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Aircraft Hits New York Building

by TChris

At this writing, no details are available beyond the basics:

A small aircraft crashed into a high-rise on the Upper East Side, setting off a fire and startling New Yorkers, police said. There were conflicting reports on whether the aircraft was a small plane or a helicopter.

CNN has more. A witness indicates that the aircraft, or parts of it, may have hit the condominium tower while falling from above.

Update: The NY Times reports confusion as to whether the aircraft struck near the 20th floor or the 40th floor. The latest AP story indicates that this was likely a tragic accident, not an act of terrorism.

Second update: The small plane was piloted by Corey Lidle, a major league pitcher who was recently traded to the Yankees. Lidle was apparently a relatively inexperienced pilot, flying a plane he'd recently purchased. News reports on the radio indicate that three others are dead.

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  • Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 12:40:38 PM EST
    Local news radio just said it was a helicopter. The NYC heli-port is right around there.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 01:23:31 PM EST
    ABC News is reporting two are dead and no terrorism involved.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#2)
    by scarshapedstar on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 01:41:14 PM EST
    Anyone want to give the over-under on how long 'till Michelle Malkin blames the Muslamonazis?

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 01:41:14 PM EST
    > The NYC heli-port is right > around there. Judging angles from pictures taken with telephoto lenses is always difficult, but from what I see on CNN if it wasn't a helicopter it must have been an acrobatic plane - the route to the face of the building that was hit is an obstacle course. Crankky

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 01:41:14 PM EST
    NYC media reports 2 dead - I'll speculate they were on board. This (Upper East Side) is a residential neighborhood, but no one's home during the days there. Looks like an accident involving a small plane (or a helo) but not big enough to do more than that kid in Tampa a couple years ago, i.e., kill the people on the plane. LGA, JFK, EWR are reported all open and operating. Weather is gray, hazy/foggy, rain coming and blustery. And, this story has gone global - German radio reports (what others already have) that FBI says no apparent terrism. But it sure got everyone off the Foley story, no?

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 01:41:14 PM EST
    The ridiculous thing, in my mind, is that the first thing out of the mouths of the media (at least CNN) was "investigating whether it was terrorism related". And CNN's headline crawl prominently displayed the news that the FBI had dispatched two terrorism task force teams (which was later stated to be routine, but CNN missed that part). I live in NYC and have since well before 9/11. Sure we are sensitive ot planes dropping out of the sky, but please -- this was a small aircraft and hits a residential building -- no symbolic value, no huge number of casulaties. My first inclination was (i) accident, (ii) nutjob with a grudge against someone in the building. Indications now are (i). But we have to get off the terrorism "footing" - it doesn't do anyone any good.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 01:41:14 PM EST
    Yep...looking like an accident. Somebody tell GDub not to invade N. Korea over it.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 02:57:47 PM EST
    I expect accidents like this to happen of the weekend. The skies are full of doctors and lawyers trying to kill themselves during those days. I guess now we have to add ball players to the mix.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#14)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 03:00:29 PM EST
    Made a wrong turn off the East river. Unless they had mechanical problems, they were pret-ty low.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#15)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 03:06:21 PM EST
    Wile, You nailed it. Recreational flying is like recreational architectural drafting. I think it's a power thing. I worked for one guy who had an acrobatic plane and he would periodically take colleagues up for a ride. They always came back green. Think a plane crash got him? Alzheimers. I think he would have preferred to crash, if he could figure that out now.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 03:50:11 PM EST
    Just heard again on radio....not a helicopter, small aircraft out of Teterboro airport in NJ.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#9)
    by desertswine on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 03:50:11 PM EST
    Tell the Chimp he can come back from Nebraska now.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#10)
    by scribe on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 03:50:11 PM EST
    From CNN, Deadspin.com reports the plane was registered (literally as of today) to New York Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle, that the plane took off from Teterboro, NJ (about 10 miles outside NYC), and that "the Yankees had spoken to Lidle about his love of planes". They've had bad experience with players (Thurman Munson) piloting their own planes into fixed objects. An owner's review of the plane, by a Certified Flight Instructor, states:
    Cirrus's advertising stresses the enhanced safety provided by the airframe parachute and the computer screens showing the airplane's position relative to airports, mountains, weather, etc. The combination of novice pilots and a fast airplane has resulted in a mournful accident record that is reflected in high insurance rates and recurrent training requirements similar to what you'd find on a twin-engine plane or pressurized single.
    It appears to be a plane better at fast speeds than at slow, and a difficult plane to fly. From the review:
    In terms of avoiding an accident, one problem with the Cirrus is its unforgiving handling compared to other basic four-seaters. The plane is harder to keep level with rudders in a stall than a Cessna or Diamond; if in a deep uncoordinated stall, the Cirrus wants to drop a wing and go into a spin. . . . A pilot with 800 hours in the SR22 noted that in his experience it is not nearly as docile as the Cessna 172 and Piper Arrow that he had trained on. A CFI ("certificated flight instructor") . . . says "The Cirrus is a plane designed to go fast. You shouldn't be flying it slow. It is trickier to handle in a stall than a 172 or the Pilatus."
    And, its unforgiving handling isn't all:
    Once in a spin the SR20 and SR22 are virtually impossible to recover, according to the test pilots.
    So, we have a likely novice pilot, in an unforgiving airplane, in crappy weather (raining now in NYC), in congested airspace, probably thinking he knew what he was doing and getting in way over his head. JFK, Jr., redux.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 03:50:11 PM EST
    The pilot was New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#12)
    by Punchy on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 03:50:11 PM EST
    It was Cory Freakin' Lidle!! Yanks (former Phils) starting pitcher. Quality guy. I'm stunned.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#16)
    by Slado on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 08:52:43 PM EST
    I'm a student pilot currently about 2 hours away from getting my private pilot's license. I will not be purchasing a Cirrus because it is "impossible" to recover from a spin. When you stall one of your wings is likely to dip because you have lost lift. When one wing dips a plane will start to spin if you don't add thrust and recover lift. As you fall the spin become greater and it become incresingly harder to recover. Remember Top Gun when Goose dies? In order to be a rated single engine aircraft that aircraft has to be able to recover from a spin. Because Cessna couldn't figure out a way to get this plane to recover they threw a parachute in it and advertised it as a safety feature in order to get the blessing of the FAA. Because of this aerodynamic flaw it is also hard to control at slow speeds, doesn't like crosswinds etc... It also had a big engine and is very fast for a plane of it's size. The comment earlier about it being more like a twin is apt. A lot of newer pilots are purchasing this aircraft because frankly it is an upgrade in speed in performance without having to go and get your twin rating. For me I'll take my time and fly C172's and Diamonds. A diamond by the way falls slower with no parachute then a Cirrus does with one.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#17)
    by Kevin Hayden on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 08:52:43 PM EST
    Pre-emptive VRWC question: Why did Bill Clinton want Lidle dead?

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#18)
    by scribe on Thu Oct 12, 2006 at 10:09:04 AM EST
    A little side note. Lidle had been a "replacement player" in the 1995 season, during the last strike. He had been in the minor leagues and the organization he was with told him he'd be a replacement player or they'd cut him. So, he played. After the strike, a lot of players made life miserable for replacement players and Lidle was no exception, though that bitterness mostly passed over time. However, because he'd been a replacement player (strikebreaker), the players union never allowed Lidle to join. This means he had no union retirement plan or pension, no share in licensing money (e.g, cash from allowing use of one's image on baseball cards, uniform replica sales, TV, etc.) and most likely no death benefit. Reports I've heard have stated the licensing money alone can add up to $300k per player per year. Is this unduly nasty on the union's part? I think not, because Lidle (and other replacements) knew what they were getting into when they crossed the picket lines. And, a union has to be able to maintain solidarity within its ranks, and against management trying to break members off, or use strikebreakers. And, it needs be noted, the MLBPA is still one of the strongest unions going. Moreover, this highlights the kinds of future workers can expect when they have, say, individualized retirement programs (invested in the stock market through Bushco cronies) instead of social security, voluntary contributions and 401(k)s invested wholly in the company's stock (e.g., Enron), and the like. Contrasting that with the benefits from unions, one can only conclude there's a lot more coming to a worker, when he's a member of the union.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Oct 12, 2006 at 05:49:54 PM EST
    Scribe - I am sure his wife and family will be pleased to know that the wonderful unions punished him so very nicely...

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#21)
    by glanton on Thu Oct 12, 2006 at 08:14:10 PM EST
    Scribe, I disagree with you strongly. First of all the Player's Union is a highly corrupt organization, less interested in the welfare of the game than facilitating short term gains. I don't blame anybody for crossing that picket line, you get a chance to play in today's Major Leagues you take it. This aint the days of Curt Flood, scribe, let alone the days of Shoeless Joe Jackson. And by the way, I think it's rather gross to compare a millionaire's union of world-class entertainers to unions that represent and protect the interests of blue collar workers. Moreover, as to the point Jim raises, though Lidle has been denied those benefits, don't be surpised to see a lot of individual players step to the plate (sorry for the bad pun)and set something up for Lidle's family. Lidle is still beloved in the Oakland clubhouse for example, and he hasn't been there since, what 2000?

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#20)
    by glanton on Thu Oct 12, 2006 at 09:02:19 PM EST
    Scribe, I disagree with you strongly. First of all the Player's Union is a highly corrupt organization, less interested in the welfare of the game than facilitating short term gains. I don't blame anybody for crossing that picket line, you get a chance to play in today's Major Leagues you take it. This aint the days of Curt Flood, scribe, let alone the days of Shoeless Joe Jackson. And by the way, I think it's rather gross to compare a millionaire's union of world-class entertainers to unions that represent and protect the interests of blue collar workers. Moreover, as to the point Jim raises, though Lidle has been denied those benefits, don't be surpised to see a lot of individual players step to the plate (sorry for the bad pun)and set something up for Lidle's family. Lidle is still beloved in the Oakland clubhouse for example, and he hasn't been there since, what 2000?

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 08:39:52 AM EST
    First of all the Player's Union is a highly corrupt organization
    That may be so...but that doesn't make it ok to cross picket lines. It's hard to sympathize with a ballplayers union when they make so much money....but that's the nature of the baseball business, the owners make a lot of money too, and the players have the right to collectively bargain for their share of the windfall. Cross the line in an attempt to break a union's strike (or aid the owners lock-out), of course you're not gonna be allowed to join the union you betrayed when the strike ends. I understand the replacement players dilemma...playing in the major leagues is a dream come true...but scabs must accept the consequences of being a scab. If Lidle had respected the strike, he'd have been in the union. He made his choice, I see no reason to feel sorry about his lack of benefits.

    Re: Aircraft Hits New York Building (none / 0) (#23)
    by glanton on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 05:39:12 PM EST
    That may be so...but that doesn't make it ok to cross picket lines.
    kdog, I respect your feeling about unions and picket lines, and scribe's for that matter, although I have a better sense of your position as I've been reading your posts longer. I am typically pro-union myself, as you probably have gathered from my dismay at the corporate hijacking on this nation. But all that being as it may, I look at the above quote and think, hey that's the same kind of "to hell with the context" logic that gets people like Jim to feel like they can question the patriotism of those of us who don't support our government's wars. You know, the old, even if you don't agree with it, shut up once the boots hit the ground argument. This is an ersatz principle. A wrongheaded war is a wrongheaded war, a wrongheaded strike is a wrongheaded strike, period. Now, I don't argue the player's union should give Lidle benefits, I only think it would be cool if they did. But again, watch and see how many Major Leaguers step up on their own and take care of this thing. And finally, as for the Players Union, it is very important that anyone discussing them as a Union understands its now nothing more than a spoiled millionaire's club. Yes the owners are jacka#@s too, that doesn't mean the Player's Union isn't single handedly responsible for the gross discrepancy of salaries across the league. Every year, when the Yankees don't win the WS, it's a "sad failure," or a heroic output by the opposition, however you want to look at it. Let us not confuse the Player's Union of old with today's toadies like Don Fehr, so far up agents' arses they don't even know what fresh air is anymore......