Icon Demo Prompts Emergency Response

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In most circumstances, an aircraft sales rep wants as much attention as possible for his product but Rick Rief had people calling 911 every time he did a demo flight in St. Louis last week. The Icon Aircraft rep was twice greeted by first responders when he landed his A5 on the Mississippi River. Bystanders thought they were witnessing a plane crash as Rief showed the amphibious capabilities of the LSA to prospective customers. “This is what this plane is supposed to do,” Rief told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It’s supposed to fly low. It’s supposed to touch down in the water. It’s for adventure flying.”

Last Wednesday, multiple police and fire crews rushed to the scene and the fire department’s Marine Task Force rescue boats were launched to look for wreckage. Rief had a flight planned for the following day so he let the authorities know about it but the message didn’t get through to at least one fire department, which rushed to the reported crash near the Chain of Rocks bridge. Rief again explained to authorities that he had five more demo flights scheduled for Thursday and the flashing lights and sirens stayed in their stations. Rief had set up the flights while showing the aircraft at the St. Louis Boat Show the previous weekend.