Icon's Buyer Contract Restricts Liability
Icon has recently started to ask buyers with deposits on the A5 light sport aircraft to sign a sales contract before taking delivery of their airplanes, and the length of that contract — 41 pages (PDF) — is unusual for general aviation, as are a number of Icon's stipulations. The contract requires that every pilot who flies the A5 must receive training from Icon-approved instructors or the company itself, and the aircraft must be maintained by Icon-approved mechanics. More significantly, Icon seeks to limit the company's liability by requiring owners to sign a waiver pledging not to sue or, if they want that right, to pay an additional $10,000. The airframe has a 2,000-hour or 10-year overhaul requirement and appears to be life-limited to 30 years or 6,000 hours, whichever comes first.
Every aircraft also will come equipped with a flight data recorder that the owner is required to use at all times and maintain at his own expense. The company can use the data in any way it wishes and will grant the owner limited access to such data. Further, Icon requires that if the aircraft is resold, the original buyer must assure that the new owner will adhere to the original buyer's stipulations with Icon or pay a $5,000 transfer fee. Icon also reserves the right to buy the airplane back from the original owner at a market value that appears to be determined by Icon. AVweb editorial director Paul Bertorelli takes an in-depth look at the contract in today's AVweb Insider blog.