On March 19, 2009, the second Cessna SkyCatcher crashed in flight testing due to an unrecoverable spin (See SkyCatcher First Flight). In each case the pilot walked away, but the program was hit with a significant setback.
Folks, this is wonderful news. We couldn’t be happier about this. Are we crazy? Some people might say so, but in this case it makes perfect sense to be happy about these crashes.
The ASTM standards that the SkyCatcher is being certificated under don’t require this level of testing. But Cessna does. From the start, we knew that the SkyCatcher would be a true Cessna—a safe, reliable airplane. To ensure this, Cessna is testing the SkyCatcher in a way that no Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) has ever been tested before.
The fact that they found an area of the envelope from which the current version of the SkyCatcher did not recover—and will most assuredly fix it—means that some unsuspecting student or flight instructor will not be the first one to find the problem. I say, hurray for Cessna! Thanks for taking care of us so well.