April 26, 2012
By Jim Moore
Cessna Aircraft Co. has temporarily halted Skycatcher sales in Europe, pending certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency, but company officials pledged the two-seater will be sold in Europe though there is no telling when.
A French dealership caused a stir with an announcement posted in conjunction with the return of deposits to would-be buyers. Cessna has been working in recent days to downplay the long-term significance of those refunds.“This is just a step we are taking to make sure we maintain a positive relationship with the Skycatcher customer,” the company stated. “It’s impossible to gauge how long certification will take, and we don’t want a procedure that is beyond our control to affect our relationship with our customers.”
The Skycatcher, a light sport aircraft by FAA definition, has been produced under the ASTM International standards for the U.S. market, a system that eases the testing and validation burden imposed by government regulators on manufacturers under the certification process. European regulators opted to impose certification requirements.
“Cessna is working with the EASA to certify the Cessna 162 Skycatcher, and we are striving to find an economical solution that benefits our customers and satisfies EASA standards,” Cessna reported. “We will recommence accepting orders when we are clear on a path towards cost effective certification from EASA.”
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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