Former MLB Pitcher Roy Halladay Dies in Plane Crash

The two-time Cy Young winner was alone when his Icon A5 went down in the Gulf of Mexico.

Roy Halladay Icon A5
After retiring from Major League Baseball, Roy Halladay shared with his Twitter followers his love of aviation and especially his Icon A5.Roy Halladay/Twitter

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner who retired from baseball nearly four years ago, died in a crash of an Icon A5 light sport amphibian in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida Tuesday afternoon. He was the only one aboard, according to the Pasco County Sheriffs office.

Halladay, 40, held a private pilots license and instrument rating. He took delivery of the first 2018 model year A5 last month. Halladay tweeted photos and video of himself with his A5, and said becoming a pilot was a lifelong dream he could only pursue once he retired from baseball.

"We were devastated to learn that former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay died today in an accident involving an ICON A5 in the Gulf of Mexico," an Icon official told Flying. "We have gotten to know Roy and his family in recent months, and he was a great advocate and friend of ours. The entire ICON community would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Roy's family and friends. ICON will do everything it can to support the accident investigation going forward and we will comment further when more information is available."

Halladay’s 16-year career began in 1998 with the Toronto Blue Jays until 2009. He spent his final four seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies before retiring in 2013. He was an eight-time All-Star and finished in the top five of the Cy Young Award seven times.

NTSB investigators were due to arrive at the scene Tuesday night.

This is the third Icon crash in the last year. Icon lead aeronautical engineer, Jon Karkow, was killed in an A5 crash in California in May along with a new company employee, Cagri Sever. The NTSB blamed the crash on pilot error after it was dertimined Krakow mistakenly flew it low altitude into dead-end canyon on Lake Berryessa, near Icon’s headquarters.

An A5 crashed in the water off Miami last spring. Icon has come under increasing criticism for glorifying aggressive low-level maneuvers in promotional videos for the $389,000 A5, which is now entering full-rate production after a decade in development. Karkow’s death led the company to introduce specialized low-level training.

(This article has been updated.)