 Post by bmc » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:28 pm

Are you talking about the Beech 18 our friend has on the lake?
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#14 Post by Cat Driver » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:10 am

Cat Driver,

Is the Beech 18 currently owned by a bank and located in an eastern Prairie Province?

AP

No.

Are you talking about the Beech 18 our friend has on the lake?
Yes.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#15 Post by Cat Driver » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:38 pm

Antique Pilot what is your thoughts on operating a B18 on floats in 2014?
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#16 Post by Oldshoes » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:36 pm

Hey Cat Driver,

For me, the Wobbler on floats is the most underrated bush plane out there. Strong, will carry an honest load, fast and comfortable for passengers. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase. Start with a good machine with two sound 985's, keep on top of the snags and they are pretty reliable bang for your buck. Keep it clean and tidy and I'd be surprised if a passenger quips about riding in it vs. a turbine. Never had it happen to me, plus most passengers who have a little aviation knowledge are pretty keen to ride in a well maintain classic like a Beech 18. I've found most just want to get to the destination safely. Put a pilot on it who has the understanding of older multi engine emergency handling down sound and it should be a winning combo. Oh...and fun to fly to!

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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#17 Post by Antique Pilot » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:05 pm

Cat Driver wrote:Antique Pilot what is your thoughts on operating a B18 on floats in 2014?
Thanks for asking. However my Beech 18 experience was limited to riding around in the right seat during my formative years some 40 years ago. I am not qualified to give a good opinion.

I do have an accident report whereby the floats broke off while landing in fairly rough water in 1969. There was another accident in NE Manitoba about 15 years ago. The left float partially broke away during a take-off in relatively smooth water, just a little chop. Apparently a fitting cracked and let go.

The Dec issue of COPA has a brief mention of a Beech 18 seaplane incident in NW Ontario. While flying low in poor weather they clipped a cable which tore off 4 feet of the right wing. They landed ok.

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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#18 Post by Cat Driver » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:12 pm

Thanks A.P.

Were there lots of happy young maidens in Northern Ontario in your formative years? :smt040
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#19 Post by Antique Pilot » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:20 pm

Cat Driver wrote:Thanks A.P.

Were there lots of happy young maidens in Northern Ontario in your formative years? :smt040
I have to plead the 5th on that.

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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#20 Post by SeptRepair » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:14 pm

Hey Cat, Vancouver Island Air ran owned and operated 18's for a number of years and now have two Turbo Otters. The 18's have been retired ( AFAIK) That probably says something right there.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#21 Post by Cat Driver » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:35 pm

Yes Larry finally retired his 18,s and went to the turbine Otter.

In the next year or so we shall see if the Beech can be used in our operation.

I can guarantee you one thing we will never even consider owning our own commercial OC.

For one thing neither of us are willing to undergo the frontal lobotomy needed to deal with TC. :mrgreen:
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#22 Post by Notta Simfalt » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:57 pm

It's been since the 70's for me, but It seemed to be a little shy on legal payload. I would check that out with a modern operator first.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#23 Post by Cat Driver » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:16 pm

The legal payload is easy to figure out.

It is in the W&B for each airplane.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#24 Post by Liquid Charlie » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:02 am

First let me say it was the best float plane I ever flew -- if it would float it it would fly it -- that was the demise of the bch18 -- what we carried and what the actual legal load was a different thing all together -- standard load for us on floats -- no matter how long the trip was 2200 lbs -- NWO air carriers association at one point tried to get the aircraft designated as a "single engine" up the gross weight to carry the loads and treat the performance as if you only had one engine -- true story even as wacky as it sounds -- in the day it was a less expensive way of having an aircraft that would out haul the piston stone boat -- single otter --
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#25 Post by iflyforpie » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:12 am

What's the bond on that one, Chuck? I've been dying to put my 14 hours of float time to good use and that seems like a really fun plane to fly. :smt040
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