By ANDREW DALTON and TERRY SPENCER | Associated Press
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Roy Halladay was flying his tiny sport aircraft low over the Gulf of Mexico shortly earlier than it slammed into the water and killed the retired star pitcher, witnesses informed federal investigators.
National Transportation Safety Board Investigator Noreen Price mentioned Wednesday that Halladay’s ICON A5 skilled a “high-energy impact” with the water. She mentioned each flight knowledge recorders have been recovered and the aircraft didn’t have a voice recorder.
She mentioned Halladay had been a licensed pilot since 2013 and logged about 700 hours of flight time earlier than Tuesday’s crash close to Tampa. She mentioned a preliminary report on the trigger possible shall be issued in seven to 10 days, however the full investigation may take as much as two years.
Price mentioned it was too early to say whether or not Halladay’s crash was badociated to 2 earlier crashes this yr of A5s, certainly one of them that killed the aircraft’s chief designer and check pilot
“Every accident is different. They are very complex. So as we move forward in the factual finding phase, if we see anything that we believe might connect it to previous accidents, we will certainly look at that. And if we see anything that we think is unsafe, we will make recommendation immediately,” Price mentioned throughout a information convention in New Port Richey.
The 40-year-old former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher had been the proud proprietor for lower than a month of his ICON A5, and was among the many first to fly the mannequin. In certainly one of many enthusiastic tweets concerning the aircraft, Halladay mentioned it felt “like flying a fighter jet.”
Rolled out in 2014 by a Vacaville firm, the A5 is an amphibious plane meant to be handled like an ATV, a chunk of weekend leisure gear with folding wings that may simply be towed on a trailer to a lake the place it could possibly take off from the water.
“The way that a lot of people described it is a Jet Ski with wings,” Stephen Pope, editor-in-chief of Flying journal, informed The Associated Press. “It’s really a plaything.”
Two of ICON’s workers died when their A5 crashed close to Northern California’s Lake Berryessa on May eight, an accident the NTSB attributed to pilot error. The pilot was Jon Murray Karkow, 55, who led the aircraft’s design; his pbadenger was newly employed ICON engineering director Cagri Sever, 41. They had flown out of the Nut Tree Airport for a check flight to “conduct water maneuvers.”
In different tweets, Halladay mentioned he had dreamed about proudly owning one of many planes. He mentioned in video on the corporate’s web site that he needed to speak his spouse into letting him get one. The son of a company pilot, Halladay had been forbidden to take up aviation till the two-time Cy Young Award winner retired from baseball after the 2013 season.
Pope mentioned “the plane itself is great.” But he had issues about Halladay, a comparatively inexperienced pilot, taking the craft out over water at low altitude. The aircraft, nevertheless, was marketed as a craft that might try this.
“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 mentioned. “They think you should not have a low-time pilot flying low over water. That’s a recipe for disaster.”
Low flying was a part of the issue when Karkow crashed in Lake Berryessa, in accordance with federal investigators.
The NTSB mentioned Karkow mistakenly entered the mistaken canyon whereas flying over the and was unable to appropriate in time, placing the canyon wall.
Another A5 crashed in April, making a tough touchdown within the water off Key Largo, Florida, injuring the pilot and his pbadenger. The pilot informed investigators the aircraft descended quicker than he anticipated.
Halladay’s ICON A5 went down round midday Tuesday off the coast of Florida, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco mentioned.
Dalton reported from Los Angeles and Spencer from Fort Lauderdale. Associated Press Writer Robert Jablon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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