Skip to comments."No Future" For Cessna Skycatcher: CEO Scott Ernest
Posted on 10/22/2013 4:26:49 PM PDT by taildragger
Cessna CEO Scott Ernest told aviation media at NBAA 2013 in Las Vegas the company's made-in-China S-LSA Skycatcher has "no future" but he didn't have much to say about it other than that.
(Excerpt) Read more at avweb.com ...
Regarding the diesel TurboSkylane, Noah said the company was continuing with the program, but offered few more details other than that the project had Cessna's support. Asked specifically about the SkyCatcher, Noah said the company had sold about 20 of the aircraft and has an inventory of more that are available for sale. Ernest's comments after his presentation categorized the SkyCatcher program simply. "That program didn't have a business model that worked," he said. Business models that appear to be working for Cessna include those for the company's line of business jets. Still in development, the Cessna Latitude is on track for first flight early next year. The new Citation X could be certified as early as March of 2014, boasting a top speed of .935 Mach and regaining the title of fastest production business jet. And regarding the recently announced Scorpion Jet tandem seat military offering, Ernest said it will fly this year, "sooner to this date than the end of the year."
The SkyCatcher was made in China, and it's O-200 engine parent company was also bought by the Chinese. Both did not sit well with Gen-Av types...
? Did I do it wrong, please fix if you are a Mod...
Muuuch better, thank you.
Gun, women and planes right? Thanks again.
Aviation list ping.
Continental engines aren’t bad. I had one in a C-150.
No, I don’t disagree, but to be bought by the Chinese pi$$ed a lot of people off...
Well yeah, but we're going to see a lot more companies bought by the Chinese before O is out of office. The two things I want to be "Made in America" and NOT in China, my food and my aircraft engine. :-)
Please ping me to aviation and aerospace articles. Thank you.
” “That program didn’t have a business model that worked,” he said.”
No kidding! An “inexpensive” airplane became $150,000. I can buy all kinds of good airplanes with better characteristics for less money.
The idea was capitalize on the “Light Sport Aircraft” (LSA) market. That market wanted airplanes in the $25,000 to $65,000 price range at most.
An LSA is an airplane that weights no more than about half of what other airplanes weight, have weaker engines, and only require a Sport class license that allows a pilot to fly at his local airport during the daytime and only require about half the regular pilot training and use a driver’s license as the medical certificate instead of an FAA Medical Examiner performing a flight physical.
It was really about medically unqualified pilots, and people desiring to be pilots but medically unfit, that just wanted to get into the air. Some say it was about reducing costs for people only wanting to fly some. For some people that was true. The airplane market really does want to cut costs, but some used the opportunity to try to cheat the system.
Looks like a POS. Made in China General Aviation Aircraft for US consumption? I’ll pass.
Cirrus seems to be doing pretty well - also Chinese owned but manufactured in the US.
Amplify this comment, please. I believe I understand what you want to say, but do not want to assume anything.
"Cheat" in what way?
Reminds me of the Tata they make in India. And the “Smart Car.” All deathtraps waiting to happen.
“Continental engines arent bad. I had one in a C-150.”
I had one in my C-172, but I traded up to a Beech Bonanza.
That was in the good old days of my youth, back in Tennessee.
“Cheat” in what way?”
An FAA medical is very simple: No heart conditions, good eye sight, good hearing, and few other key ingredients that are not hard to achieve, like not be on certain medications. Under the Sport license using the driver’s license there are no changes to the requirements. Same list.
So, if the two licenses have the same medical requirements, then why does one have an FAA medical certificate required and the other does not?
Simple. People that cannot get an FAA medical and know they have a disqualifying medical condition fly under the Sport regulations illegally. I personally can name a number of them. One guy had cataracts so bad he could barely drive. We had to turn him in but he had been flying for several years before that. One guy had a heart attack. Didn’t tell the FAA then moved to Sport where he didn’t have to. Other guys don’t want to complete the requirements to get a pilot’s license because of the medical issue but then fly at night or more than 25 miles from their home airport without the instructor certifications.
It’s all about rigging the system to cheat the medical.
To be honest smart is a reasonably safe car.
I am sick of this crap. I am a private pilot and I would fly a 60 year old well maintained American plane in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t taxi that POS.
I’ve heard them claim that, but I don’t believe it. Even if it’s more crash-worthy somehow in laboratory tests, they are like motorcycles: Ya can’t see ‘em. Especially if it’s raining, when they have the poorest traction.
I was never a pilot, but my father was. Owned a Piper Cherokee 140. It was something like 20 years old when he was flying it, and it was in great condition. Planes had to pass annuals, 200 hour checks if you were leasing it out.
100 hour checks, not 200
Yes, thank you. That is correct. And, if you’re leasing it out, it doesn’t take long to tick off 100 hours. IIRC, he only leased it for a few turns and decided it was cheaper to leave the plane tied down when he wasn’t using it. “Checks” were not a trivial matter, things were routinely replaced.
It is not a motorcycle. I actually drove a smart in Europe. It makes perfect sense in overcrowded urban environment.
I defer to your superior European experience. I just know they look pretty damned dangerous on a US suburban freeway boxed in by a moving van, next to a gravel truck as I saw the other day.
I learned to fly in a Cessna 152. Rented Cessna 172s after I got my certificate. The in 96 I bought and built a 2 seat experimental seaplane kit. A crate of steel, aluminum, and fabric. I put 250 hours on it and sold it in 2001. I borrow and rent now.
Comes across as a bit of a jerk. Needs a Exec. VP with PR skills to hit the road and he needs to stay at his desk and have someone screen his calls. My sympathy to his direct reports.
“Ernest’s comments after his presentation categorized the SkyCatcher program simply. “That program didn’t have a business model that worked,” “
The original pan was to offer a GA LSA aircraft to the general public, as the new “150”, for less than $70K.
The mere fact that they had go to China, and still couldn’t keep the price under $125K says a lot about the current state of manufacturing in America.
All of those delays cost Cessna the market, as other LSA’s like the Slovenian-built Pipistrel Virus took away the market.
And the Smart Car....
Hey now... The wife has one of those Daimler-Benz Smart Cars, and LOVES it. It has better survivability than a Prius or a Focus, at half the cost, AND ownership costs.
I know the guy that originally had the import license for these. Was my old boss.
“It is not a motorcycle. I actually drove a smart in Europe.”
The wife drives to the inner-city daily, and was sold on these when she first saw one parked on the sidewalk, in Rome. (If you have never seen what driving in Rome is like, you won’t understand this.)
They aren’t hiding it. Capital is capital. Who cares where it comes from?
You know, I got carried away with the talk about the planes and cars, I neglected to mention that about this story. It struck me right off: That guy is a total pr**k.
And dogs and kittys
GA has become a wealthy man’s game.
Gone are the days when the average person is involved.
We’ve come a long way America...The wrong way.
I'm still partial to Lycoming, the 0-360 is my favorite and what I have now.
No market for a $130,000 2 seater that cruises at about 100 knots and can’t fly at night or IFR? Who could’ve ever guessed? /sarc
There could be a huge market for a new affordable GA airplane in the US, especially with the TSA. But Cirrus wanted to target the rich guys who used to buy Bos and Mooneys, and Cessna wanted to sell an LSA at a price that 95% of potential customers could never afford. And there’s still no one making an airplane that most of the market can afford.
I first saw a Smart-type car in Paris in 2004, parked on a side street near Gare du Norde. It had been backed up to the curb due to lack of space, and didn’t extend any farther into the street than the normal-sized (yet small) cars on either side.
Still got a parking ticket tho, lol
The whole point of using the Driver’s License criteria is the logic that says that if you are medically safe to drive a vehicle weighing 3,000 to 26,000 lbs and carrying up to 15 people while closing head on with other vehicles at a combined speed of 120 mph and passing within 6 feet of each other, then you are probably safe to pilot yourself and one other person in an aircraft weighing no more that 1320 lbs and traveling at 120 kts.
If you have a heart attack while driving a full sized van with 10 or more pax on a two lane road with other traffic then you are far more dangerous than having that same heart attack while tooling around the patch in a J-3.
You said that “we had to turn him in...”. Who is we? IOW, from what frame of reference are you addressing this issue? Medical examiner?, Flight instructor?
Since I’ve asked, just to be fair, I hold a Comm, SEL, Rotorcraft-Helicopter and Instrument-Airplane ticket. I also have a US Navy Fixed Wing & Helicopter Instrument Rating. I also had a triple bypass 10 years ago, after which my cardiologist cleared me to return to work, “chopping wood, digging ditches and everything”.
While this is obviously NOT the same as passing an FAA Second Class Medical it does indicate that I was capable of resuming normal life, including driving the above mentioned vehicles.
Yes, there are a few cheaters using the Sport Pilot designation. There are also cheaters flying Bonanzas, driving while drunk, half asleep or texting. However, one assumption of the Sport Pilot rating is that most pilots are neither suicidal nor homicidal. That “...either a 3rd class FAA medical certificate or a current and valid U.S. drivers license (serves) as evidence of medical eligibility (provided the individual’s most recent application for an FAA medical certificate was not denied, revoked, suspended or withdrawn).”
May I add any metals such as 4130 for a steel tube homebuilt fuselage or a roll cage for a race car.
You sound like someone using excuses to cheat as well. If you lost your FAA medical then cannot claim to be medically fit using a driver’s license.
“You said that we had to turn him in.... Who is we? IOW, from what frame of reference are you addressing this issue? Medical examiner?, Flight instructor?”
What does that matter? Are you simply trying to find who might report your abuses?
Yup, and bearings used in critical devices like medical appliances, nuclear power, and etc.
I have NOT lost my medical and would NEVER cheat.
I am simply trying to have a discussion about the rationale behind the Sport Pilot certificate. At the moment I feel like the guy who asked the fish, "How's the water", to which the fish replied, "What water?"
You seemed to be immersed in the ocean of "All Sport Pilots are cheaters".
I asked about your background in order to better understand your frame of reference. We appear to be looking at the Sport Pilot medical situation from completely different viewpoints.
I no longer fly, primarily due to financial considerations. If I were to fly using the Sport Pilot designation I would meet the letter and the spirit of the law. I am legal & safe to drive automobiles, including pulling a trailer up to 10,000lbs or a Combined Gross Weight of 26,000lbs. Ergo, I am Safe & Legal to fly as a Sport Pilot. Rod Machado, as always, gives a succinct summation:
"First, a sport pilot license doesn't require that you have an FAA issued third-class medical certificate. It only requires that you have a valid U.S.drivers license without having an official denial or revocation of an FAA medical certificate on file with the FAA. This means if you have a drivers license then the FAA considers you medically qualified to fly as a sport pilot in a sport airplane." Why Sport vs. Private Pilot?
I would never drive or fly when I am unsafe. Does my having had a heart bypass make me an unsafe driver? Not according to the several cardiologists by whom I have been treated.
You claim to be a pilot yet you equate driving with flying?
The entire idea of a Sport class is to get around the medical. Third class medicals are a cinch to get. Machado is a giving bad legal advice. He fails to mention that if you know of a reason that you might fail a third class medical you also have reason to know that you cannot fly otherwise.
The idea is that when a pilot knows they will no longer meet requirements they simply move to Sport and lie about their condition. Why is it lying? Because of this little regulation:
§ 61.53 Prohibition on operations during medical deficiency.
(a) Operations that require a medical certificate. Except as provided for in paragraph (b) of this section, a person who holds a current medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter shall not act as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person:
(1) Knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to meet the requirements for the medical certificate necessary for the pilot operation; or
(2) Is taking medication or receiving other treatment for a medical condition that results in the person being unable to meet the requirements for the medical certificate necessary for the pilot operation.
(b) Operations that do not require a medical certificate. For operations provided for in §61.23(b) of this part, a person shall not act as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner.
(c) Operations requiring a medical certificate or a U.S. driver’s license. For operations provided for in §61.23(c), a person must meet the provisions of
(1) Paragraph (a) of this section if that person holds a valid medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter and does not hold a current and valid U.S. driver’s license.
(2) Paragraph (b) of this section if that person holds a current and valid U.S. driver’s license.
That painjob doesn’t help at all.
Kind of an ugly airplane.
I’ll wait to see what Van’s comes out with for LSA (if they are still working on the project)