3 thoughts on “Fatal Halladay Icon Crash: NTSB Report Hints At Cause

  1. In 2013 AOPA reported, “The FAA granted Icon Aircraft a long-sought exemption from strict light sport aircraft weight limits to incorporate a spin-resistant design for its amphibious A5 that the agency says is “in the public interest.””

    Additionally, Icon Founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins praised the FAA decision and the reasoning behind it stating, “The FAA put safety first by allowing us to incorporate a spin-resistant design that will help avoid stall/spin accidents,”

    Finally, “The FAA received 103 written comments about Icon’s waiver application, and 54 opposed the move.”

    I’ve never understood how adding weight to an aircraft would supposedly make it less prone to stall/spin? Perhaps the retractable landing gear and the then proposed push-button wing folding mechanisms were more likely the reasons for the need to increase the max gross take-of weight.

    The aircraft was basically overweight, and therefore unable to achieve the required maximum allowable stall speed. Wing area had to be increased to get the stall speed down, and this in-turn required the empennage to increase in size, all of which increased the weight significantly.

    Since this accident clearly fits the profile of a low altitude stall/spin departure, obviously the waiver for additional weight did nothing to make the aircraft less prone to such events. Which begs the question, exactly how was this deviation from the rules ‘in the public interest’?

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