Tuesday, May 9, 2017

2 ICON employees, Jon Murray Karkow and Cagri Sever, died in an ICON Aircraft, Inc. A5 plane crash near Lake Berryessa in Napa County, CA

Investigators need the public's help to determine what went wrong moments before a plane crashed at Lake Berryessa. The plane was a single-engine light sport amphibious aircraft. The model hit the market less than two years ago.

The crash happened near their HQ and where they do their test flying. It is a major blow because Jon Murray Karkow was one of the company's top pilots or officials. 

Monday, May 08, 2017 11:20PM
NAPA COUNTY (KGO) -- Investigators need the public's help to determine what went wrong moments before a plane crashed at Lake Berryessa. The plane was a single-engine light sport amphibious aircraft. The model hit the market less than two years ago.

ICON Aircraft created a lot of buzz in the aviation industry when it debuted the A5, which is part boat, all airplane but clearly, Monday's crash is a setback for the Vacaville-based start-up.

NTSB investigators say their first priority is to get the ICON A5 to a secure location.

The aircraft was only in the air for 20 minutes before it crashed in a remote section of Lake Berryessa.

Inside were two ICON employees who died in the crash -- the 55-year-old pilot Jon Karkow and his passenger 41-year-old Cagri Sever.

"We don't have any known witnesses at this point in time to the accident sequence itself," said NTSB investigator Joshua Cawthra. "We are looking for witnesses."

In a statement, Icon CEO, Kirk Hawkins said in part: This was a devastating personal loss for many of us... the thoughts and prayers of our entire organization are with the families of both people on board, they were truly amazing individuals.

The A5, an amphibious, single-engine, two-seater sells for as much as $257,000.

ABC7 spoke to Hawkins last year. "Most airplanes are designed to haul things from A to B, and the pilot and the experience is an afterthought. The human experience and the pilot is the first thing that we think about."

Industry experts say while the crash is no doubt a setback for the company, Icon has been applauded for introducing an innovative aircraft to the market.

"In that regard, it has been exciting especially for those who want to see more light sport aircraft," said ABC Aviation Analyst John Nance.

As for the investigation, the NTSB says a preliminary report should be released in the next five business days.

Jon Karkow spent 22 years in aircraft development at Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites where he led more than 20 programs, including five complete airplanes and the around-the-world Virgin GlobalFlyer, current holder of three absolute aviation records. He served as the Technical Program Manager for Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic commercial space program, and currently works as the Lead Aero Engineer at ICON Aircraft where he was responsible for the hydrodynamic and spin-resistant design of the A5 amphibious aircraft. Jon received a BA in Physics at Kenyon College and a BS in Aeronautical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is an active experimental test pilot with instrument, multi-engine, seaplane, helicopter, and glider ratings, and is a licensed airframe and powerplant mechanic.

Jon Murray Karkow, dead at A5 plane crash

 It's not good for Icon that two of eight planes have been destroyed and the chief designer / test pilot was killed in a production compliant plane.

Cagri Sever appears to be a Turkish military pilot.

 Cagri Sever, the dead Turk.  Now that was a good thing.


Two ICON employees killed in ICON Aircraft plane crash near Lake Berryessa identified

Two people are dead after a small plane crashed in a Napa County lake.

The scene was so remote, crews could only access it by boat. The plane crashed just after 9 a.m. Monday near Lake Berryessa.

The NTSB and FAA as well as the Napa County sheriffs have been investigating. The plane that crashed was a special amphibious plane that's made nearby in Vacaville.

The victims have been identified as 55-year-old Jon Murray Karkow, the pilot in command of the aircraft, and 41-year-old Cagri Sever, who was a passenger. Both are employees of ICON Aircraft.

The single-engine ICON A5 crashed under circumstances officials have not determined yet. Officials believe the aircraft was only airborne for about 20 minutes before it crashed.

Lake Berryessa is used as an ICON training ground for planes that can take off and land both on water and land. A sheriff's department describes the moment when they got the call Monday morning and discovered there were two people inside. "We got the call that there was a plane crash, we sent everybody of course. CHP actually sent their helicopter off and I believe they lowered someone into the scene and then he checked them both out, declared them both dead at the scene," he said.

Below is a statement from ICON Aircraft CEO Kirk Hawkins:

"It is with great sadness that I write this. Earlier today, two ICON Employees were killed in an A5 accident while flying at Lake Berryessa, CA. We have no details on the cause of the accident right now and the names of the victims have not been released publicly. The NTSB and FAA have been notified and ICON will be working closely with them to fully support their investigation.

This was a devastating personal loss for many of us. Once arrangements have been made with all the families involved we will let you know more. Please hold your calls and requests for a brief period while we work through this tragic event with the family members and employees. The thoughts and prayers of our entire organization are with the families of both people onboard, they were both truly amazing individuals."

The investigation continues into why this happened after just a short 20-minute flight.
A single-engine Icon A5 plane crash is seen near Lake Berryessa in Napa County on Monday, May 8, 2017.

Officials are investigating after two people died in a plane crash near Lake Berryessa in Napa County on Monday.


Napa coroner identifies plane fatalities at Lake Berryessa

JENNIFER HUFFMAN jhuffman@napanews.com
May 8, 2017 Updated 10 hrs ago

LAKE BERRYESSA, CA — Two Vacaville aircraft company employees died Monday morning after their amphibious plane crashed onto the shore of Lake Berryessa, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The crash occurred shortly after 9 a.m. next to Little Portuguese Cove at the eastern end of Lake Berryessa between Pleasure Cove Marina and Markley Cove Resort.

Jon Murray Karkow, 55, was the pilot and Cagri Sever, 41, was his passenger. Both are employees of ICON Aircraft, at 2141 ICON Way in Vacaville.

“We have no details on the cause of the accident right now,” ICON CEO Kirk Hawkins said in a written statement.

“This was a devastating personal loss for many of us,” Hawkins said. “The thoughts and prayers of our entire organization are with the families of both people onboard. They were both truly amazing individuals.”

ICON will be working closely with the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration “to fully support their investigation,” said Hawkins.

According to Napa County Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Blower, Karkow was most recently living in Vacaville, having moved up from Tehachapi. Sever came to Vacaville from Ann Arbor, Michigan about a week ago.

The bodies of the two men were taken to the Napa County Coroner’s facility, said Blower. A forensic exam will be completed by the coroner’s office this week.

The plane that crashed was a two-seat, single-engine ICON A5 Amphibious Light Sport Aircraft. Icon A5’s have been a common sight flying over the Lake Berryessa area recently, said Blower.

In mid-April, one ICON customer even used an ICON aircraft to arrange for a marriage proposal to take place after landing at the lake.

Such amphibious light-sport aircraft can land on land or water, officials said. This is a concept plane that is beginning limited production at an assembly facility in Vacaville. According to the Icon website, the price for the plane is listed as $189,000.

This isn’t the first ICON crash. During flight operations in Miami on April 1, an ICON aircraft experienced “an extremely hard landing” that resulted in hull damage that caused the aircraft to take on water. Both the pilot and passenger were uninjured. Initial information suggested pilot error, said the company.

The Sheriff’s Office set up a command post at Pleasure Cove Marina. The crash site was inaccessible by land, so deputies and other agencies were using boats to get to the crash scene. Efforts to recover the aircraft were still underway on Monday afternoon.

The FAA sent an investigator to the crash scene. Shortly before noon, the FAA said it had completed its preliminary investigation and cleared the bodies for removal.

Just before the crash, it was 65 degrees at the lake, sunny and with northeast winds of 2 mph, according to Weather Underground.

Both the FAA and the NTSB will investigate the crash, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Officials from Cal Fire and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation were among those who responded to the mid-morning tragedy.

This was second plane crash in nine days at Lake Berryessa. On April 30, two passengers received minor injuries when they accidentally crashed a pontoon plane into the lake while practicing touch-and-go landings on the water.

The plane, a 2003 Glasstar experimental floatplane, was towed upside-down to shore.

Time:09:30 a.m.
Type:Silhouette image of generic A5 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Icon A5
Registration: N184BA
C/n / msn: 00007
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Lake Berryessa in Napa County, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Nut Tree (KVCB)
Destination airport:
The plane crashed under unknown circumstances. Both occupants died in the crash.



Registration source- 07 was visible on the tail of the wreckage, signifying the aircraft was MSN 07. Also, part of the tail number, "...4BA" was visible. According to the FAA database, the registration for the MSN 07 aircraft is N184BA.