ICON Responds To Sales Agreement Discussion
ICON Aircraft CEO Kirk Hawkins says the company is open to changing its controversial buyer's agreement based on the feedback it's receiving on the document and "doing what is ultimately right for our owners, the industry and the company." What exactly that means isn't clear in the open letter (PDF) sent to aviation media on Friday night that seemed to defend the need for the document but also acknowledge that it was "uncomfortable for some." Hawkins also said there was some "misinformation and misinterpretation regarding our Purchase Agreement and the motivation behind its terms." AVweb and other aviation media repeatedly invited Hawkins to speak to us on the record about the controversial document but AVweb was not granted an interview. The 40-page contract limits buyers' ability to sue, invokes training, flight envelope and even behavioral standards on buyers and requires the contract to be binding on future owners of the aircraft.
In the letter, Hawkins said the company addressed the technical issue of stall/spin resistance but other serious problems threaten the future of general aviation and the contract attempts to fix those. "The purchase agreement has two fundamental objectives: (1) vigorously promote safety and responsible flying and (2) directly address the GA product liability crisis," he wrote. "The problem of safety-related product liability is massive, lurks well below the surface and must be addressed." He said ICON is committed to that goal and received support from "owners, enthusiasts and GA influencers." He also seemed to allow that its first attempt might need tweaking. "If we need to improve our contract to help safely grow our industry we will," he wrote.