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Brand new Skycatchers scrapped

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/Cessna-Scraps-Unsold-Skycatchers-228208-1.html

Ouch. Although the Cessna 162 wasn’t exactly inspiring (I did fly a couple of hours in one, it did actually do what it said on the tin reasonably competently – but they were overpriced for what they were), it is sad to see brand new airframes go that way. They didn’t even remove the engines.

Last Edited by alioth at 16 Dec 15:56
Andreas IOM

After a year’s storage there is a mandatory return to Lyco for an overhaul, which probably renders the O-200 (?) not worth processing. Regardless of that, these may be heavily corroded after several years.

Very sad but it does show that you cannot enter a market with a new product unless it offers some sort of decisive advantage. That’s a general “business” comment; a more specific one might be that there are plenty of the existing ones for flying school requirements.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The Sky Catcher engine is a Continental O-200-D. All those engines (regardless of manufacturer) could been inspected and used for decades. People in the US regularly dig aircraft engines out of ditches (almost!) and rework/reuse them in the field. Very few engines aren’t worth saving, there is no such thing as a ‘mandatory’ return to the manufacturer (except in the manufacturer’s imagination) and these were brand new. The only issue with them is that they were an LSA non-certified variant. If they’ve been scrapped its a ridiculous shame.

Scrapping the airframes is to me less of a shame, nobody wanted a Chinese built LSA certified aircraft from Cessna, and virtually nobody will ever want one.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 16 Dec 18:12

Peter wrote:

Regardless of that, these may be heavily corroded after several years.

Or may not be. The Skycatchers were stored somewhere a great deal dryer than north western Europe.

Andreas IOM

I agree, but the mandatory overhaul (not a mandatory return to the mfg, sorry) requirement is still very expensive. Also, they would have to weigh up the (presumably) heavily discounted price they paid for them (given the projected “telephone numbers” of sales) against the (presumably not so heavily discounted) overhaul cost… Socata got caught with this in the early 2000s and installed a load of corroded engines in TB GTs. They were “installed” just days before the 365 days elapsed

The other thing is liability. If they sold the engines, there would be some sort of liability unless they were overhauled and resold by a 3rd party.

Another possible factor is that if the engine was “less than certified” (and bought extra cheap) then to resell it into the certified market would mean an even bigger cost hill to climb.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

That’s why selling them to the “experimental” market would have been the obvious choice, when looking from the sidelines. I guess they made too much money and needed to take a loss somewhere ;)

tmo
EPKP - Kraków, Poland

Sure, though how many Exp aircraft use the O-200? Also there is still a liability. I don’t think being an Exp owner renders your estate incapable of litigation.

So I think there is some subtle reason why Cessna didn’t just dump these into the market, via an independent engine shop. If even a single washer inside that doesn’t have the full certified paper trail would greatly reduce the value of the engine. I don’t suppose they will tell Avweb what it was, however…

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

how many Exp aircraft use the O-200?

There’s a huge market that would have sucked them up instantly: lots of Cub type aircraft, Formula 1 racers (for which the O-200 is mandated), Wittman Tailwind, Varieze, Zenairs, Quickie Q200, little antiquey types like the Parakeet and Pietenpol.

The liability issue is understandable, but even if they couldn’t sell them direct to the user I’m surprised they couldn’t sell them back to Continental who would then ‘launder’ the liability issue. It’s easier to make like new than build all new.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 16 Dec 18:09

scrapping the engines, if that is what they really did, would be a horrible waste of brand new material. especcially as they claim to have taken off all the available spare parts, the engine would be the biggest one I suppose.

of course, we don´t know what happened after the pics were taken. Maybe it was indeed disassembled right in the bin or this particular one had a good reason that the engine was not taken off.

LSZH, Switzerland

So what exactly caused the demise?

At the time it seemed Cessna were on the ball with getting into that market so early.

Payload?
Price?
Maintenance?
Build quality?
Late deliveries?

Last Edited by Archie at 17 Dec 10:40
14 Posts
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