This Oshkosh winner is one of the all-time great flying SUVs!
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