Pilot parachuted out of the aircraft and is uninjured, aircraft destroyed.
Ahh, you beat me to the punch. It’s good the pilot is alright, but this could be a pr disaster for Cessna. I mean, its only a prototype but people will still question the integrity of the aircraft.
PR disaster is right. The Cessna 162 Skycatcher is Cessna’s up-and-coming $111,000 light sport plane. I’ve seen them at Oshkosh, and they kind of remind you of a fancy new C150 or C152. The Skycatcher will be produced in China when in goes into production. This caused a bit of a stir in the industry not too long ago, when it was announced.
Does anyone know if the deposits on these planes are refundable?..
A PR disaster?.. Refunding of deposits?.. C’mon guys… We don’t even know what happened yet. This is Cessna, not Eclipse. They’re not going to certificate, and bring a bad airplane to market.
If a plane crashed in testing that I was going to own, it wouldn’t necessarily scare me from the product, as the plane needs to be right to be certified anyway, but it would cause uncertainty nonetheless. I am sure 98% of deposit people aern’t sweating much at all, but there has to be some doubt.
The pilot was rather old, maybe he got confused and thought he was a paratrooper and was supposed to jump
Incidents during testing are a good thing…it’ll make the airplane that much better. “Uncertainty” and “doubt”…those are emotions that are not synonymous with aviation. But then I don’t take you for an aviator so you owning a Skycatcher is moot anyway.
And this quoted from Aviation Week:
The prototype, N162XP, was one of three flight articles Cessna test pilots have been evaluating. According to the initial FAA report on the accident, during a test flight the aircraft “entered an unrecoverable spin, pilot bailed out and landed safely”
The “pop and sparks” heard and observed were most likely the detonation of small explosive charges releasing the door for emergency egress as the test pilot bailed out. For crew safety during the testing of experimental aircraft, manufacturers install some form of a ballistically activated emergency egress access. This allows the crew a better opportunity to exit the aircraft in a dire emergency situation without having to fight with a door potentially under heavy g-load.
I guess they didn’t put a BRS in the prototype.
Naaaa… The test pilot having a personal version strapped to himself was a cost cutting measure.
…but Cessna will in fact attempt to deliver an airplane to you that takes 5 days to repair (a few squawks, huh?). Although this was '05 so who knows now
SkyCatcher Crash Update
The test pilot for the Cessna 162 SkyCatcher LSA prototype that crashed last week was spin-testing the airplane and put it into a cross-controlled, power-on stall, Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver told AVweb this week. “He got into a flat spin and couldn’t recover,” Oliver said. The airplane, which was one of several used in the test program, remained intact until it hit the ground. The spin testing started at about 10,000 feet, and the pilot bailed out safely at about 5,000 feet above the ground. The kind of testing it was undergoing was beyond what is required for the airplane’s intended ASTM light sport aircraft certification, Oliver said. He added that the accident is still under investigation but he doesn’t expect the findings will result in any plans to modify the design. The airplane was equipped with a BRS ballistic recovery parachute, which was activated by the test pilot but failed to deploy.
Larry Williams, CEO of BRS, told AVweb this week it is too early to determine exactly why the chute didn’t work. “It looks to me that the parameters were pretty exceptional,” he said. “It was an unusual situation.” He added that BRS is working with Cessna and the NTSB to determine what happened, and he might have more information later in the week. Williams added that the BRS design has proven to be robust across a wide range of situations, but if this event shows that the design could be improved to increase its range of effectiveness, his team is ready and willing to learn and make changes. Oliver, of Cessna, noted that the BRS system on the accident aircraft was a standard chute and was not a specially designed spin chute, which is sometimes used in flight testing.
Cirrus did the same thing with their prototype and it crashed, and the guy died.
That puts a new spin on things. I’m not sure these things are safe.
No pun intended, I am sure…
Well, they could be safe in the future. I file it in the “growing pains” category.
Am I the only one disappointed that there’s no video of a test pilot chasing his 162 as it is dragged 3/5 of a mile through a wheat field by the BRS?
New name: ** Cessna 162 Chute Dragger**