Aviation News

October 11, 2006

Yankees Pitcher Corey Lidle Crashes Plane Into City Building

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By: Matt Molnar

A small plane flown by New York Yankees pitcher Corey Lidle crashed into a 50-story apartment building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at around 2:40pm today, killing two people, both on board the plane. City residents and the rest of the country gasped at the possibility of another terrorist attack upon seeing live footage of flames pouring out of the 40th floor of the upscale building at 524 East 72nd Street. The Dow Jones average briefly plunged 76 points on the news, NORAD said they were scrambling fighters over several cities as a precaution, and the FAA, while stating there was no indication of terrorism, issued a security-related flight ban around the area.

Initial reports indicated confusion among authorities as to the type of aircraft involved in the crash, as some stated it had been a helicopter, and others said it was a small plane. The FAA later confirmed it had been a single-engine, fixed-wing aircraft. Subsequent information revealed the plane having been a 2002 Cirrus SR-20, registration N929CD owned by New York Yankees pitcher Corey Lidle, and that Lidle was among the dead. The plane had departed from Teterboro Municipal Airport in New Jersey about 15 minutes earlier.

There has been no official word on what could have caused the crash. Early speculation blamed the weather, which was overcast, but the ceiling was well above the rooftops of Manhattan’s tallest skyscrapers at the time of the incident. Still, NBC 10 in Philadelphia reported that Lidle was not yet instrument rated and was permitted to fly only in VFR conditions. A New York Times story published in September stated Lidle had only spent about 95 solo hours in the air, having obtained his pilot’s license during the last off season. Lidle stated that the aircraft was equipped with a full-plane parachute device to safeguard against engine failures.

This is a developing story, please visit the NYCAviation.com forums for updated information and discussion about this tragic event.