ICON has added several dozen training partners across the U.S. to the ICON Flight Training Network (IFTN). This has allowed an increasing number of pilots the opportunity to train in and experience the aircraft in their local areas with an A5 Instructor Pilot for initial transition training, as well as currency, and mentor pilot flights.
ICON has been fortunate to recruit some of the finest seaplane instructor pilots from around the country to work for and partner with the Company, and ICON owners are safer and better pilots as a result.
To provide a glimpse into the seaplane expertise in the ICON Flight Training Network, ICON asked a few network instructors for advice when flying in their local areas:
Brint Hlavaty, A5 Instructor Pilot in Austin, TX:
“Reservoirs in Texas can fluctuate water levels often, which exposes debris as the dry season approaches. This makes it even more critical to survey your intended landing area in detail while airborne. Because the A5 is a hull amphibian and the cockpit sits lower to the water, visibility to see what’s out ahead of you when you’re already on the water is somewhat limited.”
Eric Nuffer, Owner of Giving Wings Aviation and A5 Instructor Pilot, operates an A5 in Traverse City, MI:
“Lakes in Northern Michigan present many great opportunities to practice confined area takeoffs and landings. It’s great training, but a thorough lake assessment is critical for safe water operations. Most important is to always consider your exit strategy. You may be able to get into a small lake or confined area, but you may not have the space to take back off once you’re on the water. Always have a plan to take back off before you attempt to land, especially in a confined area.”
Kevin Kovacich, A5 Instructor Pilot for NW Flight Services at Felts Field in Spokane, WA, also operates an A5:
“The diversity and natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest comes with distinct challenges. Flying seaplanes in this environment requires you to be on your A-game as you can switch from grass strip to water to runway operations fairly quickly. It’s critical to make sure the gear is in the correct position for the type of landing intended. Being obsessive about verifying gear position is a core ‘building block’ to safely operate an amphibious aircraft, and there’s no better place to get that experience than in the Inland Northwest.”
Coming into the summer flying season, ICON recently launched a series of safety videos to provide tips to owners.
In an additional commitment to safety, ICON also recently announced complimentary transition training with the purchase of an A5 in 2020. Now, any pilot holding certificates for land or sea who purchases an A5 receives transition training on the house at any location in the ICON Flight Training Network.