PiperSport no more

Piper Aircraft Inc. is terminating its business relationship with Czech Republic-based Czech Sport Aircraft to market that company’s Light Sport Aircraft under the PiperSport name, citing differences in business philosophies.

“After a year working with Czech Sport Aircraft, Piper determined that it is in our company’s best long-term interests to discontinue the business relationship which distributed a Light Sport Aircraft manufactured by the Czech company and distributed under Piper’s brand by a separate distributor network,” said Piper CEO Geoffrey Berger. “Clearly, the company has a different business perspective and approach to the market than Czech Sport Aircraft,” he added.

Piper had created a stand-alone distributor network specifically to market the aircraft manufactured and supported by Czech Sport Aircraft and branded as the PiperSport. As the company built that distributor network, it became clear that Piper’s core strengths and that of Czech Sport Aircraft were mismatched, company officials said.

“We at Piper have a close affinity with this emerging segment of the marketplace and we have great expectations for the LSA industry. The LSA we were distributing is a good one and we encourage aviation enthusiasts to continue their support of this segment of the market,” Berger added.

“We certainly understand the implications of this development in the Light Sport Aircraft segment and do not take this action carelessly,” he said, adding “Piper’s core philosophy is to execute leading aircraft programs where the company offers the most value to customers. An example of this is Piper’s sustaining commitment to the PiperJet Altaire business jet program and the improvements the company is making to the global dealer and support infrastructure.”

Look for more on this story in upcoming posts.

For more information: Piper.com

Comments

  1. “We certainly understand the implications of this development in the Light Sport Aircraft segment and do not take this action carelessly,” he said.

    However it appears that the original business marriage decision may have been done carelessly if Piper is deciding that they aren’t such good business partners in such a short time, and now want a divorce, maybe they didn’t do their homework to well to begin with.

    Frankly I’m glad. It’s a great little plane, that Czech Aircraft Works originally said they were going to offer in kit form too when they first debuted the Sport Cruizer at AirVenture’s LSA mart a number of years ago, but then they didn’t go ahead with the planned kit. I hope this development gives them a chance to reconsider that decision too, and offer it as a kit now. I think a priced right kit would be a big seller, and give the RV-12, and others huge competition.

  2. Wow — what a load of mealy-mouthed corporate doublespeak…

    So what actually happened here ?? It looks like one of the best LSA’s on the market. I would guess either the Czech company was unable to fill orders to Piper’s satisfaction or perhaps Piper has their own LSA in the works ??

  3. Max Lightsey says:

    It appears to me that Piper has made a rather expensive, regrettable miscalculation by teaming with CZAW, the Czech aircraft company producing the SportCruiser LSA) and marketing it as the “Piper Sport” for only a few months before pulling the plug. I believe a local FBO in Central Florida purchased the first aircraft and has been using it for flight training quite successfuly. Makes me wonder where this leaves them and earlier buyers of the aircraft. Obviously, I don’t know the background for this costly decision; but I think it’s unfortunate for the growing LSA market and general aviation overall. I just hope CZAW is successful and agressive in selling this outstanding LSA in our country.

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