Icon A5 Amphibian Notches FAA Primary Category Type Certification


Icon Aircraft announced Tuesday (Dec. 26) it has received FAA type certification in the primary category for its light sport A5 amphibious aircraft. The ruling means Icon may now leverage reciprocal agreements with other nations’ aviation authorities to open international markets, including Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

Icon CEO Jerry Meyer said, “We are confident that [the Icon A5] will captivate the imaginations of new customers and enthusiasts as we expand our sales and marketing presence outside of the U.S. We are grateful for the collaborative partnership with the FAA throughout this process, and we extend our sincere thanks for their commitment to safety and efficiency.”

The folding-wing, two-seat Icon A5 is available with Garmin’s G3X Touch avionics suite, including the GMC 507 control panel. Autopilot functions include GPS navigation, indicated airspeed hold, vertical speed hold, altitude, heading and track modes with an independent flight director. The LVL button automatically recovers from steep and unusual attitudes.

Current pricing for a fully equipped Icon A5 is around $400,000.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.


  1. Congratulation ICON team! Nice to see Newer USA aviation companies positioning for the potential of a world market.

  2. “Notches”? The word “notches” connotes some sense of earning. The A5 should never have been granted LSA status in the first place. Rather the A5 should have been required to “notch”, (if that’s your verb of preference) primary category type cert in the first place. The fact that it was not was a clear case of money talks! My Cessna 120 should have been granted LSA status before the A5.

    I and many of us puke every time we see a story about the Icon A5. Do yourself Mark, and more importantly your readership a favor in the future. Refrain from shilling for Icon. Paul Bertorelli learned that the hard way. Take a lesson from him.

    • Take a breath, John. We’re not shilling for anyone. This kind of story is the most basic aviation news. Should we have ignored it? BTW, your 120 is already certified. Would you consider it moving to LSA an upgrade?

      • Well, not mentioning it’s massive cost increases, it’s unique maintenance agreements, the aircraft’s short life limits, the high profile accidents that hurt all of GA, and just publishing the CEO’s message without balance to reality; yea, it does sound like just shilling for them.

  3. While general aviation barely exists in other countries, due to costs and regulatory overreach, I doubt an airborne skidoo at 400k is going to make an impact overseas.

  4. I’m lost as to why people feel a need to trash ICON. What did they do to you?

    This latest approval will open more markets to them. Perhaps make it easier under MOASIC or part 23 to increase capacity & performance in the future?

    Let’s root for all our USA aircraft companies to be successful, even if the product does not fit your mission profile. It helps us all.

    • It’s actually deserved. ICON has consistently been primarily for ICON; not buyers. Unless you have forgotten:
      ” contractually required pilot training, maintenance, agreements not to sue, the requirement for factory airframe overhauls every 2,000 hours or ten years (whichever comes first), and a limit on the aircraft’s life of 6,000 hours, or thirty years. Furthermore, each aircraft would be equipped with a camera and recorder to monitor pilot behavior, that is owned by the manufacturer but must be maintained by the owner. Owners would have to agree to be “supportive” of the company.”

    • The hostility goes back to the early days of development and marketing of the A5, when ICON published flashy ads in media in and outside the GA community – including outlets aimed at wealthy non-pilots – touting how easy and fun the A5 would be to fly. With user-friendly design, including a simple non-complicated instrument panel. Since then, ICON has been treating the A5 like a typical new tech product, with the kinds of control that comes with smart phones.
      The traditional GA community got huffy about ICON abandoning the traditions of GA – heroic flying skills, J-3 knockoffs, speed/performance, long/difficult flight training, we-build-you-fly, Lycoming/Continental engines, the reliance on the GA community itself. And how ICON actually went to the government and got a waiver from the LSA weight restrictions.
      Sort of like the sneering among Real Pilots at the Cirrus SR20/22 with their CAPS parachute.
      Add the penchant of some AVweb commenters for displaying their superior engineering/scientific/business knowledge against any news of an innovation or new product being reported on these pages.
      It all adds up to being primed to pick apart any aspect of any news from ICON.

  5. I have nothing against Icon. I’m simply stating a fact which you can research yourself, the rest of the world doesn’t have the general aviation activity the US has in addition to onerous flight regulations overseas. So far they have produced 200 airframes of which much of the work is accomplished in Tijuana. Not exactly American made. If I had 400k I’d purchase an Extra 300 and really have fun.

    Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICON_A5

    • The fiberglass airframe current layup (I don’t know how many of the existing airframes were laid up in Duluth by Cirrus) is done in the Mexico facility, so on a square-footage basis, it’s not inaccurate to say “much of the work.” But, the company management offices and factory are in the U.S. (Vacaville, California). That realistically constitutes most of the “making” of the product.