The first owner of a Cessna Skycatcher won’t have far to turn if she has a complaint. Cessna announced at AOPA Summit that Rose Pelton, wife of Cessna CEO Jack Pelton will get the first 162. “When I first saw the Skycatcher mockup at Oshkosh in 2007, I knew that was the aircraft I wanted to learn to fly in,” Pelton said. “I couldn’t be more excited to own the first Skycatcher.” Mrs. Pelton will get her Skycatcher later this year and although the aircraft is an LSA, she’ll be going after her private pilot certificate. The aircraft received ASTM certification earlier this year and production has begun at the contractor’s factory in China but the Skycatcher has had a more difficult development than many Cessna designs and two aircraft crashed during spin testing.
Despite the development bumps, Cessna has maintained a healthy order book on the design, which has a backlog of 1,000 orders. The company has also built a new ab initio training program around the Skycatcher, which melds the advances of the current crop of LSA offerings with a slightly heavier but more traditional Continental O-200 engine.