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  • 08.10.17

Pilot at error in fatal crash of innovative ICON plane, say federal investigators

Pilot at error in fatal crash of innovative ICON plane, say federal investigators
[Photo: Icon]

The National Transportation Safety Board released its final report today on the fatal May crash of an Icon A5 plane on the banks of California’s Lake Berryessa. The federal agency ruled that the accident was the result of the pilot’s “failure to maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering at a low altitude. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s mistaken entry into a canyon surrounded by steep rising terrain while at a low altitude for reasons that could not be determined.”

The $250,000 A5, which I flew in around the time of its spring 2016 launch, is marketed as being safe for just about anyone to fly, and as a sea-light sport aircraft, has a lower threshold for a license than some other airplanes. The May 8 crash killed Icon employees Jon Karkow, 55, and Cagri Sever, 41. And while the company is continuing to mourn the loss of the two men, the NTSB’s report is also good news for Icon, as it establishes that there was nothing wrong with the plane itself.

After a rough year—which also included layoffs, production cuts, and changes to a controversial purchase agreement, which sought to limit the company’s liability—the company recently announced in a press release that the first 2018 Icon A5s will be delivered in September, and that production is expected to ramp up through the remainder of 2017 “and then accelerate rapidly throughout 2018.”DT