A Six For '06!
We'd like to be
optimists about this, but let's face it: odds are, you're not going
to win the stunning 2005 AOPA Commander 112A the organization is
set to give away later this year. (We ARE keeping fingers crossed,
however... if only because we want to see if the real thing can
duplicate the FS2004 version's impressively un-Commander-like
You can, however, set your sights (and dreams) on the
organization's latest sweepstakes plane: appropriately enough,
throughout 2006 AOPA will be restoring a 1967 Piper Cherokee Six
260, to give to one of its members early in 2007.
"The year-long restoration of each sweepstakes aircraft is an
important resource for aircraft owners," said AOPA President Phil
Boyer. "They get ideas for improving their own aircraft and learn
along with us as each project progresses."
The former N187KJ (below) was recently purchased from an owner
in McKinney, TX, and over the next twelve months will be
transformed into the better-than-new N164U. (Get it?)
"One of the reasons we chose the Cherokee Six is because of its
excellent utility," said AOPA Editor-at-Large Tom Horne. "And,
being a fixed-gear aircraft, pilots of all experience levels can
The six-seat Cherokee Six has 260 horsepower, a carbureted
engine, and a two-blade propeller.
After AOPA purchased the aircraft, Horne flew the plane to Mena,
Ark., home of Ultimate Engines, where it is undergoing an engine
overhaul that includes a set of cylinders donated by ECI of San
Later in the year, the aircraft will receive a new paint scheme,
designed by Scheme Designers and applied by Dial Eastern States
Aircraft Painting, Inc., have speed modifications installed at
LoPresti Speed Merchants, and then get an interior makeover and the
latest in avionics.
"It's exciting to be able to modernize an old classic," said
Horne. "This Cherokee Six will have a Sandel electronic horizontal
situation indicator, a Garmin GNS 530 GPS, and an Avidyne EX500
multifunction display with satellite weather and traffic systems
displayed on it, among many other panel upgrades."
The first public appearance of the Cherokee Six -- with fresh
paint -- will be at the AOPA tent at Sun 'n Fun, April 4-10, in
Lakeland, FL. As it flies around the country for restoration
throughout the year, the Cherokee will also be on display at other
aviation events, including AOPA's Fly-In and Open House in
Frederick, MD, EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, WI, and AOPA Expo in Palm
And hey... if you renew your AOPA membership in 2006, you have a
1 in more than 407,000 chance to win the plane. That's better than
a lottery ticket...