Skycatcher moving from LSA category

OSHKOSH — Cessna will move the 162 Skycatcher from the Light Sport Aircraft category to Part 21 to aid in certification in countries around the world that do not recognize the LSA category. In the U.S., sport pilots will still be able to fly as an LSA, according to Cessna officials.

“The Skycatcher will be transitioned into the primary category, and will continue to meet the definition of a light-sport aircraft,” said Tracy Leopold, business leader for the Cessna 162, said on opening day of AirVenture. “The owner operator can continue to operate the aircraft with a sport pilot license. ”

The move comes after Cessna was forced to refund deposits on the Skycatcher to its European customers because of the certification issues. Cessna is working with the FAA on a Skycatcher primary category designation, which includes Type Certificate and Production Certificate. The joint Cessna/FAA team included requirements from EASA CS-LSA into the program which will allow the Skycatcher to be accepted into Europe through a simpler validation effort, following FAA approval, she noted.

“We’re migrating to the primary category in the United States in order to be able to export the 162 into Europe,” said Leopold. “The pilot can still operate the aircraft as an LSA, which makes this solution even more attractive to the Skycatcher customer. It’s a unique, innovative product and we’re happy to have found a solution that keeps it available to our European customers, and will make the aircraft more available to customers in many more parts of the world.”

Leopold expects to begin deliveries of the Skycatcher into Europe in 2013.

For more information: Cessna.com

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