This Oshkosh winner is one of the all-time great flying SUVs!
Folks who live in Seattle, Wash., tell strangers about how bad the weather is; it’s a mantra for them. The message is almost subliminal—it’s a gloomy place, the sun never shines, it’s always raining… For some reason, they don’t want the rest of us up there. But the weather in Seattle actually is different from the message. In reality, the climate is mild, the landscape beautifully green, and for Randy Kersten, it’s one of best places on the planet to own an airplane. " />
By far, the quirk that requires the most attention is maintaining your speed on the approach. The fat Hershey-bar wing of the Six can generate prodigious sink rates quickly if you let the speed decay. For carrier pilots, this isn’t unusual; but for most of us, an arrival like that will result in more negative attention than you’d prefer. The respectable cruise speed of 140-plus knots, coupled with the optional 84-gallon fuel tanks, makes the Cherokee Six a capable cross-country performer.
Kersten is a partner in the Cherokee Six and has found it to be a great relationship. He comments, “Randy Churchill owned the airplane when I began looking. The Six was the only airplane that could haul his six kids around, and it fit our needs as well. About three years ago, I bought a half-share from him and it has been a great partnership ever since. We share everything and complement each other on most things. I wouldn’t do anything else differently.”
Kersten and Churchill had the airplane repainted in 2002 by Sun Quest at Paine Field, Wash. Kersten relates, “We used the standard 1967 factory scheme. I really like it, and folks recognize it. A friend and I flew it to Oshkosh in the summer of 2003. We stayed over the weekend and had a great time. We left early to beat the thunderstorms and went by Mount Rushmore and Devil’s Tower, sightseeing on the way home. It took us three days, and we had a wonderful time.”
When Kersten got home, the EAA notified him that his airplane had won the 2003 Contemporary Best Cherokee Six Award. A compliment like that was icing on the cake for a summer vacation flying through America’s Northwest in a 3⁄4-ton flying pickup truck.
SPECS: Piper Cherokee Six 300