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Roy Halladay Sole Fatality in Icon A5 Incident

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Roy Halladay Sole Fatality in Icon A5 Incident

Old 7th Nov 2017, 21:36
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Roy Halladay Sole Fatality in Icon A5 Incident

Roy Halladay, a retired pitcher who starred for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, died on Tuesday when his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

The crash was reported to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office by a private resident at 12:06 p.m. Eastern, and when law enforcement arrived on the scene, the plane, an Icon A5 registered to Halladay, was upside down in shallow water.

...Halladay was known for his love of flying, and in October he posted pictures of the plane he had recently purchased.

Roy took some lessons out of Chester County Airport with an instructor who was a friend and coworker of mine at the time. As a 6'5" former Army pilot, and not much of a baseball fan, he was just glad to meet another guy who loved to fly but had trouble fitting in some cockpits. It wasn't until casual conversation turned to work that he found out his client was an athlete. Afterwards he called me and asked if I knew of a guy named Roy who pitched for the Phillies.

I'm not allowed URLs yet, but this is widely reported.

Pictures of the plane in question:
...//twitter.com/RoyHalladay/status/918938596287098886/photo/1
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Old 7th Nov 2017, 21:43
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He loved to fly and often took up young people in his Icon A5:

https://twitter.com/RoyHalladay

I believe his father is a professional pilot.
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Old 7th Nov 2017, 23:31
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The Icon A5 is the result of a tremendous amount of development and testing to assure an aircraft which is characteristically safe. However, the extra freedom of a waterborne aircraft can easily lure a pilot into a much more challenging flying environment. The normal visual cues of an airport, or even just the ground may not be available when maneuvering over water, perhaps at low altitude.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 20:05
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Video prior to crash released, looks like he was hot dogging low level.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 20:07
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Hi DAR

I agree the ICON is a well built aircraft. Towards the end of its certification, did it not receive a modification of gross weight (increase)?

Locally, two company ICON pilots crashed in a local lake, both died.

Hadn't anything to do with water, they snookered themselves into a box canyon and stalled.

Amphibian flying is way fun. It is also more difficult, and requires lots of experience. I lean toward training issues, and an aircraft that can bite, though sold as toothless.

Piper boy. Low level hot dogging? How low level? Ground effect can interrupt a descent to the surface, and "suggest" Nose Down, to get closer. Then the elevator can bite, and put that sharp nose into the water. Found inverted?
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 20:17
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I see a 60deg bank angle, and serious down angle during the first part of the vid. Low time pilot, low altitude, low power plane. Low survive-ability expectation. Shame. I looked at the Icon for years, and years, and years, but the onerous requirements to buy one kept me away.

And now, Icon and only Icon will have all the data from the onboard data recorder sensors. We'll see what they voluntarily share with the NTSB.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 21:49
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Video here:



Language warning.

Any aircraft flown as seen in that video is much closer to biting it's pilot. In my opinion, this is entirely a training, and pilot discipline issue. The amphibian/water capabilities of such an aircraft lure the unwary pilot into "playing" over the water, thinking they are more safe. Take it from me, airplane collisions with water are nasty!

P.S. credit where credit is due, PPRuNe member Astrosfan had attempted unsuccessfully to post this video, and I had not noticed this, so I don't take credit for posting it first!
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 22:02
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DAR, on that subject how's the recovery coming along if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 22:39
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My recovery (from a water crash in an amphibian, in which I was the instructor, last summer - for readers who may not know) is progressing, but slowly. I'm presently in a spinal cord rehab hospital in Toronto for a few weeks, while they try to reduce the effects of my injured spinal cord, and resulting paralysis. After four months, I'm walking with the aid of a walker, short distances. But, here, surrounded by people who suffer major paralysis, I feel lucky - I can walk.

Though P84 and I might seem guilty of thread drift, not so much. I was training a pilot in a Lake Amphibian, completely by the book, no goofing around, and it still went really wrong. It was nearly fatal for both of us. Water flying offers incredible freedom, and opportunity to land in places otherwise hardly accessible. But it takes lots of skill and experience, and disciplined judgement, to fly a water plane with a good margin of safety. If a student of mine flew as I saw in that video, we'd be having a sharp talk. In the mean time, I will work hard in recovery for a few months yet, and then determine whether I fly again or not. My three planes are preserved for the winter, and I'm sad they are not flying for at least a half year.

I'm the pilot who rails against the videos of pilots buzzing, flying low skill low altitude aerobatics, and water skiing wheel planes - we must fly safely, and with a margin for error. After all my promoting flying safely, and being a sought after instructor, I'm still in hospital!

Everyone else, please learn from my (and the subject pilot's) sad events, and add just that little extra bit of caution to your flying all the time!
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 22:41
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Video

If he had been flying like that all week, he may have gotten a little too confident.
Trying to get ever so close to the surface, perhaps even to "kiss" the water.

Ground effect can fool you. The water looked not glassy at all, and had it been, the water's surface would be disguised. Is that a bounce in there?

Third fatal this year for the type. It has a lot going for it, but acro is not in its quiver.

The knock on the company is its marketing, overselling how "nimble" the amphib is. And how "fun".

I remember a wealthy dot com guy purchased a Ferrari the day his firm went public. He died twenty minutes after picking it up in Palo Alto. He "flew" off a cliff on Woodside road.

<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>

DAR, I had not known of your accident, if my prose offends, I apologize. Heal quickly, and completely.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 23:50
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if my prose offends, I apologize.
Not at all Concours, it is what it is - and a massive learning exercise for me. After 7500 hours flying light airplanes, I figured I could anticipate and make the best out of most any situation - I was wrong - a pilot can get it wrong much faster than I could fix it.

Reports read that Mr. Halladay had 700 hours, that's decent experience. I've trained new pilots with only a few hundred hours, and they did fine. It's their attitude, and willingness to retain and apply the cautions I teach. What I read which does worry me about this accident, is that Mr. Halladay described flying the Icon like flying a fighter jet, and the aircraft is regarded as being like a jet ski type watercraft. This theme sets the stage for aggressive maneuvering type flying. Risky at least, very skill demanding more likely. It sounds and looks like this was not a flight of leisurely straight and level touring, but more flying the aircraft as it was promoted - lots of maneuvering. That's high skill, quick judgement flying, the pilot has to be up to a high standard for that!
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 00:42
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After looking at the video, I find it hard to blame the airplane.

But when you put up marketing hype against the laws of physics, we all know who's going to win.

Hang in there PDAR. Good to know at least you are on your feet again.

I was extremely lucky to come out of a vortex-downburst encounter at 300' AGL with, icing on the cake, an intact airframe. Yes, you can be flying by the book, but Mother Nature has some nasty tricks up her sleeve.
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 11:07
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RBF hit the nail on the head. I've been reading the Icon marketing bumpf and their advertising is dressing this aircraft up as a hobby craft along the lines of a quad or jet ski that requires minimal training and although not immune from the laws of physics is idiot proof which implies turnkey operation. Of all outstanding orders over 30% are from non pilots. Probably guys who operate power boats and jetskis and assume jumping into an Icon is the next logical hobby choice that can for the most part be "learned on the job" due to relatively slow speeds, water capability, parachutes and sales videos showing carefree low level maneuvering. With all 3 of these accidents apparently pilot error they may want to have a think about how they position this equipment when selling to the public.

It reminds me of that anti virus guy Mcafee who set up an "aerotrekking" business, a sport he claims he invented that involved flying weightshift microlights round the arizona desert at extreme low level after some basic pointers from his nephew who was not a flight instructor resulting in a fatality. Icon need to express publicly that there is no shortcuts or substitute for training or there are going to be more accidents.
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 13:39
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When you have non-flyers watching you fly while exclaiming "holy s**t that's just crazy, look at that guy" and then said pilot flies straight into the briny there really isn't much left to say.

I'm just glad he didn't take anyone with him.
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 13:45
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piperboy84: "Icon need to express publicly that there is no shortcuts or substitute for training or there are going to be more accidents."

I am sad to say that turning their marketing around may not be enough. Their facility is just down the road from me. Haven't visited yet, and likely won't. I have to admit an attraction to the aircraft, and I have acquired aircraft without complete vetting before, the plane looks like fun on a platter.

I trust my flying, but had to give it up ten years ago when I found my skills and perception had degraded.

The A5 is a real airplane, and shouldn't be sold to zero time hot rods. That won't stop, and just because an aircraft is 'killing people', clearly the airframe is not to blame thus far.
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 17:48
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No, the airframe is not to blame. Some of the promotional material, and attitude toward how the plane may be used attracts my attention though...

https://www.iconaircraft.com/flight-...s/low-altitude

I would hope that "low altitude guidelines" for new pilots would be simply: "don't".
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 17:58
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Traditional general aviation training focused on higher-altitude transportation flying does little to prepare pilots for the unique challenges of low altitude flying.
Oh really ,, WTF
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 03:24
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Icon's Lowalt Document

The widows' lawyers' eyes will light up in dollar signs when they see it

Until they see how much in the way of assets the company has

Some product liability underwriter will be the subject of a cautionary tale.

A beer says the next renewal (if they get one at all) will contain a massive premium increase.
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 16:40
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Halladay may have made as many as two premium payments. Lloyd's worst nightmare.
Don't forget, ICON did not invent the "light sport".
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 07:34
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I have copied the Icon LoWalt document here for posterity since it may not be available on the original location forever.

It is in my opinion an astonishing document.

Formatting has been lost. Sorry. I refer you to the original.

https://www.iconaircraft.com/flight-...s/low-altitude


Low Altitude Flying Guidelines


Preamble
Low altitude (Lowalt) flying while exploring the planet in seaplanes and bush planes can be one of the most rewarding and exciting types of flying possible. Low altitude flying also comes with an inherent set of additional risks that require additional considerations. Traditional general aviation training focused on higher-altitude transportation flying does little to prepare pilots for the unique challenges of low altitude flying. This document is intended to help raise awareness and provide some time-tested guidelines and techniques for low altitude flying to help pilots cope with those additional challenges. These are not a substitute for FAA regulations or good judgment or training. Many of the guidelines and philosophies here were adopted from military, seaplane, and bush-flying techniques.

Applicability
Use of these guidelines is required for all internal, company-related flight operations. However, the guidelines are suggestions for private flight operations of the ICON A5 outside of company business. ICON owners and operators are encouraged to learn and use these guidelines even when flying outside of an ICON-structured training program. The Pilot in Command (PIC) is ultimately responsible for their own safety and that of their passenger as well as for operating their aircraft IAW FAR 91.3 and any local regulations.

FAA Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA)
Except for takeoffs and landings, FAR 91.119 requires the following minimum VFR altitudes:
Flights over congested areas: 1000' over highest obstacle with 2000' horizontal
Flights over non-congested areas: 500' Above Ground Level (AGL)
Flights over sparsely populated or open water: 500' from any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure
Emergency Landing: Enough altitude for emergency landing if engine fails
There is no FAA minimum altitude over open areas with no people or structures other than good judgment that allows for an emergency landing should the engine fail. Seaplanes over water are usually in a position for an emergency landing if needed.

ICON Low Altitude Definition
ICON considers flights below 300' AGL as operating in the "low altitude" environment for the ICON A5 aircraft. What is "low" is relative to an aircraft's speed, turning ability, climb performance, as well as each pilot's ability and reaction time. Given the A5's excellent handling qualities, Spin-Resistant Airframe, slow flying speeds, and tight turning radius, 300' AGL provides a reasonable margin for a pilot to make decisions and maneuver the aircraft away from terrain or stationary hazards that are visibly detected based on environmental conditions, initial aircraft conditions, and proper pilot inputs. At 300' AGL while level at normal flying speeds, the A5 is also able to execute an engine-out, 180-degree turn to a landing under normal conditions with proper pilot inputs. Pilots should always use their best judgement and fly in a way that is legal, within the aircraft's operating limitations, and within their own qualifications and comfort level.

Soft-Deck Maneuvering
The use of a soft deck is central to ICON's Lowalt flying philosophy. The idea is that when in the low altitude environment, the PIC should shift a significant portion of their attention to terrain and obstacle avoidance (like towers, power lines, etc.) while also maneuvering more benignly. This conscious shift should be observed below a prescribed altitude or "soft deck." While good judgment and airmanship always takes precedence over any guidelines, the following maneuvering limits should generally be observed:
Above Soft Deck: Normal, non-aerobatic maneuvering (+/- 60 bank +/- 30 pitch)*
Below Soft Deck: Benign maneuvering (+/- 45 bank +/- 10 pitch)

*60/30 is a reference. The current FAA aerobatic definition is ambiguous. In the past, the definition included 60/30 limits. FAR 91.303 currently states “… aerobatic flight means an intentional maneuver involving an abrupt change in an aircraft's attitude, an abnormal attitude, or abnormal acceleration, not necessary for normal flight.” Today, parachute FAR 91.307(c) still states, “Unless each occupant of the aircraft is wearing an approved parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) may execute any intentional maneuver that exceeds— (1) A bank of 60 degrees relative to the horizon; or (2) A nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 degrees relative to the horizon.”
ICON Soft-Deck Training Qualifications

Standard (300' AGL): Appropriate for all ICON graduates. ICON SPL, TXL, TXS, ICON IP, or higher
Advanced (100' AGL): Requires advanced ICON Lowalt training and ICON check ride
Confined-Area Operations
Confined-area operations (takeoffs, landings, approaches, and departures) are requisite skills for seaplane pilots in the FAA practical standards. Some bodies of water may require confined-area maneuvering for access. PICs should maintain enough lateral turning room to safely abort operations in any confined area. The A5 can execute a 180-degree turn in approximately 500' in no wind conditions based on environmental conditions, initial aircraft profile, and proper pilot inputs. ICON recommends at least 1000' of lateral turning room be maintained at all times to allow a course reversal in a confined area.
Box-Canyon Reversal (Emergency Terrain Escape)
There are dedicated books on mountain flying and this paragraph is not a substitute for advanced study and training should one choose to fly low in mountainous terrain. The term "box canyon" is frequently used to describe a situation where a pilot has inadvertently flown into narrowing, confined, and often rapidly rising terrain where the aircraft may not be capable of climbing over that terrain. Step one is to avoid these situations by appropriate knowledge and briefing of the areas being flown and to always preserve enough lateral turning room to easily reverse course if needed. However, should the conditions ever arise where a pilot is suddenly faced with the need for an immediate reversal of course in a box-canyon scenario, the following technique is recommended in the A5 to minimize the turn radius while simultaneously preserving altitude.
Box-Canyon Reversal:
50-70 knots
Full power
Pitch up slightly (5-10⁰)
Max AOA pull 180 degrees (mid yellow/stall horn – out of buffet)
Keep nose above horizon

Note: In no-wind conditions and properly flown, this maneuver can reverse the A5 direction at gross weight and at sea-level conditions in approximately 500' diameter. However, ICON recommends maintaining at least 1000' of lateral turning room to account for human error. Further, at high density altitudes and with adverse wind conditions, turn radius increases significantly. Bottom line: there are no absolutes. Use your best judgement and immediately reverse course and exit any area where you are in doubt.
Low Altitude Briefing Items
For A5 flights below 300' AGL, PICs should conduct a Lowalt briefing to include:
Planning Items
Proficiency: Assess pilot proficiency & comfort level
Weather: Lowalt weather effects (wind shear, boundary layer, density altitude, water conditions)
Review: Route, terrain, people, structures; known hazards (e.g., check if paragliders are present at Berryessa)

Inflight Actions
Soft Deck: (300' standard/100' advanced) acknowledge when below soft deck ("soft deck")
Turning Room & Box-Canyon Reversal: Know procedures cold
Terminate: Cease Lowalt and climb or land in the event of any unusual, distracting, or dangerous situation

Note: To reduce redundancy, once items are understood, they can be briefed as "standard," and only areas that are different and relevant to the flight may be called out specifically.
ICON Lowalt Limitations
Lowalt should only be flown in day, Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC).
Unplanned Lowalt
If unplanned low altitude flying is desired during a flight, the PIC should overfly the area above 300' AGL to identify hazards and assess risk before flying Lowalt.
Fly Politely
Represent yourself and the aviation community well. All pilots should maintain at least 500' separation from boats, people, or structures, except when required for takeoffs and landings. Additionally, fly politely. While many may wave and like the A5 (waters skiers, jet skiers, etc.), others may not (most fishermen prefer quiet). Always maneuver your airplane away from them to signal that you see them and are being respectful of them. Do not show off. While flying, be aware of who is around you and empathize with how they may perceive your flying.
Bottom line: Be a great ambassador for ICON and our flying community.
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