OSHKOSH, Wis., Jul 23, 2012 — Cessna announced they will be moving the 162 Skycatcher into a primary aircraft category, and out of the Light Sport Aircraft category. This move will aid in the certification process with countries worldwide.
"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. "The owner operator can continue to operate the aircraft with a sport pilot license. This makes the Skycatcher a more innovative aircraft for our customers." Cessna is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (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.
Cessna had refunded deposits on the Skycatcher to their European customers earlier this year in order to focus on finding a solution to the certification issue. "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.