FanDuel - WFBC

October 11, 2006

Corey Lidle's Plane Crashes into New York City Skyscraper: The plane that crashed into the Upper Ease Side building today was registered to the New York Yankees pitcher. One month ago the New York Times ran a feature on Lidle and his plane that's disturbing in hindsight. "A player-pilot is still a sensitive topic for the Yankees, whose captain, Thurman Munson, was killed in the crash of a plane he was flying in 1979. Lidle, acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 30, said his plane was safe."

posted by toradio to baseball at 03:53 PM - 117 comments

Just heard this on espn. This is awful and sad.

posted by jerseygirl at 03:58 PM on October 11

WFAN is reporting the same thing.

posted by NoMich at 03:59 PM on October 11

Cory Lidle has been confirmed dead...

posted by toradio at 04:00 PM on October 11

been watching WABC 7 in NY for the past 2 hrs....they confirmed it was registered to him, 20 minutes ltr confirmed he was the pilot....

posted by toradio at 04:10 PM on October 11

reported by ESPN.....Cory Lidle's drivers license was found on the ground at the scene...

posted by toradio at 04:13 PM on October 11

This is a sad event for Lidle's family, and the Yankee's. However, being a firefighter I can't help but to find at least something humorous in this. Did he attend the Thurman Munson flight school? Sorry if I offended anyone.

posted by jojomfd1 at 04:17 PM on October 11

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&u=/nm/20061011/ts_nm/crash_newyork_dc_6 link for you

posted by toradio at 04:17 PM on October 11

I read it was his passport. Regardless of what evidence it was, it is tragic news. The espn article that jerseygirl linked to has a list of aircrashes involving athletes.

posted by apoch at 04:17 PM on October 11

toradio, we're all set with the links now. No one doubts you. Thanks for your updates, though. jojo: Jesus Christ. Humor in this situation? No. I don't care if you're a firefighter or not -- nothing amusing about people dying.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:21 PM on October 11

did I hear on the radio that the plane had been seen doing stunts or tricks prior to the crash? i mean, lots of misinformation in the early stages of any news event but if that was true....

posted by gspm at 04:28 PM on October 11

FAN590 in Toronto is discussing the possibility of the games being cancelled tonight because of this: I can't see that happening, though. Direct quote from Bob McCown: "The story from MLB is that they're considering cancelling both games." (The NLCS game might be rained out anyway.)

posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:30 PM on October 11

They think that one of his engines went out and caused him to lose control doing flips that people maybe mistook as being tricks or stunts. Most people are saying it was not a trick or a stunt that caused this.

posted by amatzek at 04:31 PM on October 11

WTF jojo. what jerseygirl said (who thankfully kept me from responding with the profanity laced tirade i had written.) the ny times ran an article about a month ago about lidle's flying. i'm at a loss for words. my condolences to his family, friends and teammates.

posted by goddam at 04:36 PM on October 11

I can see that. What might look like a trick from the ground might be something altogether different in the air. Sad all around.

posted by gspm at 04:37 PM on October 11

This is a sad event for Lidle's family, and the Yankee's. However, being a firefighter I can't help but to find at least something humorous in this. Did he attend the Thurman Munson flight school? Sorry if I offended anyone. Quite possibly the most ignorant thing, and there have been LOTS to choose from, that I have ever read in this forum. I find it hard to believe that a firefighter of all people would find a plane crashing into a highrise building in New York City, in any way, shape, or form, humourous in any sense of the word. My most heartfelt sympathies to the families of all the victims.

posted by tommytrump at 04:38 PM on October 11

Lidle was a pretty decent pitcher who threw one inning last Saturday. Condolences to Lidle's family, friends and fans.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:41 PM on October 11

They've been saying Lidle was alone in the plane, but four people are confirmed dead. That's really sad, too, since it was probably people living in the condo building that was hit. Terrible for many people/families.

posted by dyams at 04:42 PM on October 11

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the absolute bizarre randomness of this. Condolences to his family and the Yankee fans here on SpoFi.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:42 PM on October 11

This is a very sad time for Lidle's family, but from what i can see on every news station and news internet site nobody seems to be mentioning what a tragedy it is for the people who weren't on the plane. The ones who were just sitting in their apartment minding their own business and killed by someone who atleast chose to get on a plane and take the risk. He might have been a sports star but he was also just a person just like the other 3 people confirmed dead so far. Too bad, I really hope drugs or alcohol weren't involved or even just screwing around, that would turn this into an even bigger tragedy than it already is

posted by amatzek at 04:43 PM on October 11

There are a lot of conflicting reports, amatzek. Which, at this point, is pretty normal as far as reporting goes. CNN just said it was a pilot and an instructor and no one inside the building perished.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:44 PM on October 11

Did I say the plane hitting the building was funny? NO. You all deal with it your way, I will mine. You post it here too. Tommy do you even have anything to say about the story, or just my comment? Type in the words laughter and stress in your browser once see what the results are. Judge not.

posted by jojomfd1 at 04:47 PM on October 11

What a major bummer. I am sorry to hear it. Deepest condolences to Lidle's family.

posted by fenriq at 04:47 PM on October 11

Its just been reported that Lidle reported "fuel problems" within 1 minute of takeoff. The SR20 aircraft is an advanced small 4 seat single engine with some of the most advanced avionics available. Its equiped with an emergency parachute for the entire aircraft but he was way to low to use it. Lidle only had his pilots license for 7 months not alot of experience. Its a tragic accident and my prayers go out to his family, especially his wife and children. He will be missed.

posted by skydivedad at 04:49 PM on October 11

I got the report of the plane crash before any info about the plane was known, and immediately considered terrorism. Finding out it wasn't a terrorist, but somebody I actually know of has made this unbelievably surreal. I haven't seen any confirmation regarding passenger(s) on the plane -- I certainly hope his wife wasn't with him. My condolences to everyone touched by this, including the victims on the ground. Jojomfd, I think it's gonna be a hard sell that a firefighter from Ohio is so stressed out by the crash of a small plane in New York that you have no recourse but rushing to post tasteless humor. You knew when you clicked it that you were going to offend people -- you even apologized for it in advance -- which pretty much precludes your making a reasonable defense at this point. I recommend shutting the hell up for a while, and definitely staying away from this thread.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:58 PM on October 11

I added a link to a feature about Lidle and his plane the New York Times ran a month ago.

posted by rcade at 05:00 PM on October 11

thanks rcade. and bpp.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:02 PM on October 11

bullpen, i don't think it was his wife. it may have been an instructor. mayor bloomberg had a press conference. he wouldn't confirm that lidle died because next of kin hadn't been notified yet. i've heard reports that his wife and child were in the air (on a commercial flight) and that may be why she hasn't been notified yet.

posted by goddam at 05:03 PM on October 11

WABC tv and Teterboro Airport officials confirm 2 persons onboard, Lidle and an instructor.

posted by toradio at 05:09 PM on October 11

Lighten up on jojo. There are worse things in the world than people dealing with tragedy through humor. Sincere condolences to the families.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 05:15 PM on October 11

Tommy do you even have anything to say about the story, or just my comment? My most heartfelt sympathies to the families of all the victims. Is that enough for me to say about the story? Well said, bpp.

posted by tommytrump at 05:38 PM on October 11

I can't help but to find at least something humorous in this. Did he attend the Thurman Munson flight school? Sorry if I offended anyone. wow

posted by louisville_slugger at 06:03 PM on October 11

Lighten up on jojo. There are worse things in the world than people dealing with tragedy through humor. You're right, Texan. There are worse things. A lot worse. But when somebody offends me, I think it's within reasonable boundaries to react with something stronger than, "Well, at least he didn't try to stab me." It's one thing to make an off-hand verbal comment in the wake of news like this. In this case, the person took the time to write it out AND had the presence of mind to realize that it might come across as offensive (which would be, for me, the first indication that it's a bad idea). I can't speak for everyone, but I'm not going to hold this over jojo's head for any extended period of time. It will be easier for me to forget, though, if he doesn't try to repeatedly defend the comment here. Like the FPP says, the Munson thing still stings for some of us, and this news is just stunning. For crying out loud, the jab came 24 minutes after the story posted. I think the cheap shots can hold off a day or two.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:16 PM on October 11

Munson was an outstanding athelete and one of the 1970's most colorful baseball characters. Wow, I had forgotten how much I liked him - and I was a Red Sox fan even then.

posted by Joey Michaels at 06:29 PM on October 11

.

posted by wingnut4life at 06:29 PM on October 11

this is terrible news i can't believe some people are taking this lightly

posted by jmanzo18 at 06:52 PM on October 11

Lidle left his wife and six year old son behind. Even when everyone else knew he was dead, they didn't. They were on a flight to Los Angeles. That's brutal. If you find humor in that, I'm not going to stand in your way, but I won't stand in the way of people calling you and ass for finding humor in it either. .

posted by Ufez Jones at 06:54 PM on October 11

From the good times: Cory Lidle's best MLB pitching performance.

posted by grum@work at 06:55 PM on October 11

The Phillies did a little featurey thing on all the players, and Lidle's of course was his flying. They sent a camera up with him and you could see in his eyes how much he loved it. He always talked about it, and even cut back on how much golf he played so he could fly more. Sad stuff, and -- pardon the cliche -- but he went doing what he loved. We could all be so lucky.

posted by SummersEve at 06:55 PM on October 11

I've followed Lidle's carrer since he was is Double A here in town (El Paso Diablos) and meet him while in high school...what tragic news...Now I'm wondering what if the Yankees would have made it past the Tigers?........R.I.P.

posted by Grrrlacher at 07:01 PM on October 11

Ufez, you're the man. I just read through this thread, (it is first thing in the morning here), and you perfectly summed up what I wanted to add. What a horrible tragedy and my heart goes out to those affected. Not the kind of sports news you want to find when scanning the morning headlines. .

posted by geekyguy at 07:07 PM on October 11

What is it with successful athletes and business tycoon types that make them think that flying a plane is a worthwhile hobby? Having the money to afford a plane, not to mention the cost of lesions and time requirements to master flying one. Yes I have taken lessons (while the ex was in the Air Force and they were dirt cheap but do not have my instrument certification.) so I have some experience with small aircraft. Not to mention it seems they had not filed a flight plan and were not following the normal route around Manhattan that follows the rivers around the island1. Do I feel for his family, the Yankee nation, and the others killed? Of course! But come on, having your license for 7 months (not that they are sure he was the pilot) is no time to go flying over a major city unless that is where the airport is (see Love Field in Dallas) to land. And jojo I was not at all offended, even the NBC nightly news made a comparison to the Munson incident, though not in the same light you did. Everyone has their response/reaction to tragic events, and humor helps many. In the future though I think it best kept between you and the other emergency response teams that have to deal with this sort of tragedy. coming from an ex EMT, things such as fubar etc usually only goes over well with like minded people. 1 NBC Nightly News, 5:50 pm cst

posted by Folkways at 07:19 PM on October 11

I had heard about the crash about midday here in the west coast, but I didnt know who was in the plane. I later learned that the pilot was Cory Lidle. This is a tragedy, and being a YANKEES fan it feels even more terrible. He left behind his wife Melanie and his 6 year old son Christopher. My heart goes out to all of the people that were affected by this tragedy.

posted by STUNNER at 07:28 PM on October 11

I think it best kept between you and the other emergency response teams that have to deal with this sort of tragedy. coming from an ex EMT, things such as fubar etc usually only goes over well with like minded people. Maybe it is something from being in that field...I'm also an ex-EMT and firefighter. It's just a way to cope and there's not a drop of ill-will behind it. It just seems like jojo's getting a late hit...unnecessary roughness...piling on....something. Feeling insulted is a choice, so jump on if you're so inclined. Does anyone know if cellular communication is a problem within a 3 mile radius of the crash site?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 07:42 PM on October 11

Does anyone know if cellular communication is a problem within a 3 mile radius of the crash site? It's not a problem. I called a family member who lives on E. 72nd st. on his cell (He was home at the time) and got through OK.

posted by cjets at 07:59 PM on October 11

Tragic for sure - but totally fucking bizzare. I mean, I heard a small plane hit a building in NY, but didn't know it was flown by an actual Yankee. I saw Lidle pitch on a number of occassions just down the street for the Jays. Just such a weird way to go.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:14 PM on October 11

Now I'm wondering what if the Yankees would have made it past the Tigers? i've heard that a few times today. it made me think of another "what if the yankees won" scenerio from the 2001 world series. if the yankees had won game 7, enrique wilson was scheduled to fly home to the dominican republic on american airlines flight 587, which crashed into a neighborhood in queens killing everyone on board. since they lost, and he didn't have to be in new york for a parade, he caught an earlier flight home. mariano rivera has said that he was glad they lost game if it meant that his friend was still alive.

posted by goddam at 08:23 PM on October 11

Nothing to add here...I'm just one more Yankee fan who was around in the '70s and who's having Thurman Munson emotional flashbacks now. It's not logical -- Lidle was a newcomer; Munson was the guy you thought would always be there -- but there it is. I just hope none of the victims suffered too much. Rest in peace.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:30 PM on October 11

Thank you, cjets.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 08:40 PM on October 11

Weird link: See the aircraft over Manhattan, current or back in time. Go back to 14:40 today and you'll see a black plane identified as "General Aviation" heading northeast up the East River at 600-700 feet. Around 14:41:25, it makes an abrupt left turn and stops.

posted by rcade at 08:54 PM on October 11

Wierd. I had not thought of Thurman in no telling how long, and his name just suddenly popped into my head for this yesterday.

posted by mjkredliner at 08:57 PM on October 11

thanks for the link, rcade. i've been hearing that the plane dropped of off radar near the 59th st. bridge, which is right around the area that the plane on that map stops.

posted by goddam at 09:07 PM on October 11

interviewed by the times, said that he can pull the safety parachute if engine fails, which is rare this is terrible

posted by lucky23pjq at 09:18 PM on October 11

As someone who always has something to say, I am speechless tonight. This Cardinal Nationer mourns the loss of a competitor, mate, father, child, sibling and friend to those around him. One of the saddest things to come from this matter is the reaction of the media, whom will, no doubt, feed from such a horrible moment...

posted by wolfdad at 09:33 PM on October 11

I cried and I dont know the guy.

posted by sirtt22 at 10:39 PM on October 11

Sad news indeed. and can we please lay off jojo? by now i'm sure he's aware he's offended a few people. no sense piling on.

posted by justgary at 12:14 AM on October 12

The SpoFi sanctimony meter is going off the scale Cap'n. My condolences to the family of course.

posted by squealy at 03:30 AM on October 12

Thanks for that link Rcade, not only did the plane stop on the map I was looking at, but it very obviously disappeared a short time later.

posted by Bishop at 03:46 AM on October 12

When I heard a plane hit a highrise in NY, I thought, "here we go again". May Lidle rip

posted by texasred at 06:03 AM on October 12

Just delete the pile-ons then, gary. Kill the comments and it dies.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:33 AM on October 12

5.5 hrs and 17 comments since anyone had referenced Jojo negatively

posted by louisville_slugger at 07:44 AM on October 12

until your comment gets deleted, that is.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:45 AM on October 12

Here's my nomination for Most Stupidest Day-After Column, by Dan Shaughnessey (whose work nowadays rarely fails to inspire me to scream, "Stop pontificating about what 'we thought'! We're not all as stupid as you!").

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:03 AM on October 12

no, that would be about 13.5 hrs

posted by louisville_slugger at 08:18 AM on October 12

Thanks for nothing, lbb "For those of us over 35, it was impossible to see and hear all this without thinking of Thurman Munson, who was the heart of the defending champion Yankees when he crashed his plane during an offday in August 1979." Reworked: "For those of us whose work depends on recycling old stories and comparing everything to the mythical Good Old Days, it was impossible to not start thinking about putting out a Curse of The Tugboat and suggesting this was an offering to appease the playoff Gods."

posted by yerfatma at 08:32 AM on October 12

Everybody can leave jojo alone now:

posted by yerfatma at 08:38 AM on October 12

Rcade, thanks for the exceedingly creepy way to look at this tragedy. I'm wondering what the other pilot flying directly at Lidle's plane just 100-200 feet above him saw.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:55 AM on October 12

Oh, and this is pretty weird also -- the Mets' third-base coach, Manny Acta, lives in the building Lidle's plane hit.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:06 AM on October 12

Thanks for nothing, lbb I do confess it, this is a picking-at-a-scab behavior for me. Maybe if I keep that metaphor in my mind, I'll be able to stop forcing Spofi to watch me pick this scab. He is the Mike Barnicle of sports reporting, though, isn't he?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:37 AM on October 12

My wife and I had caught word that Lidle has a twin brother while following the news and immediately thought, how much more tragic could the story get if both brothers perished. Thankfuly this is not the case for the Lidle family, but the gruesome thought did cross our minds. yerfatma- thank you for providing my only guilty smile about this sad event.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 09:39 AM on October 12

They located his log book too. Maybe they can determine how many hours he had. Last I heard they weren't sure if the instructor pilot or Lidle was on the stick. All they know the plane was flying along the river (legally) and the plane made an ubrupt turn. So sad for his family and so brave for the firefighters.

posted by Psycho at 09:43 AM on October 12

Condolences out to Cory Lidle and his wife and son,and the rest of his family. Been watching the clip on ESPN that actually shows him flying the plane. I'm sure you all have seen it. On a lighter note,at least he went doing what he loved to do. Just a terrible tragedy.

posted by Ghastly1 at 09:50 AM on October 12

99% of all General Aviation accidents are eventually classified as "pilot error". The NTSB analysis of this crash will no doubt come to the same conclusion. Having an engine or structural failure is bad, but having it at 300 feet above the East River while bounded by buildings on both sides is poor planning. Cory Lidle or not, there is NO forgiveness in aircraft crashes. Good pilots never put themselves in a position where an engine or structural failure is non-recoverable. There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold, pilots.

posted by Sanman at 10:01 AM on October 12

My wife and I had caught word that Lidle has a twin brother while following the news Here's another thing that really bothers me. I'm flipping through the channels last night during a break in the game and hit Larry King Live. Larry's talking to Lidle's twin brother when it's time for a commercial break. And Larry says, "Can you hang on through the commercials? I have more I'd like to ask you?" Yeah, I'm totally sure Kevin wants to sit through the break, Larry. Jesus Christ, he's not grieving or anything!

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:11 AM on October 12

The Cirrus SR-22 is a "cutting edge aircraft" and as such many insurance companies require Cirrus pilots to undergo annual recurrent training in addition to Cirrus transition training before they can fly as pilot in command. Also, spin recovery techniques are totally unlike those of other aircraft. I am no expert, but I contend the Cirrus SR22 has safety issues. Various reviews by myself of NTSB and other data of the SR-22 includes phrases such as " Cirrus has been plagued with a significant number of fatal accidents (31 deaths including a Cirrus Design Test Pilot)" and " there have been several catastrophic engine failures in the Cirrus" Here is a pretty easy to read article. I smell litigation.

posted by mjkredliner at 10:47 AM on October 12

Not the kind of plane a beginner should be in either, I wouldn't think.

posted by mjkredliner at 10:54 AM on October 12

He could have been in the safest aircraft in the world, but he still would have been at 300 feet above the East River in between buildings. That's not a position an inexperienced pilot should find himself in. The Cirrus accident rate is indicative of the people who buy it, not the inherent safety of the aircraft. Robinson goes through the same issues every year (with their training helicopters) when numerous student pilots experience a ground interrupt due to inexperience and lack of judgement. Don't blame the airplane for lack of judgement and over-confidence.

posted by Sanman at 11:07 AM on October 12

Do some research, Sanman, and quit presuming. He had an instructor with him, for crying out loud.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:11 AM on October 12

Cut the "he died doing what he loved" crap. He died because his plane crashed into a building - unless he was a secret Islamic extremist, he didn't love anything about doing that.

posted by JJ at 11:14 AM on October 12

NYT has an informative infographic.

posted by gspm at 11:16 AM on October 12

Yeah, I'm totally sure Kevin wants to sit through the break, Larry. Jesus Christ, he's not grieving or anything! I would agree, except his choosing to go on larry king so soon after the accident is a little strange in the first place.

posted by justgary at 11:16 AM on October 12

Not the kind of plane a beginner should be in either, I wouldn't think. Comment icon posted by mjkredliner at 10:54 AM CDT on October 12 and then Do some research, Sanman, and quit presuming. He had an instructor with him, for crying out loud. Comment icon posted by mjkredliner at 11:11 AM CDT on October 12 uh okay...

posted by jerseygirl at 11:18 AM on October 12

The point being that a failure of the aircraft would render null and void "lack of judgement and over-confidence". Not that either scenario has been ruled out.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:24 AM on October 12

FYI...I'm a licensed pilot with 2,412 hours PIC in 4 aircraft types. The Cirrus is a great little plane, but a lot of folks with more money than sense buy them. Instructor on board or not, they both put themselves in a situation that no airplane would get them out of. Over-confidence, under-experience. Read the NTSB report when it comes out...

posted by Sanman at 11:24 AM on October 12

I would agree, except his choosing to go on larry king so soon after the accident is a little strange in the first place. I can actually understand that, Gary. If you wanted to spread the word about your brother and tell the world what a great guy he was and how he'll be missed, I get it -- especially if Larry King called him and asked him to be on the show. The fact that King called him in what have been the six hours after his brother died is bad enough, but then to even suggest, "Hey, you've got nothing better to do! Hang around while we pay the bills!" That was tacky.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:25 AM on October 12

Phillip Greenspun has an interesting post about the potential causes for the crash. A pilot himself, Greenspun thinks they might have turned around in the mistaken impression they were entering LaGuardia's airspace and stalled, something that's more prone to happen in the faster Cirrus than in a slower, cheaper plane.

posted by rcade at 11:38 AM on October 12

Sanman, many new and inexperienced pilots do buy the Cirrus, your point is taken. I am suggesting that the plane got them into a situation few pilots could get out of. Data about the Cirrus spin characteristics suggest that normal spin recovery techniques are useless in the SR22, and that it has other stall and spin issues. We shall see, as you say, and you may very well be right.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:40 AM on October 12

numerous student pilots experience a ground interrupt /files "ground interrupt" away in Favorite Expressions folder

posted by yerfatma at 11:43 AM on October 12

...no instructor worth his weight in salt would advocate being at 300 feet above the East River in between Teterboro, La Guardia, and JFK airspace and 50 story buildings. Those conditions are only acceptable when you're avoiding SAM's or dropping bombs, and when the government is paying you to do it. Spin characteristics of the Cirrus notwithstanding, at 300 feet crap comes at you so fast you won't even know you're spinning until it's non-recoverable. In the panic (ground to your left, sky to your right, world spinning around like a merry-go-round) even experienced pilots tend to grab the stick and pull...thus tightening the spin and insuring impact. Tragic for both the instructor and Lidle, but if either had lived they would have had their license pulled.

posted by Sanman at 11:58 AM on October 12

Do any of you folks who are citing inexperience as a factor have certain information that Lidle was flying the plane? Pages of second-guessing are being written here. I suggest that it would harm none of the second-guessers to wait a day or two for more facts. If your guesses turn out to be right, they'll have simply aged like a fine wine. If they turn out to be wrong, you'll have less egg to wipe off your face if you refrain from expressing them prematurely.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:09 PM on October 12

Your points are all good ones, Sanman, but, are you quite sure the plane was at 300 feet when they first experienced trouble?

posted by mjkredliner at 12:10 PM on October 12

Good pilots never put themselves in a position where an engine or structural failure is non-recoverable. Right. As if only good pilots can foresee every eventuality and situation. I've seen a lot of "good" pilots go into black bags.

posted by irunfromclones at 12:15 PM on October 12

Not sure, but they were never above 800 feet and decended rapidly after crossing the top of the bridge. That decent could have been part of the stall induced spin...we'll find out when the NTSB writes it up. Second-guessing...sure, maybe. If the instructor was flying the aircraft this mistake just got magnified by a factor of 10. The 26 year old should have known better...and if he was flying, 2 people are dead because of his incompetence.

posted by Sanman at 12:17 PM on October 12

Right. As if only good pilots can foresee every eventuality and situation. I've seen a lot of "good" pilots go into black bags. None of them fly a high-performance aircraft into tight airspace close to the ground unless they are intending to land. If they do, and get away with it, they aren't "good" pilots...they are lucky.

posted by Sanman at 12:27 PM on October 12

Do any of you folks who are citing inexperience as a factor have certain information that Lidle was flying the plane? Pages of second-guessing are being written here. Listening to Dale and Holley on 'EEI just now, Lidle had 40-some hours of stick-time (80-some hours in the air) and the instructor was 26 years old. 'EEI had a good caller for once who seemed knowledgeable on the subject without trying to show off; he suggested an instructor who was unfamiliar with the type of plane would be pretty close to having no instructor at all. He also seconded what Sanman said about the planes being extremely popular and that perhaps being the cause of the high number of accidents (noting of course we are only seeing a raw figure in this thread and not a rate of accidents/hours flown per plane type).

posted by yerfatma at 12:30 PM on October 12

Maybe spofi should start an aviation bulletin board or at least create it as a topic. Until then I'll repost Grum's link which I think is a fitting tribute: Cory Lidle's best MLB pitching performance.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 12:33 PM on October 12

In the continuing search for facts it should be noted the plane was an SR20, not SR22. There seem to be some differences and I'm hoping Sanman can shed some light. Is the SR20 more troublesome in conditions like those yesterday in NYC?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 12:45 PM on October 12

You're right JJ, I'd much rather die in a bed than doing something I like. How silly of me. The Islamic Extremist line is really fucking classy.

posted by SummersEve at 12:50 PM on October 12

The SR20 is actually a lower performing aircraft than the SR22. It can fly slower, it stalls at a lower speed, and is the most appropriate Cirrus aircraft for an entry-level pilot. That said, even the SR20 isn't a "beginner" aircraft...

posted by Sanman at 12:56 PM on October 12

Can one of the aviation-knowledgeable folks explain the parachute that Lidle spoke of but evidently didn't deploy? Am I off-base in assuming that if mechanical trouble were to blame here, he would've had a much lower chance of crashing if he'd been out over a field? In any event, RIP.

posted by ajaffe at 01:08 PM on October 12

The parachute is an emergency device that Cirrus provides on many of their aircraft. Assuming a mechanical failure of airframe or engine, the pilot can deploy this emergency device and it will (generally) safely deliver the aircraft and occupants to the ground. There are many assumptions, however: 1) that there is enough air under you to deploy the parachute and arrest the decent 2) that the airspeed of the aircraft is slow enough to safely deploy the parachute 3) that the attitude of the aircraft is such that a deployment won't end up in a highly tangled mass of kevlar In this instance, items #1 and #3 would have prevented the parachute from rendering any assistance at all. It's a safety device meant for deployment at significant altitude (>1000 feet) when a mechanical failure prevents flying the aircraft to the ground. My 2 cents.

posted by Sanman at 01:28 PM on October 12

Then it was time to watch the Tigers and A's. New York was safe again. One more strange, sad day in the city that doesn't sleep. Is it just me or is this a horrible way to end an article about a major league pitcher who just lost his life?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:57 PM on October 12

You're right JJ, I'd much rather die in a bed than doing something I like. How silly of me. Well, while we're being sarcastic, I know that every time I'm going out to do something I like, I say to myself, "Wow, I really hope I die today, because it would really suck if I died in bed!" Okay, end pointless sarcasm. Nobody wants to die doing what they love, SummersEve, except for the rare case of people who just want to die, period. For the rest, they want to live doing what they love. It's just that we're all gonna die sometime, and if you do what you love a lot, you up the odds that that's what you'll be doing when you die. It does not make the death any more welcome, and it does not mitigate it, really, which is what the "at least" phrasing implies. I've been present at the death of someone who "died doing what he loved"; I was the one who had to tell the tale afterwards. And, yes, that phrase came out of the woodwork. I recognize that it's well-intentioned, but I really disliked hearing it, and it was not my observation that it offered any comfort to any of the deceased's loved ones. I may be an anomaly in that reaction, but OTOH I've heard much the same reaction from others who've been there.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:10 PM on October 12

LBB, I'll surrender before this gets any sillier. You are absolutely correct. But as far as sorry-you-died cliches go (they're all pretty bad when diagrammed), I'd rather this one over "my thoughts and prayers". But that's just me.

posted by SummersEve at 02:33 PM on October 12

Nothing like tragedy to bring out the best in all of us. Count mine as one vote to just retire this thread now.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:23 PM on October 12

Just FYI...I worked on Wall St, Downtown NYC for 20 years and seaplanes of all types land and take off on the East River, both Downtown and Midtown...

posted by toradio at 03:28 PM on October 12

This was a truely horrific event, but don't you think that people are making a big deal about the situation? Its very sad to see anyone die, especially the way Lidle did. But on the other hand, death is something that we all have to deal with at some point. What happened to Cory could have happened to anyone- and if it did, would people make such a big deal about it? I truely feel for his family, and his child, but some people are just making this a bigger issue than it is. Maybe I seem insensitive, but that's just the way I feel. I am expecting that ill offend at least one person, but I really didn't attend to do so. Anywho, best wishes to Lidles family and friends.

posted by Kendall at 06:02 PM on October 12

If it was a regular guy and a truly unfortunate accident, would it be receiving this much attention? No. But then again, you've got two different parts of the newspaper covering this -- the Sports section and the Front page. It's getting twice the coverage, twice the soundbites, twice the commentary.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:16 PM on October 12

don't you think that people are making a big deal about the situation? from a tragic accident angle, probably. but, there are other levels to this story. it's not every day that a plane flies into a skyscraper in new york. while the sports media outlets are centering on lidle, the non-sports news is starting to cover the implications of this accident. how did it happen? should there be more restrictions on small aircraft around the city? stuff like that. which i think would be covered whether this involved an athlete or not.

posted by goddam at 08:32 PM on October 12

Not sure, but they were never above 800 feet and decended rapidly after crossing the top of the bridge. That decent could have been part of the stall induced spin...we'll find out when the NTSB writes it up. Sanman, I submit it was the door strut attachment failure that jammed the controls. It's been an issue with the 20, and they even issued an SB on it. That would agree with the decent after the bridge, and eyewitness accounts saying the plane was rocking, which could have been one or both pilots fighting to free the controls, and that it didn't stall, but flew into the building. No radio transmission, no deployed chute. I agree with your assessment that altitude is what made the difference ... another 500 feet and the BRS might have been an option. BTW - in all your hours, you've never scud run? Once?

posted by smithnyiu at 12:37 AM on October 13

The photos on CNN (Photo Gallery link at left) make it look as if they hit the far side of the building -- in other words, they were heading up the river, tried to U turn and slammed into it after completing the turn.

posted by rcade at 08:40 AM on October 13

None of them fly a high-performance aircraft into tight airspace close to the ground unless they are intending to land. If they do, and get away with it, they aren't "good" pilots...they are lucky. Yeah. And guys like this are just lucky.

posted by irunfromclones at 12:32 PM on October 13

Oh, and before you go ballistic on me about the difference between military and civilian pilots, take a look at someone a lot of people think is a "good" pilot. My point is, even a good pilot can find themselves in an un-recoverable situation that just went beyond their control.

posted by irunfromclones at 12:47 PM on October 13

I know the feelings associated with canyon-bashing and river-ripping...just like your video of the RV4 pilot in Alaska. It's great stuff...very fun... When a meteor hits your plane and knocks you out of the sky, it's an accident. Everything else is preventable... http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-yankees-planecrash-investigation&prov=ap&type=lgns Pilot error...over-confidence...under-skilled...you can read the exact same story 104 times at the NTSB website. Airplanes have no forgiveness, even for wealthy, overconfident ballplayers or magazine magnates.

posted by Sanman at 12:33 AM on October 14

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-yankees-planecrash-investigation&prov=ap&type=lgns From the article: Aviation experts said Friday that inexperience, the tight airspace over the city, mechanical failure, hazy weather or a gust of wind through New York's concrete canyons could explain why Cory Lidle's plane failed to execute a U-turn and slammed into the side of a high-rise. According to radar data, the single-engine plane appeared to be making a difficult but commonly performed left turn over a 710-yard-wide section of the river between Manhattan and Queens when it crashed Wednesday, killing the New York Yankee pitcher and his flight instructor. ...Much is still unknown about the crash. Investigators said they have not determined who was at the controls. I know a number of people who have died doing things that wouldn't have resulted in a fatality if they'd done something different. I can't think of a single one of those cases where the cause was blatant stupidity or negligence, or (often) something that could have been foreseen. Chewing over the cause of an accident on the basis of data is the province of organizations like the NTSB; chewing over the cause of an accident in the absence of data is like sitting behind someone at a football game and beating a cowbell nonstop.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:23 PM on October 14

Yes, people speculating about how something might have happened is akin to mindles cheerleading. When they disagree with you.

posted by yerfatma at 09:43 AM on October 15

Such speculation is only human nature, we all know that the experts will do their job, anyone not thinking this thread would contain it is indulging in wishful thinking.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:17 AM on October 15

I can actually understand that, Gary. If you wanted to spread the word about your brother and tell the world what a great guy he was and how he'll be missed, I get it -- especially if Larry King called him and asked him to be on the show. The fact that King called him in what have been the six hours after his brother died is bad enough, but then to even suggest, "Hey, you've got nothing better to do! Hang around while we pay the bills!" That was tacky. We all grieve in our own way, so even though I can't imagine going on a television show 6 hours after my brother dies, I won't judge. Maybe telling the world about his brother is how he coped, or took control of the situation. I just don't think it should come as a surprise to him. This is larry king we're talking about. Being tacky is larry being larry.

posted by justgary at 02:58 PM on October 16

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