What Happened to Roy Halladay?

What Happened to Roy Halladay?

What Happened to Roy Halladay?

One of the most tragic events in 2017 was the death of former Major League Baseball pitcher and Hall of Famer Roy Halladay in a plane crash.]

The Factual Report today, which was released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), gives the best look we have to date on the events that caused the crash and the horrifying crash itself.

The Crash

Halladay passed away on November 7, 2017 after his Icon A5 crashed into the waves of Tampa Bay.

The NTSB report said blunt force trauma was the way the motorcyclist died with drowning the condition.

Witnesses reported seeing Halladay enter aggressive turns and perform high-bank maneuvers and abrupt pitch changes shortly prior to the accident.

The report also reported that Halladay was flying the plane very low, at times just 5 feet above the water, and also violated the minimum safe altitude level -- at one point flying under the Tampa Skyway Bridge.

Toxicology Findings

According to the NTSB report, Halladay had higher than the recommended therapeutic amount of amphetamines, morphine, and an anti-depressant in his blood system at the time of the crash.

 

Pilot's Behavior

The report included some troubling details about how Halladay had been piloting on the day of the crash.

His flying included extremely steep turns, ascents and higher G maneuvers This gave rise to serious questions about the acceptability of what he was doing as a pilot.

There were also mentions of his plane flying at low altitudes and making maneuvers not approved by federal regulations.

 

Aircraft and Preceding Events

Halladay, a licensed private pilot with multiengine and single-engine ratings who had logged approximately 750 hours of flight time, including about 50 hours in an Icon A5.

The crash occurred after he'd owned the Icon for a month and had logged 15 hours in it.

It also noted his personal logbook entry detailing a flight underneath the Skyway Bridge east of the Aftermath base, at around 180 feet over water.

Industry Response

Halladay's crash was an important one not just because of the legacy the pitcher left behind, but because it finally called attention again to the very rare but very serious risks of flying so low to the ground, a topic the AOPA Air Safety Institute took up shortly after.

Low-altitude flying is understand to entail an extra layer of risk that is not present during the high-altitude flight, and it was mentioned that training as pilots may have received focused on the latter at the expense of the former.

The NTSB release on Roy Halladay's crash suggests a combative, impaired pilot who was dabbling with multiple drugs, and never fully grasped the dangers of low-altitude flying.

While the exact last cause of the crash remains to be determined, the sequence of events that led up to the the tragedy serve as a reminder to follow aviation rules and a wake-up call to the repercussions of flying recklessly.


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