Video Shows Halladay Flying Low

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Cellphone video shot by the boaters who were first on the scene at retired Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay's plane crash showed him doing a low-level steep turn and flying just above the Gulf of Mexico off Florida before he crashed. The video, obtained by TMZ, accompanied a story in which other witnesses said they had seen him flying that way, also. "He was flying like that all week. Aggressively," TMZ quoted an unidentified witness as saying. Halladay, 40, was killed moments after the video was shot on Tuesday when his Icon A5 crashed northwest of Tampa. TMZ said the boaters rushed to the crash scene but it was clear the pilot didn't survive. The NTSB is investigating.

This is the second fatal Icon crash of 2017. In March of this year, renowned Icon test pilot John Karkow and a new Icon employee, Cagri Sever, were killed after evidently making a wrong turn into a box canyon while flying low over Lake Berryessa, according to the NTSB report. No information has yet been made available about the nature or possible cause of Halladay's accident.

Halladay tweeted regularly about his affection for the plane. “I keep telling my dad flying the Icon A5 low over the water is like flying a fighter jet,” said one tweet by the baseball star. Although Halladay had been a regular renter of A5s from the training fleet, his aircraft was only delivered in early October. At the time, Icon said, “Roy's A5 is a significant airplane: not only is it the first Founders Edition A5 and the first Model Year 2018 A5, it's also the first aircraft whose airframe was made in-house at ICON's new composites manufacturing facility.” The Icon press release continued: “Its delivery is an important milestone as we ramp up production and deliveries. Halladay lives in Florida and has been using his A5 to explore the waterways near his house with this wife, Brandy, who has previously been an uncomfortable passenger in light aircraft but was won over by the A5.”

Icon released a statement on the crash late Tuesday afternoon: “We were devastated to learn that former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay died today in an accident involving an Icon A5 in the Gulf of Mexico. We have gotten to know Roy and his family in recent months, and he was a great advocate and friend of ours. The entire Icon community would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Roy’s family and friends. Icon will do everything it can to support the accident investigation going forward and we will comment further when more information is available.” Video is below and there is rough language in it.

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Comments (23)

I don't know what the pilot's qualifications are but ... given that he was a pseudo-celebrity and early high end customer, I'm sure he was given lots of training. So IF that's true and he crashes anyhow ... time to shutter the doors on this overpriced seadoo !! I wouldn't fly one if you GAVE it to me ... FREE !! Something is wrong ??

Posted by: Larry Stencel | November 7, 2017 7:18 PM    Report this comment

Very sad. Someone who'd worked their tail off and, then in retirement, purchased a brand new plane of their dreams. Hopefully the NTSB will have enough information to stitch together what went wrong.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | November 7, 2017 7:49 PM    Report this comment

Airspeed and altitude are friends of airplanes. When you get near the edges of the envelope minor errors become fatal real fast. I am saddened to hear of the second crash of this aircraft that has caused deaths.

Posted by: bruce postlethwait | November 7, 2017 8:03 PM    Report this comment

" flying the Icon A5 low over the water is like flying a fighter jet,"

I'm afraid that pretty well explains it.

Posted by: Richard Montague | November 8, 2017 7:06 AM    Report this comment

As far as Halladay's qualifications, the local paper for the Phillies, the Philadelphia Inquirer today stated he had 800 hrs. TT, an Instrument and Multi ratings and was working on his Commercial. Also read on web yesterday that witnesses reported smoke coming from his engine before he crashed.

Plane was found inverted. Plane has high CG due to high mounted engine so he could have flipped if he hit some waves on landing/crashing.

Posted by: Michael Talpas | November 8, 2017 8:14 AM    Report this comment

According to the local Phillies newspaper today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Halladay had 800 hrs. TT, Instrument and Multi ratings and was working on his Commercial.

According to witnesses on web story yesterday smoke was seen coming from his engine before the crash/landing.

Posted by: Michael Talpas | November 8, 2017 8:17 AM    Report this comment

15 aircraft delivered, and 3 crashes (20% of the fleet in one year).

Posted by: F Ballestere | November 8, 2017 9:09 AM    Report this comment

Between the onerous buyer's contract mess, a huge price increase and three crashes (two fatal), one has to wonder how many more hits the company can absorb before going under. As the old saying goes, "you never get a second chance to make a good first impression". Once earned, aircraft reputations are hard to live down within the flying community.

Posted by: John McNamee | November 8, 2017 10:43 AM    Report this comment

Did the guys who took the video ever think about getting in the water to check if the pilot could be saved?

Posted by: Gary Michel | November 8, 2017 3:34 PM    Report this comment

A heavy flying boat does not make a good airplane. The stall speed is much too high. It is tragic all the way around. It looks like the SeaRay after all is the safest way to fly.

Posted by: Don Lineback | November 8, 2017 3:45 PM    Report this comment

Visit ICON's wbsite and it's appearant, ICON is run buy folks invested in the ATV business.
Watch ATV Commercials and they promote taking chances. Acting stupid!
Most ATV accidents will hurt you, falling out of the sky usually kills you.
This contraption is a recipe for pain.
Don't know what happened, other than lost a friends son!
God's Speed Doc!

Posted by: Mark L. Fraser | November 8, 2017 3:51 PM    Report this comment

I have a rule guys, wings level below 200ft.
This is a cultural problem brought on by marketing. A jet ski it aint. What ever the aircraft's limitations, you must know and respect them to live a long and happy life. Another blot on a good aircraft brought on by pilot error.

Posted by: Rob Thomson | November 8, 2017 4:09 PM    Report this comment

Well, it appears as if he was flying exactly as the promotional videos illustrated.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | November 8, 2017 4:19 PM    Report this comment

Doc Halliday was a special person, that he died this way is tragic. What is even more tragic is the D-Bag who recorded this video. The airplane was in 6 feet of water and you can't jump in and see if you can pull the guy out!! He keeps saying WTF on the video, I say WTF back at you. He pulls up in the boat within a few feet, shoots some closeup video and says to the other boater - see you later????

I'm sad we lost a good person in Doc, It makes me really sad that no one tried to help.

Posted by: James Kabrajee | November 8, 2017 4:20 PM    Report this comment

We don't know the details here, yet.

In general terms, I'm sure the ICON A5 is a perfectly safe plane, flown within proper margins. Its problem is the company, who market it as a flying jet ski, encouraging exactly the wrong kind of customers and pilot behaviour. Low-altitude training and an AoA indicator can't compensate for high-risk flying.

Posted by: David Megginson | November 8, 2017 4:25 PM    Report this comment

This is one of the sickest videos in too many ways. First, the language is so obnoxious I can't believe AVWeb would even post it.

The second is even worse. Maritime regulations require anyone arriving at the scene of an accident to render aid. There was no way to determine if the pilot may have been alive without some attempt by the person taking the video and what appear to be two other boats arriving at the scene. The pilot may have been alive and trapped inside. That was unlikely, but impossible to know without looking. This video looks like someone trying to get famous instead of trying to help someone who may be trapped and drowning.

Posted by: Jerome Olson | November 9, 2017 12:09 PM    Report this comment

What's wrong with these people! They all commented that the accident had just happened. Get in the water and help...put the damn phones down in life and get involved.

Posted by: Joseph La Canfora | November 9, 2017 12:43 PM    Report this comment

"What's wrong with these people!"

What's wrong:
1. They are Florida man
2. They are Democrats from St Pete's (call and let the government take care of it)
3. They are millennials with cell phones (and they have social media to update)

Posted by: Mark Fraser | November 10, 2017 11:06 AM    Report this comment

ICON developed a remarkable Aircraft. However, the company has focused on style over substance, showing a level of disrespect to the General Aviation community that borders on arrogance (contract terms, price increase, delays). Sadly, when the CEO published "Low Altitude" Guidelines, endorsing low flight below 300ft at 45 deg banks, it may have sealed it's fate.

Posted by: Michael Schmied | November 10, 2017 11:17 AM    Report this comment

I feel a lot of hate for those cowards in the boat.

Poor character. No class. Lousy language. Taking the Lord's name in vain.

Any decent person would have been IN THE WATER thying to help.

Posted by: William kalichman | November 10, 2017 1:43 PM    Report this comment

Stop blaming the video maker. The impact tore the aircraft apart the engine most likely hit the pilot and killed him. Unless you know for a fact the pilot is alive or even visible you might too become a victim getting tangled in the cables and wires.

Posted by: bruce postlethwait | November 10, 2017 6:14 PM    Report this comment

Bruce, there's rationalization, excuses, and denial, then there's the fact that the kids in the boat display everything that is wrong with America's youth these days. It's as clear as that nice, bright Florida sunshine.

Posted by: Ken Keen | November 12, 2017 8:40 AM    Report this comment

Look at the forces that would have been needed to shred the fuselage and wings.
If the impact shredded the reinforced airframe, it obviously shredded the soft tissue of the pilot.
There was nothing to save

I would not have gone in the water either because I know what would have found.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | November 12, 2017 8:09 PM    Report this comment

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