Skyhawks Operating As Primary Trainers From The U.S. To The Asia Pacific Region
Cessna continues to supply four-seat airplanes for flight training schools around the world, and the company says the majority of qualified pilots flying today learn to fly on Cessna aircraft. There are more Skyhawks in the world than any other type of aircraft, as over 48,000 of the model have been manufactured since 1955.
The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks has one of the strongest Aviation curriculums in the United States. The school has purchased nine Skyhawk 172 aircraft in 2013 so far, adding to their existing fleet of trainers to bring the total to 72 Cessna aircraft. The recently purchased Skyhawks equipped with Garmin G1000 avionics intended for the UND Campus in Mesa, Arizona to address the pilot shortage with international contract instruction. "Flying has increased, and demand for pilots is going to increase. There's no doubt about that," said Don Dubuque, director of extension programs for the University of North Dakota. "The 172 is an exceptional trainer. We love the G1000. Cessna has been great with service and support, and we're obviously really happy."
ATP Flight School, the largest domestic flight school made up of a network of flight training institutions with 28 facilities across the United States, purchased ten Skyhawk 172 aircraft for use in their rigorous training regimen. The schools fly more than 9,000 hours per month, instructing future pilots in Cessna aircraft. ATP supplies more pilots to the regional airlines than any other single flight school, college or academy. "Purchases like these enable ATP to increase our training capacity, and our ability to serve the increasing demand for pilots in the airline environment," said Jim Koziarski, ATP vice president. "ATP provided training to more than 4,200 pilots last year, who accounted for over 4,400 pilot certificates and ratings granted in the United States."
Lion Air, the largest Boeing 737-900 operator in the Asia Pacific region, is the first Indonesian airline to establish their own flight training program. To achieve this, they intend to have a fleet of 28 Cessna Skyhawk aircraft in service and have started this process by taking delivery of eight 172's in the first quarter of 2013. Capt Audy L. Punuh, principal, Wings Flying School / Lion Air, says: "After evaluating all of the platforms available, we selected the Skyhawk for our flight school because it is the best training aircraft. The Skyhawk will enable Lion Air to overcome the limited number of qualified pilots in Indonesia by providing the best possible pilot training experience."
Additional sales for the 172 include a 15 aircraft deal recently signed with long time Cessna operator Kent State University. The aviation program at the university took delivery of two 172 aircraft this past December with options for 13 more, expected to deliver during 2013 and 2014.
The company is also seeing interest in China with 12 Cessna Skyhawk 172 aircraft pegged for the training of flight students at Jiutian International Flight Academy in Qingdao, China.
The heightened level of activity with single-engine Cessna aircraft will be an issue for those wanting a 2013 Cessna Skyhawk. "With the activity we have seen in the first quarter alone on the 172, we are already sold out on the model year for this aircraft," said Jodi Noah, senior vice president of single engine/propeller aircraft.
(File images provided by Cessna)