The NTSB has released its preliminary report regarding last week’s tragic Icon A5 crash that killed Icon Aircraft’s engineer fellow and chief test pilot Jon Karkow, who had been with the team for a decade, and the recently hired director of engineering Cagri Sever to whom Karkow was providing a familiarization flight in the A5.
According to the NTSB report, a witness who was in a boat on the lake saw the airplane flying about 30 to 50 feet above the water into a nearby cove called Little Portuguese Canyon. “The witness heard the engine ‘rev up’ as the airplane drifted to the right side of the cove,” the report stated. “Subsequently, the airplane pitched upward and entered a left turn, just before it traveled beyond the witness’s field of view. The witness stated that he heard the sound of impact shortly after losing visual [sight] of the airplane.”
The crash team found the airplane upright with all of the major structural components located at the accident site.
While this early report seems to indicate that the cause of the accident was controlled flight into terrain, further investigation will continue before a conclusion can be made. The wreckage has been moved to a different location for further examination.
“This was a devastating personal loss for the Icon team,” said Icon Aircraft’s founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins in a statement. “We didn’t just lose employees; we lost family members. John and Cagri were both passionate engineers who were inspired by the mission to make personal flying more accessible.”