June 5, 2013
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has made a congressional inquiry into the request by Icon Aircraft to increase the light sport aircraft weight limit for seaplanes by 250 pounds, to 1,680 pounds. Icon's Kirk Hawkins said the increase was needed to accommodate a spin-resistant design utilizing a cuffed wing and an angle-of-attack indicator.
The request was a response to Boehner's Ohio constituent John Brown who operates Independent Aircraft located in Texas, a company developing a competing amphibious aircraft that looks similar to the Icon A5. Brown made his request for the inquiry nearly a year ago. He could not be reached to explain why the request was not acted on until nearly a year after it was made. Brown, in his letter to Boehner, said he had safety concerns and claimed there may be issues involved of interest to the Federal Trade Commission.
Icon Aircraft had asked the FAA to respond to its request for a weight exemption by May 31, something the FAA has so far not done. Icon's Hawkins made the request in early 2012 but FAA officials said they needed until the end of 2012 to respond, instead of the normal 120-day response time. When the end of 2012 came, the FAA said nothing for four months before finally requesting additional information that has now been supplied.
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AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.