NTSB Issues Preliminary Report On Halladay Crash

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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.

Comments (36)

The Government is sorry to inform you that your son is dead because he was - in the words of our former president - "Acting Stupidly".

Posted by: michael costanzo | November 22, 2017 6:40 AM    Report this comment

I miss the older format of AvWeb, where I could click on one story and all of the stories would populate the screen. This new format is not an improvement. Perhaps it is a marketing ploy, but I'll be clicking less, not more, and will be looking less at your website. What are you thinking?

Posted by: Doug Turner | November 22, 2017 7:18 AM    Report this comment

I certainly agree with the above comment. I find it needlessly bothersome to have to click back and forth to view the whole news letter. I read less than before.

Posted by: John Odgers | November 22, 2017 7:42 AM    Report this comment

I agree with Doug and John above. It just makes me want to read less of AvWeb

Posted by: Timothy Ettridge | November 22, 2017 7:50 AM    Report this comment

I'll add my two cents to this unofficial poll expressed by previous posters. I preferred the older Avweb format where I didn't have to go back and forth like I do now to view the expanded story because they were all expanded simultaneously on the one page. Not an improvement!

Posted by: Paul D. Young | November 22, 2017 8:13 AM    Report this comment

Even in an aviation publication we get some inane comment about the "stall speed" which has absolutely nothing to do with this wreck. I guess we'll never weed the concept of speed/stall out of the GA garden and as a result people will continue to die, even in state of the art stall/spin resistant plastic airplane's with a parachute.

Posted by: Barton Robinett | November 22, 2017 8:13 AM    Report this comment

Ditto. When I click....I want it all.

Posted by: Mike Polhemus | November 22, 2017 8:15 AM    Report this comment

Definitely the previous format to populate the articles was better.

Posted by: Warren Webb Jr | November 22, 2017 8:16 AM    Report this comment

Even in an aviation publication we get some inane comment about the "stall speed" which has absolutely nothing to do with this wreck. I guess we'll never weed the concept of speed/stall out of the GA garden and as a result people will continue to die, even in state of the art stall/spin resistant plastic airplane's with a parachute.

Posted by: Barton Robinett | November 22, 2017 8:16 AM    Report this comment

Sorry to keep the plane off the localizer, but I fourth what had been posted by Doug, John, and Timothy. If viewership has increased post-update, then I can understand leaving it be. If not, please consider resurrecting the previous format.

Back on track, I recall reading about a theory on bicycle riding that goes something like: You learn to ride. You get comfortable riding. You pedal harder, turn sharper, lean farther. Then, you fall. You re-set what you thought limits were, and you start the process again. Thankfully for the bicycle rider, the fall is rarely fatal. Unfortunately, Mr. Halladay will not get the chance to reevaluate the limits. Note: This does not assume his decisions were entirely at fault. While the data referenced in this article indicate that unsafe decisions were made, there is of course still the possibility that other yet-unknown aggravating factors existed.

Posted by: Yonah Kondor | November 22, 2017 8:18 AM    Report this comment

I agree with the comments above regarding the new AVweb Flash format. Previously it was a concise aviation news read with some adverts on the side. Now it's the reverse. Too much jumping around to read each new issue. Also, when I select the "Read More" link in my email Flash to open the web version I immediately get a popup inviting me to register which obviously I have already done in order to receive the email. Please have a rethink on this one

Posted by: Barry Carr | November 22, 2017 8:24 AM    Report this comment

I also agree that the new format adds keystrokes and ultimately reduces perusal.

Posted by: Chris Front | November 22, 2017 8:25 AM    Report this comment

I also agree with the comments, I liked the old format, easier to read everything.
I DON'T like the new format

Posted by: John King | November 22, 2017 9:30 AM    Report this comment

Agree about the new format. Get rid of it!

Posted by: Jim McNeill | November 22, 2017 9:42 AM    Report this comment

Where is AvWeb, and what has happened to the concept of logical layout???

Posted by: Denny H | November 22, 2017 9:51 AM    Report this comment

I am with all the above Commenters. I much prefer the old AvWeb format. I think that perhaps the new format exposes readers to more ads [advertisements, not Airworthiness Directives :) ] than was experienced the "old way." Regardless, it was easier and quicker to navigate the stories before and I see no benefit to Readers with the new format. "Bring back the old!"

Posted by: Bob Maroldy | November 22, 2017 9:51 AM    Report this comment

I was very saddened to hear about Halladay's accident. Like everyone else, I don't know what happen to Ron, but it also saddens me that his initial flight training may have been incomplete or more than likely was forgotten. The part I refer to is the training involving accelerated stalls. Unfortunately, this type of training is taught and practiced at a "safe" altitude so the student may never really relate this activity to doing it at a low altitude. If a pilot dives the airplane toward the surface and then makes a hard pull-up instead of hitting the surface, the "Wing" will stall at high speed because of the higher g (Gravitational pull). In simple algebraic terms, the stall speed of an airplane (wing) is equal to the stall speed at 1 g (45K in the Icon A5) times the square root of the wing G at the time of the pull. That is, a 4 G pull can double the stall speed since the square root of 4 = 2. If aircraft speed is less than the new stall speed, the wing quits and aircraft hits the surface.
We see this happening to experienced pilots as well as inexperienced pilots ... Military pilots, commercial pilots, airshow pilots and seasoned aerobatic pilots performing looping figures near the ground. We just don't talk about it. Those pilots in positions of training pilots need to make sure that this stall speed/G relationship is well understood and the consequences of not understanding are made clear.
Paul Logue, 1419983, M.A.T. ATP, CFII-MSEL, IAC, EAA, AOPA, NAFI

Posted by: Paul Logue | November 22, 2017 9:56 AM    Report this comment

amazing all these comments nothing to do with story other than a heartless michael costanzo, he must be perfect..

Posted by: jim russell | November 22, 2017 9:59 AM    Report this comment

I reserved judgement until I'd gotten used to the new format, but..... Me too, regarding new format. Much much prefer the old style. PLEASE revert to what your readers prefer.

Posted by: Thom Riddle | November 22, 2017 10:02 AM    Report this comment

I reiterate the comments about the new format. The old format was much more reader friendly and I prefer it much more. Just because you can change something doesn't mean you have to.

Posted by: Stefan Sobol | November 22, 2017 10:31 AM    Report this comment

I would like to add my voice to the chorus for the old format to be resurrected. The new format is awful and takes too many clicks. Sorry to divert from the article.

Posted by: Jorn Loberg | November 22, 2017 10:43 AM    Report this comment

First, about the new AvWeb format: I've been complaining about it since the abortive roll-out last week. Makes me want to spend more time at the competitor, though the editorial professionalism here is far superior (to date). But the publishing business is hard these days. Remember what happened to FLYING when it was sold in 2009 and they booted J. Mac McLellan for not toeing the line? Also concerned about Paul Bertorelli's unexplained pullback from his amazing blog... as the Merry Pranksters said, "Nothing Lasts".

About Halladay; CFIT because he didn't see the water? Pilot incapacitation?

Posted by: Bill Polits | November 22, 2017 10:58 AM    Report this comment

Sorry to use this article to comment on the new AVweb layout/format, but I am terribly disappointed in the new layout, much harder to navigate, more keystrokes needed. Go back to the old format. Please.

Posted by: Allan Hughes | November 22, 2017 11:39 AM    Report this comment

I agree With the comments about the new format. It was easy to use the old, not so with the new. We may get used to it but is NOT as good by a long shot.

Posted by: lloyd hunt | November 22, 2017 11:40 AM    Report this comment

Agree with others about the new format. HATE it. And I read a lot less. I used to read every article. Today I read 2 or 7. Too bad for me and for you.

Posted by: Carl Hopkins | November 22, 2017 12:20 PM    Report this comment

Sad to hear about Mr. Halliday's accident. Flying low to the earth definitely increases ones chances of a mishap. Hopefully this will save someone else from tempting fate upon reading about it.

As to the new format, two thumbs down for me. 👎👎

Posted by: Ric Lee | November 22, 2017 4:36 PM    Report this comment

New format is is dreadful. I'm not inclined to stay on the page after one article.

Posted by: Jeffrey Fray | November 22, 2017 8:58 PM    Report this comment

The new format is dreadful. I'm not inclined to read much beyond one article.

Posted by: Jeffrey Fray | November 22, 2017 9:00 PM    Report this comment

Add me to the "don't like the new format" group. I used to click on an article which opened up the whole web page, and then read everything. Now I might read an article or two, and then move on to something that's more efficient with my time. Very disappointed.

Posted by: Mike Smith | November 23, 2017 1:46 AM    Report this comment

Add one more voice to negative comments on the new format.

Posted by: Frederick Howden | November 23, 2017 10:22 AM    Report this comment

I don't like the new format on AvWeb articles either. I spend most of my time on a commuter train reading these articles and the train has several locations where internet access is unavailable. Downloading it all at one time made it so I could read all the articles without worrying about loss of connection. I get internet access on the train about 45% of the time so it would be great if you can include a method that allows me (and others like me) to get the entire download all at once.

Posted by: Scott Johnson | November 23, 2017 2:09 PM    Report this comment

Paul, et al. I will add my comments of disaffection regarding the new format. Return quickly please.

Posted by: michael garcia | November 24, 2017 10:36 AM    Report this comment

The new format is not good. Why am I prompted to register when it is obvious that I already am. Return to what everyone liked.

I'm sorry about Mr Halladay. I learned long ago that playing close to the ground is inviting trouble. Too bad he didn't learn that sooner.

Posted by: STAN TEW | November 27, 2017 12:00 PM    Report this comment

I agree. I do not like the new format. It was better and faster to read when all the articles came up. Now it's one at a time and very cumbersome. Too bad the IT department didn't ask what the consumers/subscribers wanted before they changed it. Jim Wood

Posted by: Jim Wood | November 27, 2017 12:34 PM    Report this comment

I am only reading about half the articles I used to read as it is too painful to keep clicking to next article.
Bring back old format please?

Posted by: LANCE WELLER | November 28, 2017 7:18 PM    Report this comment

RE Halliday Incident. Sad. But being from a pilot/aviation family and have flown some myself, we are taught how veteran Bob Hoover used to conduct himself in the aircraft. You never saw Mr. Hoover crank violently on the controls. He always planned. He trained. Mr. Halliday did not seem to have the same respect for the aircraft environment as Mr. Hoover, possibly the finest stick and rudder pilot in the history of aviation.

Posted by: Jeff Leverence | November 27, 2018 3:08 PM    Report this comment

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