ICON CEO and Founder Kirk Hawkins released a statement Wednesday regarding the final report of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on the A5 aircraft crash that killed two men in May near the Napa side of Lake Berryessa.
“I want to thank the NTSB for its professionalism and thoroughness in this process; this is an important step in reaching closure for the families of Jon and Cagri as well as the ICON team after such a traumatic loss,” Hawkins said in the prepared statement.
The victims of the May 8 crash, both employees of Vacaville-based ICON Aircraft, Inc., were identified as Jon Murray Karkow, 55, the pilot, and Cagri Sever, 41, the passenger.
The accident occurred just after 9 a.m. May 8 when the two took their light sport, amphibious airplane on an “employee demonstration flight” from Nut Tree Airport to Lake Berryessa with a plan to “conduct water maneuvers.”
The report concluded that the probable cause of the accident was “the pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering at a low altitude. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s mistaken entry into a canyon surrounded by steep rising terrain while at a low altitude for reasons that could not be determined. The report also states the airplane appeared to be operating normally at the time of the accident and that the “post accident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of any pre-existing mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operations.”
“Jon and Cagri were both extraordinary individuals and are missed tremendously,” Hawkins added. “Cagri had recently joined ICON as a star engineering leader from Ford Motor Company. Jon was a legendary aircraft designer, test pilot, and unsung hero in aviation. He was a founding member of the ICON team, the lead aero engineer on the A5, and a core part of ICON’s DNA. The A5 not only reflects his genius, it represents his love for flying in its purest form — it was his final gift to aviation. The ICON family is committed to carrying the flag forward in Jon and Cagri’s honor.”
Memorials for both Karkow and Sever were held in the weeks after the accident. ICON also created a page dedicated to Karkow on its website, www.iconaircraft.com/jonkarkow.
The full NTSB report is available at www.ntsb.gov.
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