Update, November 9: We mentioned Roy Halladay's crash was the second fatal accident in the Icon A5 this year. There was actually a third crash in 2017, this one a non-fatal accident in April. "The pilot claimed the A5 descended faster than expected, landing in the water and injuring the occupants," Jalopnik says.
Pope said "the plane itself is great," but he had concerns about Halladay, a new pilot with little flying time, taking the craft out over water at low altitude, though the plane was marketed as a craft that could do that.
"They still think that that's the way the airplane should be flown, and there are people in aviation who completely disagree with that," Pope said. "They think you should not have a low-time pilot flying low over water. That's a recipe for disaster."
Legendary MLB pitcher Roy Halladay, who won two Cy Young Awards during a long and dominant career in the big leagues with Toronto and Philadelphia, died on Tuesday in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40.
Halladay was a huge fan of the amphibious startup aircraft. He received the first 2018 model and was prominently featured in Icon's promotional materials, and often tweeted his love for flying the little plane.
I keep telling my dad flying the Icon A5 low over the water is like flying a fighter jet! His response..... I am flying a fighter jet!! pic.twitter.com/30eVjz9eS6- Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) October 31, 2017
The A5 can take off and land from the water or from the tarmac. It's a two-seater that's meant to make flying more accessible to everyone by simplifying the controls and gauges, and by trying to make the plane stall- and spin-resistant. The plane itself is also equipped with a parachute in case of emergency.
Icon's page about Halladay's plane lists the improvements put into the 2018 class of A5s, many of them meant to make the plane easier to taxi and steer. It'll take days or weeks before we know more details about what went wrong with this crash, a tragedy for the Halladay family as well as baseball fans the world over.
It's also a heavy blow for Icon. We flew in the A5 a few years ago when Icon offered short trips up and down the Hudson River here in New York. It was indeed a transcendent experience. But back in May of this year, an A5 crashed during flight testing in Northern California, killing two Icon engineers (the National Transportation Safety Board cited pilot error as the cause). According to Flying, the price of the A5 had shot up from $250,000 when we flew it in 2015 to $389,000 for the 2018 edition with those extra features. Now one of the aviation brand's chief ambassadors has been lost in an accident in that very plane.
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