Video emerged Wednesday of the moments before Roy Halladay’s tragic plane crash into the Gulf of Mexico.
In the video obtained by TMZ, the retired baseball star’s ICON A5 can be seen flying close to the water before the fatal crash. A witness told TMZ that Halladay was “dramatically increasing and decreasing in elevation.”
“He was flying like that all week,” another witness told the gossip website. “Aggressively.”
Halladay, who was 40, owned the ICON A5 for less than a month before Tuesday’s crash, and he was among the first to fly the aircraft.
The National Transportation Safety Board is asking witnesses to come forward if they have any photos or videos of the crash.
Investigators recovered two data recorders from Halladay’s plane to be analyzed, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Roy Halladay throws a pitch for the Phillies during the 2013 season.
(Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The agency said the investigation into the plane crash could take one to two years to complete.
Just weeks before Halladay’s death, ICON Aircraft CEO Kirk Hawkins had announced new guidelines for low-altitude flying, according to USA Today.
“There is little formal training required by the (Federal Aviation Administration) or provided by traditional transportation-focused aviation training programs to adequately prepare you for low altitude flying,” Hawkins said in an email, according to the newspaper.
“Given this, our goal is to take a proactive, leadership role in the flight training process and we have developed our own low altitude guidelines from lessons learned over decades of military, seaplane, and bush flying.”
Flying 300 feet above water, according to the guidelines, “provides a reasonable margin for a pilot to make decisions and maneuver the aircraft away from terrain or stationary hazards,” USA Today reported.
Sports Stars Gone Too Soon
Halladay had tweeted that flying the ICON A5 felt “like flying a fighter jet.”
The plane is an amphibious aircraft meant to be treated like an ATV that can easily be taken to water for takeoff.
“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.”
Pope said “the plane itself is great,” but had concerns about Halladay, a new pilot with little flying time.
The former Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher had been forbidden to take up flying until he retired from baseball at the end of 2013.
With News Wire Services