Textron Aviation has removed parts from dozens of Cessna Skycatcher 162 aircraft still in its inventory and has sent the remaining fuselages to the scrap heap.
Photos emerged on Facebook Dec. 15 of Skycatcher fuselages being hoisted in the angry jaws of demolition machinery and dropped into dumpsters, the final resting place for Cessna Aircraft’s entry into the light sport aircraft arena.
There was no indication of who took the photos, although there were lots of denials. A name on the side of one of the dumpsters pointed to a demolition company that did not return phone calls. Textron spokeswoman Nikki Riemen issued this statement in response to an AOPA inquiry:
“Following discontinuation of Cessna Skycatcher production, the company utilized the remaining inventory for spare parts to ensure the current fleet of fielded aircraft can receive ongoing support. The company did dispose of what remained after salvaging usable parts.”
The photos also show the remaining Skycatcher aircraft sitting jammed together in a warehouse like clay soldiers in a Chinese emperor’s tomb. The program was in trouble from its inception due to a cooling light sport market, a sudden price increase, and a reluctance from dealers to buy the aircraft in quantity. At one point 77 Skycatchers were stored and unsold.