SR20 carrying Yankees pitcher
Cory Lidle crashes into NYC high-rise
Tragic breaking news today out of New York City, where New York Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle was confirmed dead as the only person aboard a Cirrus SR-20 that crashed into the Belaire Condominiums at 524 E. 72nd Street.
As is always the case with airplane crashes, the mainstream media is publishing “facts” fast and furious, and we are getting this kind of conflicted reporting:
From the NYT website: The plane was flying under visual flight rules and was not in contact with air traffic controllers, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.But CNN has it a different way:
There was a mayday, FAA reports, from the pilot involving a problem with fuel before the aircraft crashed into the 50-story high-rise on Manhattan's East Side.This will eventually get sorted out when someone actually gets the straight story from FAA and NORAD, which by the way was involved for a while as this was thought to have been a possible terrorist attack. On that news, the Dow Jones took a quick beating, but did recover somewhat in late day trading, showing once again how skittish this country still is about the news of airplanes flying into buildings.
My only concern with this story so far is of the make/model of Lidle’s plane. After my recent demo flight in an SR22 where the sales guy took great pains to show off the big RED HANDLE built into the headliner, I have to now wonder why any pilot would knowingly fly a Cirrus into anything without first deploying the BRS chute. If it’s there, use it, even if you have to drift into gridlocked Manhattan traffic.
This story is quickly developing…
UPDATE #1 @ 306P: Confusion reigns supremo...now Raw Story is running this "fact": The FAA indicates that it was a two-engine plane flying under "visual rules"--not in contact with any tower.
UPDATE #2 @ 312P: NBC10.com is reporting that they have "learned that Lidle was not instrument rated to fly the plane and could only fly when visibility was good." They also state that "it was an overcast day in Manhattan"...speculating about cause already?
UPDATE #3 @ 319P: From Newsday: "Federal Aviation Administration officials said the two dead were a flight instructor and a student pilot." So we can be reasonably sure Lidle wasn't the CFI, so was he the student pilot? There are reports circulating that he just bought he SR20, and the FAA registration does show the plane's ownership as "in question"as he applied for a 120 day extension of the registration application on 8.29.06...so maybe this was an insurance checkout flight?
This whole affair is confirmation to me that fact checking is a dying art. More confusion to come...
UPDATE #4 @ 355P: Man, this thing is getting weirder by the second. Here's a very interesting quote from the NYT website: “The whole plane has a parachute on it,” Lidle said. “Ninety-nine percent of pilots that go up never have engine failure, and the 1 percent that do usually land it. But if you’re up in the air and something goes wrong, you pull that parachute, and the whole plane goes down slowly.”
UPDATE #5 @ 635P: O.K., I am officially pissed off about this. I Googled the blogosphere, and there are numerous posts flying everywhere that Lidle's crash was a suicide. But when you read these posts, the crux of the deal is that they hate the New York Yankees and therefore Lidle must have "flew a kamikaze mission" as one clown wrote, ending his post with "F the Yankees". Another loser writes that he "flies like he pitches"...that is just sick. Mindless drivel from people who give all bloggers a bad name. Even if I had clear evidence somehow that these sports dopes are right, I've proud of the fact that I have the common decency, class and respect for the deceased and his family to not post such crap just to get a jab in against his team.