NTSB: Halladay's plane parachute didn't deploy before fatal crash

The maker of the plane touted the plane as having many safety features.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The parachute inside Roy Halladay's plane did not deploy before crashing into the Gulf of Mexico, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The report, which mostly detailed the plane's path flight, did not say what caused the former Major League Baseball pitcher's death or what led to the crash.

Here's the flight path, as taken from the data of Halladay's ICON A5 aircraft:

  • Halladay departed a private lakeside home north of Lake Keystone in Odessa at about 11:47 a.m., climbed to 1,909 feet and traveled about four miles before turning west towards shore.
  • He traveled 10 miles and crossed over U.S. Highway 19 at about 6700 feet before descending to 36 feet over water before turning south.
  • Halladay flew on a southerly track past Green Key Beach at 11 feet altitude before making a right 360-degree turn while climbing to about 100 feet.
  • The plane continued south, flying as close as 75 feet to the Gulf Harbor South Beach houses.
  • The last data from the plane recorded the aircraft flying at an altitude of 200 feet and about 10 feet above 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," the report said. "He then saw the airplane impact the water and nose over."

The plane rested in 4.5 feet of saltwater, the report said.

"The front fuselage and cockpit were highly fragmented," the report said. "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."

Halladay had logged 703.9 flight hours, including 51.8 hours in an Icon A5 plane, and 14.5 hours in the plane that crashed, the report said.

The weather at the time of the crash, taken from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, was reported as calm winds with visibility of 10 statute miles and clear skies, the report said.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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