Report: Halladay's plane took sharp dive, didn't deploy parachute before fatal crash

Though it's still unknown what definitively caused the Nov. 7 plane crash that killed former MLB star Roy Halladay, new details are providing some insight into what happened in the final moments of the fatal incident near the coast of Tampa.

According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, Halladay's ICON A5 single-engine amphibious airplane took a sharp nose-dive before crashing into the Gulf of Mexico, killing the ex-Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher. The NTSB also said that Halladay's plane did not deploy its parachute prior to impact. 

"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 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."

The plane's data last tracked it flying at an altitude of 200 feet and about 10 feet above water. The report says it was found floating in four-and-a-half feet of salt water.

Halladay, 40, was a noted plane enthusiast and had recorded over 700 hours of flight time, but the pitcher's father -- a flight instructor who helped Halladay attain his pilot's license -- said his son "could've exercised a little more caution" when flying the aircraft involved in the crash. Halladay's father said he discussed flight safety with his son before he purchased the ICON A5 in October. 

Prior to the fatal crash, onlookers filmed Halladay flying the plane erratically above the water, making steep climbs and sharp dives. Other witnesses claimed that flight behavior was not out of the ordinary for Halladay.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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