Roy Halladay had a well-documented love of flying planes before tragic crash

Former MLB great Roy Halladay passed away on Tuesday at the age of 40 after crashing his plane just off Florida's Gulf Coast. Hallady is of course best known as one of the best pitchers of his generation and as a beloved teammate and family man. Following his retirement from baseball, however, Halladay cultivated a deep love of flying and became a pilot. 

In a sense, Halladay came about it honest, as his father was a professional pilot, and Halladay grew up around airplanes. Following Halladay's final season in the majors in 2013, he set about getting his pilot's license. After achieving that, Halladay developed a fondness for the ICON 45 aircraft. Here's a brief video of Halladay's flying that plane ... 

Halladay had been a frequent renter of the ICON aircraft, and soon enough he bought one for himself ... 

Halladay's enthusiasm for his new plane and his genuine love of aviation was obvious to anyone who followed him on social media ... 

Unfortunately, it's that very plane -- two-person, single-engine ICON A5 light sports aircraft -- in which Halladay would lose his life on Tuesday ... 

Following Halladay's death, ICON released the following statement: 

"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."

Around the time he bought the plane, ICON shot a promotional video featuring Hallday and his wife, Brandy. Here's a look: 

"She fought me the whole way," Halladay said in the video of his decision to purchase the aircraft. 

"I fought hard," Halladay's wife said. "I was very against it."

To say the least, that's a haunting exchange in retrospect. 

It's surely little consolation to his loved ones right now, but Halladay died doing something he loved. That's cliche, of course, but it's true in this instance. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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