Skycatcher's End

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

Moderator: drseti

VL Roberts
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:41 pm
Location: Leesburg Executive Airport

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby VL Roberts » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:14 pm

I don't know how many people are like me, but I wouldn't own an airplane that couldn't hold a set of golf clubs and a decent size travel bag. The Skycatcher is able to meet that requirement. It is actually easier to load and unload a set of clubs in a C162 than a C172.

User avatar
dstclair
Posts: 948
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:23 am
Location: Allen, TX

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby dstclair » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:28 pm

I fit a full set in my Sting S3 using my travel bag: http://ctflier.com/index.php?/gallery/image/299-golf-clubs-in-a-sting-s3/
dave

FlyingForFun
Posts: 509
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:41 pm

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby FlyingForFun » Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:58 pm

Delete
Last edited by FlyingForFun on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
drseti
Posts: 5220
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:42 pm
Location: Lock Haven PA
Contact:

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby drseti » Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:15 pm

VL Roberts wrote: I wouldn't own an airplane that couldn't hold a set of golf clubs


In my case, it's a guitar. A tight fit getting my Ovation into the SportStar, but I can do it!
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
http://facebook.com/SportFlying

Jack Tyler
Posts: 1380
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:49 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby Jack Tyler » Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:58 am

There's been much discussion and crystal-balling here on the likely impact of the Skycatcher's production run ending. So I thought it might be of interest to summarize the observations made by Aviation Consumer on this topic. Some of this are my words - some are their's; do note the quotes - but I'm trying to be faithful to the content. FYI the article is in the Jan 2014 issue. (What?! 2014?! Where'd that last year go!?)

Cessna CEO Ernest's abrupt outburst at the NBAA show was an excellent example of how to torpedo both Pilot Center owners and the pipeline of new Skycatchers yet to be sold. Sour tastes all around.

There "are believed to be between 70 and 80" unassembled Skycatchers in inventory, and Cessna has not said that production has been 'halted', just that the model has no future. (Quibbling?) As for price, "The immediate effect may be a softening of Skycatcher used prices, which may have been inflated to begin with. In the longer term...Cessna's impact on the LSA market was probably overstated, its exit from the business may have minimal impact...."

As for the new Skycatchers that are awaiting sale or are parts in bins at the Independence, Kansas plant, "'At $149,500 [the price] is a problem' says Tom Wood of Tom Wood Aviation in Indianapolis who's both a dealer and a CPC." Also: "None of the more than a dozen sources we spoke to thought the Skycatcher price was sustainable."

Bottom line insofar as new and used Skycatchers: "We suspect it's a buyer's market and likely to remain that way."

What about the broader LSA market as a whole? "The LSA market continues to be broad, fragmented, competitive and with many more choices in aircraft than it seems able to support.... When Cessna entered light sport, the market was dominated by small manufacturers, mostly of European origin, and as Cessna withdraws, that hasn't changed. What is obvious is that three major airframe makers - Cessna, Cirrus and Piper - have ventured into light sport in varying degrees only to pull out, suggesting that the low-volume, low-margin business model just doesn't work for big companies." (NB: The typical profit on a Skycatcher sale made by a CPC or dealer was reported by AC to be $5K. And it is reported to be one of the hardest, most time-demanding a/c sales to make).

Concluding observations about buying/owning a Skycatcher: "This uncertain chain of events may represent an opportunity of sorts for buyers with stout hearts and healthy wallets who don't particularly worry about whether the company will stand behind the Skycatcher model. Cessna says it will and everyone we talked to said they take the company at its word.... Given the premium price, we can't really recommend the purchase of a new Skycatcher by an individual owner. We think there are better airframes for less money. But if used prices tumble, there could be a good buy or two out there and we see the risk of Cessna truly orphaning the Skycatcher as no more or less than with any other LSA company."
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

Nomore767
Posts: 853
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:30 pm

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby Nomore767 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:07 pm

Jack Tyler wrote:There's been much discussion and crystal-balling here on the likely impact of the Skycatcher's production run ending. So I thought it might be of interest to summarize the observations made by Aviation Consumer on this topic. Some of this are my words - some are their's; do note the quotes - but I'm trying to be faithful to the content. FYI the article is in the Jan 2014 issue. (What?! 2014?! Where'd that last year go!?)

Cessna CEO Ernest's abrupt outburst at the NBAA show was an excellent example of how to torpedo both Pilot Center owners and the pipeline of new Skycatchers yet to be sold. Sour tastes all around.

There "are believed to be between 70 and 80" unassembled Skycatchers in inventory, and Cessna has not said that production has been 'halted', just that the model has no future. (Quibbling?) As for price, "The immediate effect may be a softening of Skycatcher used prices, which may have been inflated to begin with. In the longer term...Cessna's impact on the LSA market was probably overstated, its exit from the business may have minimal impact...."

As for the new Skycatchers that are awaiting sale or are parts in bins at the Independence, Kansas plant, "'At $149,500 [the price] is a problem' says Tom Wood of Tom Wood Aviation in Indianapolis who's both a dealer and a CPC." Also: "None of the more than a dozen sources we spoke to thought the Skycatcher price was sustainable."

Bottom line insofar as new and used Skycatchers: "We suspect it's a buyer's market and likely to remain that way."

What about the broader LSA market as a whole? "The LSA market continues to be broad, fragmented, competitive and with many more choices in aircraft than it seems able to support.... When Cessna entered light sport, the market was dominated by small manufacturers, mostly of European origin, and as Cessna withdraws, that hasn't changed. What is obvious is that three major airframe makers - Cessna, Cirrus and Piper - have ventured into light sport in varying degrees only to pull out, suggesting that the low-volume, low-margin business model just doesn't work for big companies." (NB: The typical profit on a Skycatcher sale made by a CPC or dealer was reported by AC to be $5K. And it is reported to be one of the hardest, most time-demanding a/c sales to make).

Concluding observations about buying/owning a Skycatcher: "This uncertain chain of events may represent an opportunity of sorts for buyers with stout hearts and healthy wallets who don't particularly worry about whether the company will stand behind the Skycatcher model. Cessna says it will and everyone we talked to said they take the company at its word.... Given the premium price, we can't really recommend the purchase of a new Skycatcher by an individual owner. We think there are better airframes for less money. But if used prices tumble, there could be a good buy or two out there and we see the risk of Cessna truly orphaning the Skycatcher as no more or less than with any other LSA company."



My take on Cessna's 'no future' is that Cessna don't intend to spend any more $$ on testing and certifying the airplane in any configuration. Thus, they will support existing airplanes, and try and sell their inventory, and presumably honor the warranties, but do not intend to produce more units than is in inventory.
In this regard, I don't see it as much of a problem. Especially when you consider that the engine is well supported on its own. There are no round dials in the cockpit and the glass is all 'supported' by Garmin. The airplane's systems are pretty simple and straightforward and so not beyond the average A&P to repair and maintain.

I don't believe Cessna will sell any new models at $149,500. I do expect that any sales will come on a considerable discount. Forexample, if you were considering a Skycatcher versus say an RV12 SLSA then Cessna are at a disadvantage even if they were to match the fully decked out RV12 at $123k. So, in my view, a new Skycatcher at $119-120k with all the bells and whistles, 'might' be worth a look. High wing vs low wing, Garmin vs Dynon, Rotax v 0-200D. There is still the issue of useful load on the Cessna but then you'd have to consider your own personal mission and how it's met by each type.

Talking of 'the mission' , the Light Sport 'mission' in particular, having recently returned from the UK, I think the LSA market in the USA hasn't really established itself very well. For example, in the USA most boards and posters talk about going faster, having more glass, more features, going long distances and carrying quite considerable loads. If you step back and consider that Light Sport is basically about simplicity, simply going the airport and going flying. Daytime, with speed, airspace and performance limitations to match the lowered expectations of LSA candidates. To be fair to manufacturers, they try and build airframes to meet those specs, and restrictions, yet they come up against many pilots who want more, more, more. Fuel injection, more speed, more load, more features…for less price. There isn't a model which manufacturers can use to meet these demands and make money. Which brings us back to Cessna's statements.

Interestingly, Tecnam, the world's biggest LSA manufacturer, which offers a wide range of models, high wing, low wing, tailwheel etc, and which has new models on the horizon (Astore) seems unable to dent the US market in any way at all. In Europe they sell many more planes. In the UK, LSAs are called micro-lights, which in the USA brings to mind ultralights and not LSAs. Some schools offer CTLS and CTSW models as Ultrlight aircraft to go with the pilot certificate for those types. Many UK airfields offer 100LL, UL91 and mogas pumps, quite a big difference than in the USA.
In the UK, as in the rest of Europe, airspace is very tight and very restricted and yet schools are buying Tecnams, the new Sport Cruise PS-28, CTs etc and there is demand from young students to fly these attractive modern looking aircraft. I don't see this as much in the USA. In the UK they don't miss the Skycatcher, because there are so many other models to choose from. The old C152s and 172s are fading out.

Whether Cessna will agree to sell off their Skycatcher inventory at much lower and more competitive prices remains to be seen. In my view, if they don't, their inventory will stay in the crates.
Which is a shame, because, if you simply want an airplane that meets the LSA 'mission' (and it's not just training students with the additional weight issues) then the Cessna does do what many others will do, especially if its for the pilot who mostly flies on his/her own , mostly locally with the occasional short to medium cross-country. If you look at the small useful load of the new Legend "Super Legend" Cub…it's fine for the individual who wants to fly off to the bush, camping, fishing etc. But add a passenger and the whole mission changes. They've produced a great airplane and tried valiantly to reduce weight and it's fine…for one person, and reduced mission with two. Just like the Cessna Skycatcher.

In the end, I do wonder what will happen to Cessna Pilot centers. Students who shoot for the airlines etc are going to want quality airplanes that they can afford to build hours on to meet the new FAA requirements. For this the Skycatcher is a good time builder,but not so much as a trainer. Will the CPC's be able to afford the much more expensive C172s as trainers? I think not. If I were financing my son/daughter for an expensive professional pilot training course it wouldn't be at a CPC but at one of the major national schools, with a fleet of brand new C172s etc.
That's my two cents worth!

Happy New Year to all!

Cheers, Howard

MovingOn
Posts: 631
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:34 pm

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby MovingOn » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:19 pm

Never mind...
Last edited by MovingOn on Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
drseti
Posts: 5220
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:42 pm
Location: Lock Haven PA
Contact:

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby drseti » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:33 pm

Well, then, you may be in luck. My guess is that there will be quite a few new ones on the market in the coming year, at your target price. :D
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
http://facebook.com/SportFlying

MovingOn
Posts: 631
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:34 pm

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby MovingOn » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:35 pm

Never mind...
Last edited by MovingOn on Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jack Tyler
Posts: 1380
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:49 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Re: RV-12's new beginning...

Postby Jack Tyler » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:41 am

News flash from Expo 2014: Adam Smith, a biz consultant working for Vans, announced on opening day that RV12 S-LSA production will no longer be done in batches. Instead, it will begin a steady production scheme by the builder moving to a larger Oregon production facility. A recording of the announcement, along with videos of two new S-LSA a/c introduced at Expo and examined by AVweb, can be found on AVweb's Friday morning email.

http://www.avweb.com/eletter/archives/1 ... ail#221282
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

Nomore767
Posts: 853
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:30 pm

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby Nomore767 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:25 pm

Some Skycatcher tidbits….

At the Sebring Expo..the program has an ad for an insurance firm on the back…featuring a nice pic of a Skycatcher!
No trace of Cessna the Skycatcher at all otherwise, which seems a shame really.

In conversation with other pilots and the price of Skycatchers…an ad ran for almost a year and the price went down from $129,500 to $117500. Plane was sold to a dealer who had it for sale at $129, 500 again..and a couple of days later at $139, 500! Three year old model with 400 hours. I'm amazed especially as it was $149,500 new in 2011. I wonder who would buy it at that price?

Did see a Skycatcher take off on a runway behind the Expo 'runway'…as a backdrop to the current LSAs it was also sad.

MovingOn
Posts: 631
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:34 pm

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby MovingOn » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:33 pm

.......
Last edited by MovingOn on Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nomore767
Posts: 853
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:30 pm

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby Nomore767 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:07 pm

I still compare LSAs to the Skycatcher because I really like it.

Had an interesting chat at the Continental booth where they had a nice 0-200D engine on display. It's a GREAT engine. Rep said Cessna wanted a true 100hp..not an 'almost 100hp rounded up kinda thing'. My wife commented on how much quieter the Rotax engines are in comparison though. She's starting to get into all this stuff!

The G300 is plenty of info for ME. The Tecnam P2008 had THREE G3X displays which looked nice but c'mon man!! It also had a neat autopilot and the new Garmin radio (is it GT220?) but also all the six pack instruments too. Way too much info if you ask me.
The G300 is a great unit.

I like the Johnson bar flaps in the Cessna. The Rotax had 'floating flap' positions so you had to fiddle to get it set right. Tecnam today you just flip the switch and flaps go to next detent. Nice, but Cessna is simple.

Cessna has nicely harmonised controls, Tecnam I found was similar.

Tecnam has composite fuselage but metal wings, and tailplane. Hence they get a weight saving that Cessna didn't.

User avatar
zaitcev
Posts: 618
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:38 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby zaitcev » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:33 am

MovingOn wrote:If I was willing to part with the money, I would have one on the way.

This is precisely why it is dead.

MovingOn
Posts: 631
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:34 pm

Re: Skycatcher's End

Postby MovingOn » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:33 pm

.......
Last edited by MovingOn on Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Return to “Light Sport Aircraft”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 3 guests