PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – TMZ Sports has obtained video showing the moments before MLB star Ray Halladay’s plane crashed Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico near Pasco County.
The video was shot by boaters who told the tabloid Halladay’s plane was flying close to the water and “dramatically increasing and decreasing in elevation,” going from 100 feet in the air down to 5 feet above the water.
“He was flying like that all week,” one witness said. “Aggressively.”
Moments after the video was shot, Halladay’s Icon A5 was found upside down in shallow water near Ben Pilot Point in New Port Richey. Halladay, the only passenger in the two-seater plane, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Three weeks before the crash, ICON Aircraft set new guidelines for low-altitude flying, USA Today reported.
“There is little formal training required by the (Federal Aviation Administration) or provided by traditional transportation-focused aviation training programs to adequately prepare you for low altitude flying,” CEO Kirk Hawkins said in an email. “Given this, our goal is to take a proactive, leadership role in the flight training process and we have developed our own low altitude guidelines from lessons learned over decades of military, seaplane, and bush flying.”
Flying 300 feet above the water, “provides a reasonable margin for a pilot to make decisions and maneuver the aircraft away from terrain or stationary hazards,” the guidelines said.