Retired MLB star Roy Halladay, 40, was killed this afternoon when his Icon A5 went down in the Gulf of Mexico not far from his home in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The Pasco Sheriff's Office Marine Unit responded to a call reporting the crash around 1:00pm.
Halladay was a two-time Cy Young winner, eight-time All-Star and likely Hall of Fame inductee even before his tragic death. Halladay pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadephia Phillies during his 16-year career. He took delivery of the A5 just last month and had expressed his joy at flying the plane on his social media accounts, recounting how he loved to fly it low over the water like a fighter plane.
The crash marks the second fatal A5 accident in the last five months. In May, two Icon employees were killed when the A5 they were flying crashed after apparently accidentally flying into a no-exit canyon adjacent to Lake Berryessa in California. Icon had recently issued cautions to its owners about flying the plane low and counseled caution in low-level operations. The details of the crash are not yet known, but the avionics in the A5 will likely reveal many data points about the accident flight. The NTSB plans to be onsite this evening to launch its investigation.
Late on Tuesday, an Icon representative emailed Plane & Pilot the following statement about the crash. “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.”
Plane & Pilot will update this story as more information becomes available.