ICON Aircraft Revises Their Controversial A5 Purchase Agreement

ICON Aircraft Also Discusses Plans to Deal With Production Slowdown

ICON Aircraft has revised their aircraft purchase agreement for the A5 light sport aircraft, after experiencing strong public pushback regarding many of the items in the contract. The new contract, down from 40 pages to a much trimmer 11, removed many of the much-debated items that were causing potential buyers to balk, though it did retain some clauses aimed at protecting the company from lawsuits.

Among the items removed were a 30-year lifetime limit on the airframe of the A5, mandatory audio and video recorders for the cockpit, transfer fees payable to ICON if the owner sought to sell their aircraft on the used market, the right for ICON to repurchase an aircraft if the owner attempted to resell it within a twelve month period after purchase, and a “responsible flyer clause” that asked owners to fly “responsibly and professionally.” That last clause was viewed as subjective and largely unenforceable.

ICON is still keeping a number of original requirements, such as buyers agree not to sue ICON in the case of a crash if ICON isn’t found liable by the NTSB, that maintenance and repairs have to be done by factory-approved shops, that flight recorders will still be installed in all A5’s under an expanded privacy policy, and that customers agree that if they sell the airplane, they will require the purchaser to either undergo ICON factory training or pay ICON a $5,000 fee. They’re also setting a $15,000 cap on the first required airframe overhaul at 10 years, though subsequent required 10-year overhauls won’t be capped. In additional, there will be no cap on the number of overhauls, and as long as an ICON-approved mechanic certifies that an A5 is airworthy, it can keep flying.

ICON also announced that there would be a massive reduction in A5 production for 2016, from the 175 aircraft initially scheduled to 20. This was described by ICON Aircraft Founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins as a “one-year delay,” and he said the company would be working to reduce its cost structure and workforce while also working to bring in new capital.

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that Icon had an overly aggressive production schedule for 2016,” said Hawkins. “We are working hard to find the balance between high-rate production and our exacting standards for quality, performance, and affordability. While the A5 is extremely well-engineered and an amazing aircraft to fly, frankly we need to improve its manufacturability. We’ll have to slow down and walk before we run.

Featured Image: ICON