Today in Legal Proceedings: Braunstein and Lidle and Miss America, Oh, My!
The National Transportation Safety Board issued a detailed update this afternoon on its investigation into the October 11 crash of a light plane that killed Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flying instructor, Tyler Stanger. The update fills in some gaps while confirming the broad outline of the tragedy as it has already been reported: The two — and the NTSB still doesn't know which of them was actually piloting the Cirrus SR-20, and it probably never will, NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway says — were on a jaunt up the East River and attempted a U-turn to the left to avoid restricted airspace around La Guardia.
Cory Lidle's death yesterday was a tragedy. But some good might come from it. A mere five years after 9/11, as New York's Chris Smith reports, it finally prompted Governor George Pataki to ask the FAA to ban uncharted private aircraft from flying over the city. Smith has Pataki's statement in Early and Often. Lidle Tragedy Wakes Pataki From Slumber [Early and Often]
Here's what we know about the Upper East Side plane crash. Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle owned and piloted the plane; he died in the crash, and his passport was found on the street near the crash site. The FAA says Lidle had a fuel problem and issued a Mayday shortly before the crash. The FBI says that Lidle was the only person on the plane, contradicting earlier reports suggesting there was at least one passenger. News reports say there's at least one other fatality, but there are no specifics. There's no word on injuries within the building, although two apartments are said to have suffered serious damage, and the scar to the building's façade is self-evident. The evacuation proceeded smoothly; the 50-story tower emptied within minutes. Some coverage: New York's Michael Idov reported from the crash scene. CNN has been covering all the latest developments. In September, Lidle discussed his love of flying — and his newly purchased airplane — with the Times. The FAA has the plane's registration on file. The Yankees Website offers Lidle's stats. And ESPN has a grim and rather long list of athletes who died in plane crashes. UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: 7Online.com is reporting that Lidle was carrying a passenger, a flight instructor, who was the other fatality. In a press conference, Mayor Bloomberg said that the plane left Teterboro airport at 2:30 p.m., circled the Statue of Liberty, and headed north up the East River, in compliance with air-traffic rules. Then the plane lost contact with controllers, he said, and was seen on radar flying near the 59th Street Bridge. A 911 call about the crash arrived at 2:42 p.m. Bloomberg also said no further fatalities were found in the apartment building.