July 26, 2006
Admiring fans, including a former owner, check out the Six Another day, another round of colorful, enthusiastic visitors visiting AOPA's 2006 Sweepstakes airplane - a 1967 Piper Cherokee Six-260 that's in the middle of its full-blown restoration.
David Marotta, of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, and his friend Steve Beske of Haverhill, Massachusetts, were among the most recent groups of the curious. Marotta owns a Cessna 172 but has "lots of time" in a Cherokee Six and wants to lay his hands on the Win a Six in '06 airplane.
"I used to do sightseeing trips with the Six I flew," Marotta said. "We did a local flight, a flight around Boston, or a flight along the shore. And we'd fly with all the seats full! Back in the late 1970s, the policy was to charge three cents per pound for the flights! I've also flown jumpers in the Six. We'd take out all the backseats and remove the door for those jobs."
Marotta and Beske, like so many other visitors, suggested we simply hand over the keys to the Six in '06 right then and there, since they were going to win it anyway. It would save us the trouble of delivery.
Gary Gerardot, an Indiana state policeman from Muncie, Indiana, called the Sweeps Six "awesome." He's had a chance to see the airplane go through its panel transformation while it was at Muncie Aviation Company. Gerardot, like most who stop by, has flown Sixes in the past. He's flown them to and from Muncie Aviation for customers who had had maintenance performed there.
Stewart Cole, of Plano, Texas, was a very special visitor. That's because the airplane used to belong to him! We bought the Six in '06 from Cole back in October 2005, and now he came by to see for himself what the new incarnation looked like. "Just fantastic," he kept saying. "Especially the panel." Cole now owns a Vans RV-7 but flew up from Texas in a 1968 Cessna Cardinal. - Thomas A. Horne
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