Tuesday, November 7, 2017

ICON A5, N922BA: Fatal accident occurred November 07, 2017 near New Port Richey, Florida

The story of Chris Nocco: Philly native, Florida sheriff, man who told the world Roy Halladay was gone

Capt. Bill Davis (left) sits quietly as Chris Nocco speaks about the day he announced the death of Roy Halladay. 

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco speaks about the day he announced Roy Halladay’s death. 

Chris Nocco announcing on November 7, 2017 that Roy Halladay had died.

The dock over the Pithlachascotee River, near where Roy Halladay’s plane crashed.

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — It has been nearly four months since Chris Nocco told the world that Roy Halladay was dead, and one of his clearest memories of that day is a moment that no one else saw.

On the late afternoon of Nov. 7, minutes before he held a press conference to confirm that Halladay’s ICON A5 plane had crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, Nocco, the Pasco County (Fla.) sheriff, called his parents’ home in Northeast Philadelphia. Nocco often made such phone calls to his wife, Bridget, whenever, he said, “things got rough.” A grisly quadruple murder and kidnapping in August 2014. A fatal shooting inside a movie theater last March. I’m not going to be home on time, he’d tell her. Say a prayer.

This time, he called his father, James, and his mother, Linda. They were Phillies fans, too, just like he was. They still lived in the same Brookhaven neighborhood where Chris had grown up. James is a retired Philadelphia police detective. Linda has taught CCD at St. Katherine of Siena, on Frankford Avenue, for 28 years. They had watched Halladay over his four seasons with the Phillies, watched him win a Cy Young Award and pitch a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter. They knew that Chris, 42, had known Halladay, 40, and had come to call him a friend. They got on the phone line together.

“Hey Dad, say a prayer,” Chris said. “You’re going to see this on the news. It’s Roy’s plane that crashed.”

“Oh, my God,” his father said.

“That poor man,” Linda said. “That poor young man …”

Chris Nocco hung up. A few minutes later, six officers stood ramrod straight in an arc behind him. In front of him, a cluster of microphones tilted upward toward his face. He held a notebook in his right hand, glanced down at it, and began to say the thing that everyone feared he would say.

A connection with greatness

If there was anyone in the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office who could appreciate what Roy Halladay and Philadelphia’s brief encounter with his greatness had meant to the city, its baseball team, and its baseball fans, the sheriff himself could. Chris Nocco is 6-foot-4 and solid, with a short shock of black hair, and when he speaks, it doesn’t take long to recognize where he is from; all his thats and theirs are dats and dares. His boyhood home was a row house near the intersection of Frankford and Morrell, and he loved the Phillies of the mid-1980s – Mike Schmidt, Juan Samuel, Milt Thompson.

His father did not push him into law enforcement. He didn’t have to. The Noccos and their neighbors shared the same experiences, the same social capital. They were the families of cops and firefighters, of roofers and carpenters. The same men who coached Chris’ football and baseball teams wore uniforms and drove squad cars, and to him, those emblems signified men who were worthy of respect, who had authority, who were making their community better.

After graduating from Archbishop Ryan, Nocco attended the University of Delaware on a football scholarship, playing left tackle for coach Tubby Raymond’s Blue Hens, becoming an Academic All-America candidate. He was under no illusions about extending his football career beyond college. The pull of police work was too strong, anyway. His first job in law enforcement was as an officer at Shallcross Academy, a since-closed reform school on Woodhaven Road for students so troublesome and undisciplined that they had been removed from their traditional public schools. From there, he moved on to Fairfax County, Va., where he met Bridget, then to Broward County, Fla., closer to where she was from. There, he worked as a deputy chief of staff to Marco Rubio, then the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and met Bob White, who was Broward County’s sheriff. When White became Pasco County’s sheriff, Nocco followed him to the Gulf Coast region. In 2011, he succeeded him.

“I thank God I had the law-enforcement background to go into,” Nocco said Tuesday in a conference room at his office, “because a lot of times in politics, you deal with B.S.”

In a way, it was what he liked most about Halladay, who lived in nearby Odessa. There was no B.S. to him, no pretention. Halladay had grown close with Capt. Bill Davis, the commander of Pasco County’s juvenile investigative division, and through his friendship with Davis, he had gotten to know Nocco and several other officers. He accompanied them on a couple of ride-alongs. He and his wife, Brandy, purchased a dog — named Doc, Halladay’s nickname — for the office’s K9 unit and donated baseball memorabilia to a silent auction to raise money for two officers with cancer; the items sold for $20,000. On the Friday before his death, he joined the officers at a fishing tournament: T-shirt, shorts, flip-flops, a cooler full of beer and food in his hand, running late because he’d had to drop off his kids somewhere.

“It was like God blessed the average Joe with unbelievable talent, inhuman talent,” Nocco said. “The humility never left him.”

On Nov. 7, Nocco was attending a meeting with local religious leaders – two days earlier, 26 people had been killed at a church near San Antonio – when his chief deputy pulled him aside to tell him that there had been a plane crash. “We think it’s Roy,” the deputy told him. “I’m like, ‘Roy who?’ ” Nocco said. “I didn’t put two and two together.” By the time he arrived at the scene, the body of a man who was at least 6-foot-6 had been recovered. Halladay was 6-foot-6. Nocco didn’t have to look to know who it was.

Already, details and rumors were leaking out. TMZ had obtained video of the crash and posted it online. Brandy, sobbing, had called Davis. Nocco, himself a father of three, sent officers and victim advocates to find Halladay’s sons, Braden and Ryan, before any reporters did. “The tidal wave was coming,” he said.

Finally, it was time. He began with the notes on his pad, the cold details of the crash: the plane’s make, its tail number, single-engine, two-passenger, the National Transportation Safety Board would handle the investigation, his office would assist. That took 52 seconds. He lowered the notepad. The story that’s told the first time, he thought, is the story that lives forever. What he said next took 59 seconds.

I can tell you, sadly, it had turned into a recovery. … There was only one body involved, and it’s sad to say it’s a friend of ours. It’s Roy Halladay. Many know Roy as a Cy Young winner, a future Hall of Famer, one of the best pitchers ever to pitch in the game of baseball. We know Roy as a person, as a caring husband … and he loved his two boys tremendously. I can tell you, when he spoke of his family, he spoke with pride. I can tell you, Brandy and the boys and the entire family: We are so sad for your loss.

Neither Nocco nor Davis would comment on either the NTSB’s crash report, which detailed Halladay’s erratic flight path, or on Halladay’s autopsy, which revealed that he had amphetamine, morphine, and an insomnia drug in his system at the time of his death. The officers are protective of Halladay’s image, of his family. They are loyal to a man who was loyal to them.

“The legacy of Roy, who we know Roy to be, is never going to be tarnished, no matter what,” Nocco said. “He was an unbelievable man. In society today, if somebody can do something to tear down anyone, even God himself, they’ll do it. In our eyes, Roy can’t be torn down.”

‘Can you show me where he left?’

A week after the crash, the Phillies held a memorial service for Halladay at Spectrum Field in Clearwater. There, Nocco met Halladay’s father, Roy Jr., and when Nocco shook his hand, Roy Jr. asked him a question.

“I know where my son came into this world,” he said. “Can you show me where he left?”

Just a 40-minute drive from Spectrum Field, just a 15-minute drive from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, there’s a winding dock behind a waterfront restaurant. The Pithlachascotee River flows under that dock, continuing its northwest turn through this town and running on into the Gulf, toward the horizon. From that dock, there is an unobstructed view of the place where Chris Nocco accompanied a grieving father the day after the service – of the spot on a vast sheet of shimmering indigo where, in that halting and terrible descent, Roy Halladay’s plane fell from the sky.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, a motorboat trundled in that direction, leaving a wake of scattered white foam. A cloud, tinged with gray and shaped like a large turtle, hung low against sunlit blue. The conversations of the patrons on the restaurant’s outdoor deck were whispers. It was so quiet and so beautiful and, because of what had happened there, so heartbreaking that it would have been appropriate to say a prayer.


The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida
Rotax Aircraft Engines; Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Icon Aircraft Inc.; Vacaville, California
BRS Aerospace; Miami, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N529PG LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N922BA

NTSB Identification: ANC18FA007 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 07, 2017 in Clearwater, FL
Aircraft: ICON AIRCRAFT INC A5, registration: N922BA
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 7, 2017, about 1204 eastern standard time, an amphibious, light sport Icon Aircraft, Inc., A5 airplane, N922BA, impacted open water in the Gulf of Mexico while maneuvering at low level near New Port Richey, Florida. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to N529PG LLC, and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 visual flight rules personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local area flight departed from a lake near the pilot's home in Odessa, Florida, about 1147.

The airplane was equipped with a digital data module that recorded basic GPS, engine, and flight parameters. The airplane was also equipped with a Rockwell Collins engine control unit that recorded engine parameters. The data track from the accident flight showed that the airplane departed from a private lakeside home north of Lake Keystone in Odessa about 1147 and climbed to a GPS altitude of 1,909 ft and tracked north for 4 miles before turning to the west toward the coastline. The airplane then flew for 10 miles and crossed over US Highway 19 about 600 ft GPS altitude, then descended to 36 ft over the water before turning south. The airplane then flew on southerly track past Green Key Beach at 11 ft GPS altitude and 92 knots. The airplane then performed a right 360° turn while climbing to about 100 ft. The airplane continued on a southerly track, flying as close as 75 ft to the Gulf Harbor South Beach houses. The last data point recovered indicated the airplane at an altitude of 200 ft, a speed of 87 knots, and tracking 196°. Video footage taken of the airplane before the accident, shows the airplane in a descending left 45° banked turn and then maneuvering about 10 ft above the water. A witness to the accident stated, during an interview with a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator, that he saw the airplane perform a climb to between 300 and 500 ft 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 airplane came to rest in 4.5 ft of saltwater oriented on a 192° heading with the fuselage and wings inverted. The front fuselage and cockpit were highly fragmented. The empennage section separated from the airframe and came to rest forward of the wings in an inverted position. Two inflated life vests and numerous fragments were recovered within a 300-ft radius from the wreckage. All the flight controls and major components were located at the main wreckage site. The CAP ballistic parachute system was not deployed, and the handle pin was installed.

On November 8, 2017, the wreckage was recovered from the water and transported to a secure facility for further examination. 

The airplane was a certificated light sport aircraft that was outfitted with a Rotax 912iS engine. The pilot accepted delivery of the airplane on October 10, 2017.

The pilot's logbook indicated that he had logged a total of 703.9 flight hours, of which 51.8 hours were in an Icon A5 airplane, and 14.5 hours were in the accident airplane. 

The closest weather reporting facility was the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), about 19 miles southeast of the accident site. At 1153, a METAR from PIE was reporting, in part: wind calm, visibility 10 statute miles, clouds and sky condition clear, temperature 83°F, dew point 67°F, altimeter 30.08 inches of mercury.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

ST PETERSBURG, Fla. - Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay died from blunt force trauma, with drowning as a contributing factor, when his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico near New Port Richey in November.

Halladay was found in about six feet of water with a blood-alcohol content level of 0.01. Evidence of amphetamine, morphine and a drug typically used to treat insomnia were found in his system.

Halladay's ICON 15 aircraft flew very close to homes and near the water before crashing on Nov. 8, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Halladay, 40, was an all-star pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. He lived on Odessa and coached baseball at Calvary Christian High School, where his oldest son played.

Story, video and photos ➤ http://www.wtsp.com

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —  Roy Halladay’s death in a plane crash is putting Vacaville-based ICON Aircraft in the spotlight again this year.

The former MLB star pitcher’s death happened almost six months to the day an ICON test pilot and designer were killed in a crash in Lake Berryessa.

The 40-year-old former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher had been the proud owner for less than a month of his ICON A5, and he was among the first to fly the model. In one of many enthusiastic tweets about the plane, Halladay said it felt "like flying a fighter jet."

ICON is known for building tiny, two-seater, sport planes that are amphibious with retractable wings.

“It’s a cute airplane, it’s well engineered,” William Myers with Myers-Pacific Aviation Insurance said. “There’s nothing challenging about it -- with the exception of the loss of depth perception when you are landing or you are close to the water.”

Seaplanes have the complexity of facing the risk of “glass water operations” when placid conditions create a mirror-effect impacting depth perception.

“If you’re coming down close to the water, and the water is flat, you really don’t know just how far off the ground you are,” Myers said. “There’s nothing that stands out that gives perspective.”

“We’d like to think that all pilots are trained to a level of safety and judgment that they’d be able to prevent these things, but experience does give you more tools to reach down to use,” Sacramento pilot and aeronautics professor Scott Miller said.

National Transportation Safety Board Investigator Noreen Price said Wednesday that Halladay's ICON A5 experienced a "high-energy impact" with the water. She said both flight data recorders were recovered and the plane did not have a voice recorder.

She said Halladay had been a licensed pilot since 2013 and logged about 700 hours of flight time before Tuesday's crash near Tampa. She said a preliminary report on the cause likely will be issued in seven to 10 days, but the full investigation could take up to two years.

The man who led the plane's design, 55-year-old John Murray Karkow, died while flying an A5 over California's Lake Berryessa on May 8, along with passenger Cagri Sever, the company's newly hired director of engineering.

The NTSB attributed the crash to pilot error.

“To have had three fatalities in such a short period of time casts a big cloud on what it is that they are doing,” Myers explained. “What it is that they are doing is nothing wrong. The aircraft is structurally tight. They are easy to fly. But the unknown component is who is flying it.”

Original article ➤  http://www.kcra.com

Baseball star Roy Halladay’s fatal crash opened a window on the growing popularity of smaller aircraft that are cheaper to fly than traditional private planes, but that also carry risks because pilots don't need as much training to fly them.

Halladay, 40, crashed an Icon A5 on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the accident, whether from a mechanical problem, pilot error or something else.

Despite the risks, small planes are growing in popularity. The Icon A5 is called a light-sport aircraft, which is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. A light-sport plane has seating for two and FAA set a top speed of 138 mph and maximum weight of 1,430 pounds for landing on water.

Other types of small planes are called experimental, which includes hand-made and exhibition planes. Pilots don’t need as much training to fly into the wild blue yonder in the smaller planes as they would with a traditional Cessna or Beechcraft.

“It is a level of aircraft that is very popular because it is designed purely for recreation,” said Dick Knapinski, spokesman for the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wis. “People want to go out on a sunny day and enjoy the world from up above.”

The number of sport-pilot certificates for planes like the A5 grew to nearly 5,889 last year, up from 939 in 2006, according to FAA. The number of sport-light aircraft reached 2,369 in 2015. And the total number of experimental aircraft grew to 27,922 that year from 23,048 in 2006, according to FAA.

A pilot can buy a light-sport aircraft for about $100,000, compared to more than $500,000 for a Beechcraft Bonanza, Knapinski said. The cost to maintain and operate would also be lower, because a light-sport plane burns four to six gallons of fuel per hour, compared to 20 gallons per hour in the Beechcraft, he said.

“They might be airline pilots, but they might say, ‘That’s a cool little airplane, I want to fly that,’” Knapinski said.

Simpler flights come with fewer training requirements.

The least training is required for aircraft called ultralights, which weigh up to 254 pounds and fly up to 63 mph. The FAA doesn’t require pilot training for these aircraft, which are prohibited over congested areas and are sometimes described as chaise lounges with wings and lawnmower engines.

The next rung on the training ladder is for light-sport aircraft, which require a pilot to have 20 hours of experience and pass a test for a certificate. Pilots for both ultralights and light-sport aircraft are limited to flying during the day and avoiding clouds.

“It’s a less complicated airplane, as far as flying is concerned,” said Ron Carr, a former Air Force and airline pilot who is a professor of aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz. “It’s to get more people involved who would not normally be allowed. It’s for fun. It’s for pleasure.”

The next rung is a private pilot’s license for planes like Cessna and Beechcraft. Licenses require 40 hours of flight time, with additional training for flying at night, through clouds or by monitoring dashboard instruments without being able to see the ground.

Commercial pilots have the highest levels of training.

Halladay had a private pilot’s license with ratings for flying with multiple engines and solely by instruments. Since getting the license in 2013, Halladay logged about 700 hours of flight time, according to Noreen Price, NTSB’s investigator for the crash.

Halladay, whose father was a military and corporate pilot, had a long-time love of flying. He got his license soon after retiring from baseball and bought his A5 in October. He tweeted Oct. 31 that flying over water is “like flying a fighter jet.” 

Despite Halladay's experience, experts said it can still be tricky moving from one type of plane to another. This is why pilots often have an instructor fly with them initially on a new plane, to remind them how it works.

“It’s almost like climbing into a different car,” Knapinski said. “The speedometer is the same. The gas gauge is the same. But everything feels a little bit different.”

Aviation lawyers warn that riskier pilots are drawn to experimental aircraft because of the lower level of training required. Experimental planes tend to fly low, so there is less room for error if a pilot has a problem or the plane malfunctions, experts say.

While there haven’t been any fatal crashes of U.S. passenger airlines since 2009, the NTSB is investigating at least five fatal crashes of small planes other than Halladay’s since August.

“It is putting novice pilots in an unforgiving machine in an incredibly unforgiving environment,” said Ladd Sanger, a licensed commercial pilot who is an aviation attorney at Slack and Davis in Dallas.

In the case of Halladay’s A5, Icon has only produced about two dozen of the planes that it began delivering in July 2015. Three have crashed – with fatalities in two cases.

“When you look at it per hour, it’s a much more staggering accident rate,” said Steve Marks, an aviation lawyer at Podhurst Orseck in Miami.

The first crash was in April, in the water off Key Largo, Fla. The pilot and passenger were injured.

On May 8, the plane’s lead designer, John Karkow, crashed with a passenger near Lake Berryessa, Calif., and both died. And Halladay crashed Tuesday.

Investigations haven’t suggested a problem with the plane yet.

"ICON will do everything it can to support the accident investigation going forward and we will comment further when more information is available," the company said in a statement.

The pilot in the April crash told investigators the plane descended faster than expected. The NTSB faulted Karkow in the May crash. And no conclusions have been drawn yet about Halladay, whose investigation could take a year.

“I’m not saying the airplane is inherently unsafe,” Sanger said. “What I’m saying is you’re putting inexperienced people in the most difficult flight environments and they’re not up to the task of safely operating aircraft like that.”

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.usatoday.com

NEW PORT RICHEY — A number of witnesses reported that a sport plane piloted by Roy Halladay was flying low over the Gulf of Mexico off New Port Richey before crashing and killing the former All Star pitcher, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Halladay, 40, was flying alone in the ICON A5 when it hit the water shortly after noon on Tuesday. Halladay’s body was found floating among the wreckage and patches of mangroves near Ben Pilot Point.

The wreckage of the plane and two flight data recorders were recovered Wednesday afternoon for further analysis, which should yield flight data including GPS locations and the aircraft’s performance, altitude and airspeed, she said.

"Our mission is to understand not just what happened but why it happened," Price said. "If we see anything we think is unsafe we’ll make the necessary recommendations immediately."

It could take two years to complete the investigation, Price said. A preliminary report should be released in seven to 10 days.

Halladay likely took off from Odessa, where he lives with his wife Brandy and two teenage sons, Price said. The National Weather Service reported clear skies and unlimited visibility in the area at the time of the crash.

The time of death was 12:19 p.m., said William A. Pellan, director of investigations with the Medical Examiner’s Office in Largo. Toxicology tests and Halladay’s autopsy were completed Wednesday morning, It could take up to two months to get results so the cause of death remains pending.

The son of a commercial pilot, Halladay spoke in articles and on social media about his love of flying but his Major League Baseball contracts prohibited him from obtaining a pilot’s license until he quit playing in 2013. Since then, he has logged 700 flight hours, Price said.

Halladay pitched 16 years in the majors and was a star with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, both teams that train in Pinellas County. He was a two-time winner of baseball’s top pitching honor, the Cy Young Award.

Halladay had owned the new Founders Edition of the ICON A5 aircraft for less than a month and it had just been certified Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration. He was the first person to take possession of the 2018 model, only 20 of which have been manufactured, according to an article on the company’s website.

There are orders for more than 1,800 more, most of them from the Tampa area, selected by ICON as its East Coast headquarters. Last November, ICON opened a flight school at Tampa’s Peter O. Knight Airport on Davis Islands, the only training center outside its headquarters in Vacaville, Calif.

The website article features video of a beaming Halladay taking his wife Brandy on a flight. Although she grew to enjoy her husband’s passion for flying, she said in the article, she initially "fought hard. I was very against it."

The company declined to comment Wednesday. Price said ICON and Rotax, maker of the airplane’s three-blade, push-prop engine, are cooperating in the investigation.

An "amphibious airplane," the ICON A5 can land on water and can be flown with only a sport pilot license, which requires a minimum of 20 hours of in-flight training — less than half the time required for a traditional private pilot’s license.

In May the plane’s designer, ICON’s chief test pilot Jon Karkow, was flying an ICON A5 when he crashed into a canyon wall at Lake Berryessa in Napa, California. Both he and passenger Cagri Sever, a new employee at ICON, died in the crash, the reports said.

The NTSB determined Karkow was to blame, saying, "It is likely that the pilot mistakenly thought the canyon that he entered was a different canyon that led to the larger, open portion of the lake."

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.tampabay.com

ICON Aircraft CEO Kirk Hawkins announced a new set of low-altitude flying guidelines in an email to customers on October 17, just weeks before Cy Young-winning pitcher Roy Halladay fatally crashed his sport plane into the Gulf of Mexico. 

“There is little formal training required by the (Federal Aviation Administration) or provided by traditional transportation-focused aviation training programs to adequately prepare you for low altitude flying,” Hawkins said in the email. “Given this, our goal is to take a proactive, leadership role in the flight training process and we have developed our own low altitude guidelines from lessons learned over decades of military, seaplane, and bush flying.”

The ICON guidelines said flying 300 feet above water or undeveloped ground “provides a reasonable margin for a pilot to make decisions and maneuver the aircraft away from terrain or stationary hazards.” 

The FAA is investigating the crash, while the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident. Details have emerged about the safety of the plane itself (Halladay had been the proud owner for less than a month of his ICON A5, and was among the first to fly it, with only about 20 in existence). But there is also evidence to suggest low flying — over water — was an element at the cause of the crash. 

Federal investigators determined that low flying was part of the problem when the man who led the plane's design, 55-year-old Jon Murray Karkow, died while flying an A5 over California's Lake Berryessa on May 8. The NTSB blamed the crash on pilot error, saying Karkow mistakenly entered a canyon while flying too low, causing the plane to strike the canyon wall.

Stephen Pope, editor-in-chief of Flying magazine, told the Associated Press that a new pilot with little flying experience taking the plane over water at low altitude would have been highly unsafe, even though the plane was marketed as a craft that could handle that. 

Halladay's plane crashed in water. But the plane was promoted as an amphibious aircraft built to land on water. So the focus of the NTSB's investigation will likely center on what sent the plane into water too sharply, whether a mechanical problem or pilot error. 

Another A5 crashed in April, making a hard landing in the water off Key Largo, Fla., injuring the pilot and his passenger. The pilot told investigators the plane descended faster than he expected.

"They still think that that's the way the airplane should be flown, and there are people in aviation who completely disagree with that," Pope said. "They think you should not have a low-time pilot flying low over water. That's a recipe for disaster."

The FAA recommends flying at least 1,000 feet above congested areas and 500 above open people or structures on the ground or water, other than while taking off or landing. 

The ICON guidelines also suggested caution in flying in mountainous terrain, to avoid box canyons where there might not be enough room to turn around. The guidelines said the plane could turn around in as little as 500 feet of lateral movement, but it would be safer to allow 1,000 feet for human error.

Halladay, the 40-year-old former Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher, had his ICON A5 go down around noon of the coast of Florida, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told reporters at a news conference. He was the lone known occupant, and three mayday calls were made to air traffic control.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a general-aviation convention on Oct. 24 that 2017 is shaping up to be the safest year yet for private pilots, with “far below” the target rate of one fatality per 100,000 flight hours.

“We’re still finalizing the numbers, but it looks like 2017 will end up being our safest year yet,” Huerta said. “This is a significant accomplishment.”

General aviation ranges from amateur-built aircraft and balloons to sophisticated turbojets. The U.S. has more than 220,000 general-aviation aircraft registered. 

During the year that ended Sept. 30, the FAA said 347 people died in 209 general-aviation accidents. A pilot’s loss of control in flight, mainly through stalls — where the nose of the plane is tipped up to the point where the aircraft no longer stays aloft — accounts for the largest number of fatal accidents, according to FAA.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.usatoday.com

Roy Halladay was one of the first people in the world to own and fly the plane he fatally crashed into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, Nov. 7. 

The Associated Press that the ICON A5 aircraft was designed for beginner pilots, and that there are only about 20 of them in existence. The A5 was introduced three years ago, and its head designer and newly-appointed director of engineering were actually killed while flying one earlier in 2017. 

The crash involving designer John Murray Karkow and engineer head Cagri Sever was blamed by the National Transportation Safety Board on pilot error as the plane struck a canyon wall over a California lake. 

"The way that a lot of people described it (the aircraft) is a Jet Ski with wings," Stephen Pope, editor-in-chief of Flying Magazine, told A.P. "It's really a plaything. 

"They still think that's the way the airplane should be flown (at low altitude, like Halladay was), and there are people in aviation who completely disagree with that. They think you should not have a low-time pilot flying low over water. That's a recipe for disaster."

Halladay, a two-time Cy Young winner, and his small private plane crashed around noon Tuesday, off of Florida's coast in the Gulf of Mexico. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office reports its marine unit found Halladay's body in shallow water. 

Police have said that no other survivors were found, but that they are unable to confirm if Halladay was flying alone or not. A.P. reports that Halladay had owned the plane for less than a month. 

The pitcher, who retired in 2013, routinely shared his love of aviation and owning the A5 on his Twitter page. Halladay, 40, was the son of a corporate pilot and was not allowed to pursue aviation during his playing career due to contract stipulations. 

The 40-year-old was an aforementioned two-time Cy Young Award winner, which recognizes baseball's top pitcher in each league, and pitched a perfect game and a rare playoff no-hitter while playing for Philadelphia. Halladay, who retired in 2013, pitched 67 complete games and recorded 20 shutouts in his 12-season career with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. 

"Many of you know Roy as a Cy Young winner, future Hall of Famer, one of the best pitchers ever to pitch the game of baseball," Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said. "We know Roy as a person, as a caring husband who loved his wife, Brandy. He loved his two boys tremendously ... and we are so sad for your loss.

"For somebody who won two Cy Youngs, one of the greatest pitchers in baseball, he would walk in the room as if he was anybody. Didn't matter who he met, he was kind, generous. His family purchased a dog for us -- K-9 Doc. K-9 Doc is out there working, saving lives, making our community safer."

Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://www.mlive.com

HOLIDAY, Fla. - Eight-time MLB All-Star and two-time Cy Young award winner Roy Halladay died Tuesday after his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40.

Halladay's ICON A5 light sport aircraft crashed 10 miles west of St. Petersburg just past noon, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.

Halladay was so much a fan that an October article by the company featured him receiving the first 2018 model of the plane.

"I've been dreaming about flying since I was a boy but was only able to become a pilot once I retired from baseball," Halladay said in the article. "I've owned other aircraft, but no aircraft embodies the adventure or captured the dream of flying like the A5. Not only is it the safest and easiest aircraft I've ever flown, it is hands-down the most fun. The beaches, lakes, and waterways my family and I get to explore around Florida are mind-blowing. Words don't do justice to what the A5 allows us to experience. Even my wife, who used to be uncomfortable in small planes, now asks where we should take the A5 for the weekend. I'm honored to own the first A5 Founders Edition."

The company said they were notified of the crash and is investigating.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco announced Halladay's death during an afternoon press conference.

Halladay is one of only six pitchers to win the Cy Young in the American and National leagues. During his 16-year career with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, Halladay finished with a 203-105 record and a 3.38 ERA. He placed in the top five of Cy Young voting seven times and led MLB for five consecutive seasons in complete games.

The Phillies released a statement following the confirmation of his death.

Halladay is expected to be on the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot.

Following his career, Halladay remained in Tampa Bay where he spent time as a pitching coach at Calvary Christian, where his son, Braden, is a relief pitcher. 

Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://www.wtsp.com

HOLIDAY (FOX 13) - Former Major League Baseball star and aviation enthusiast Roy Halladay was killed in a plane crash off the coast of Pasco County this afternoon, shocking sports fans from Florida to Philadelphia.

The crash happened just after noon in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, just north of Bailey’s Bluff in Holiday.  Deputies say a resident called 911 after seeing the aircraft crash into the water, but there were no reports of problems ahead of the crash, either from neighbors or the aircraft itself.

The view from SkyFOX over the scene showed a small white plane upside down in the water.  The first boat to respond to the crash could not get to the plane because the area is so shallow, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said, forcing them to call in a swift-water rescue team.

Halladay, 40, was a private pilot and had tweeted about the brand new amphibious sport plane that he liked to fly over the beach.

“I keep telling my dad flying the Icon A5 low over the water is like flying a fighter jet!” one tweet boasted.

The aircraft’s manufacturer confirmed Tuesday that they were aware of the crash.

“We can confirm that an ICON A5 was involved in an incident in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida earlier today,” company spokesman Zac Herndon told FOX 29 in Philadelphia.  “We are in the process of finding out more information and will provide more details as facts come in.”

Halladay retired to his offseason home in Tarpon Springs in 2013 after 15 years in the major leagues with Toronto and Philadelphia.  He pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history in 2010, and threw the second no-hitter in postseason history later that season.  He’s an eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young winner.

Aside from aviation, Halladay helped coach several local youth baseball teams, including Calvary Christian High School’s state champion team.

Halladay is survived by his wife Brandy and two children.  Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco remembered him as a friend of the department -- “one in a million,” Nocco opined – who had donated funds to buy a K9 officer and who humbly participated in charity events.

“I saw him Friday,” Nocco said sadly.  “We had a charity fishing event.  Sadly, we were right here in these waters right here, fishing for charity.  Roy was right here with us.  And I can tell you, being a pilot and flying planes – that was his passion.”

The response from around Major League Baseball was similar.  The Philadelphia Phillies said the team was “numb” over the news.

“There are no words to describe the sadness that the entire Phillies family is feeling over the loss of one of the most respected human beings to ever play the game,” a team statement offered.  “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we pass along our condolences to Brandy, Ryan and Braden.”

"We're saddened by the tragic loss of Colorado native & former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay. We send our deepest condolences to Roy's loved ones," the Colorado Rockies said.

Story and video ➤ http://www.fox13news.com


Anonymous said...

Another nail in the coffin.

Anonymous said...

Seeing a couple of feeds reporting of a mayday call.

Anonymous said...

Rest in peace, Roy. ICON A5 was a bad idea ...

Anonymous said...

If he had listened to his wife, he never would have climbed in the widowmaker.

Anonymous said...

Flying itself is inherently safe. But there are certain basic rules that need to be followed. PROBABLY, the only fault here is with the advertising department at the manufacturer.

Anonymous said...

Until now two Icon aircrafts are gone. How many more until they stop making them?

Anonymous said...

TMZ obtained video of him hot dogging it and flying the plane recklessly and carelessly.


It seems the Icon A5 is a fine machine... in the hands of a certificated and knowledgeable pilot applying IMSAFE and the 3 P's as well as DECIDE.

None of which I see in those videos. If he lived he would have been charged with reckless and careless operation of an aircraft sometimes by next week since the boaters have already filmed him doing enough sheninigans at low altitude.

Anonymous said...

Something tells me Icon will be paying for the A5 in blood and dollars.

Anonymous said...

I agree... the marketing of the A5 is a disaster. If this guy is a prime example of their targeted audience there will be countless more widows and tears.

A flying vehicle will never ever be a car, in the words of the first paragraph of Stick and Rudder.

And those who think they buy another toy to complete their collection of RVs, dirt bikes, boats and waverunners have a death wish.

If the A5 had full IFR, was a regular non sports certificated machine and targeted the same audience as the Cirrus it would still have to deal with more than an eyeful of scrutiny (as 1 Cirrus out of 50 was involved in a fatal crash at some point). Here it can be the safest best built plane on the planet and will have a massive casualty rate if the wrong kind of people gets it.

Flying will only be available to the masses in massive metal tubes called jetliners. Anything else and only a selected few are able to dedicate themselves to the needed continuous training and sacrifices to become and stay pilots.

Anonymous said...

While not a pilot, I am a professional.
When it comes to flying, as exhilarating as it can be, I find it best left to those who do so professionally.
RIP to Mr. Halladay and all prayers his loved ones.

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope the cause of death will not be drowning. It would be tragic to think that Mr. Halladay died because a bunch of men quickly on the scene were too busy filming or doing nothing than to jump into 3-4 feet of water to try to release the pilot from the plane. Where's the humanity here?

Anonymous said...

Although there are comments here about jumping in and helping the pilot... keep in mind all procedures in emergency call for only certified emergency responders to act on the scene.

And within a minute or 2 the coast guard was coming in.

Being a good Samaritan is laudable but if the plane caught fire or exploded in the area left above water there is substantial risk.

Considering the state of the machine I would say blunt force more than likely killed Roy.


Anonymous said...

Many moons ago while flying tactical jets in the Marine Corps, it was known that statistically, pilots in the 500 to 1000 hour range were at the greatest risk. They had enough experience to THINK they were bullet proof, but not enough experience to actually BE bulletproof. Unfortunately, Mr. Halladay was right in the middle of that range. Very sad.

Unknown said...

I'm a pilot and there's a saying that goes There are old pilots and bold pilots but no old bold pilots. In a plane that already has a bad track record and for owning it such a short time he was taking way to many risks flying the way he was in the video . I'm from the area he crashed and at 4ft of water he had no chance of surviving the impact at all .

Daytona Shelby said...

For as much money as Mr. Halladay spent on that "toy plane", he could have got one heck of a nice,"used" tried & true legacy aircraft but that would have required much more flight training assuming he only had a "sport" pilot license. That extra training might have made all the difference. R.I.P.

Anonymous said...

Yep those are Floridians for sure. Real fine bunch down there.

Anonymous said...

What CFI allowed, and or taught this pilot with no safety sense to fly this way? Shame on you ICON for marketing a death trap. Sure, flown correctly, I am positive the A5 is safe. I would NEVER climb into one though.

The above is a personal opinion~

ATP/CFI Air carrier- 40K plus hours--

Charlie said...

Fortunately the A5 comes equipped with an AOA guage, so this sort of accident will never happen.

Anonymous said...

The ICON looks like a fine airplane but I would never fly behind a snowmobile engine. That being said, probably pilot error, overestimated his ability.

Anonymous said...

There is a common thread going through the majority of the comments that I see. Some from pilots, most from non pilots. There is one area of commentary that I completely agree with and that is that the ICON company has promoted this aircraft in an irresponsible manner. This aircraft is very similar to other amphibious aircraft that have been flying for many years. These other aircraft were design and are being flown as airplanes. They are not jet skis with wings, they are airplanes. But ICON wants the public to believe that because they designed the cockpit to resemble a flashy automobile and included an angle of attack indicator, that this aircraft was safe to fly with 1.) very little training, 2.) close to the water (to hell with Federal Air Regulations that require aircraft to be no closer than 500 feet from another vessel, person or structure and 3.) that, in fact, it is a rich man's toy and if you can afford it, then enjoy your "flying jet ski".

For me, a pilot for over 50 years and owner of numerous aircraft used almost exclusively for business travel, hot dogging within a few feet of the water is something that I would never consider, nor should anyone else. Keep the wings level until several hundred feet above ground or water. Climb to a safe altitude and take advantage of the aircraft to safely take you to places you need or desire to travel to. Things happen fast in airplanes but at the proper altitude, that is no problem. A few feet above land or water a wrong move can end in a high impact collision with the ground or water. It appears that from the video footage and looking at the damage to the left wing, that the left wing impacted the water during a high speed, low level turn. It could have been something else, and the Feds will publish their findings in a few years.

Anonymous said...

Chill guys! Halladay screwed up. One guy...one airplane...one fatality. If Bezos and his ilk get their way we won't even be allowed to fly at those altitudes or in that airspace. FOCUS on the important stuff...and this ain't it!

Jim B said...

He flew into the water and killed himself.

Not much else to blame.

Anonymous said...

when I first heard about this crash, I thought the guy had been some brand new non-pilot seduced by the marketing of this cool toy. After learning he had 700+ hours, I suspect his state of mind. Regardless of marketing, anyone with that much experience knows the risk of flying in such a manner, especially a 40 year highly successful individual with a family.

There's no way he could be seduced by the ads and the exposure to a pretty toy into thinking what he was doing wasn't extremely reckless. As a skilled professional athlete with a decent amount of flight experience, as well as "growing up around" aviation, he had to have known the training necessary to fly in such a manner. If that was the pure appeal, he would've enrolled in high performance training, stunt training, bush training, et al. His behavior is more consistent with someone with a death wish.

I could see a "never" pilot looking at the Icon ads, buying the plane, getting the minimal training necessary to fly light sport, somehow convincing himself he was some "natural born pilot" with extraordinary inborn skills playing with such a craft until he managed to accidentally kill himself. But with his experience, he knew he was going to eventually kill himself by flying in this manner.

I think Icon is stupid marketing the plane as they do. They're inviting lawsuits and ruination. But I think this guy had too much experience for this to have been the result of ignorance. It's very sad for his family he did this to himself.

Rainer F. Kubbutat said...

Guess that Plane is simply TOO easy to fly, with it's Angle-of-Attack-Instrument and feeling on stick and the 'backside', so that the unexperienced (terms of flying extremely deep) pilot looses the still necessarry awareness for the situation and all that risks arround with turbulences even with small waves on the sea and the ability to be just high enough, not to touch the ground or water with the wing. (They are doing this in the ICON-Promos in an already landed mode at a JetSki-Speed NOT FLYING!!!)

Maybe the promotion is a bit to agressiv in these terms of usage, but at the end, the pilot is completely responsible - but nothing - as long as the machine doesn't fail IN THE USAGE-LIMITS AND even then, the pilot still has to be in a position with the machine, to survive and best bring it down safely!!! (All landings you can walk away from are finally good ones!)

I'm shure he got into somthing that is known as FLOW in motorbiking oder highspeed car-riding or whatever ACTION at the personal borderline.
(I'm GERMAN, 53 an used to cruise at 150++ mph on 2 or 4 wheels on free enough roads in the OFF-Times or even high speed on narrow an angeled roads... without any injuries from that and also all poeple that ever where with me or arround me... Whenever you are beyond the common averages in speed or acceleration you are simply responsible for anything that you can reach or the can reach you, but nothing... unless you are in an restricted area for that purpose! ...an I mean the RaceTrack and not the German Autobahn - dear unexperienced Porsche-, GOLF-R or whatever much-too-fast-four-you-guys-under-all-circumstances-Renters!!!)

In that flow you are under some more bodycreated endorphins with enough adrenalin to loose a realisitic view, if never been taken to that level with an experienced instructor nearby, that helps you to individually realize the situation + danger you're getting more and more into and how to stay in the grey zone and get back again and reach selfcontrol asap, to survive and do not HURT others.

Think of all that jet-ski-, motorbike-, highpower-car (power-to-wheight-ratio), downhill-biking-, body-flying-, paragliding-, what-ever-at-the-limts-accidents... it's the same game allover!!!

With his JET-FEELING in that plane deepest over the sea, he had that flow - and needed more and more of the natural drugs and felt SOOOOO GOOOOD - as it is such a handsome plane I guess - but his last second...

HOPEFULLY the dream of so many responsible users of such toys in any fields is NOT been ended by people, that had not been educated well enough, to know enough about themselfes to stay in the limits, that are everywhere arround us, especially, when you are somekind of limit-seeker or -pusher or -shifter... BUT take your responsibility, AS WELL AS THE COMPANYs BUILDING AND SELLING THESE TOYs!!!

...for the survival and enjoment and development of all mankind!!!

Have FUN - BUT take care!

Jason Charvet said...

Looking at the video, it appears to be a shallow area, wonder if he bottomed out, like what killed the Cousteau's son?

Anonymous said...

I think he put the plane into a steep climb and then started a bank for his next pass at the water. As he got to the top of his climb the airspeed was low. When he banked the plane the stall speed got above the airspeed. He tried to recover in a dive, but had too little altitude.

Anonymous said...

92 knots at 11 feet off the water? System bunch of drugs little alcohol He banking 45 Deg making high speed passes low to the water the only time should be that low to the water is during a stabilized landing, or take off no reason to fly that low that fast.

Anonymous said...

That is the last time I will ever read a coroner's report...

Anonymous said...

suicide via airplane. so sad for his family

Anonymous said...

The only mistake Icon made was selling the A5 to a methed up dope fiend.

Amphetamine Limit - 50 ng/mL - Actually found: 1800 ng/mL
Morphine Limit - 5 ng/mL - Actually found: 150 ng/mL

I hope the state sends the family a bill for attempted rescue and cleanup operations.