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Cessna ends marketing for its Skycatcher

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at 11:31 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at 10:43 p.m.


In October, Cessna Aircraft CEO Scott Ernest told a crowded room of journalists in Las Vegas that its Skycatcher had “no future.”

Now Cessna has quietly ended sales and marketing of its lightest single-engine plane, the Model 162 Skycatcher.

Cessna officials have decided that the remaining 80 two-seat planes will not be sold but will be used for spares, according to a report by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

“As was discussed late 2013, the Skycatcher is no longer a part of Cessna’s current production and sales of the Skycatcher are now winding down,” a Cessna spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. “As is standard with our legacy products, Cessna will continue to support the Skycatcher fleet.”

Ernest’s remarks were made during the National Business Aviation Association’s convention.

A light sport aircraft, the Skycatcher has had its challenges since the program was announced in 2007 as a way to encourage more people to fly and to train pilots.

Two prototype airplanes crashed during flight testing and the plane underwent some design revisions to the tail.

The first delivery was made in December 2009 to Rose Pelton, wife of then-Cessna CEO Jack Pelton.

When the Skycatcher was announced at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., people reportedly lined up at Cessna’s booth to place orders.

The company secured hundreds of deposits for new planes. In 2010, Cessna said it had more than 1,000 orders for the plane.

The plane was built in Shenyang, China. It was then assembled in Wichita by Yingling Aviation and later at Cessna’s plant in Independence.

The Skycatcher also underwent significant price increases.

The first planes were sold for $109,500 but the price rose after that. By the start of 2012, Cessna indicated the price was increasing to $149,000.

About 200 Skycatchers have been delivered.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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