Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay appeared to be showboating in his airplane moments before the tragic crash that took his life.
The MLB star was making “extreme and unusual” changes in altitude, according to multiple witness. TMZ obtained footage from boaters who witnessed the stunts and subsequent crash, which repeatedly shows the plane going from 100 feet in the air down to just five feet and back up again. The shocked spectators were so surprised by Halladay’s flying pattern that they pulled out their phones to capture the incident.
Moments after Halladay’s dips and dives, he lost control of his plane and crashed it into the Gulf of Mexico without sending out a mayday signal. Witnesses raced their boats over to the site of the crash in attempt to help, but it was reportedly clear the pilot was already dead by the time they arrived. The boaters then called 911 and waited for professional assistance.
Other the boaters in the area told similar stories, saying Halladay’s plane was “dramatically increasing and decreasing in elevation.” One even added that “He was flying like that all week. Aggressively.”
Police later identified the deceased pilot as Halladay and confirmed that the crashed airplane was indeed his ICON A5, making it the second of its model to have been involved in a fatal crash this year. The other incident involved Jon Karkow, the company’s chief test pilot who designed the plane and died alongside a fellow employee Cagri Sever after a crash in May. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating Halladay’s accident.
He was just 40 years old and left behind his wife Brandy, who was “very against” him purchasing the plane, and their two children.