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Icon A5 plane crash kills two, including its lead designer

The aircraft with foldable wings was airborne for 20 minutes before crashing.
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Chris Velazco/Engadget

A fatal crash has left the amphibious Icon A5 personal aircraft's fate mired in uncertainty. Lead engineer Jon Karkow and coworker Cagri Sever were killed in the accident outside of Icon's Vacaville, California training facility, AVweb reports. Karkow was piloting the aircraft at the time and the pair had been airborne for around 20 minutes.

The crash may be the result of a "steep vertical descent," according to Wired. Given that the A5 was designed to make flying easier, the crash is all the more curious. Especially, like Wired notes, when Karkow had flown more aggressive and challenging craft in his time at Scaled Composites. Before joining Icon, Karkow helped design Virgin Atlantic's GlobalFlyer and SpaceShip Two.

An investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board is underway. Coupled with layoffs and a recent scaling back in delivery estimates for the aircraft with foldable wings, how Icon and the A5 fare from here isn't clear.

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