by Pete Schoeninger
Q: I have a Cherokee 180, and would like to move up to a 1970s Cherokee Six or Cessna 206. Which would you recommend? Rick in Iowa
A: Rick: They are both good airplanes, and most shops have experience with them. Given their age, a good inspection by a mechanic of your choice should be mandatory before purchase, and a good model of either is better than a rough model of the other. All else being equal, the “Six” has a more comfortable cabin. The 206 is a workhorse, offering big doors, and the option of big tires for off-airport use. All else equal a 206 will bring $10 grand or so more money.
There may be a better chance of finding a good Cherokee Six of that age than a 206, because 206s are more often used as pickup trucks, and Cherokee Sixes are a little more likely to be used for personal transportation.
If two planes were found which were similar in condition, hours, and avionics, I would lean in favor of the Cherokee Six for the following reasons:
1) The 260 hp and 300 hp Lycoming engines in the Cherokee Six have a longer TBO than the Continental IO-520 in 206s.
2) The Cherokee Six is quieter.
3) The last two seats in the 206 are not really full size adult seats. The rear two seats in the Six are very comfortable, and in my opinion, are the best passenger seats in the airplane. In either airplane, some seats may be removed.
4) The Cherokee Six has a nose baggage compartment, as well as an aft baggage compartment. If a person utilizes this feature, it’s hard to go aft CG, even with a couple of porkers in the back seats.
Having said all of that, if seaplane use is contemplated, the Cessna 206 is a winner hands down!
Q: The U.S. dollar seems to be losing value against some other world currencies. Does that affect the U.S. airplane market?
A: A little… because a foreign buyer can now get more airplane for their foreign funds than a few years ago. I just sold a Commander 114B to a party in Australia, for instance. So we see a few more foreign sales, but overall the airplane market continues soft, with some exceptions.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Email your questions to Pete.Harriet@Gmail.com.