Icon Contract Raises EAA Auction Concern
EAA is worried ICON Aircraft's controversial and "onerous" buyer's agreement will affect one of its biggest fundraisers. ICON donated the first production A5 Light Sport amphib to EAA's Young Eagles program in a highly publicized event at the 2015 AirVenture in Oshkosh. EAA decided to auction the aircraft, which has a sticker price of about $250,000, at the Gathering of Eagles dinner at AirVenture in 2016. The auction is the main fundraiser for EAA's youth programs and the addition of the aircraft was billed as a major boost to the event. There is said to be a five-year backlog and it's been rumored that early positions for the plane have sold for much more than the retail price. But EAA Chairman Jack Pelton told AVweb in the video interview below the 40-page buyer's agreement is a complication EAA will have to address with potential bidders. "It adds a new complexity to our auction, which is frustrating," he said.
Pelton said that in promoting the auction, EAA will have to make it clear that the buyer's agreement, which has been widely criticized since it was first publicized by Aero-News Network at the end of March, is part of the package. As the former CEO of Cessna, Pelton seemed perplexed by the length and breadth of the agreement, which strives to limit ICON's liability, requires real-time monitoring of flight parameters and requires the agreement to be transferred to any future owners. He said he understood the goal to limit liability but said the agreement would limit ICON's market access.