Mays, 50, known for his high-energy OxiClean ads was pronounced dead at 7:45 a.m. The Hillsborough County medical examiner will perform an autopsy, Tampa police Lt. Brian Dugan said.
Mays was on a US Airways flight from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Tampa on Saturday that had a rough landing at Tampa International Airport when the plane's front tire blew out. While there where were no reported injuries on Flight 1241, there were some bums and bruises.
In an interview with a Tampa TV station, Mays said: "All of a sudden as we hit you know it was just the hardest hit, all the things from the ceiling started dropping. It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head."
"We were very sad to learn of Billy Mays' passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family," Airline spokesman Jim Olson said. Tampa officials say the Medical Examiner's Office expects to complete an autopsy by Monday afternoon. In a statement, Deborah Mays said that although "Billy lived a public life," the family does not plan immediate public statements about his death.
Mays was a spokesman for Orange Glo and detergent OxiClean and appeared in commercials for other products.
He is featured on the reality TV show ''Pitchmen'' on the Discovery Channel, which follows pitch people in their jobs.
"It is with incredible sadness that we have to report that Billy Mays died in his sleep last night," said a statement from the Discovery Channel. "Everyone that knows him was aware of his larger-than-life personality, generosity and warmth. Billy was a pioneer in his field and helped many people fulfill their dreams. He will be greatly missed as a loyal and compassionate friend. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family at this time of incredible loss."