Icon A5: Why wait for customers to crash the amphibious seaplane?

If you were wondering what would happen after customers with 20 hours of training got in their Icon A5 amphibious seaplanes, here’s a story about a factory instructor wrecking one. The word on the ramp (at Sun n Fun) was that the hull split open after a hard landing. What hope is there for the rest of us?

Note that I’ve got a single-engine seaplane rating and about 10 hours of seaplane time. That, plus my CFI certificate, means that I’m legal to teach people how to fly seaplanes! Who wants to be my first student? Separately, a friend told me that he fell into the water while trying to dock a seaplane at the end of his checkride. The examiner said “oh, that happens all the time” and proceeded to issue him the modified certificate with new rating.


  1. billg

    April 7, 2017 @ 3:16 pm


    More aircraft news: Diamond announces a new, cool looking helicopter with 280hp diesel engine and … an electric tail rotor? Sounds innovative and a bit scary.


  2. Brian

    April 7, 2017 @ 6:34 pm


    Fell into the water? He was getting out of the seaplane with the bow line ready to tie it up to the dock and jumped onto the dock, but missed and fell into the water? Or he slipped on the wet dock (or plane) on the way?

    That seems perfectly normal, based on my marine experience. It’s not a sign of trouble, just something that happens.

  3. superMike

    April 7, 2017 @ 6:35 pm


    @billg: that looks like an awesome idea (from a simplification standpoint). I wonder what happens if the electric system goes out, though.

    The hybrid quad tiltrotor they mention could be a real game changer.

  4. Steve

    April 7, 2017 @ 6:45 pm



    Wonder what it will cost? Comparable to an R44?

  5. Jim Howard

    April 8, 2017 @ 2:29 pm


    I’m looking at the Single Engine CFI PTS, and it says you need 15 hours PIC in the category and class of an airplane to be able to take a check ride for an additional rating on your CFI certificate.

    On the other hand, five hours flying a sea plane isn’t a fate worse than death!

  6. philg

    April 8, 2017 @ 3:22 pm


    Thanks for researching the regs, Jim, but I don’t think that I need a checkride or an additional rating (there is no seaplane rating available for an instructor certificate, only “airplane single engine,” for example). See http://forums.jetcareers.com/threads/seaplane-rating.52455/ for a discussion.

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