Monday September 24th, 2018 9:19PM

Roy Halladay was among 1st to fly model of plane he died in

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The tiny sport plane Roy Halladay was flying when he fatally crashed into the Gulf of Mexico was made for entry-level pilots like him, though the plane's chief designer and test pilot died while flying one earlier this year, officials and experts said.

Halladay, the 40-year-old former Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher, 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, according the website for ICON Aviation.

In one of many enthusiastic tweets about the plane, Halladay said it felt "like flying a fighter jet."

Rolled out in 2014, the A5 is an amphibious aircraft meant to be treated like an ATV, a piece of weekend recreational gear with folding wings that can easily be towed on a trailer to a lake where it can 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 magazine, told The Associated Press. "It's really a play thing."

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, in a crash the National Transportation Safety Board blamed on pilot error. The NTSB also will investigate Halladay's crash to determine the cause.

In other tweets, Halladay said he had dreamed about owning one of the planes, and said in video on the company's website that he had to talk his wife into letting him get one. The son of a corporate pilot, Halladay had been forbidden to take up aviation until he retired from baseball at the end of 2013.

Pope said "the plane itself is great," but he had concerns about Halladay, a new pilot with little flying time, taking the craft out over water at low altitude, though the plane was marketed as a craft that could do that.

"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."

Low flying was part of the problem when Karkow, the designer, crashed, according to federal investigators. Karkow was killed along with passenger Cagri Sever, the company's newly hired director of engineering.

The NTSB blamed pilot error for the crash, saying Karkow mistakenly entered a canyon while flying too low, causing the plane to strike the canyon wall.

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

Halladay's ICON A5 went down around noon Tuesday off the coast of Florida, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.

The sheriff's office marine unit responded and discovered Halladay's body in shallow water near some mangroves. No survivors were found.

Police said they couldn't confirm if there were additional passengers on the plane or say where it was headed.

ICON Aviation said in a statement that the company would assist the NTSB in every way possible with its investigation, and that its executives and employees were "devastated" by Halladay's death.

"We have gotten to know Roy and his family in recent months, and he was a great advocate and friend of ours," the statement said.


This story has been corrected to show that Halladay retired from baseball at the end of 2013, not in 2014.


Associated Press Writers Robert Jablon in Los Angeles and Terry Spencer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, contributed to this report.


More AP baseball:

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2018
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Roy Halladay was among 1st to fly model of plane he died in
Plane Halladay was flying was made for entry-level pilots; expert urges caution on flying low over water
11:51AM ( 8 minutes ago )
BroadwayHD to offer West End plays and musicals
BroadwayHD will start offering current and recent offerings with "Wind in the Willows" from the London Palladium on Nov. 23
11:49AM ( 10 minutes ago )
'Rapid Ruth' Ginsburg is quick with justices' first opinion
The Supreme Court has handed down its first opinion in a case heard this term
11:46AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Alford to sit 3 players reportedly involved in shoplifting
UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford will sit the three players reportedly involved in a shoplifting incident in China for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai
10:36AM ( 1 hour ago )
Alford to sit 3 players involved in shoplifting incident
UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford will sit the three players reportedly involved in a shoplifting incident in China for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai
9:07AM ( 2 hours ago )
Roy Halladay remembered for his hard work and generosity
A fierce competitor on the mound, Roy Halladay was generous and gentle off it
7:34AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Former star pitcher Halladay killed in Florida plane crash
Former star pitcher Roy Halladay has been killed in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico
8:49PM ( 15 hours ago )
Yankees' Cashman was concerned with Girardi's 'connectivity'
Yankees GM Brian Cashman concerned with Joe Girardi's 'connectivity'
10:08PM ( 1 day ago )
Hosmer, Moustakas, Cain, Arrieta among 9 with $17.4M offers
Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas and outfielder Lorenzo Cain were among nine free agents who received $17.4 million qualifying offers from their teams
6:47PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Baseball
Keith Urban records song inspired by Harvey Weinstein
Keith Urban records new song 'Female' that was inspired by the widening sexual harassment scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein
10:32AM ( 1 hour ago )
100 years on, Tate Modern explores Russian revolutionary art
The Soviet Union is gone, but the imagery it inspired lives on
10:14AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trump calls welcome to Beijing 'unforgettable'
President Donald Trump says his welcome to Beijing was "unforgettable."
10:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Entertainment
Elton John celebrates 25 years of AIDS foundation
A teary and emotional Elton John celebrated the 25th anniversary of his AIDS foundation with a gala in New York City, raising about $4.4 million
2:41AM ( 9 hours ago )
Trump mocked during New York fundraiser by top comedians
Trump mocked during New York City fundraiser for military veterans by comedians John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah and Conan O'Brien
2:40AM ( 9 hours ago )
Keith Urban, Bob DiPiero honored at BMI Country Awards
Country star Keith Urban was honored for his philanthropy and hit country songwriter Bob DiPiero was honored as an icon by the performing rights organization BMI on Tuesday
12:46AM ( 11 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
The Latest: World Series MVP Springer thanks Astros fans
World Series MVP George Springer is thanking Houston Astros fans across Texas for believing in the team as it rallied to win the franchise's first championship
6:00PM ( 4 days ago )
World Series champion Astros hold off on White House talk
The World Series champion Houston Astros have not made the decision yet to either or not travel to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump if an invitation is extended
5:47PM ( 4 days ago )
The Latest: Rally for World Series champion Astros begins
A rally in front of Houston City Hall is starting after a more than hour-long parade drew hundreds of thousands of people to celebrate the Houston Astros World Series championship
5:20PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
FBI again finds itself unable to unlock a gunman's cellphone
The Texas church massacre is providing a familiar frustration for law enforcement: the FBI says it can't unlock the gunman's encrypted cellphone
11:36AM ( 23 minutes ago )
France's Macron, Arab leaders tour the Louvre Abu Dhabi
France's Macron, Arab leaders to inaugurate new Louvre Abu Dhabi, museum that marks major cultural achievement in UAE
11:20AM ( 40 minutes ago )
Woman charged with murder warned against forced marriage
Investigators in central Pakistan believe a recently married 21-year-old was enticed by her boyfriend in a plot to kill her husband by poisoning his milk with rat killer
11:16AM ( 43 minutes ago )
The Latest: Ryan says GOP must succeed on tax overhaul
House Speaker Paul Ryan says the GOP drubbing in Tuesday night's off-year elections "just puts more pressure on making sure we follow through" on the party's drive to overhaul the tax code
11:16AM ( 44 minutes ago )
Zimbabwe's Mugabe says fired deputy plotted via witchcraft
Zimbabwe's Mugabe says fired deputy plotted via witchcraft; Mnangagwa flees after threats
11:14AM ( 46 minutes ago )