Cessna Aircraft has temporarily suspended sales of the single-engine 162 Skycatcher in Europe as the lightplane maker works with European airworthiness officials on certification for the model. As a result, Cessna is honoring requests to return deposits to customers in Europe who hold Skycatcher delivery positions.
French Cessna dealer Aeromecanic caused a minor furor when it issued a statement to customers recently telling them that Cessna was “canceling all European orders” for the Skycatcher. Cessna says that is inaccurate. Rather, the manufacturer is halting new orders for the time being as it works with EASA on certification for the Skycatcher.
The problem for Cessna lies in the fact that under FAA guidelines the Skycatcher is categorized as a Light Sport Aircraft and therefore does not require type or production certificates. But under the guidelines of the closest EASA category, the airplane would need both certifications. Cessna has told customers it is working on obtaining European certification and that it will restart orders in Europe once it’s on a clear path to obtaining the approvals.