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Cessna Scraps Unsold Skywatchers (photos)

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Cessna has scrapped the remaining inventory of its 162-model Skycatcher airplanes, capping the end of the company’s light-sport program. The unsold Skycatchers 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 (AVweb). (www.avweb.com) Altro...

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fastroper
Cecil Clark 11
When you price a 2-seat, 100 HP trainer for the same cost as three luxury Mercedes Benz sedans, this is what happens. Flight schools were more apt to buy 1980 vintage model 172s for basic flight training.
MikeMohle
Mike Mohle 9
Hell they should have sold them for 10 grand apiece! Sort of reminds me of all of the P-51s that were scrapped after WW2.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 6
Except for one thing; that won't even pay for the product liability insurance.
rapidwolve
rapidwolve 2
Sell them as is where is and have it signed off..no registration and AWC until completely gone over.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Textron obviously feels differently from a legal and sales standpoint.
Decibel
Jim Nasby 1
The book about how Motorola was almost successful in throwing away the entire Iridium constilation is a good example of that.
jesiai
You nailed it. Thanks a lot Mr Wolk!
zennermd
zennermd 1
I completely agree, sell them stupid cheap, donate them who cares, I know why they scrapped them and wrote them off, but I know there are other options. You can make the buyer sign a contract relinquishing all support, liability, etc... breaks by heart to see an undeserving airplane die. I would have gladly taken it, along with any and all risks... such a shame.
honzanl
honza nl 1
better change this stupid laws.....
linbb
linbb 0
And even at that they still could be sued by another person down the road. There are cheep AC on the market, C150&152s, you should be able to afford one of those they are in your price range.
WarrnamboolCity
I think their biggest issue was a very poor payload. Full tanks and you could only carry an adult and a kid legally, if you were lucky.
N456TS
N456TS 2
Yes. Cessna has no idea how to make an LSA.
RDLoven
If there is no market, you get rid of it and cut your loses. As far as scrapping it as opposed to selling at discounted prices. With the latter is a loss of face/image. You are admitting it wasn't worth what you charged for it.
N456TS
N456TS 1
There was a big market. They REFUSED to sell these. People wanted them.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Let me add that Cessna doesn't even provide decent support for its certificated single engine aircraft. If it doesn't burn Kero it doesn't matter.
SpaceRanger
What a waste!
wingbolt
wingbolt 4
I flew the Starship for a couple of years. At one time I thought scrapping them was a waste. But other than ramp presence the aircraft was almost impossible to fly within the limitations and keep legal

Although the Starship had a MGTOW comparable to the King Air 350 the brakes on the Starship were 85K. Nobody could tow it, hardly anybody could maintain it and even if they could parts were an issue.

I hate to see aircraft go by the wayside but the most important issues ultimately becomes factory support or at a minimum aftermarket support. But for the time I did fly it, what a hoot!
lcire1
@wingbolt.
I owned a Starship until a few years ago. One of the last 5 flying. We had no issues maintaining it during that period and the present owner seems to feel the same. Biggest challenge now is the RC 850 avionics are set to lose support and replacement with new might exceed salvage value. Regardless it was the best plane I had ever flown in terms of capability and safety of flight. Lots of excess thrust and was virtually un-stallable. At flight idle with the yoke against the rear stop it simply refused to stall, decending around 700 fpm. And no issue with rolling it either direction in this attitude either. Great concept but it did have its design flaws that led to unnecessary weight gain during development.

I think the issue that killed the Skycatcher might be the same as that of the Starship. It isn't that the unsold hulls didn't have value; instead that the long term cost to Textron/Raythion to continue to maintain them in an airworthy state was projected to exceed the current market value to them. For every extra hull they sold, the long term costs were negative which leaves you with the best course of action being...just don't sell them.
wingbolt
wingbolt 1
I agree. A great airplane to fly, the weight was the killer. I had a great time with it and at the time the avionics were some of the best in the industry. I feel very fortunate to have been able to fly it...certainly one of the highlights of this silly business I managed to get myself into. I wish they would have taken it to the next level because the possibilities were endless.
wingbolt
wingbolt 1
I will say this though. I took some goose hunters way north in Quebec, or relatively speaking to me it way way north. The next town south was an 8 hour drive. I thought if I broke down there the airplane would probably spend eternity there. Good news is it performed flawlessly. Also the only English speaking person anywhere around also owned a birddog on floats, I traded him a Starship ride for a birddog ride....I think I got the better deal.
arubapr
Angel Ruiz 2
Many years ago, Beechcraft took back surplus T-34 Mentors that navy flight clubs would not use anymore, and all of them ended up under the bulldozers. That is a crime to such a beautiful aircraft. But that is the cost of capitalist economy.
ADXbear
ADXbear 3
This is what is happening to GA as a whole, its just to dam expensive, I am one of tens of thousands of licensed pilots that h=had to give it up to the other costs of living... if someone thinks $300,000 is good for C 172, then your not in touch with the real world... same foe these LSA's going for $100k plus.. wtf.. you greedy bastards.. you ran out spenders like me.
joelwiley
joel wiley 7
It is a case of the rising tide that lifts only the yachts.
ToddBaldwin3
I'm right there with you Bear.
linbb
linbb 1
There are plenty of used light AC for sale was just offered a decent straight tail C175 with a lyc 180 and CS prop down in another state a friend saw. That combo with C206 gear it makes a great all around rig at 25K.
Most of you think that the only thing out there is a glass cockpit and new. Look around before starting to whine.
onceastudentpilot
That's true but if you're talking about a 175 straight tail that's at least a 57 to 60 model aircraft...Aside from outdated avionics; the TBO and corrosion come to mind.
MikeMohle
Mike Mohle 4
Don't forget undisclosed damage not in the logs......
onceastudentpilot
Or lost logs
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
As one not far from the bottom of the aircraft food chain, I see your point. Many have no problem plunking out $50+k for an SUV and think it's fine.
onceastudentpilot
I won't pay that much for an suv and if I ever paid that much for a truck it better be earning it's keep...lol.There are plenty of good used aircraft but whenever I see a 206 listed at 25k I see a red flag...Chances are the plane is either going to be a headache that hasn't flown in while or has been flown to death and needs work...Since we came up with the magic number of 50k; why not buy a decent plane at 50k with a partner and split the cost.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Absolutely. That said, I know from experience that aircraft ownership is not always an option even at a reasonable cost.
godoe
erik godo 1
Why the heck are they throwing away the engines? There are plenty of good parts left on these.
linbb
linbb 1
The first C162 they produced didn't make it to production years back
bartmiller
bartmiller 1
Unfortunately, the 162 isn't a great plane. It just can't handle the same variety of flight maneuvers as 152. It's stall characteristics are rather hostile and I would never spin it. (I wouldn't regularly spin a 152, but they're pretty docile in the spin and recover easily.)

I would rather recondition a 152 than buy a 162 new. Plus a 152 is normal category, so can be flown IFR.

And $100K for a LSA isn't greedy. It realistically reflects the cost of design, extensive testing regulations, and the small marketplace (you can't make up the front-end costs in volume).

I love the amazing variety of LSA in the marketplace, but we might be better with a smaller number of companies and a larger volume for each one. That would bring prices down.
NF2G
Skywatcher, Skycatcher, at this point, what difference does it make? LOL.
paul8626
Paul Smith 2
They Should have been called SkyPinto or SkyVega. I worked on one for a few months, it was a poorly built aircraft!
imaraigump
Ralph Charette, your comment "its Jap steel anyways" makes no sense. It sounds like a troll.
paul8626
Paul Smith 2
I thought the flycatcher was aluminum.
ArthurNetteler
That makes SENSE!! Scrap them INSTEAD of LOWERING the Price to an AFFORDABLE LEVEL... I went to look at a 162 Skycatcher 2 years ago. HELL it cost MORE than my Cardinal R/G did at today's Dollar.
maxsmodels
max kohnke 0
The airplane was manufactured in China and only assembled in the United States. Combine that with its high cost and low demand and it was doomed to fail from the start. Light general aviation now faces competition from social media, cheap airline fares and the interstate highway system. Add to that the increased regulation and cost of learning to fly and operating a small plane and you can see why The light aircraft industry is on the wane.
N456TS
N456TS 2
Low demand my ass! There was a long waiting list for those aircraft. Cessna Canceled almost everyone's orders. Additional Regulation?? What?? They are LSAs. They are NOT Type Certificated. They are ASTM certified. And being LSAs, you have the option to get a sport certificate in 20 hours. Half of a PPL.
Egadnow
Egadnow 0
The LSA concept was for an affordable aircraft. Most of the production airplanes were anything but, and could not compete with old C150/152s, (not LSAs), Homebuilts, and boats.
The final nail in the coffin was building it in China!

[This poster has been suspended.]

ArthurNetteler
Just what "Steel" are you referring to? looks like we have a SMART ASS in our mix?

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