The Icon A5 isn't your typical airplane. The so-called "sports car with wings" is small and easy to fly. But in the wake of the recent crash involving retired baseball pitcher Roy Halladay, experts say marketing a plane for "non-pilots" and low-altitude flying is a recipe for disaster.
The A5 is an amphibious sport plane, meaning it can take off and land from the ground or water. To fly it, pilots only need a sport-pilot license, which requires less than half the amount of flight hours as a traditional pilot license.
But some aviation experts think pilots with such little flying time shouldn't fly aircraft at low altitude — even if planes are designed for that purpose. Low-altitude flying is especially difficult and typically involves extensive training beyond certification for a pilot license.
The National Transportation Safety Board hasn't determined the exact cause of Halladay's crash, but low flying was found to be a primary factor in another A5 crash that happened earlier this year. The incident killed Icon A5 designer Jon Murray Karkow and another company official. Karkow entered a canyon while flying too low and struck a canyon wall.
Icon released a new set of low-altitude flying guidelines after that crash, but the company also said pilots are ultimately responsible for their own safety when operating the aircraft. Icon even requires anyone buying an A5 to sign away their rights to sue the company in the event of an accident.
Icon has released a statement expressing its condolences to Halladay's family. It is also supporting the ongoing NTSB investigation.
Reactions to the death of Roy Halladay
Reactions to the death of Roy Halladay
Former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
When people ask me if I could re-live any moment in baseball-1 that I always say would be to watch Doc pitch again!… https://t.co/tzGSdKdizg
My heart hurts writing this. I can still remember the first day we met. It was 5:45am on the first day of spring training when I arrived. He was finishing his breakfast but his clothes were soaking wet. I asked if it was raining when he got in. He laughed and said “No I just finished my workout” I knew right then- he was the real deal. Thank you Roy for allowing us to witness what it takes to be the best. We will all miss you.
Phillies statement on the sudden & tragic passing of Roy Halladay: https://t.co/gGhv7JUKv0
Such a sad day. We lost a great ball player but an even better human being. Many prayers to Brandy, Ryan, & Brayden. We will miss you Roy.
I’m stunned to silence over the news of Roy Halladay. My thoughts and heart are with Brandy and the boys. Rest In Peace my friend.
Roy Halladay's former Phillies teammate Cole Hamels: "He means a lot to all of us. We’re really, really gonna miss… https://t.co/vZJygn4mL6
Devastated by the tragic loss of Roy Halladay. Best, most consistent pitcher ever. Tremendous teammate. Loving father. Great person. Prayers
Gone too soon my friend!!! Blessed to have shared the field with you as a teammate, competitor, friend and more imp… https://t.co/IBW3pfariC
I lost a great friend today. All love Roy!!! #RoyHalladay https://t.co/DVdhLDnbcQ
The best I've ever been around. Incredible athlete and more importantly, an incredible man. My prayers go out to Brandi, Braden, and Ryan. Love you DOC! I'll never forget you and all you did for me and my family! #RIPDoc
My heart is heavy hearing about Roy's crash. He made a difference in so many people's lives, including mine. May God bring peace to his fam.
In shock over the terrible news about Roy Halladay... a pitcher I grew up admiring & rooting for. Praying for his family & friends. #RIPDoc
I only own like 5 signed jerseys, and I was so scared to ask him. He wrote that he liked watching ME pitch. What an… https://t.co/kq4Esua4VQ
In complete shock right now. Thoughts and prayers to the entire Halladay. My heart goes out to you. A great competitor, even better person.
One of the best to ever do it. I had a front row seat to watch his greatness. RIP Doc. 🙏🏾 to Brandy and the kids.
Devastating. One of my favorite teammates ever. The blueprint for what a competitor looks like.
RIP Roy Halladay. Heartbroken for his family
We are saddened by the tragic news that Roy Halladay, 2-time Cy Young Award winner & 8-time All-Star, has died in a… https://t.co/PpZaohsvfF
RIP Roy Doc Halladay, a true baseball great and a man with a generous heart.Our thoughts and prayers are with Roy a… https://t.co/XehkfEvIgz
Heart is broken to hear about Roy Halladay .great friend, teammate, father and husband. One of the best teammates ever! You will be missed !
The 76ers organization is saddened to learn of the passing of Philadelphia Phillies great Roy Halladay. We extend o… https://t.co/BMcLydH2z4
Oh my god man. Day ruined. Wow. Prayers with the entire Halladay family. This is awful! https://t.co/nrS2INJ231
The Eagles are saddened to learn of the passing of Phillies icon Roy Halladay. Our thoughts are with his family and… https://t.co/5U2yYwS8jI
Absolutely devastated to hear of the death of Roy Halladay. Just sick. One of my favorite pitchers to ever watch. Prayers for his family...
I wanted to be Roy Halladay. I’m heartbroken, rest easy Doc.
Sad day for baseball. Roy Halladay was one of my favorite pitchers to watch growing up. Baseball lost a legend toda… https://t.co/Q11NrD3kxa
We were together in this journey as Canadian Baseball Hall of Famers, now you are gone. RIP Roy Halladay https://t.co/x5Vv0r8djx
So sad to hear about the tragic news about Roy Holladay. He was a pitcher I wanted to be just like early on in my c… https://t.co/1fF7DKC2Ht
Wow! Can't believe the news on Roy Halladay. One of my favorite guys to watch pitch! The baseball Gods got a good one! RIP Doc
My thoughts are w/ Roy's family, friends and teammates. Tragedies like this are very very hard to deal with. RIP Doc
RIP Roy Halladay, the greatest example of a true competitor and a true gentleman. May God Bless him and his family
Being a kid from Colorado, this man was my hero growing up!! Was a pleasure to watch pitch. Can't believe this happ… https://t.co/LAi6oqRsh2
RIP...Roy Halladay one of the greatest teammates I have had the privilege the play with. Our prayers are with his wife and 2 boys!🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the passing of Roy Halladay. We extend our thoughts and condolences to… https://t.co/FGDN1diASU
RIP. Thoughts and prayers with his family. https://t.co/gcHrmWgiN9
Heartbreaking news. 2-time Cy Young Award winner & 8-time All-Star, Roy Halladay has died in a plane crash.
Our th… https://t.co/MYvA3sfOYj
Rest in Peace, Doc.
The baseball world lost a legend far too soon. https://t.co/KFhvL3hQyF
I’m shocked to hear the news about Roy Halladay. Devastating. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Oct. 6, 2010. Halladay’s no-hitter vs. the Reds in the Division Series. It was an honor to be at Citizens Bank Park… https://t.co/lak8NlbLRZ
So incredibly saddened to hear about @RoyHalladay. Rest in peace brother. Gone way too soon.
Very saddened by the news of Roy Halladay.
Shocked and saddened... gone way too soon. One of the best ever. #RIPDoc
My deepest condolences to the Halladay family during this difficult time. The world lost a great one too early toda… https://t.co/FMXfItaZIK
What a loss all of baseball just suffered. Roy is a legend. A true warrior of a pitcher and man I️ truly admired. @phillies @bluejays
Joining the baseball family in mourning Roy Halladay. So very sad at the loss of a great competitor and person. Eternal rest and peace.
"Roy was 1 in a million." https://t.co/JCQ4UZvi5M
Always loved watching Roy Halladay pitch growing up and I’m beyond saddened to hear this news. Rest In Peace Doc.
Crazy how you can be here today and gone tomorrow... RIP Roy Halladay, my thoughts and prayers gout out to his family and loved ones.
One night I️ will never forget the intensity he pitched with and carried us to a victory🤙🏽🤙🏽🤙🏽all he did was compli… https://t.co/aKfDRgX6ha