Two Icon Aircraft employees died in an A5 amphibian aircraft crash on the banks of Lake Berryessa in California only a few miles from the company’s headquarters.
In a note posted on the company’s Facebook page several hours after the crash, Icon chief executive Kirk Hawkins confirmed the victims worked for the struggling Vacaville-based manufacturer of two-seat seaplanes, but did not provide their names or details of the fatal accident.
“This was a devastating personal loss for many of us,” says Hawkins. “The thoughts and prayers of our entire organization are with the families of both people onboard. They were both truly amazing individuals.”
Icon will work with investigators from the US Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board, which has dispatched a team to investigate the crash, Hawkins says.
Video footage by news helicopters revealed the crumpled wreckage of an A5 on the rocky shore of the lake. Icon has frequently used Lake Berryessa as a training camp for new pilots.
The fatal crash occurs only a month after another aircraft experienced a hard landing on a Florida lake that left the A5 mostly submerged.
Icon delivered the first A5 to a young pilots’ group in July 2015, but an anticipated ramp-up of hundreds of deliveries by the end of 2016 never materialized. Last year, Hawkins reorganized the supply chain, bringing composite fuselage production in-house and opening a new final assembly plant in Mexico.