PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The family of late Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay is responding to a federal report into the death of the Hall-of-Famer. The NTSB says Halladay was doing dangerous stunts before his deadly plane crash in 2017.
It says Halladay lost control of his plane during the maneuvers.
The report also says Halladay had high levels of amphetamines and other drugs in his system.
Halladay’s widow, Brandy, said in a statement, “Yesterday’s NTSB report on Roy’s accident was painful for our family, as it has caused us to relive the worst day of our lives. It has reinforced what I have previously stated, that no one is perfect. Most families struggle in some capacity and ours was no exception. We respectfully ask that you not make assumptions or pass judgement. Rather, we encourage you to hug your loved ones and appreciate having them in your lives. As a family, we ask that you allow Roy to rest in peace.”
Halladay, an eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner, pitched a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter in 2010. He played for the Blue Jays from 1998 to 2009 and for the Phillies from 2010-13, going 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously last year.
Halladay had taken off from a lake near his home about 15 minutes before the crash, and a previous report said he was flying at about 105 mph just 11 feet above the water before he started doing his maneuvers. He had about 700 hours of flight time after getting his pilot’s license in 2013, the previous report said, including 51 hours in Icon A5s, with 14 in the plane that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast. The report said Halladay was treated for substance abuse twice between 2013 and 2015.
Rolled out in 2014, the A5 is an amphibious aircraft meant to be treated like an ATV, a piece of weekend recreational gear with folding wings that can easily be towed on a trailer to a lake where it can take off from the water.
The man who led the plane’s design, 55-year-old John Murray Karkow, died while flying an A5 over California’s Lake Berryessa on May 8, 2017, a crash the NTSB attributed to pilot error.
Because of that crash, Icon issued guidance to its owners two weeks before Halladay’s accident saying that while low-altitude flying “can be one of the most rewarding and exciting types of flying,” it “comes with an inherent set of additional risks that require additional considerations.”
It added that traditional pilot training focused on high-altitude flying “does little to prepare pilots for the unique challenges of low altitude flying.” Icon told the NTSB that Halladay had received and reviewed the guidance.
There was no indication in the report Halladay received low-altitude training.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)