With more than 40,000 aircraft produced over a 50-year period, an enormous variety of PA-28s is available to choose
from. A quick review of listings at
GlobalPlaneSearch.com shows 884
aircraft for sale with prices starting at just around
$20,000 for basic, high-time Cherokee 140s, extending
well beyond $300,000 for new Archers and Arrows
complete with modern glass cockpits. With more than
200 PA-28s in the $20,000 to $40,000 price bracket, it’s
a popular choice for those who are on a limited budget
but love to fly.
Since the first aircraft was delivered in April 1961, more than 34,000 PA- 28 Cherokees
in its many versions have been produced. A further 7,000 examples of its larger brother,
the PA- 32, have been produced. Two models of the PA- 28 remain in production by Piper
Aircraft in Vero Beach (the PA-28-161 Warrior and the PA-28R-201 Arrow III), and Piper
Aircraft has announced plans to re-introduce the PA-28-181 Archer III in fall of 2010.
Conceived by some of the greatest minds in light aircraft design, the Cherokee has been
enjoyed by pilots around the world for the past half-century. It has provided the basis for
more than a dozen important single- and twin-engine aircraft that are used for every conceivable purpose, from training and air racing to recreational, agricultural, commercial, and
even military flying. Its reputation as one of the most important aircraft ever built already
achieved, the Cherokee is destined to be one of those classic designs that will be around in
another half-century. Happy 50th birthday, PA- 28!
Kent Misegades is president of EAA Chapter 1114 and a member of IAC 19 and VAA 3 chapters.
A common set of qualities apply to pretty much the
entire range of aircraft. Flight performance is solid, if
unspectacular; Cherokees are generally easy to fly and
land, make decent cross-country airplanes, proven in
the training environment, and are a good platform for
instrument flight. PA-28s are also economical to operate
and relatively cheap to insure. Piper parts are plentiful
and reasonably priced, and there are plenty of salvage
parts available. For fixer-uppers, there is a large aftermarket industry o;ering a variety of improvements for
everything from increased horsepower to wheel fairings
to hand controls for paraplegic pilots.
EVENTS IN ;;;;
June 16-19 / Sentimental Journey 2010 Fly-In / Lock Haven, PA /
June 24-26 / National Cherokee;Fly-In / Tan-Tar-A Resort, Osage Beach, MO /
July 7-11 / 50th Birthday Party at the Fourth Annual West Coast Cherokee Fly-In / held in conjunction with the Arlington
Fly-In / Arlington, Washington / Cherokee Fly-In: www.CPA- W.org / Arlington Fly-In: www.ArlingtonFlyIn.org
The PA- 28’s sturdy design has stood the test of time and
there are few major ADs that a;ect the aircraft. Cherokee
owners were shocked in May 1987 when the FAA issued
an Emergency AD 87-8-8 requiring the removal of the
wings of most PA-28s in service to inspect their spars,
after an aircraft used for pipeline patrol had su;ered a
wing failure in flight. Upon further review and with the
assistance of Piper, the authorities in November 1987
rescinded the AD for all Cherokees except those in high-time or hard-used aircraft.
July 23 / Cherokees to Oshkosh / mass arrival at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010 of 50 Cherokees at 1 PM /
www.AirVenture.org / sponsored by Piper Flyer Association: www.PiperFlyer.org
July 23-25 / Annual Piper Flyer Gathering / Waupaca, Wisconsin, airport / sponsored by Piper Flyer
A rare photo of N9315R, the first PA- 28 Cherokee,
which made its maiden flight in Vero Beach on
January 14, 1960, with Thomas F. He;ner, the
company’s chief test pilot, at the controls.
ESTIMATED NUMBER OF PA;;;s
Owned and Flown by EAA Members
Some common maintenance issues to look for in a
pre-purchase inspection include corrosion in the
wing structure, skin and spar, and complications from
leaking battery acid under the rear seat.
The oldest PA- 28 still flying is the second production airplane owned
and flown by Robert Howells of Delmarva, Maryland: N5001W