Cessna Announces Its Sport Pilot Training Program

With the first flight of a production Model 162 SkyCatcher last month in China, Cessna demonstrated its continued commitment to the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) market and the FAA Sport Pilot certificate. And now the company has released details on its Cessna Sport/Private Pilot Course. The Web-based training regime was developed in cooperation with King Schools and lends itself to customization to reflect the specific training environment - as in rural versus urban. The scenario-based program also allows for the differences between glass cockpits and traditional "six-pack" mechanical instrumentation. The SkyCatcher is equipped with Garmin G300-series avionics. Cessna vice-president of marketing Tom Aniello said, "The new training program is a key component of Cessna's effort to make flying more accessible and to re-energize pilot training." Cessna stopped production of its Model 152 in the 1970s, and the SkyCatcher represents a return to the two-seat trainer market for the company. With its Sport/Private Pilot Course, Cessna demonstrates its belief that the FAA's lowest level of pilot certificate can be a first stepping stone to higher ratings - and presumably larger, faster more expensive aircraft.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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