Cessna Scraps Unsold Skycatchers

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Cessna has scrapped the remaining inventory (photo gallery) of its 162-model Skycatcher airplanes, capping the end of the company’s light-sport program. AVweb has learned that the unsold Skycatchers, which the company confirmed in 2014 amounted to about 80 aircraft, were destroyed as shown in photos of an assembled but unfinished Cessna 162 being dropped into a recycling container as similar aircraft sit in storage. Cessna told AVweb on Thursday that it "utilized the remaining inventory for spare parts to ensure the current fleet of fielded aircraft can receive ongoing support. The company did dispose of what remained after salvaging usable parts." In response to questions about the decision, the company did not specify further.

The Skycatcher program launched in 2007 soon after the advent of the light sport pilot certificate, which allowed some pilots to enter or re-enter GA flying without medicals. LSAs, which are limited to 1320 pounds and other criteria, opened up what aircraft makers saw as a potential big market for new buyers. Major manufacturers such as Cessna and Piper developed light-sport designs, but sales never met expectations. Cessna delivered the first 162s in 2011 and had more than 1,000 orders at the time, but less than 200 were reported delivered. In 2013, Cessna CEO Scott Ernest said the Skycatcher had “no future.” Nearly two years ago, Cessna said it would halt sales of the two-seat LSA and use the remaining airplanes for spare parts.

Comments (9)

Gosh, I hope my lack of LSA enthusiam was not the reason why Cessna tanked the Skycatcher. Not a good market for a half-ass concept.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | December 15, 2016 6:14 PM    Report this comment

Re-start the 152 II line. Upgrade the engine to 150hp and put a glass panel in it. Increase max gross by a couple hundred pounds. Sales will skyrocket. Problem solved.

Posted by: Mike Crognale | December 15, 2016 7:49 PM    Report this comment

There is no better example of the challenges facing the American economy than the demise of the 162

Posted by: phil grainger | December 15, 2016 10:25 PM    Report this comment

Reminds me of the Ultralite craze, everyone was going to buy and fly an Ultralite, now even AOPA feels the LSA is the saviour of General Av

Posted by: John Danish | December 16, 2016 9:47 AM    Report this comment

It seems like there should have been something else they could have done with them -- give them to charities, offer them to flight schools for a song, throw them in as a premium if you buy at Citation before the end of the year, ANYthing else!

I'm guessing they made their lawyers nervous.

Posted by: Art Friedman | December 16, 2016 10:15 AM    Report this comment

Has any other manufacturer destroyed more of it's own aircraft than Textron? Think about all the unsold Beechcraft Starships that were crushed. (Yes, I acknowledge Textron didn't own Beech at the time but it's still sad to see so many perfectly good aircraft scrapped.)

Posted by: MARLIN GRAHAM | December 16, 2016 8:47 PM    Report this comment

The problem is not the aircraft companies, it's the ultra conservatism that has overtaken the country. Hopefully, Trump will kill off the last of the Reagan conservatives and get this country moving again!

So how does this relate to the demise of General Aviation? All you have to do is attend one Aero Friedrichshaffen and see that aviation is booming in Europe, and it's because they know that the cost of flying with 100LL is too high! Aircraft manufactures that do well there are only designing aircraft that can burn car gas. If we focus on the operating costs, then people will buy airplanes.

But if the conservatives do get purged from the FAA, then I expect light aircraft in this country to become home to several quad rotor designs and more autonomous GA aircraft, but this will take a new way of thinking in the FAA, and that change will have to come from the top!

I'm not trying to start a war with my comments, but only want to get people thinking about how we are starting to think like old people who want to go back to the 1940's! Listen to these young Air Force pilots that are being trained by the thousands to fly drones every day. They are the future of GA!

Posted by: Roy Martin | December 18, 2016 6:46 AM    Report this comment

What a waste, they didn't even take off the wheels and tires. Hope they removed the engines.

Posted by: John Leeds | December 23, 2016 11:12 AM    Report this comment

Why didn't they make them into homes for homeless veterans who are also pilots! More then the VA would do for us!

Posted by: Ralph Charette | December 23, 2016 9:50 PM    Report this comment

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