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2006 New York City plane crash

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2006 New York City plane crash
Belaire Condominium, 12 October 2006.jpg
The Belaire building after the fire caused by the crash was extinguished
Accident
Date October 11, 2006; 11 years ago (2006-10-11)
Summary Controlled flight into building
Site The Belaire, New York City
40°45′58″N 73°57′08″W / 40.76616°N 73.95221°W / 40.76616; -73.95221Coordinates: 40°45′58″N 73°57′08″W / 40.76616°N 73.95221°W / 40.76616; -73.95221
Aircraft
Aircraft type Cirrus SR20
Operator Private
Registration N929CD
Flight origin Teterboro Airport
Teterboro, New Jersey[1]
Crew 2
Fatalities 2 (both on plane)
Injuries 21 (in building, including
11 firefighters)

The 2006 New York City plane crash occurred on October 11, 2006, when a Cirrus SR20 general aviation, fixed-wing, single-engine light aircraft crashed into the Belaire Apartments in New York City at about 2:42 p.m. local time (18:42 UTC). The aircraft struck the north side of the building, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, causing a fire in several apartments,[2][3] which was extinguished within two hours.[4]

Both people aboard the aircraft were killed in the accident: New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle[3] and his certified flight instructor Tyler Stanger.[5][6] Twenty-one people were injured, including eleven firefighters. An apartment resident, Ilana Benhuri, who lived in the building with her husband, was hospitalized for a month with severe burns incurred when the post-impact fire engulfed her apartment.[7][8]

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Cirrus SR20 aircraft, tail number N929CD, was owned by Lidle.[9] On May 1, 2007, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) stated that the probable cause of the crash was pilot error. The NTSB was unable to determine which person was flying the aircraft at the time of the crash.[10]

Flight[edit]

A Cirrus SR20 similar to the aircraft involved in the incident

The aircraft departed from Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, at 2:29 pm local time (18:29 UTC). Lidle planned to fly to Tennessee, where he had a hotel room booked for the night, then to Dallas, Texas, and finally on to his home in California.[1][11][12]

Radar measurements show that, immediately before the crash, Lidle's aircraft was flying at 112 mph (180 km/h) at 700 feet (210 m) altitude[13] in the East River VFR corridor, an area which former NTSB official Peter Goelz described as "very tricky" due to its narrow width and frequent congestion.[14][15] The VFR corridor ends abruptly at the northern tip of Roosevelt Island. Aircraft must receive an air traffic control clearance to proceed beyond the boundaries of the corridor, or else make a sharp U-turn and return the way they came. Lidle's plane flew north along the corridor almost to the end before executing a turn and hitting the north face of the building along the river.[15]

Crash[edit]

The airplane struck the Belaire, a 42-story condominium tower at 524 East 72nd Street,[16] at approximately 30 stories above the ground.[17] The plane hit the apartment owned by Dr. Parviz Benhuri and his wife Ilana,[18] the latter of whom was seated in the room when the plane crashed and sustained shrapnel injuries and burns. Her housekeeper was also present and helped her escape.[19]

Map of the crash's location on the Upper East Side

There was no indication that the aircraft's Ballistic Recovery Systems emergency parachute, designed to bring the small plane down safely, was deployed.[20] New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said the plane circled the Statue of Liberty before flying north up the East River and disappeared from radar near the Queensboro Bridge. The FAA confirmed that the plane was flying under visual flight rules (VFR) and had attracted no special attention from air traffic controllers or NORAD before the crash. The aircraft took a hard U-shaped turn before it hit the building.[21]

Reactions[edit]

East-facing view of smoke from the building (right) shortly before the fire following the crash was extinguished

In an interview Lidle gave about a month earlier, he stated he had been a pilot for seven months and had flown about 95 solo hours.[22] The crash garnered extra attention because of superficial similarities to the September 11 attacks in New York City, which had occurred five years and one month earlier. U.S. officials said that NORAD scrambled fighter aircraft over numerous American and Canadian cities for Combat Air Patrol,[23] and that U.S. President George W. Bush was informed about the situation, but that these were precautionary measures only.[24] The FBI quickly announced there was no reason to suspect that the crash was an act of terrorism.[25]

LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport did not experience delays from the crash. Police cordoned off several blocks at the peak of the confusion, but subway and NY Waterway ferry services continued without interruption. The FAA initially imposed a temporary flight restriction on an area within one nautical mile (1.9 km) of the scene, from ground level to 1,500 feet (460 m) altitude.[26] This restriction was lifted the next day, though New York Governor George Pataki called for permanent restrictions.[15]

On October 13, 2006, two days after the crash, the FAA banned all fixed-winged aircraft from the East River corridor unless in contact with local air traffic control. The new rule, which took effect immediately, required all small aircraft (with the exception of helicopters and certain seaplanes) to seek the approval of and stay in contact with air traffic control while in the corridor. The FAA cited safety concerns, especially unpredictable winds from between buildings, as the reason for the change.[13]

Investigation[edit]

On October 11, the National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a six-member "Go Team" from Washington, D.C. to New York City,[27] which arrived at the scene in the evening to take fuel samples and examine clues found in the debris. These included the aircraft's bent propeller, a charred memory chip, the undeployed parachute,[28] and Lidle's flight log book.[29]

The NTSB's final hearing on May 1, 2007, determined that "the pilots’ inadequate planning, judgment, and airmanship in the performance of a 180-degree turn maneuver inside of a limited turning space" caused the crash.[30] The investigation was unable to determine whether Lidle or Stanger was at the controls. Although there was 2,100 feet (640 m) of space available, the aircraft used only about 1,700 feet (520 m) of width in which to make the 180-degree turn—but this distance was effectively reduced to 1,300 feet (400 m) by the 13-knot (24 km/h) easterly winds that day. A bank angle of at least 53 degrees would be required to successfully execute a 180-degree turn in this distance. If the required bank was not initiated early then, as the turn progressed, the bank angle would have needed to have been increased, possibly resulting in an aerodynamic stall. The investigation was unable to determine if the plane was stalled at the time of the crash. An animation of the flight path combining radar data with a Coast Guard video of the East River was also presented.[10][31][32][33]

A lawsuit brought by Lidle's family against the manufacturer of the aircraft, Cirrus Design, alleging a mechanical defect, was rejected by a jury in May 2011.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "A look at Lidle's final hours". Newsday. October 13, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Yankee Pitcher Dies as Plane Crashes Into NYC High-Rise". ABC News. October 11, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Yankees pitcher killed in crash of small plane in Manhattan". CNN. October 12, 2006. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Yankees Player Among Two Killed In Small Plane Crash On Manhattan's UES". NY1. October 11, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  5. ^ Feinsand, Mark (October 11, 2006). "Yankees' Lidle killed in plane crash". MLB.com. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  6. ^ Yaniv, Oren; Leo Standora (October 12, 2006). "2nd victim died living his dream". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on October 29, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Woman Burned in NYC Plane Crash Released". Fox News. Associated Press. November 10, 2006. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  8. ^ Barron, James (October 12, 2006). "Manhattan Plane Crash Kills Yankee Pitcher". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  9. ^ "N-Number Inquiry Results: N929CD". Federal Aviation Administration. May 1, 2006. Archived from the original on October 26, 2006. Retrieved October 11, 2006. 
  10. ^ a b Judgement Call: Lidle accident may lead to tighter N.Y.C. flight restrictions, Aviation Week & Space Technology, May 7, 2007, pg 92
  11. ^ Granju, Katie (October 12, 2006). "Plane that crashed into NYC high-rise headed to Tennessee". WBIR.com. Retrieved October 12, 2006. [dead link]
  12. ^ Nason, David (October 13, 2006). "Not terror, but lack of rules terrifying". The Australian. Archived from the original on October 31, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b "FAA restricts low-altitude flights along East River". SportsIllustrated.com. October 13, 2006. Archived from the original on November 12, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  14. ^ Hauser, Christine (October 12, 2006). "Crash Raises Questions About Aviation Rules". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  15. ^ a b c McGeehan, Patrick; Matthew L. Wald (October 12, 2006). "Lidle's Plane Traveled Along Feared Path". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Small plane hits Manhattan building". The Washington Times. Associated Press. October 11, 2006. Archived from the original on November 16, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Yanks Mourn Loss of Pitcher Killed in Plane Crash". WCBS/AP. October 12, 2006. Archived from the original on November 20, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  18. ^ Barron, James (October 12, 2006). "Manhattan Plane Crash Kills Yankee Pitcher". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  19. ^ Tina Moore and Dave Goldiner (October 13, 2006). "Reliving horror". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on October 23, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Lidle's plane equipped with emergency parachute". ESPN. Associated Press. October 11, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Aircraft Accident Report – Crash During Turn Maneuver". Federal Aviation Administration. October 11, 2006. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  22. ^ Tyler, Kepner (September 8, 2006). "In Lidle, Yanks Have Extra Pitcher and Backup Pilot". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  23. ^ "NY Yankee Cory Lidle killed in plane crash". CTV. October 11, 2006. Archived from the original on March 13, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  24. ^ CNN International live television coverage, October 11, 2006
  25. ^ "Aircraft hits New York building". BBC News. October 11, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  26. ^ New York Crash Aftermath. AVWeb.com Retrieved May 8, 2009.
  27. ^ "NTSB Sends Team to Investigate Plane Crash Into Building in Manhattan". NTSB (Press release). October 11, 2006. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  28. ^ Barry, Ellen (October 13, 2006). "NYC Crash Puts Flight Path in Politicians' Sights". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  29. ^ Toosi, Nahal (October 12, 2006). "Investigators Comb Lidle Plane Debris". Connecticut Post. Archived from the original on October 14, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  30. ^ "Crash During Turn Maneuver, Cirrus SR-20, N929CD". NTSB. May 1, 2007. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Update on Cirrus Plane Crash in Manhattan, New York". NTSB. November 3, 2006. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  32. ^ Miller, Leslie (November 3, 2006). "NTSB: Wind blew Lidle plane off course". AP. Retrieved April 4, 2017 – via aviationpros.com. 
  33. ^ "Board Meeting Animations - Crash During Turn Maneuver, Cirrus SR-20, N929CD". NTSB. May 1, 2007. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  34. ^ Miller, Alyssa J. (May 24, 2011). "Cirrus not to blame for fatal Lidle accident, jury says". AOPA. Retrieved May 26, 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

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