Skycatcher Takes A Summer Tour

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Nine lucky young flight instructors have scored a pretty great summer job, thanks to a tour Cessna is sponsoring to promote its Skycatcher light sport aircraft. The CFIs left Cessna's facility in Independence, Kan., on Saturday, flying Skycatchers with identical custom paint jobs. For five weeks, they'll take part in fly-ins, airshows and Cessna events around the country, giving rides and blogging as they go, and promoting the brand via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The strategy aims to "introduce [the airplane] to the flying public," said Tracy Leopold, Cessna business leader for the Skycatcher. "We have found that once people experience flight in a Skycatcher, their interest in the product increases."

This week, the interns were headed for New York, Indiana, Maryland, Louisiana, and New Mexico. They'll finish up their touring at EAA AirVenture, in Oshkosh, Wis., next month. Most of the interns are college seniors or recent graduates from aviation universities, although a few are slightly older and already working as flight instructors. The Skycatcher was introduced about five years ago, and sells for $149,000.