Cessna Responds To "Made In China" SkyCatcher Blowback

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Cessna is defending its decision to have its 162 SkyCatcher LSA produced in China after fielding a volume of feedback that has "taken us to task," according to Cessna's interactive SkyCatcher Web site. According to Cessna, much of the feedback was "emotionally charged," and some of it was decidedly negative. "I won't go within 10 feet of one," wrote one commenter upon hearing the news. But Cessna says it will conduct "the complete design for the SkyCatcher and will be responsible for all ASTM compliance." As for build quality, Cessna adds that it has "complete confidence" that Shenyang Aircraft Company will maintain Cessna's own standards of quality and reliability and is willing to stake the aircraft "and our reputation" on it. Cessna employees will be on-site at the production facility in China to oversee manufacturing, quality assurance and technical design. But there are other issues. As for concerns over jobs lost, "we will be adding 1,500 new jobs at our U.S.-based facilities in 2008. This represents a 10% increase in our global workforce." Of course, ultimately, the SkyCatcher aims to provide an affordable flight training platform that Cessna hopes will result in a significant increase in new pilot starts while enabling some of those who may have been priced out of the market to fly new Cessna aircraft. Click here for Cessna's complete comments and your ability to respond to them, online.