Cessna reports it sold three Skycatchers at AirVenture 2012 in Oshkosh. Executives with Pilot Academy of Sandefjord, Norway, noted that the effort to facilitate EASA certification by moving the Skycatcher into the primary category with the FAA played a large role in the decision.
“We already have Cessna aircraft at our flight school in Norway, and we are happy to add three brand new Skycatchers to our fleet,” said Pilot Academy CEO Frode Granlund. “We feel this is the natural next step in attracting greater interest in our flight school and provides a fantastic aircraft for introducing new students to aviation.”
Cessna’s announcement at AirVenture that it would seek primary category status for the Skycatcher in Europe cemented Granlund’s decision that the aircraft was the right one for Pilot Academy, he said. He also spent time touring the aircraft and discussing its capabilities with Zoe Cunningham, one of the Skycatcher pilots from Cessna’s Discover Flying Challenge.
“After spending some time discussing the 162 with Zoe, I thought ‘Why buy one? I need three.’ This is a fantastic aircraft with technology you don’t see in many trainers. It is a perfect fit for student pilots, and it is roomy. I’m 6 feet tall, and I fit in there with plenty of room. Two adults fit great in the cockpit.”
Granlund also cited the great visibility and the Garmin 300 avionics as persuasive selling points for the aircraft. “It’s the perfect starter aircraft that will lead students into the rest of our Cessna aircraft.”
Tracy Leopold, business leader for the Cessna 162, said she was happy with the effect the category change has already had on Skycatcher demand. “We’ve placed an emphasis on bringing innovation to the market, and you can see with this new certification path and today’s order from Europe, we are confident that the Skycatcher will be a highly desirable asset for flight training in Europe.”