On Monday, an Icon A5 crashed on the shore of Lake Berryessa in Central California, killing both occupants, according to reports from local media quoting Napa County Sherriff’s officials, who identified the victims as pilot Jon Murray Karkow, 55, and Cagri Sever, 41, both Icon Aircraft employees. Krakow was both a frontline test pilot and lead engineer for Icon Aircraft.
A photograph on a local television station, KCRA showed the crash scene. The airplane was badly broken and there was no sign of the parachute canopy, but it’s not clear from the photograph if the parachute might have fired due to impact with the ground. The wreckage came to rest against a steep bank, half in the water and half out of it. Again, it’s not known what phase of flight the plane was in, when it crashed or who was at the controls when it crashed. The FAA will investigate the mishap.
The plane is outfitted with a pilot-controlled BRS whole-airplane recovery parachute system. The planes are also outfitted with data recorders which theoretically would allow investigators to home in a cause. It’s not known if the accident airplane was so outfitted, but if it was, it’s possible that investigators will be able to get a very precise picture of what happened.
Last month, an Icon A5 was involved in an accident with no injuries when one of the light sport amphibians made a hard water landing and took on water. The accident Monday is the first fatal accident for an Icon A5. There are 21 of the airplanes flying.
The A5 was designed to be markedly safer than conventional light aircraft, with stall and spin resistant flying qualities that Icon touts as being best in class. The amphibious LSA earned hundreds of orders, but delays in approvals and production have plagued the company.
Late Monday, before the names of the crash victims were publicly identified, Icon CEO Kirk Hawkins sent the following email to Icon’s customers:
It is with great sadness that I write this. Earlier today, two ICON Employees were killed in an A5 accident while flying at Lake Berryessa, CA. We have no details on the cause of the accident right now and the names of the victims have not been released publicly. The NTSB and FAA have been notified and ICON will be working closely with them to fully support their investigation.
This was a devastating personal loss for many of us. Once arrangements have been made with all the families involved we will let you know more. Please hold your calls and requests for a brief period while we work through this tragic event with the family members and employees. The thoughts and prayers of our entire organization are with the families of both people onboard, they were both truly amazing individuals.
Founder & CEO