Obit watch: November 8, 2017.

Roy Halladay, former pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, was killed in the crash of his small plane yesterday. Tampa Bay Times. Miami Herald.

There are a few things in these articles that are…interesting. The plane was an ICON A-5:

The A5 is a single-engine, high wing aircraft that seats two people. It’s amphibious, so it can land on solid ground or water. It’s unique in that its wings fold to allow towing.
The plane is a light sport aircraft, meaning it falls below certain weight and maximum speed thresholds. The Federal Aviation Administration mandates fewer hours of training for light sport pilots.

Here’s a run-down of the sport pilot requirements from the EAA. But this is interesting because Mr. Halladay was pretty well trained:

Halladay said last March that he had accrued about 800 hours in the air. He had received his instrument rating and multi-engine rating. He was working toward a commercial rating.

(The A-5 also has some interesting safety features: it isn’t absolutely clear to me that the $389,000 “Founders Edition” comes standard with the parachute, but for that money, I’d expect it to come with everything including a full IFR panel and Otto Pilot.)

Halladay did not file a flight plan Tuesday, according to flightaware.com, which tracks aircraft movement. The National Weather Service reported clear skies and unlimited visibility in the area at the time of the crash.

So it sounds like he was flying VFR in CAVU conditions. RoadRich or someone else with more light aircraft experience can correct me, but the way I understand it, it’s perfectly normal not to file a flight plan for VFR flights.

No recording devices were recovered in the wreckage, according to the sheriff.

Of course, light sport aircraft and small planes aren’t required by FAA regulations to have recording devices.

Halladay is not the first Major League player to die piloting a plane, joining former New York Yankees captain Thurman Munson in 1979, the Chicago Cubs’ Ken Hubbs in 1964 and most recently Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, who crashed a small aircraft in New York City in 2006. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Roberto Clemente also died in a plane crash, as a passenger on a mission to deliver aid to Nicaraguan earthquake victims in 1972.

I’m not sure why they threw in the reference to Roberto Clemente, since he wasn’t piloting the DC-7 that crashed, and (from what I’ve read) that was just a completely f-ed up situation.

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