In case you missed it, this high-profile LSA suffered another setback last week when one of the prototypes met its demise in a fatal accident that occurred near the factory in Oregon. It would appear from this report that the aircraft was not at fault though.
The Icon has come under scrutiny for requiring (and obtaining) an exemption from the LSA weight limit, for moving its production facility to Mexico, and for a purchase contract that some find rather onerous. - SB
From AvWeb news:
The NTSB issued its preliminary report this week on the fatal crash of an Icon A5 on May 8 in California. A witness, who was aboard a boat on Lake Berryessa, told investigators he saw the A5 flying over the lake about 30 to 50 feet above the water, at what seemed to be a low speed. The witness said the airplane passed by his position and entered a nearby cove, traveling in a northerly direction. The witness heard the engine "rev up" as the airplane drifted to the right side of the cove. Subsequently, the airplane pitched upward and entered a left turn, just before it traveled beyond the witness's field of view. The witness said he heard the sound of impact shortly after losing sight of the airplane. All major structural components of the airplane were located at the accident site, the NTSB said. Icon employees Jon Karkow and Cagri Sever were killed in the crash.
“This was a devastating personal loss for the Icon team,” said Kirk Hawkins, Icon’s CEO and founder, in a statement released this week. “We didn’t just lose employees; we lost family members. Jon and Cagri were both passionate engineers… We will miss them both tremendously, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families.” Icon said a flight data recorder was recovered from the accident aircraft, and NTSB investigators have reviewed it together with Icon engineers. The area where the crash occurred is known as Little Portuguese Canyon, and the terrain is steep and narrow, according to Icon. “We’re unsure why the plane flew into such a narrow canyon that had no outlet,” said Shane Sullivan, Icon’s director of flight. “We’re deeply saddened and fully committed to learning whatever we can from this tragic situation.”
Icon said it suspended all flight operations of the A5 fleet immediately after the accident, but flight operations have now resumed following the NTSB preliminary report. The wreckage from the accident flight has been recovered and moved to a secure location, the NTSB said.