FAA Wants More Information On Icon Weight Exemption
The FAA says it needs more information before it can decide whether to exempt the Icon A5 from the upper weight limit restriction for amphibious light sport aircraft and allow it to weigh 1680 pounds. As AOPA reported last week, the agency wrote a letter (PDF) to Icon President Kirk Hawkins that due to "the complexity, extent and precedent-setting aspects" of Icon's request it needs time and more documentation to process the petition. In the letter, Earl Lawrence, manager of the FAA's Small Plane Directorate, said the agency normally tries to process requests in 120 days. Icon filed the request in July of 2012, saying the 250-pound weight increase is warranted because it's required to make the aircraft spin-resistant.
In the original petition Icon said the larger wing and the attendant structures necessary to make the aircraft spin-resistant are a reasonable compromise in making the aircraft safer. In his response, Lawrence said the FAA wants details on how Icon tested the spin resistance of the heavier aircraft and it wants a signed statement by someone in charge saying the aircraft meets FAA spin resistance criteria as laid out in 14 CFR 23.221 (a)(2). Lawrence did not say how much longer the FAA will need to assess the information before it makes a decision.