Used Aircraft Guide

May 2008 Issue

Used Aircraft Guide: The Cessna 206

Much more than a fixed-gear Centurion, Cessnaís utility-minded Stationair is at home on a big-city FBOís ramp or splashing down in an Alaskan lake.

These days, a cursory glance around the mall parking lot reveals many customers prefer a vehicle pregnant with flexibility, the sport-utility vehicle (SUV). Extremely popular with growing families, soccer moms and businesspeople spending lots of time on the road, SUVs have all but eliminated the station wagon from the automobile marketplace simply by expanding a theme. That need for flexibility is also present when considering a personal airplane. Some airplanes are optimized for speed, with little flexibility in loading. Some arenít, their designers preferring to carry people and things reliably over long distances or into small areas. Compromises can be made, but the results sometimes please few customers. Perhaps the poster-child exception is an airplane like the Cessna 206 Stationair, which carries the station-wagon theme to one of several conclusions. Itís not fast, nor is it that slow, but it is stable, rugged, reliable, has six real seats and is remarkable for being able to carry a half-ton or so after the tanks are filled. You can put it on floats, turbocharge it, dump skydivers from it, and carry small packages or just your family. As one owner wrote us, "Cessna tried to market this airplane as an executive airplane. This is ridiculous. Everyone I know flies it as a utility airplane."

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