The Icon A5 light-sport amphibious airplane promises adventure, and that is indeed what this unique light-sport airplane (LSA) delivers. AIN was invited to experience full immersion in the A5 world, and I recently spent four days at Icon Aircraft’s headquarters in Vacaville, Calif., learning how to fly the A5 and earning a single-engine sea sport endorsement.
For Icon Aircraft, which markets the A5 as the ultimate fun device for the adventure sports fanatic, a significant challenge is balancing that sporty attitude with helping buyers, especially those new to flying, develop a strong dedication to safety while still having fun. The company does this through Icon Flight Centers (IFCs, two of them so far, in Vacaville and Tampa, Fla., with a third slated to open in Texas this year, likely in the Dallas/Fort Worth area). The IFCs train new Icon pilots and those who are adding a seaplane endorsement to their tickets, and they offer multiple ways to experience the A5, from a demo flight to ab initio LSA training for new pilots and LSA seaplane transition courses for existing floatplane pilots or pilots with no water experience. Having never flown a floatplane or amphibian, I went through the course for those with no water experience.