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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lidle dies as plane crashes into Manhattan high-rise

This is only baseball news because CNN and SI’s Tom Verducci are reporting that the plane is registered to former Yankee player Cory Lidle.

Regardless, this is not good news.

UPDATE: The link is now ESPN’s more sports-centric story… from that article

A small plane piloted by New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle crashed into a 50-story condominium tower Wednesday on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, killing at least four people, authorities said.

Lidle died in the crash.

The twin-engine plane came through a hazy, cloudy sky and hit the 20th floor of The Belaire—a red-brick tower overlooking the East River, about five miles from the World Trade Center—with a loud bang, touching off a raging fire that cast a pillar of black smoke over the city and sent flames shooting from four windows on two adjoining floors.


The plane left New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, just across the Hudson River from the city, at 2:30 p.m., about 15 minutes before the crash, according to officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport. But they said they did not where the aircraft was headed.

Sean McNally Posted: October 11, 2006 at 08:46 PM | 409 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   401. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 15, 2006 at 12:03 AM (#2211754)
I STILL don't know if reporters went to LAX, but I wouldn't doubt the attempt, given their insensitivity. The POSSIBILITY existed for Mrs. Lidle to walk with her son into the most devastating news of her life in a public forum. She should have been able to prepare for that with whatever time left she had on their flight after she was told.

What part of that scenario is so hard for you to grasp that you say how she finds out is meaningless trivia? It would be frightening for the son, devastating and confusing for her, and chaotic at best in logisitcs to just get home without being followed. The "meaningless trivia" escapes me here.
1. It's going to be frightening, devastating, and confusing regardless. The airport lasts for a moment; he's dead forever.
2. I did not say "how she finds out is meaningless trivia." I said, "Whether someone else finds out first is meaningless trivia."
3. Indeed, you seem to recognize the distinction, and have pulled a bait-and-switch. If you want to argue they shouldn't ambush her at the airport, I agree. Indeed, I would argue that as a matter of decency, they shouldn't contact her at any time. If she has something to say, she can call them. But that's not what you argued above; you argued they shouldn't report it because other people might find out first.
   402. Cabbage Posted: October 15, 2006 at 12:46 AM (#2211903)
If the propeller was moving, engine failure is evidently ruled out, per my understanding of the discussion. But for all I know, the prop and engine are two completely separate mechanisms running off of separate energy sources.

nope. If the engine is dead, the prop will be spun by the oncoming air. It's caclled "windmilling". Also the prop is directly connected to the crankshaft.

A brief note about parachutes on small airplanes. Unless there is a situation where the plane is out of control (freak bird strike, control surface failure, etc.) it would be much more safe to glide for an open area than to just pull the chute at the first sign of trouble.

In response to an earlier question. I would never aim for a river (unless I was in a mountain pass). The risk of drowning seems quite high, especially if there are persons in the back seats. Fraknly, I'd be a little uncomfortable flying through that populated of an area at such a low altitude.
   403. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 15, 2006 at 12:49 AM (#2211907)
3. Indeed, you seem to recognize the distinction, and have pulled a bait-and-switch. If you want to argue they shouldn't ambush her at the airport, I agree. Indeed, I would argue that as a matter of decency, they shouldn't contact her at any time. If she has something to say, she can call them. But that's not what you argued above; you argued they shouldn't report it because other people might find out first.


Excellent point David. Whether she should be greeted by reporters at the airport (regardless if she already knew) is completely separate from whether the news should have been reported at all. And, it would seem impossible for airport personnel (who should have been anticipating her arrival) to keep reporters from her when she disembarked.
   404. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: November 04, 2006 at 03:02 PM (#2231490)
This just in:

Feds: Light wind blew Lidle plane off course

The report issued Friday said the airplane was flying along the East River between Manhattan and Queens when it attempted a U-turn with only 1,300 feet of room for the turn. To make a successful turn, the aircraft would have had to bank so steeply that it might have stalled, the NTSB said in an update on the crash.

OK, I can see this, especially if he was turning away from the wind. That would give him a greater over-the-ground turn radius, something an inexperienced pilot may not realize. Then, seein the buildings looming up, the tendency is of course to try to bank more to tighten up the turn, and again, an inexperienced pilot may forget that such a maneuver requires more power.

With the wind from the east, the natural course of action is to U-turn to the right. Turning into the wind will shorten the turn radius, but it is counter-intuitive to turn towards the no fly zone.
   405. Cabbage Posted: November 04, 2006 at 05:15 PM (#2231529)
OK, I can see this, especially if he was turning away from the wind. That would give him a greater over-the-ground turn radius, something an inexperienced pilot may not realize. Then, seein the buildings looming up, the tendency is of course to try to bank more to tighten up the turn, and again, an inexperienced pilot may forget that such a maneuver requires more power.

With the wind from the east, the natural course of action is to U-turn to the right. Turning into the wind will shorten the turn radius, but it is counter-intuitive to turn towards the no fly zone.


I read the first paragraph and I thought, "Why on earth didn't the CFI (that would be certified flight instructors) stop that?". Then I read the second paragraph and I knew why. most FAA district offices put out fairly regular newsletters to flight instructors in their area. It seems like every single one has a story of an instructor getting suspended for students busting no-fly airspace.

I might be exaggerating a bit, but when I was instructing (stopped in august), we were all very paranoid about these no-fly airspaces. It was made abundantly clear to us that we would face very serious consequences, as flight instructors, for any mistakes involving these security airspaces. I'm sure most instructors looking to keep their record clean (and keep themselves hireable to the regional airlines) made a standard policy of "turn away from the airspace". I would likely have the same policy in such a circumstance.

F'ing TSA.
   406. The George Sherrill Selection Posted: November 04, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#2231536)
The flight instructor wasn't even from the area, right? He may not have been used to flying around that many building.

Or he may have been an idiot.
   407. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: November 04, 2006 at 05:59 PM (#2231550)
F'ing TSA.


I don't understand. I'm assuming they couldn't cross the river because that would incur on LGA's airspace, not because of some post 911 restriction. It has always been thus; you violate restricted airspace without permission, you are sanctioned by the FAA. I'm sure you would agree that there is a very good reason for this procedure.
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