At first glance, the Icon A5 is sleek, compact, and has all the makings of a millionaires favorite toy. It’s snow white with black and red touches on the wings and on the front. She might be compact but she has a lot to offer.
The Icon A5 is a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) that only requires a sport pilot license. A regular pilots license can be expensive, takes a ton of time, and is hard for the average person to obtain. The sport pilot license lowers the barrier to entry and really makes the joys of flying available for someone who doesn’t have a ton of time to go through traditional channels.
Dreamed up by a former fighter pilot this aircraft is well thought out and meets all the needs of sport aircraft aficionados. Safety was of the utmost importance and they have several built-in features that help ensure that users have the best experience.
When they opened the cockpit I was amazed at how streamlined it looked. The dashboard wasn’t covered in a million gauges and buttons. There were two joysticks in front of both seats that swiveled easily and the seats were covered with durable yet comfy material. The seats are comfy and there is ample leg room. Behind those seats, there is space for small luggage and there is ample leg room.
It was a beautiful day in Miami, blue skies, a few clouds, and a little wind. The Icon A5 has removable windows so I asked the pilot if we could enjoy the breeze while we were cruising the friendly skies. Once I climbed in we did a quick safety briefing and were off. If anything went wrong I was told to pull the parachute cord and cut the engine. Easy enough and I didn’t even have to remember where the exit row was. We taxied up to the runaway and in less than 5 minutes were airborne.
As the ground got further away I realized that it felt just like cruising in a convertible. The sun’s rays warmed our skin and the breeze kept us cool while we floated above the intercoastal.
I’ve flown a plane before and absolutely loved it. The feeling you get in the cockpit is the ultimate expression of freedom. My pilot was gracious enough to let me take over the controls and as a novice, I did not muck it up.
The Icon A5 is very intuitive and flying it is an absolute pleasure. I was amazed that it was so easy to handle and at no point did I feel overwhelmed. Spoiler alert being in the Icon A5 requires you to be completely present. The only thing you get to worry about is the status of the plan and taking in the views.
The A5 is a hybrid, think part jet ski part plane. When we went up I thought we’d be doing a quick loop and then heading back in. Little did I know that I’d be getting to experience my first water landing.
We went from floating in the air to floating in the water in less than 5 minutes. The landing was so smooth I didn’t even get splashed. The pilot then opened the cockpit and then stepped onto the wing. We floated for a few minutes and enjoyed the sun glistening off the water.
If I had been better prepared we could have gone for a swim. Apparently, folks like to take the A5 out on the lake or ocean for a quick dip or some fishing. The seats just so happen to be made out of a special material that dries quickly so you’re not stuck with a soggy bottom.
It was time to head back and our take off from the water was just as smooth as the one from the runway. The Icon A5 doesn’t need a runaway and can takeoff/land in numerous conditions.
As we made out way back I was struck by how easy all this had been. It was an absolute pleasure from start to finish and at no point did anything feel like a chore. Everything about this aircraft lends itself to ease and sensibility.
Did I mention you can load it up on a trailer and take it where you want? It’s built for those that crave freedom. I’d take this out for a day on the lake and with 4 hours of fly time, you have plenty of time to roam. The Icon A5 is portable, versatile, and will take you places you’d never expect.
Icon hosted the Aspiring Gentleman. All opinions are my own.