The Turbo 206 is A great all-around, back country capable plane. I took FE Potts advice and found a good G model.http://www.fepco.com/BF.chapter10.html
Post '66 206's are all 3600# GW. This can be increased on '72-present models to 3800 with flint tip tanks. Carry the extra weight as cargo or fuel (29 gallons extra).
Major Chnages for the TU206
1966: gross increased from 3300 to 3600.
1968: larger horizontal stab.
1975: R lower cowl access panel. Seems like nothing, but when I told my mechanic I bought a T206 he was happy it had this access panel. Easier access to the turbo.
1977: HP increase. 285 to 310 (available of 5 minutes)
1978: Introduced 24 volt electrics. Last year of fuel bladders (76 useable fuel).
1979: Wet wing fuel tanks 88 gal useable.
1986: last year of G model and Continental 520. Cessna took a hiatus from the 206 for 12 years.
1998: restarted the 206 line. Lycoming 540 powered. Smooth, nice AC, but about 150# heavier than previous G model (still with 3600# GW). Heavy weight and seat design is a disadvantage to utility. No individual 3rd row seats and they are a pain to remove vs the older style rail system.
I've loaded up my '78 with 5 people and ski gear by removing one of the two third-row seats. In a new "improved" H model one of my friends would've been strapped to the lift strut with all his ski gear on....he was glad I have a G model.
1977 or '78 are my favorite years because:
1. Larger horizontal stab
2. 310 HP
3. Fuel is in a flexible fuel bladder inside the wing (more crashworthy in m opinion than wet wings).
4. Still fairly light. Weight varies significantly depending in equipment. My 206 has all the bells and whistles: GPS, RSTOL, O2, Traffic, bigger tires, mud flaps, AP, Storm Scope, tip tanks and I still have a 1500#useful load. I could likely loose another 100# if I stripped it down to bare VFR equipment.
I think any nice '68-'86 T206 would be a good plane for your friend. High useful load and good STOL.
Fint tip tanks and RSOL make the 206 even better. They are pricy so if he can find a good T206 already modified, he will likely save $$$ vs having the mods installed.