Introduced in 1965, the 260 horsepower Piper Cherokee 6 was thought by most pilots as under powered. So, a 300 horsepower model was brought out by Piper.
Costing only $3,000 more, 300 hp Piper performed better in the market than its lower powered version. With price being almost similar, the 300 hp model finds its place in the ‘budget’ category.
Pilots and aircrafts who are really conscious about budget, then the 260 hp model is the one for them. Both the models have a payload of 1,000 pounds after filling up the tanks.
The fact that the gears cannot retract, the 300 hp bird can make 145 knots true airspeed, while the 260 hp model can clock the airspeed indicator to 135 – 140 knots range.
The Real World of Piper Cherokee 6
Richard Park of Park Properties Management Company in Charlottesville, Virginia, used to fly with his wife and two daughters to different locations around Virginia. The family of four was also accompanied by two dogs. They also used to fly Oshkosh every year.
After searching for 4 long years, the pilot zeroed in to 1966 300 hp fuel injected Cherokee Six that featured on the cover of Pipers Magazine in 1999. The aircraft was refurbished in California.
Being the first hand user, Park experience with Piper Cherokee 6 can provide useful tips for prospective buyers. He begins by suggesting that a prospective buyer should look for a plane that already has avionics and equipment they want onboard.
Check for the cracks around the rivet holes on the wing skin on top of the main landing gear. Check whether the Piper Cherokee 6 is eligible for club seating or not.
Park does not prefer fiberglass engine cowlings. A fitting on the exhaust pipe became loose and a hole punctured through the cowling due to vibration. Repairs with wrong type of resin are the reason for it.
The problem got fixed after spending 150 hours on labor. The annual inspection for the aircraft cost $3,500.
Park spends nearly $250 a month for hourly cost including hangar. Local government believes a 1966 airplane is good for nothing.
Park points out, that pilots will find Piper Cherokee 6 different from Cessna 172 that float on landing. For landing at low speed he got vortex generators installed.
His last advice to pilots, “better be real close to the ground, when you pull back the power”.
Big Plus: Carry good load
Big Minus: Manage the fuel system comprising four tanks
Alternatives: Piper Saratoga, Cessna 210