NTSB Issues Preliminary Report On Halladay Crash
The last data point captured by the flight data recorder on Roy Halladay’s Icon A5 before his fatal crash shows the light sport at 200 feet above the water with a speed of 87 knots, says the NTSB. The preliminary report says a witness told investigators that “he saw the airplane perform a climb to between 300 and 500 feet on a southerly heading and then turn and descend on an easterly heading about a 45° nose-down attitude. He then saw the airplane impact the water and nose over.” The NTSB did not say how often the A5’s black box samples speed and altitude data, so it’s unclear from the report how much time may have elapsed between the last data point and impact with the water. As a light sport aircraft, the A5 is required to have a stall speed no higher than 45 knots.
Roy Halladay had been flying as low as 11 feet above ground level and as close as 75 feet to homes in his new Icon A5 before the fatal accident on Nov. 7, says the NTSB report. The 11-foot pass recorded by the A5’s flight data recorder shows Halliday traveling at 92 knots—cruising speed for the Rotax-powered amphibian. The NTSB reports that the safety pin on the airframe parachute was still installed in the activation handle at the time of the crash. Icon checklists call for the pin to be removed prior to flight. Halladay’s logbook included 703.9 hours of total flight experience, including 51.8 hours in the Icon A5, according to the NTSB.