ICON Responds To Sales Agreement Discussion

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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.

Comments (5)

ICON does not "get it". Their on-board monitoring, paying ICON $2,000 when you sell it or having the whole plane be worthless after 6000 hours is NOT "safety". ICON is trying to have it both ways; pay a LOT up front and sue YOU if you vary from whatever their standards might be. No thanks.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | April 8, 2016 9:24 PM    Report this comment

"Tweaking?" You've got to be kidding me. How about an overhaul? Refusal to grant an interview to AVweb is disturbing. I just didn't like their attitude right from the get-go. Customer support and service is everything in this industry, that's what you're really buying. The plane is nothing without support. ICON has a bad attitude that permeates from the top down, there's no getting around it. If you think that will change you're living in a dream world that will soon turn into a nightmare quickly following delivery.

Posted by: Thomas Cooke | April 9, 2016 6:45 AM    Report this comment

I remember years ago when looking at a commercial rental agreement contract that was over 40 pages long. The price was right and the location was great, but the contract wanted you to pay them in case of war, natural disaster, etc, etc. I took it to my attorney who didn't even look at it and said: "The question you have to ask yourself is do you even want to do business with someone that writes a contract like that!"

Posted by: Thomas Wiley | April 9, 2016 10:27 AM    Report this comment

Mr. Hawkins,

Are you really that far removed from reality that you do not even see the negative comments associated with your sales contract?

As I type this, the AvWeb question of the week, Would you buy an Icon A5, considering the sales
contract? Now has 627 NO votes after just a few days up!

Grant the interview with AvWeb and let Mr. Bertorelli fly the A5!

Posted by: Ric Lee | April 9, 2016 3:51 PM    Report this comment

Sorry, can't really blame Icon for this. Its a sue happy society from getting burnt from Mcdonalds coffee to suing aircraft manufacturers because the pilot was an idiot. You need to have your A$$ covered at all times. People did this to themselves

Posted by: Mark Yashchyshyn | April 16, 2016 5:23 PM    Report this comment

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