In perhaps the biggest “oops” of the year, the driver of an SUV failed to see a stop sign, and collided with a small aircraft at the Northwest Regional Airport, near Dallas. WFAA news reports that only minor injuries were sustained by the passenger of the vehicle, as the plane’s landing gear clipped its roof. Pilot William Davis was completing his first solo flight, and his wife happened to be filming his landing when she captured the collision. For his part, Davis says he’ll never fly a plane again, after this near miss.
Apparently, a private road crosses the north end of the landing strip. The only indication to drivers that there’s potential risk of decapitation by landing gear is a faded “STOP” painted on the asphalt. Frank Laudo, driver of the SUV, says he didn’t see it. You’ll be inclined to believe him after you watch this video.
Ever dream of strolling out to the garage, sliding inside your own personal aircraft, rolling down the driveway, and flying off to some exotic place? If so, then you’re in luck, as Icon Aircraft is working towards making this dream a reality with their Icon A5 airplane.
The two passenger A5 is just 22 feet in length and comes with wings that fold up for easier storage. It can carry a load of approximately 530 pounds, including passengers and luggage, and it runs on both automobile and aviation fuel, meaning you can fuel up at the 7-11 on the corner if you’d like. The aircraft can fly as high as 15,000 feet and has a top speed of 138 miles per hour, and, best of all, with the optional retractable landing gear, it becomes amphibious, allowing it to take off and land on water.
The A5 is rated as a “light sports aircraft” by the FAA, which places some special restrictions on its performance but also grants it some liberties as well. For instance, to get licensed to fly this plane you’ll need just 20 hours of training, and you literally can take it down to the lake and use it as your runway. But, you’ll need a special, optional instrument panel to fly at night and for safety reasons, light aircraft are now allowed to stray too close to an airport with a manned control tower.
Icon hopes to ramp up production in 2011 and begin shipping the first models, but you can reserve your A5 today on the company’s website. A $5000 deposit puts you on the waiting list for your own personal aircraft which will have a price tag of just $139,000.