Sporty’s Formally Launches 172LITE Trainer

Sporty’s 172LITE

From the moment Sporty's revealed details of a barebones refurbished Cessna 172 trainer at Sporty's Academy in Batavia, Ohio, renting for $99 an hour including fuel, owners of other flight schools around the country took notice. In calls and emails they all had the same questions: Do you plan to sell similar refurbed airplanes and, if so, what's the price?

As a result of the strong market interest, Sporty's has formally launched the 172LITE trainer, which it is offering to flight schools and flying clubs for a fraction of the cost of a new Cessna Skyhawk. The first 172LITE trainer is in the paint shop now and will be available next month for $132,900, the company says.

"After December's announcement of the 172LITE, my inbox and voicemail were flooded with inquiries from flight schools and flying clubs throughout the country," said Sporty's Charlie Masters. "There is industry-wide demand for a basic, affordable airplane for the training and rental market for which the 172LITE hits the spot."

The 172LITE begins life as a used Cessna 172. The airframe is inspected by Sporty's mechanics and a refurbishment plan is developed including:

  • * Engine overhaul by Signature Engines
  • * Prop inspected and overhauled if needed
  • * Windows inspected and replaced as needed
  • * Rear seats removed
  • * New upholstery for front seats and sidewalls
  • * Plastic trim and headliner repaired or replaced
  • * New vinyl floor covering
  • * New metal instrument panel custom fit to the airframe
  • * New electrical switches and circuit breakers
  • * Wiring inspected and replaced as required
  • * Each aircraft outfitted with an intercom, basic comm radio and Mode C transponder
  • * Instruments tested and replaced as needed
  • * Landing, taxi and position lights replaced with modern LEDs
  • * Controls and cables inspected and replaced as needed
  • * Lastly, the aircraft is painted and undergoes another thorough inspection

The result, says Sporty's, is an airplane with a like-new appearance and all the instruments needed for initial training. The basic panel can be customized to accommodate optional avionics that customers may want, with the work performed by Cincinnati Avionics, Sporty's avionics shop. Pricing for the 172LITE will vary depending on the condition of the donor airplane, which buyers can supply or not.

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