Icon A5 Program Delayed Further
The Icon A5 program is facing further delays after the FAA sent a letter requesting more information as it considers a request for a weight exemption. Icon is asking for an additional 250 pounds of gross weight beyond the LSA category’s 1,430-lb amphibious limit, a change the company said is needed to make the Icon A5 spin resistant.
While the FAA generally responds to these types of requests within 120 days, the letter came nearly one year after Icon requested the weight increase. Earl Lawrence, manager of the FAA Small Airplane Directorate, addressed the letter to Icon’s CEO Kirk Hawkins, and noted that “the complexity, extent, and precedent-setting aspects” of the petition required additional time for the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service, Flight Standards Service and Office of the Chief Counsel to develop a response.
Lawrence’s letter also requested additional details about the design and flight test results of the Icon A5, signed statements of how the manufacturer determined that the LSA meets the requirements of Part 23 certification with respect to its stall characteristics and explanations of why mechanics and operators of the A5 would be required to receive Icon-specific training.