Roy Halladay, former MLB pitcher killed in small plane crash, was new pilot

Almost a year after announcing his retirement from Major League Baseball, pitching great Roy Halladay tweeted a picture of a single-engine Cessna Caravan and seemed to beam with pride.

"The newest challenge in aviation for me! I love every min of flying it can't wait to take the family on vacation!" he wrote in November 2014.

It was one of dozens of photos that Halladay shared on social media in recent years, expressing his other passion outside of baseball — a love for aviation — that only blossomed after retirement. But it would also cost him his life: Halladay, 40, was killed Tuesday afternoon while piloting a small planenorthwest of Tampa, Florida, authorities said.

As federal investigators continued Wednesday to piece together what led to the crash in the Gulf of Mexico, video also emerged of Halladay's wife saying a month ago that she "fought hard" against him purchasing the plane that he would lose his life in.

52 PHOTOS
Reactions to the death of Roy Halladay
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Reactions to the death of Roy Halladay

Former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

When people ask me if I could re-live any moment in baseball-1 that I always say would be to watch Doc pitch again!… https://t.co/tzGSdKdizg
My heart hurts writing this. I can still remember the first day we met. It was 5:45am on the first day of spring training when I arrived. He was finishing his breakfast but his clothes were soaking wet. I asked if it was raining when he got in. He laughed and said “No I just finished my workout” I knew right then- he was the real deal. Thank you Roy for allowing us to witness what it takes to be the best. We will all miss you.
Phillies statement on the sudden & tragic passing of Roy Halladay: https://t.co/gGhv7JUKv0
Such a sad day. We lost a great ball player but an even better human being. Many prayers to Brandy, Ryan, & Brayden. We will miss you Roy.
I’m stunned to silence over the news of Roy Halladay. My thoughts and heart are with Brandy and the boys. Rest In Peace my friend.
Roy Halladay's former Phillies teammate Cole Hamels: "He means a lot to all of us. We’re really, really gonna miss… https://t.co/vZJygn4mL6
Devastated by the tragic loss of Roy Halladay. Best, most consistent pitcher ever. Tremendous teammate. Loving father. Great person. Prayers
Gone too soon my friend!!! Blessed to have shared the field with you as a teammate, competitor, friend and more imp… https://t.co/IBW3pfariC
#TxDoc https://t.co/WDmpW3HEU8
I lost a great friend today. All love Roy!!! #RoyHalladay https://t.co/DVdhLDnbcQ
The best I've ever been around. Incredible athlete and more importantly, an incredible man. My prayers go out to Brandi, Braden, and Ryan. Love you DOC! I'll never forget you and all you did for me and my family! #RIPDoc
My heart is heavy hearing about Roy's crash. He made a difference in so many people's lives, including mine. May God bring peace to his fam.
#RIP34 https://t.co/jF3S2BUZGx
In shock over the terrible news about Roy Halladay... a pitcher I grew up admiring & rooting for. Praying for his family & friends. #RIPDoc
I only own like 5 signed jerseys, and I was so scared to ask him. He wrote that he liked watching ME pitch. What an… https://t.co/kq4Esua4VQ
In complete shock right now. Thoughts and prayers to the entire Halladay. My heart goes out to you. A great competitor, even better person.
One of the best to ever do it. I had a front row seat to watch his greatness. RIP Doc. 🙏🏾 to Brandy and the kids.
Devastating. One of my favorite teammates ever. The blueprint for what a competitor looks like. RIP Roy Halladay. Heartbroken for his family
We are saddened by the tragic news that Roy Halladay, 2-time Cy Young Award winner & 8-time All-Star, has died in a… https://t.co/PpZaohsvfF
RIP Roy Doc Halladay, a true baseball great and a man with a generous heart.Our thoughts and prayers are with Roy a… https://t.co/XehkfEvIgz
Heart is broken to hear about Roy Halladay .great friend, teammate, father and husband. One of the best teammates ever! You will be missed !
The 76ers organization is saddened to learn of the passing of Philadelphia Phillies great Roy Halladay. We extend o… https://t.co/BMcLydH2z4
Oh my god man. Day ruined. Wow. Prayers with the entire Halladay family. This is awful! https://t.co/nrS2INJ231
The Eagles are saddened to learn of the passing of Phillies icon Roy Halladay. Our thoughts are with his family and… https://t.co/5U2yYwS8jI
Absolutely devastated to hear of the death of Roy Halladay. Just sick. One of my favorite pitchers to ever watch. Prayers for his family...
I wanted to be Roy Halladay. I’m heartbroken, rest easy Doc.
Sad day for baseball. Roy Halladay was one of my favorite pitchers to watch growing up. Baseball lost a legend toda… https://t.co/Q11NrD3kxa
We were together in this journey as Canadian Baseball Hall of Famers, now you are gone. RIP Roy Halladay https://t.co/x5Vv0r8djx
So sad to hear about the tragic news about Roy Holladay. He was a pitcher I wanted to be just like early on in my c… https://t.co/1fF7DKC2Ht
Wow! Can't believe the news on Roy Halladay. One of my favorite guys to watch pitch! The baseball Gods got a good one! RIP Doc
My thoughts are w/ Roy's family, friends and teammates. Tragedies like this are very very hard to deal with. RIP Doc
RIP Roy Halladay, the greatest example of a true competitor and a true gentleman. May God Bless him and his family
Being a kid from Colorado, this man was my hero growing up!! Was a pleasure to watch pitch. Can't believe this happ… https://t.co/LAi6oqRsh2
RIP...Roy Halladay one of the greatest teammates I have had the privilege the play with. Our prayers are with his wife and 2 boys!🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the passing of Roy Halladay. We extend our thoughts and condolences to… https://t.co/FGDN1diASU
RIP. Thoughts and prayers with his family. https://t.co/gcHrmWgiN9
Heartbreaking news. 2-time Cy Young Award winner & 8-time All-Star, Roy Halladay has died in a plane crash. Our th… https://t.co/MYvA3sfOYj
Rest in Peace, Doc. The baseball world lost a legend far too soon. https://t.co/KFhvL3hQyF
I’m shocked to hear the news about Roy Halladay. Devastating. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Oct. 6, 2010. Halladay’s no-hitter vs. the Reds in the Division Series. It was an honor to be at Citizens Bank Park… https://t.co/lak8NlbLRZ
So incredibly saddened to hear about @RoyHalladay. Rest in peace brother. Gone way too soon.
Very saddened by the news of Roy Halladay.
Shocked and saddened... gone way too soon. One of the best ever. #RIPDoc
My deepest condolences to the Halladay family during this difficult time. The world lost a great one too early toda… https://t.co/FMXfItaZIK
What a loss all of baseball just suffered. Roy is a legend. A true warrior of a pitcher and man I️ truly admired. @phillies @bluejays
Joining the baseball family in mourning Roy Halladay. So very sad at the loss of a great competitor and person. Eternal rest and peace.
"Roy was 1 in a million." https://t.co/JCQ4UZvi5M
Always loved watching Roy Halladay pitch growing up and I’m beyond saddened to hear this news. Rest In Peace Doc.
Crazy how you can be here today and gone tomorrow... RIP Roy Halladay, my thoughts and prayers gout out to his family and loved ones.
One night I️ will never forget the intensity he pitched with and carried us to a victory🤙🏽🤙🏽🤙🏽all he did was compli… https://t.co/aKfDRgX6ha
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Police said Halladay was in a two-seater ICON A5, an amphibious aircraft that debuted in 2014.

The plane includes a feature called the Complete Aircraft Parachute, a device that ICON says has saved lives, "some at altitudes as low as a few hundred feet." Halladay was alone when he crashed.

Related: Roy Halladay Killed in Plane Crash Off Florida Coast

In a statement Tuesday, ICON officials said they had gotten to know the baseball star and his family in recent months, and said they would support the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation.

The same aircraft model was involved in a crash in May in Napa County, California, that killed ICON's lead test pilot and the director of engineering. The NTSB said the probable cause in that crash was related to a pilot error.

Halladay, an eight-time All-Star who spent 12 years with the Toronto Blue Jays and four with the Philadelphia Phillies, was contractually prevented from obtaining his pilot's license while playing.

But once he retired in December 2013, plagued by a string of injuries, Halladay began training to follow in the footsteps of his father, a corporate pilot.

On Twitter, Halladay posted videos of his airborne adventures.

"What do clouds feel like? I didn't know either until I got my new Icon A5! I'm getting bruises on my arms from constantly pinching myself!" the father of two tweeted last month.

That same day, he continued: "I have dreamed about owning a A5 since I retired! Real life is better then my dreams!!"

42 PHOTOS
Roy Halladay throughout his career
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Roy Halladay throughout his career
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies in the dugout during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on September 29, 2013. The Braves won 12-5. (Photo by Pouya Dianat/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay (L) and catcher Carlos Ruiz celebrate after Halladay's no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the MLB National League Division Series baseball playoffs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 6, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 8: Former Major League pitcher Roy Halladay talks to the media prior to the game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies on August 8, 2014 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies starter Roy Halladay pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a MLB spring training baseball game in Clearwater, Florida, March 28, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Nesius (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Dec 9, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Roy Halladay announces his retirement the MLB Winter Meetings at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Halladay signed a one-day contract and retired with the Toronto Blue Jays. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of their MLB Grapefruit League baseball game in Dunedin Florida, February 28, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay takes a breather during a workout before a MLB spring training baseball game with the New York Yankees in Clearwater, Florida, March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Nesius (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay (34) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the sixth inning of their National League MLB baseball game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania April 5, 2012. REUTERS/David DeNoma (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 4: Former player Roy Halladay #32 of the Toronto Blue Jays with his sons before MLB game action against the New York Yankees on April 4, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Pitcher Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 23, 2013 in Miami, Florida. The Marlins defeated the Phillies 4-0. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 21: (L-R) Chase Utley #26, Jimmy Rollins #11, Roy Halladay #34, and Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies meet on the mound in the sixth inning of Game Five of the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at AT&T Park on October 21, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
28 Feb 1998: Pitcher Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays in action during a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at the Jack Russell Memorial Stadium in Clearwater, Florida. The Blue Jays defeated the Phillies 3-0. Mandatory Credit: S
Philadelphia Phillies' starting pitcher Roy Halladay speaks with umpire Gary Cederstrom during the first inning of Game 5 of their MLB National League Divisional Series baseball playoff game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Philadelphia October 7, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Slocum/Pool (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay smiles while sitting in the dugout before their MLB National League baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania June 11, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay talks with manager Charlie Manuel (R) before their MLB Grapefruit League baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin Florida, February 28, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitchers (from left) Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels attend a news conference at their MLB National League spring training facility in Clearwater, Florida February 14, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
ST MARYS, ON - JUNE 24: Former pitcher Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays acknowledges the reception after being honored during the induction ceremony at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on June 24, 2017 in St Marys, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 09: Former manager Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies is presented with his Wall of Fame plaque by Roy Halladay as Dallas Green looks on, after being inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame during a ceremony before the start of a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on August 9, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 25: Starting pitcher Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park on August 25, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 9-5. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 01: Starting pitcher Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies (R) celebrates the Phillies 11-6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals with teammate Hunter Pence #3 (L) after Game One of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 1, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 30: Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies talks with pitching coach Rich Dubee #30 during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 30, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Phillies won 9-0. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 21: Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the San Francisco Giants in Game Five of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at AT&T Park on October 21, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz (51) confers with Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay, center, as second baseman Chase Utley (26) listens in, during a tight spot in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.Monday, May 30, 2011. Halladay pitched out of the jam. (Chuck Myers/MCT via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 14: Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies runs in the first RBI of the game during the top of the third inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 14, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JULY 30: Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies watches the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 30, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay (R) talks to catcher Carlos Ruiz (L) in the fourth inning during play against the Atlanta Braves of their MLB baseball Civil Rights game in Atlanta, Georgia, May 15, 2011. Major League baseball is honoring the civil rights movement by playing the Civil Rights baseball game and honored heroes of the movement before the game. REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 06: Roy Halladay #34 and Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate Halladay's no-hitter and the win in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on October 6, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Reds 4-0. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 29: Chase Utley #26 and Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies attend the 3rd Annual Utley All-Stars Animal Casino Night to benefit the Pennsylvania SPCA at The Electric Factory on April 29, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - MAY 01: Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch to Jason Bay #44 of the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on May 1, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - MAY 01: Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on May 1, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Spring Training- 02/16/2007 - Toronto Blue Jays pitcher, Roy Halladay talks to members of the media after training at the Bobby Mattick Training Centre in Dunedin Florida on February 16, 2007. (Photo by Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Carlos Delgado and Roy Halladay on the Field in Dunedin before tonights game. @*@*@*HOLD FOR SPECIAL SECTION DO NOT USE@*@*@* March 25 2003 (Photo by David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
22/03/00Dunedin Florida Spring Training Jays/Phillies Rick Eglinton Toronto Star. Jay's Joey Hamilton (center) shown being helped back to the clubhouse by fellow jay players Billy Koch and Roy Halladay.Hamilton appeared to have injured his ankle while on the running track. (Photo by Rick Eglinton/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
STRHD13-03-31-03-Toronto Blue Jays starter Roy Halladay sits in the dugout after giving up a grand slam homer to Yankees Alfonso Soriano in Toronto Monday, Mar. 31, 2003. (Photo by Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
BRONX, NY - JULY 15: Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees shows Roy Halladay #32 of the Toronto Blue Jays a pitching grip before the 79th MLB All-Star Game at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York on July 15, 2008. The American League defeated the National League 4-3. (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BRONX, NY - JULY 15: Roy Halladay #32 of the Seattle Mariners sits on the field before the 79th MLB All-Star Game at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York on July 15, 2008. The American League defeated the National League 4-3. (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 1, 2010: The Philadelphia Phillies pose for a team picture at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in August 2010.Back Row: Kyle Kendrick, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay, Jayson Werth, Brad Lidge, Joe Blanton, Jose Contreras, David Herndon and Joe Swanhart. Third Row: Sean Bowers, Jesus Tiamo, Greg Dobbs, Chad Durbin, Brian Schneider, Chase Utley, Ben Francisco, Raul Ibanez, Ross Gload, Danys Baez, Ali Modami, Duane Wyse. Second Row: Kevin Camiscioli, Richard Collinson, Wilson Valdez, Antonio Bastardo, Juan Castro, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Jamie Moyer, J.C. Romero, Placido Polanco, Carlos Ruiz, Phil Sheridan. Front Row: Dong Lien, Mark Andersen, Scott Sheridan, Sam Perlozzo, Mick Billmeyer, Charlie Manuel, Pete Mackanin, Milt Thompson, Rich Dubee, Davey Lopes, Frank Coppenbarger, Dan O'Rourke. Bat Boy: Rob DiClementi. (Photo by Miles Kennedy/Philadelphia Phillies/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 18: Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies takes a short break from the heat as Chase Utley ties his shoe against the Chicago Cubs on July 18, 2011 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Halladay left the game in the fifth inning. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 29: Pitcher Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches celebrates with teammates Carlos Ruiz #51 and Ryan Howard #6 after pitching a perfect game against the Florida Marlins in Sun Life Stadium on May 29, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 08: Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws to Ryan Howard #6 in the first inning of the game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on April 8, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies' Cole Hamels (L), Roy Halladay (C) and Ryan Howard watch as the San Francisco Giants celebrate their victory in Game 4 of their Major League Baseball NLCS playoff series in San Francisco, October 20, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
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ICON also released a video last month featuring Halladay and his wife, Brandy, flying and discussing how he couldn't wait to command his own aircraft.

But Brandy Halladay expressed some reservations: "I didn't grow up with airplanes or a comfort level like he did in small airplanes," she said in the video, which has since been deleted.

"She fought me the whole way," Halladay said of buying the ICON A5.

"Hard. I fought hard," she added. "I was very against it."

Halladay revealed in that same video that he had to wait until he retired before he could finally fly. He achieved his pilot's license last year, according to reports.

"It wasn't one of the things I was allowed to do," he said. "When I retired that was one of the first things I wanted to do."

Former Phillies teammate Cole Hamels, who now pitches for the Texas Rangers, said he remembered how excited Halladay was to be able to start on a new journey.

"Knowing that his father was a pilot ... you look up to your dad always," Hamels told reporters Tuesday. "I think that's something he had — that bug to want to fly — and that's something that was his passion. You know you have to respect that."

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