May 2, 2013
By Alton K. Marsh
The May 2012 request from Icon Aircraft to the FAA for an exemption that would allow Icon's A5 amphibious aircraft to weigh 250 pounds more than current light sport aircraft limits for seaplanes has been delayed. Earl Lawrence, manager of the FAA Small Airplane Directorate, said in a letter sent April 25 and made public May 2 that the FAA's Aircraft Certification Service, Flight Standards Service, and Office of the Chief Counsel need more information.
The FAA has now exceeded the usual 120-day response time, but said it was necessary due to the “complexity, extent, and precedent-setting aspects of your petition.” The letter was sent to Kirk Hawkins, CEO of Icon Aircraft, in Los Angeles.
Under light sport rules, Icon's amphibious aircraft is limited to 1,430 pounds. Icon hopes to win an exemption to raise the maximum takeoff weight to 1,680 pounds, a 250-pound increase. In return, Icon offers a spin-resistant design plus other safety features.
The FAA is seeking flight test data and results, signed statements attesting to the spin-resistant performance during stall recovery, plus explanations as to why Icon proposes requirements for pilots and mechanics to have Icon training.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
FAA Information and Services,
Light Sport Aircraft,
A new steakhouse on Chicago’s North Shore is decorated with more than 200 vintage aviation photographs.
The DeSoto Heliport is officially open for business. But don’t look for it in your GPS. The Texas facility is so new that it doesn’t yet have an identifier.
Television personality Robin Roberts swung the champagne and took a ceremonial maiden voyage Aug. 23, christening the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. airship Wingfoot One.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>