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Halladay Was High, Doing Stunts When Plane Crashed

NTSB report is out
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 16, 2020 1:08 AM CDT
Updated Apr 16, 2020 3:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – Baseball Hall of Famer Roy Halladay had high levels of amphetamines in his system and was doing extreme acrobatics when he lost control of his small plane and nosedived into the Gulf of Mexico in 2017, killing him, a National Transportation Safety Board report issued Wednesday said. Halladay had amphetamine levels about 10 times therapeutic levels in his blood along with a high level of morphine and an anti-depressant that can impair judgement as he performed high-pitch climbs and steep turns, sometimes within 5 feet of the water, the report says about the Nov. 7, 2017, crash off the coast of Florida. The maneuvers put loads of nearly two-times gravity on the plane, an Icon A5 Halladay had purchased a month earlier, the AP reports.

On the last maneuver, Halladay entered a steep climb and his speed fell to about 85mph. The propeller-driven plane went into a nosedive and smashed into the water. The report says Halladay, 40, died of blunt force trauma and drowning. The report does not give a final reason for the crash. That is expected to be issued soon. Halladay had about 700 hours of flight time after getting his pilot's license in 2013, a previous report said, including 51 hours in Icon A5s with 14 in the plane that crashed. The report says Halladay was treated for substance abuse twice between 2013 and 2015. Icon had issued guidance to its owners two weeks before Halladay's accident saying that low-altitude flying “comes with an inherent set of additional risks that require additional considerations" and that traditional pilot training focused on high-altitude flying “does little to prepare pilots for the unique challenges of low altitude flying.” There is no indication in the report Halladay received low-altitude training.

(Read more Roy Halladay stories.)

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