This 1986 Piper PA-28-236 Dakota Is a Supremely Practical ‘AircraftForSale’ Top Pick

Familiar Piper design adds extra power that boosts versatility.

1986 Piper PA-28-236 Dakota [Courtesy: AirMart Aircraft Exchange and Brokerage]

Each day, the team at Aircraft For Sale picks an airplane that catches our attention because it is unique, represents a good deal, or has other interesting qualities. You can read Aircraft For Sale: Today’s Top Pick at daily.

After receiving their private certificates, many pilots continue to fly the same aircraft type in which they received instruction and took their check rides. This makes sense because the aircraft are familiar and comfortable for new pilots trying to hone their skills and build hours of experience.

Eventually, though, they start looking for more power and performance for carrying larger loads of people and hardware at higher cruising speeds.

The Piper PA-28 for sale here is an ideal example of such “step-up” aircraft. The Dakota looks a lot like the basic Cherokee training models but has a 540-cubic inch Lycoming engine developing 235 hp. The resulting boost in lifting power makes the Dakota an ideal family travel and utility aircraft for many pilots. Indeed, the Dakota’s main rival is Cessna’s 182 Skylane, also known for its all-around prowess. 

This 1986 PA-28-236 has 2,435 hours on the airframe, 882 hours on its Lycoming O-540-J3A5D engine, and 882 hours on its three-blade Hartzell propeller.

The panel features a Garmin GTN 650 touchscreen GPS/Nav/Comm, GTX 345 transponder with ADS-B receiver, Garmin G5 electronic HSI, GMA 345 audio panel, Bendix-King KX 155 Nav/Comm, Bendix-King KAP 150 autopilot, Stormscope, AstroTech digital clock, JPI EDM830 engine monitor, and vertical card compass. Additional equipment includes factory air conditioning, a standby vacuum system, Aircraft Components Voice Alert Stall Warning, electric pitch trim, and four-place intercom.

Pilots looking for a familiar Piper PA-28 with more power than similar Cherokee models can generate should consider this Piper PA-28-236, which is available for $254,900 on AircraftForSale. 

If you're interested in financing, you can do so with FLYING Finance. Use their airplane loan calculator to calculate your estimated monthly payments. Or, to speak with an aviation finance specialist, visit

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