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9:47 AM

The State Politic 

Lidle Tragedy Wakes Pataki From Slumber

Wednesday night, not long after Yankees' pitcher Cory Lidle and another person died when their plane crashed into an Upper East Side building, Governor George Pataki issued a statement praising emergency responders for a job well done.

If only Pataki responded so quickly and thoroughly. It took today's tragedy, more than five years after planes destroyed the World Trade Center, to prompt the governor to request that the FAA keep private aircraft from flying uncharted over the city. "New York's airspace should enjoy the same kind of protections, as our Nation's Capital [sic]," he declared in a statement issued Wednesday night.

Uh, yeah. Mayor Bloomberg, a licensed pilot himself, presumably knew the shaky rules. The city can never be perfectly protected from airborne attack, of course: Terrorists are unlikely to file honest flight plans, and the nation's air-traffic-control system is dangerously overloaded. But Lidle, who in life was primarily a starting pitcher but also earned two saves out of the bullpen, may end up making his biggest save with his sad ending.

Read Gov. Pataki's statement.

Chris Smith