Load Hauling


Hi All
I have commercial SEL, but I’m in a bit of a fix, so I’m turning to this group for advice, insight etc.

My father has been afflicted with a neuro muscular disease. He is confined to a power wheel chair or power scooter. His mind is fine, but he can’t walk or stand without assistance. The family recently took a trip from DEN to SEA on the airlines. Getting him through the airport security was enough to convince me I need to upgrade my aircraft capability so I don’t have to ever put up with that again.

In order to take him anywhere, requires at a minimum, the ability to transport him, mom, my wife, his powerchair/scooter (about 200lbs) and me. Plus anything we want to take along.

I had considered looking at a Cherokee six or Cessna 206, when I got the bright idea of looking at twins. I would have to get my MEL, but that wouldn’t be the end of the world.

I have hundreds of hours in 182s, and a few in a Cherokee six (aka “The Belchfire 300”). I figured the 206 would be the easiest to get checked out in, but lifting his equipment into the back could prove to be hernia inducing.

THEN I looked at an old aero commander. The lift height on that bird is minimal, it looks to have the room to haul all the gear I need. I realize that there must be a reason they no longer make them, so they must have their share of problems.

What kind of W&B issues do they have?
What about a Seneca or an early Baron?

Before anyone starts getting weird, things like TBMs Pilatuses, Caravans, King Airs, Challenger 600s, etc. are out of the question. I’m just looking to take a few trips with my dad.

Thanks for the input.


The cessna 206 is a workhorse. I have loaded a 55gal barrel of oil in the back and had full fuel, no issues.
the cargo door is huge and allows lots of space to load.
It flys like a cessna


Have you looked into renting power wheelchairs at your various destinations and saving both your back and some bucks?

Is your Dad a veteran?


Yes, Dad is a veteran, and the disease is service connected. He received regular treatment at the VA etc. etc. etc.

Thanks for the suggestion, but…

My issue is not the scooter/transportation device, but the treatment he receives from the friendly TSA agents. I’m still young and can get my gear into the plastic prison tubs, get undresses, raise my arms and get through security. For him, it is at least two orders of magnitude more difficult, and it takes two people to assist, one to send his gear through the machine and help him get undressed, and another on the other end of security to receive his stuff on the other end of the xray machine. When we left from SEA, it was 45 minutes from the time we got to the security checkpoint to the time we were able to start getting him put back together. I want to just avoid the security checkpoint altogether. THANK GOD FOR GA.


I agree the 206 with the cargo door is likely the best bet. With only 4 passengers you could easily get your friendly local A&P to remove the rear seats, do a new weight and balance and hook you up with some sort of lift for the chair. Strap it down and you’re off. The best news it flies like a 182, just nose heavy when you are alone. Look into cargo pods for it too. Without looking at the map DEN to SEA or APA to BFI is an easy one stop trip for a 206. The Rocky and Cascade Mountains are a good reason for a turbocharger.


A seneca won’t carry a load, the Aero Comander will eat your lunch on operating expenses and the door is narrow.

The 206 with a cargo pod will be your best bet. have some light ramps made that could store in the cargo pod. and fly, fly, fly.