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2006 New York City Plane Crash

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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 building, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, causing a fire in several apartments,[1][2] which was extinguished within two hours.[3]

Both people aboard the aircraft were killed in the accident: New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle[2] and his certificated flight instructor Tyler Stanger.[4][5] Twenty-one people were injured, including eleven firefighters. An apartment resident, Ilana Benhuri, was hospitalized for a month with severe burns incurred when the post-impact fire engulfed her apartment.[6]

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Cirrus SR20 aircraft, tail number N929CD, was owned by Lidle.[7] 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.[8]

Aircraft flightEdit

Immediately before the crash, radar measurements show Lidle's aircraft was flying at 112 mph (180 km/h) at {{rnd/bExpression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "[".|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.}} feet ({{rnd/bExpression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.|(Expression error: Unexpected < operator.)|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.}} m)Template:Convert/track/abbr/Template:Convert/track/disp/Template:Convert/track/adj/ altitude[9] 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.[10][11] 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.[11]

The airplane struck the floor numbered 40th (actually 30 flights of stairs above the street[12]) of the Belaire building at 524 East 72nd Street. The Belaire is a 42-story condominium tower containing 183 apartments,[13] as well as a health club, garage, and pool.[14][15]

Crash into the buildingEdit

The plane hit the 30th-floor apartment numbered 40ABG, owned by Dr. Parviz Benhuri and his wife Ilana,[16] 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.[17] The plane also hit an apartment owned by a woman who was in a coma for a month following an incident at the 1997 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when high winds pushed the Cat in the Hat balloon into a lamppost, and the debris in turn hit the victim. She was not in her apartment at the time of the crash, although was en route.[18] Among the other residents of the mixed-use high-rise is novelist Carol Higgins Clark, a resident on the 38th floor, who was interviewed by CBS Radio after she arrived at the building shortly after the crash. Then-New York Mets third-base coach Manny Acta also lives in the building, though he was away when the accident occurred.[19]

File:Nyc-e72st plane crash map.png

The Belaire has guest facilities for family members of patients at the Hospital for Special Surgery, to which it is connected via a causeway on the third floor. Hospital spokeswoman Phyllis Fisher reported that no patients were in the high-rise building and operations at the hospital across the street were not affected.[20]

WNBC-TV reported that the aircraft had departed from Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, at 2:29 pm local time (18:29 UTC). According to multiple reports, Lidle planned on flying to Tennessee, where he had a hotel room booked for the night, then to Dallas, Texas and finally on to his home in California.[21][22][23] There was no indication that the aircraft's Ballistic Recovery Systems emergency parachute, designed to bring the small plane down safely, was deployed.[24] New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said the plane circled the Statue of Liberty before flying north up the East River and disappearing 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 right-angled turn before it hit the building.[25]

Reactions to the crashEdit

File:100 1498.JPG

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.[26] The crash garnered extra attention because of superficial similarities to the September 11 attacks in New York City (whose five-year anniversary had occurred one month earlier). U.S. officials said that NORAD scrambled fighter aircraft over numerous American and Canadian cities for Combat Air Patrol,[27] and that U.S. President George W. Bush was informed about the situation, but that these were precautionary measures only.[25] The FBI quickly announced there was no reason to suspect that the crash was an act of terrorism.[28]

News of the crash caused a momentary 0.4% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) before the market decided the incident did not have financial implications. The Dow regained its prior level 20 minutes later.[29]

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 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 (457 m) altitude. This restriction, routine for emergency scenes, was lifted the next day.[30] New York Governor George Pataki called for permanent restrictions.[11]

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.[9]

NTSB investigationEdit

On October 11, the National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a six member "Go Team" from Washington, D.C. to New York City,[31] 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,[32] and Lidle's flight log book.[33] The NTSB accident number is DCA07MA003.[34]

ResultsEdit

Consistent with the November 3, 2006 preliminary report, the NTSB's May 1, 2007 final hearing determined that "pilot error" caused the plane crash that killed Lidle and his flight instructor Tyler Stanger. The investigation was unable to determine which person was at the controls. The aircraft had only about {{rnd/bExpression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "[".|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.}} feet ({{rnd/bExpression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.|(Expression error: Unexpected < operator.)|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.}} m)Template:Convert/track/abbr/Template:Convert/track/disp/Template:Convert/track/adj/ of width in which to make the 180-degree turn, but this distance was effectively reduced to {{rnd/bExpression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "[".|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.}} feet ({{rnd/bExpression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.|(Expression error: Unexpected < operator.)|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.}} m)Template:Convert/track/abbr/Template:Convert/track/disp/Template:Convert/track/adj/ by the Template:Convert/knTemplate:Convert/track/abbr/Template:Convert/track/disp/Template:Convert/track/sing easterly winds that day. A bank angle of at least 53 degrees was required at turn initiation to successfully execute a 180-degree turn in this distance, which did not occur. As the turn progressed, the bank angle would have needed to have been increased, possibly resulting in a stall, but the investigation was unable to determine if the plane was in this condition 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.[8][35][36][37]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. "Yankee Pitcher Dies as Plane Crashes Into NYC High-Rise", ABC News, October 11, 2006. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Yankees pitcher killed in crash of small plane in Manhattan", CNN, October 12, 2006. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  3. "Yankees Player Among Two Killed In Small Plane Crash On Manhattan's UES", NY1, 2006-10-11. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  4. Feinsand, Mark. "Yankees' Lidle killed in plane crash", MLB.com, 2006-10-11. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  5. Yaniv, Oren, Leo Standora. "2nd victim died living his dream", October 12, 2006. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  6. Associated Press. "Woman Burned in NYC Plane Crash Released", Fox News, 2006-11-10. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  7. N-Number Inquiry Results: N929CD. Federal Aviation Administration (2006-05-01). Retrieved on 2006-10-11.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Judgement Call: Lidle accident may lead to tighter N.Y.C. flight restrictions, Aviation Week & Space Technology, 7 May 2007, pg 92
  9. 9.0 9.1 "FAA restricts low-altitude flights along East River", SportsIllustrated.com, 2006-10-13. Retrieved on 2009-05-08.
  10. Hauser, Christine. "Crash Raises Questions About Aviation Rules", 'The New York Times', 2006-10-12. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 McGeehan, Patrick, Matthew L. Wald. "Lidle’s Plane Traveled Along Feared Path", The New York Times, 2006-10-12. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  12. "Yanks Mourn Loss of Pitcher Killed in Plane Crash", WCBS/AP, 2006-10-12. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  13. Associated Press. "Small plane hits Manhattan building", 'The Washington Times', 2006-10-11. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  14. Belaire Condos. CondoCompany.com (2006). Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  15. "Yankees pitcher dies as plane hits NYC building", NBC News, MSNBC, 2006-10-11. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  16. Barron, James. "Manhattan Plane Crash Kills Yankee Pitcher", 'The New York Times', 2006-10-12. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  17. Tina Moore and Dave Goldiner. "Reliving horror", 'New York Daily News', 2006-10-13. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  18. Olbermann, Keith: Countdown with Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, 10/13/2006.
  19. Ladson, Bill. "Lidle crash touches Mets' Acta: Third-base coach lives in building where accident occurred", MLB.com, 2006-10-11. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  20. Ladson, Bill. "Yankees pitcher dies as plane hits NYC building", MSNBC, 2006-10-11. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  21. "A look at Lidle's final hours" (Dead link), Newsday, 2006-10-13. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  22. Granju, Katie. "Plane that crashed into NYC high-rise headed to Tennessee", WBIR.com, 2006-10-12. Retrieved on 2006-10-12.
  23. Nason, David. "Not terror, but lack of rules terrifying", The Australian, 2006-10-13. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  24. Associated Press. "Lidle's plane equipped with emergency parachute", ESPN, 2006-10-11. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  25. 25.0 25.1 CNN International live television coverage, October 11, 2006
  26. Tyler, Kepner. "In Lidle, Yanks Have Extra Pitcher and Backup Pilot", The New York Times, 2006-09-08. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  27. "NY Yankee Cory Lidle killed in plane crash", CTV, 2006-10-11. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  28. "Aircraft hits New York building", BBC News, 2006-10-11. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  29. Fu, Scarlet. "U.S. Stocks Extend Drop on Report of Small Plane Crash in N.Y.", Bloomberg, 2006-10-11. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  30. New York Crash Aftermath. AVWeb.com Retrieved May 8, 2009.
  31. National Transportation Safety Board (2006-10-11). NTSB Sends Team to Investigate Plane Crash Into Building in Manhattan. Press release. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  32. Barry, Ellen. "NYC Crash Puts Flight Path in Politicians' Sights", 'The Los Angeles Times', 2006-10-13. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  33. Toosi, Nahal. "Investigators Comb Lidle Plane Debris", 'The Connecticut Post', 2006-10-12. Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  34. NTSB query
  35. Update on Cirrus Plane Crash in Manhattan, New York. NTSB (November 3, 2006). Retrieved on May 8, 2009.
  36. Leslie Miller. NTSB: Wind blew Lidle plane off course. Retrieved on 2006-11-04.
  37. flash animation, NTSB Final hearing, May 1, 2007

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

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