View Full Version : Cessna 206/207 - what's the difference??

29th Oct 2007, 07:07
Heading out to Bots come 2008 and thinking of doing a 206 or 207 rating as I've heard that's what they predominantly use over there.

Had a few varied and vague responses as to what the difference is between the two aircraft, and some confusion as to whether if you're type-rated in one you're automatically type-rated in the other (ie, like the C150/152).

Any tecchies out there be able to clear this up for me? Is it just a matter of an extra few cms on the fuselage and some shiny switches or is it a bit more complex than that?

Thanks in advance.

Piltdown Man
29th Oct 2007, 09:24
Two extra kiddy seats in the back.


29th Oct 2007, 10:15
Only in the UK would a Stationair require a type rating!

29th Oct 2007, 10:16
Stretched one row in the middle moving rear "kiddie" seats back one row and stretched the almost the equivalent of one row in front of the firewall making room for a nose locker "a la" PA32. It makes a 206 look quite small. More than just a few cm difference.

The C207 is a very good aircraft for tourist work.

The streched nose makes it interesting when making a fully loaded flapless landing. About as much view as in a C 185.

Not sure if I would consider it the same type rating as a C206. If it were me I would be checking out anyone who didn't have 207 time. Can be quite a different beast to fly to the 206, bit like C 185 to C 180.

29th Oct 2007, 13:38
The 207 has two front pax doors; The 206 just one.

Also on the 206 is a switch on the rear door that will prevent the electric flaps from lowering when the door is open.

And the landing gear struts are different: The 207 is the typical oleo/bungee type (I think), but the 206 is more like a "spring" set up.

Someone better double check that last paragraph; the gear is definitely different but I'm having a hard time recalling the specifics.


29th Oct 2007, 22:22

Yep, the two doors at the front are a real advantage when it comes to loading and unloading Pax. Most of my time was in 207's so forgot that the 206 had only one front door. Also forgot about the 206 quirk re rear doors not latched correctly and the flap inhibitor switch, think some 206's have light on panel to show door not latched correctly.

Re the undercarriage. Early 206's had spring steel leaf, later ones had spring steel tube with a fairing, which is the same as the 207 though the 207 had a wider track from memory.

Feather #3
29th Oct 2007, 23:15
Handling and performance wise, the C207 is a dog. If you try to do in a C207 what you can easily do in the C206, be careful! It will kill you.

G'day ;)

30th Oct 2007, 01:42
Thanks for all your responses - really helpful.

At the moment I've actually got no experience in either the C206 or C207. From what I'm hearing, the 206 is the main tourist carrier out in Botswana as opposed to the 207. Unfortunately I only have access to a 207 here in NZ (without having to trek all the way up to Taupo and do it).

So I guess the question remains really of whether or not doing the type rating in a 207 will be close enough operationally to be able to handle the 206 without too much effort or conversion required (even if it means that the ratings aren't interchangeable).

30th Oct 2007, 02:35
It has been a long time.....so memory a little scratchy.
Points different for the 207:
Several different 207 models do exist. The mains ones I saw were the 7 seater and the 8 seater (stationair 8 I think) with the IO520. May also find the turbo model with the TSIO520 up front as well. Also used to fly a Bonair conversion with the IO550 and Black Mac - that worked well. The turbo I used to fly was no better than the others.
All fly similar - not very well. Precisely - climb gradient and rate can be very poor compared to the C206 when loaded fully. Stories of 10nm to 1500' are not uncommon in higher ambient temperatures. Hence the friendly name of Sky Coffin.
If not carefully loaded, pitch force gradients are low, but still just statically and dynamiclly stable. But can lead to PIO if not carefull. If it tips on its tail during loading - dead give away for out of CG. I do remember carrying a plastic 20 litre jerry full off water in the forward locker (yep - has a locker just between the engine and cockpit accessed from right side exterior) to bring CG forward when carrying pax.
Rear seat/seats are for the smallest person or children only.
Fully loaded with pax - the endurance was not overly long.
Stuff ups:
One guy forgot to lock rear door properly - opened in flight and buckled several rear frames.
One other person had pilot induced occilations during landing - took nosewheel off.
Front lockers with worn latches like to open - need to be locked properly.
Flapless landings - excessive holdoff can result in tail contact.
Bladder tanks - always know how much fuel you really have - guages very unreliable.
Cowling was easy to remove for first flight of day - I did this every day. Picked up many proplems from other poor maintenance and engine handling - cracked cylinders, failed cowl flaps, cracked and failed exhausts, cracked induction system on a T207. Might be a good preventative measure as the glide performance is extremely poor.
Someguys would load very casually and to turn during taxing, would need to apply power against the brakes with full nose down elevator to stop the nosewheel tapping/lifting off the ground. Resultant brake wear and propeller damage is enevitable.
With regards to similarities, can not hurt to have a drive of the C207 as the systems are similar, engines are similar, procedures are similar, loading is more critical, and flying qualities can be similar (if not fully loaded), and performance is poorer. Switches and dials are all in the similar spots.
Always looks good if you turn up for a job and have an idea of where things are and what to do. If you are thinking of going all the way to the other side of the world to drive, it might be a worthwhile investment (and small percentage of the travel costs) to familiarise yourself prior.
Good luck.

30th Oct 2007, 07:51
A rating is required for the bowling ally/crowd killer? Seriously? Wow. Are you sure it's not simply a company 'check-out'? Anyhow, other than some size, door configuration, they are basically the same. That being said, the 206 is a much more capable and forgiving a/c than the 207. I have been told that you can actually load the 207 so that the tail sits on the ground and you are still within c of g. Not something that we ever did as you will end up with a negatively stable aircraft. Heavy stuff in the front, light stuff in the rear. The 206 that we flew had a stol kit (Robertson i think) of sorts on it, and would get airborne before the asi moved. Great a/c. Two 207's; one turbo, one not. Both good, but the non turbo nobody seemed to like to land... too much spring or something in the gear. (sorry for the non-tech term, i'm no AME.)

Anyhow, back to the original request... I guess it all depends where you will be flying it. (Bots?). Back home (canada) I do seem to recall that we did a company check out in one each year and it would be valid for the other one.

And the flapless landing thing.. probably not a great idea on a loaded 207 unless you have a flap failure; almost sure to make the 207 a tail dragger, but without the req'd tail wheel!!

Have fun, and don't forget to double check the formerly mentioned doors on the 206 and 207. The nose door on the 207 does have a tendancy to open up at around 60kts if it is not closed and locked correctly. I never had a problem with the rear doors; If memory serves correctly they overlap so that the slipstream will keep them closed. None the less, good to double check them before you go.

30th Oct 2007, 10:09
Am beginning to see why people favour the 206 now - not sure I particuarly like the idea of reguarly carting round would-be sightseers in something with a nickname that contains the word "coffin" in it (an3_bolt...nice!).

That said....It sounds as though from what everyone is saying a few hours battling the bizarre little idiosyncracies of a 207 would probably put me in good stead for the more stable 206. And probably drill home the importance of doing a proper W&B calculation as well as a preflight emphasising DOORS!!

Being fairly new at this game (commercial licence holder, 270hrs TT) I'm not 100% savvy with all the requirements of actually having a rating in other parts of the world, but here in NZ I understand it to be just train to requirement and a have it signed off in your logbook. Got the C172 in an hour and a half and the twin Piper Seminole in a little over 7 hours so hopefully should be somewhere in between! Sure having it in the logbook will pay dividends down the line anyway....can't hurt.

Thanks all for your continued responses. If nothing more I'll get out to Botswana sounding a least a little more clued up!

30th Oct 2007, 10:20
Used to fly G-PARA, a 207 in the UK for skydiving - did lots of flying for 'werski in it :ok:

Used to climb slow when full, was rather noisy until we started reducing the prop for takeoff which made a lot of difference and very little performance change.

Try flying it with 3 parachutists in the door and 3 outside the door at 10,000'..................... Oh heady days indeed, still miss them though :E

30th Oct 2007, 10:26
There is only one 207 operated in Bots by 'Safari Air'. There are about 25 C206's bombing around. 7 C208 Grand Caravans, 4 Islanders, 5 C210's and a couple of Airvans which I'm sure youve seen in and around NZ. Everybody starts on the 206 with the hope of the caravan after a year for turbine time or the islanders for multi time. So forget the 207 and go for the 206 but first call a couple of the companies because they never required typeratings before. Don't waste your money if you don't have to. For the sake of learning where all the airfields, rivers, lagoons and reporting points are, You will have to spend 50 hours flying around the okavango with an experienced pilot sitting next to you anyway. So you get plenty experience in the 206 before you go alone.

Never met anyone who liked flying the 207. They give you the same motor but more space to carry more weight! Also a laminar flow wing on the 207 so not so easy to haul into the air as the trees approach. The 206 is an awesome machine in the bush, C210 much sweeter to fly but can get a little scarier in the height of summer. Caravans great if a little underpowered, Airvans cheaply built, time will tell if they can compare to the 206. Will there be airvans still flying in the bush in 20 years?

I realise some of this post belongs in wannabes, sorry. :O

30th Oct 2007, 11:21
Not at all Grum - in fact that's exactly the kind of other info I was after too (probably just saved me a post in another area!).

Will PM you too if you don't mind - would be good to pick the brains of someone with not only 207/206 knowledge but a bit of first-hand in the Okavango.


Orange Budgie
30th Oct 2007, 11:50

You'll love the Delta. I was there a few years ago flying for Moremi Air.. As previously mentioned, the 207 is only operated by Safari Air, and they don't tend to hire new comers but rather take guys who have been flying out there for a year or two...

If you can get a 206 tick it will help, but it's not essential. It's more about whether your face fits... Recruiting starts earlier every year, so my advice is get out asap and start getting to know the operators and the the pilots. It's a mad place and the flying is out of this world.. Sadly the draw of the big jets, a career and more money will take you away - but the memories will be the best you'll ever have... Enjoy it!

30th Oct 2007, 12:53
here's a link for nice concise technical differences.


Tiger 77
30th Oct 2007, 13:39
Has anyone flown both the C207 and C209? I'm just wondering how they compare. I've got quite a few hrs in the 209 and would imagine a 207 would handle in a similar way.


30th Oct 2007, 18:43
It sounds as though from what everyone is saying a few hours battling the bizarre little idiosyncracies of a 207 would probably put me in good stead for the more stable 206. And probably drill home the importance of doing a proper W&B calculation as well as a preflight emphasising DOORS!!

This is what I was taught when I checked out in the 207 (Alaska bush): When you're loading your passengers always do it the same way. Start at the rear door, checking the bags in the back and seat belts in the rear. Secure rear doors. Move to right hand pax door and check belts, secure door. Move to nose baggage (locker) and check it's secure. Move to nose and remove engine cover and check area in front is clear of obstacles. Get in seat and go fly.

In the 207 it's very important to check the area immediately in front of the nose because when the thing is loaded, as has been mentioned above, forward visibility is *horrible*.

But regardless, it's very important to do the same thing every time you load up. Flying professionally is all about instilling strong habit patterns.

Re the undercarriage. Early 206's had spring steel leaf, later ones had spring steel tube with a fairing, which is the same as the 207 though the 207 had a wider track from memory.

Thanks for the clarification!


1st Nov 2007, 09:41
Aw come now Tiger 77, Aprils Fools Day has long gone.

Savage UK.

zerozero has very good points. Just to reinforce some of what he mentioned. Always, always, always, make sure you shut the rear doors, checking the seat belts and any baggage in the back is secure. Don't allow someone else to do it for you. Always follow the same routine as you move around the aircraft prior to getting aboard your self.

1st Nov 2007, 12:59

This question might actually be slightly off-topic now, but as I seem to have stumbled across a well of knowledge here I'll ask it anyway (and at the risk of revealing just how green I am in this aviation game...)

206s. As well as being the 'bread and butter' of the Delta (as I've heard it been put), anybody know if they're still the common choice for dropping meatbombs....sorry, parachutists out of, specifically in the UK?

Kinda option 2 if the whole Botswana thing doesn't work out in the near future.

19th Apr 2012, 17:12
next weekend im going to start flying Cessna 207 with skyjumpers, Could anyone write some tips and trick for that airplane?!
I have experience on C208 Caravan.


24th Apr 2012, 16:32
Could anyone tell me practical thing about checking fuel in C207?
Im sure that fuel gauges are fakes so how about fuel stick?
Ive got one but for C150/152....
its so important for me because im gonna to fly with parajumpers

Dream Land
25th Apr 2012, 15:21
1. Savage, not sure what you're used to flying, but the 206 and 207's are pretty similar, and probably both harder to fly than what you're flying now, it's a bit of a truck.

Both require loads of AFT trim before you reduce power for landing due to the heavy front end, the normally aspirated 207 is a real dog at higher elevations, anyone experienced in one can fly the other.

2. Kubaat, I have no 208 time, I doubt if the two are remotely similar, I hope your fuel stick is nice and accurate, because when you fly those para jumper types, you won't be carrying much fuel, why, because it's a dog!

The tricks about jumping will hopefully be given to you by an experienced jump pilot, there's a little more to than you think, take good care of the engine in the descents is one of the key points, have fun.

Cheers, DL

25th Apr 2012, 18:44
You have all missed it.

The difference between the 206 and 207 is 1.


25th Apr 2012, 19:00
-1 if going from a 207 to 206.

26th Apr 2012, 18:48
next weekend im going to start flying Cessna 207 with skyjumpers,
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER fly without wearing an escape umbrella. If a jumper has an unintentional deployment over the tail, you NEED to be at least 4,500' AGL to get out and pull. Even then expect about 4 or 5 seconds under canopy and keep your feet together or you may break a leg.

Enjoy, it's great fun!! :ok:(Seriously)