Years ago, I did a story on AmeriFlite, the California-based freight-hauling company that, for a couple of decades, plied the airways of the American West with a motley assemblage of utility aircraft including — for short hauls and smaller loads — the Piper Cherokee Six. The company knew its operating costs to the penny, and it knew that for hauling checks over short distances, the Six simply couldn’t be beat. Another part of AmeriFlite’s calculus was that the PA-32 was tough as nails and that what needed to be fixed from time to time was relatively cheap to service. The company went so far as to remanufacture dozens of Sixes over the years to better-than-new condition, ferreting out any corrosion, beefing up the wing structure, overhauling the gear and gear attach points, and buttoning it all up with a fresh coat of paint (for corrosion resistance and free advertising, not for any style points). The end result was an airplane that worked hard, carrying near its empty weight in cargo and making a lot of money for its operator in the process. AmeriFlite eventually retired its PA-32s in favor of larger airplanes, which I’m told had more to do with a changing business than with the capabilities of the Cherokees it operated. The downside of the Six is that it is a low wing, putting it at greater risk of hitting brush and other obstacles, and the nose gear of the Cherokee line is tough but not as ideal as a taildragger setup for the really rough stuff.