Icon Announces Partnership With Florida Seaplane Base

Jack Brown’s Seaplane base is one of a handful of operations offering ICON A5 flight training. Courtesy: Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base

Pilots interested in tacking on a seaplane rating or simply having a go at the controls of the striking Icon A5 light sport seaplane with minimal buy-in have a new option in central Florida, the aircraft company announced.

Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base in Winter Haven, Florida, has partnered with Icon Aircraft, and is now offering access to the Icon A5 for dual instruction flight training, introductory flights and single-engine seaplane (SES) ratings.

Icon’s partnership with Jack Brown’'s—renowned for nearly 60 years of seaplane training—is aimed at increasing pilot accessibility to the A5.

“As Icon’s fleet of A5s continues to grow, we’re seeing additional exposure amongst pilots throughout the region who may not yet be ready to commit to becoming an Icon A5 owner,” Icon said in announcing the partnership. “Adding Jack Brown’s as an Icon training partner allows for anyone with a passion for seaplane flying to enjoy the A5 without committing to ownership.”

There are a few ways to experience the A5 at Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base, according to Icon:

  • Discovery Flights: Experience the A5 on a one-hour introduction flight
  • Transition Training: Transition course for pilots with a single-engine land rating or experience
  • Dual Instruction: Build seaplane time and continue to hone your step taxi, glassy water, and other water flying skills in the Icon A5
  • Earn your single-engine seaplane (SES) rating

A Watercraft With Wings

As far as light sport aircraft go, the A5 is “one of the sexiest light airplanes to have hit the market in ages,” FLYING editor-at-large Pia Bergqvist proclaimed after taking a turn at the controls. The easy-to-fly aircraft is aimed at the power sports and outdoor recreation market.

“The airplane is not meant for transportation,” Bergqvist wrote. “It was not built with speed, range, or payload in mind. It is strictly designed to be the ultimate flying toy—a personal water­craft with wings.”

The monohull A5 is spin resistant, powered by an electronically fuel-injected Rotax 912 engine, and folding wings that take about two minutes to unfold into place, according to the aircraft manufacturer. Its avionics package includes Garmin G3X Touch multifunction displays with 3D terrain views and moving maps with sectional charts, standby instruments, and flight planning. ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) Out is standard, with an available ADS-B In option as well via the Garmin GDL 50.

The two-seat light sport aircraft is also outfitted for safety. The A5′s angle of attack (AOA) safety system offers pilots an intuitive display gauge of the orientation of the wing to the relative wind to simplify approach for runways and water landings. It comes with the Icon parachute system (IPS). Similar parachute systems have saved more than 300 lives, according to Icon.

A5 Partnership Network

Jack Brown’s is one of a network of operations offering A5 flight training. Others include:

  • Low Altitude Adventures, New Bedford, Massachusetts
  • Atlas Aviation (land only), Tampa, Florida
  • Boundless Aviation, Greenville, South Carolina
Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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