Just as ICON Aircraft was celebrating the delivery of its 100th airframe last week came news on Friday that an A5 had crashed during a takeoff attempt in Littlefield, Michigan. This brings to five the number of aircraft involved in accidents and or incidents in 2019, including one that crashed just short of Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK) on July 11 after the pilot reportedly ran the aircraft out of fuel. An ICON crashed in mid-June attempting to land on the water with the landing gear extended. In May, an A5 sank following a hard landing, while in March an A5 landed in a bay near Palo Alto, California, although in that incident, the aircraft did not appear to be damaged. In the California incident, the pilot reportedly set the aircraft down following unspecified electrical problems.
The pilot of the Michigan aircraft received minor injuries in the crash while the passenger was seriously injured and flown to Grand Rapids by an EMS helicopter. A bystander captured on video the ICON attempting what looked like a rather unusual takeoff that highlights a number of items investigators are certain to pay close attention to when interviewing the pilot, such as the amount of flaps extended for takeoff and the direction of the wind.
The ICON pilot seemed to be attempting a circular takeoff technique often used by seaplanes in a confined location. While it is unclear the size of the lake being used, it does appear the pilot left a great deal of open water unused. The wings wobble a bit as the airplane, still on the water, appears to head for some large trees on the shore before the ICON finally struggles into the air.
The pilot continues banking the aircraft although the airplane has less than 100 feet of altitude beneath it. The A5 never does establish a normal climb and eventually strikes a tree on the shore before plunging back into the water. The experience level and the specific ICON training received by the PIC were unknown at press time.
In a statement, an ICON Aircraft spokesperson said, “On Saturday, July 27, an ICON A5 was involved in an incident in Michigan. We are gathering information at this time and working with proper authorities. ICON will release additional information as it becomes available.” (This story was edited 0n 7/30 at 9:26 pm EST)