Icon Aircraft founder Kirk Hawkins will no longer serve as CEO of the California firm that makes the amphibious A5 light sport aircraft, the company announced.
The move comes as Icon moves into high-rate production of its two-seat, carbon fiber aircraft at its assembly plant in Vacaville, California. (Carbon fiber parts for the A5 are made in Tijuana, Mexico.) Icon is producing up to 10 aircraft per month, the company said, and retail prices are listed at about $380,000 each.
“Kirk’s clear vision, incredible product leadership and sheer force of will created ICON and played a critical role in getting it where it is today with a truly revolutionary company and aircraft,” said Thomas Wieners, Icon president and chief operating officer. “I look forward to working with the entire team as we focus specifically on growing our global brand now and delivering aircraft to adventure seekers worldwide.”
Icon created a sensation when it unveiled its sleek A5 a decade ago, but the company has been plagued by certification and production delays and price hikes. It’s also suffered two fatal accidents, although investigators blamed pilot error for both mishaps.
Hawkins, a former U.S. Air Force and airline pilot, hinted in a written statement that Icon has new products to come.
“I couldn't be prouder of what the Icon team has accomplished and look forward to helping the company in this next exciting stage of growth and new product development,” Hawkins said.