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NTSB Reports Roy Halladay Doing Stunts; No Graduation or Prom in Philly; PA Senate Passes SB613
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 04/15/20 11:13 pm | updated: 04/15/20 11:13 pm
The National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) has issued an Aviation Accident Factual Report for the airplane crash that killed Hall of Fame Philadelphia Phillies P Roy Halladay. The crash happened around noon on November 7, 2017, in the waters off of Clearwater, FL. Halladay was flying an Icon Aircraft A5 special light sport amphibious airplane, which he had purchased a month earlier. Halladay had gotten his pilot's license in 2013 and had about 700 hours of flight time. He had 51 hours in an Icon A5, 14 hours in this particular plane. The small 2-seat plane could be towed to any body of water with the wings folded up. It was highly maneuverable and was compared to flying an ATV.

Halladay took off from a lake near his home and made his way to the Gulf of Mexico. Once over the gulf, witnesses saw the plane make several maneuvers. The plane flew very low and then would pull up steeply to a few hundred feet before descending again. The NTSB estimated that the forces on each climb were approximately 2G. At the top of the final climb, the plane "descended on an easterly heading in a steep nose-down attitude." The plane then crashed into the ocean. 40-year-old Halladay died from blunt force trauma and drowning. The plane probably stalled and fell from the sky.

The report details several medications that were found in Halladay's system that may have affected his judgement in flying that day. Zolpidem aka Ambien is used as a sleep aid. Amphetamine most likely from Adderall is a drug for attention deficit disorder. Morphine and Hydromorphone are opioid pain medications. Fluoxetine is an anti-depressant. Baclofen is a muscle relaxant. Ibuprofen is an over the counter pain medication. Most of these medications come with warnings not to operate heavy machinery. Some of these medications were prescribed for ailments both physical and mental. The extent that he may have been abusing them or not is unknown.

On May 8, 2017, the inventor of the A5 died while flying one at low altitudes in California. On October 23, 2017, the company issued "Low Altitude Flying Guidelines" to all owners warning of the dangers of flying at low altitudes without proper training. On October 26, 2017, Halladay noted in his flight log that he flew under the Skyway Bridge in Tampa. That bridge has an 180 ft clearance. A few days later he tweeted, "flying the Icon A5 over the water is like flying a fighter jet!"

SEE THE NTSB REPORT: Aviation Accident Factual Report #ANC18FA007

UPDATE: Halladay’s widow, Brandy, said in a statement, "Yesterday's NTSB report on Roy’s accident was painful for our family, as it has caused us to relive the worst day of our lives. It has reinforced what I have previously stated, that no one is perfect. Most families struggle in some capacity and ours was no exception. We respectfully ask that you not make assumptions or pass judgement. Rather, we encourage you to hug your loved ones and appreciate having them in your lives. As a family, we ask that you allow Roy to rest in peace."

Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite announced on Wednesday, 4/15, that all in-person graduation ceremonies in June have been canceled. All proms have also been canceled. The district is working on refunding any prom fees. "We have no choice but to cancel high school graduation ceremonies scheduled in June," Hite said. "We are hoping to reschedule those ceremonies if the coronavirus spread subsides and the health orders lifted in the next couple months after June, but we are nonetheless, planning some sort of virtual senior celebration." Hite also talked in detail about the upcoming distance learning programs being implemented by the school district. He reminded students that they will need a computer to participate and they will be graded. Students who do not have a computer can get one from their school. Watch Hite's video address below for more information:

The Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill (SB613) on Wednesday, 4/15, to allow some businesses in the commonwealth to reopen if they follow guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CISA. The bill passed 29-21 with the vote straight down party lines. It has already passed in the PA House. It will still need the signature of Governor Tom Wolf, who is expected to veto the bill. Gov. Wolf ordered all non life-sustaining businesses to close on March 19. Since then and unavoidably, unemployment in the state has skyrocketed as workers have been fired, laid off, or furloughed from jobs at businesses that are not open. However, stay-at-home orders have helped keep the number of infections down from cataclysmic rates.

This bill (see Section 3) does not recommend that all business be opened right away, but does describe how some may be opened. First, the governor would develop a mitigation plan for businesses to reopen.

Coincidentally, Governor Wolf and Secretary of Heath Levine actually unveiled a 'mitigation plan' for essential businesses on Wednesday. (SEE: PA Health Orders Workers/Customers to Wear Masks and More)

Second, that mitigation plan would be based on CDC COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and conform to the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) advisory on essential critical infrastructure. Republicans argue that there are certain industries currently shutdown in PA that are open in surrounding states and are listed on the CISA advisory as essential. Auto sales and construction are two examples. Also, there are numerous small businesses shuttered that sell the same products as big box stores that remain open.

Thirdly, the bill concludes that if a business meets the requirements of the determined mitigation plan they may operate in the commonwealth. This will get some people back to work and force their businesses to follow a safe plan when reopening. Most businesses will still be left off the list and have to stay shuttered or work remotely.


READ BILL SB613 (Section 3):

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