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Pilot Briefing: Budget Buy

Old reliable

The Piper PA–28-140 Cherokee Cruiser is part of a large family ranging from two-seaters to four, and 140 horsepower to 160.

Piper 140

May Briefing

The Piper PA–28-140 Cherokee Cruiser is part of a large family ranging from two-seaters to four, and 140 horsepower to 160. The 150-horsepower model was more common. They all have the reliable Lycoming O-320 engine.

The real world

Jill W. Tallman, a technical editor for AOPA Pilot and Flight Training magazines, happens to own a Cherokee 140. Hers came with an upgrade to a 160-horsepower engine. She flight plans for 110 knots and finds at the end of three hours she usually has more than an hour of fuel left. This airplane is easy to land flat—all three wheels at once—if you are not attentive.

She suggests in addition to the Piper Flyer Association (below), you look at for valuable information. The Piper Flyer Association suggested the per-hour operating cost, not including insurance and hangar, is $55.

Email [email protected]

Who to contact
Contact the Piper Flyer Association, P.O. Box 6203, Altadena, California 91003; 800-493-7450;; e-mail [email protected].

VREF value
Vref, the AOPA partner offering aircraft value estimates, suggests a base price for the Piper Cherokee PA–28-140 of $20,400 for the 1964 model to $28,000 for the 1977 model.

Recent advertised prices
Listed in Trade-A-Plane at the time this was written were 35 Piper 140s ranging from $15,000 for a 1965 model to $43,000 for a 1974 model. Six of those offered were priced at less than $20,000, while five were priced at more than $30,000.

Insurance costs
AOPA Insurance Services estimates an average-cost Cherokee 140 airframe flown by a low-time pilot to cost $800 to $850 per year to insure. 

How many in the fleet?
AIRPAC PlaneBase shows a registered fleet of 5,188 Piper PA–28 Cherokee 140 aircraft.

AOPA Finance estimates $200 to $270 per month on a 6.5-percent, 10-year loan with as low as 15 percent down. 

Airworthiness directives
Just a few ADs. One concerns the stabilator cable assembly that must be checked periodically and can be costly.

Biggest plus
Affordable flying.

Biggest minus
Not very fast.

Things to watch out for
Many 140s do not have an exterior power plug, making an assisted start difficult since the battery is hard to reach. Some do not have toe brakes. Some people don’t like hand brakes and have added toe brakes. Most have only lap belts, so you may prefer to buy shoulder belts. An upgrade to an alternator is a good idea.

What else to consider
Pilots considering the Piper 140 might also consider the Cherokee 150, 151, or 160.

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