ANN REALTIME UPDATE
10.12.06 1635 EDT: Investigators with the NTSB are
questioning a certified flight instructor who flew with Cory Lidle
"numerous times" before Wednesday's crash of the pilot's Cirrus
SR20 into a New York highrise apartment building, as part of the
board's comprehensive investigation into the accident.
At a press briefing from the scene of the accident Thursday
afternoon, NTSB spokesperson Debbie Hersman said there is no
confirmation of any kind of 'mayday' call prior to the accident,
contrary to early reports. The board has not determined whether
Lidle or his passenger, flight instructor Tyler Stanger, was flying
the plane at the time of the accident.
Hersman said investigators have gathered radar returns from
several sources, and were able to recreate most of the plane's
flight path. Hersman said the plane flew south from New Jersey's
Teterboro Airport above the Hudson River, before turning around the
Statue of Liberty and then flying north towards Manhattan along the
The accident aircraft executed a 180 degree turn, back to the
south, shortly before the plane impacted the north face of the
50-story Belaire tower, according to the NTSB.
Hersman said crews have also recovered several items from the
aircraft, including a memory chip from the plane's multifunction
display. The chip suffered heavy thermal damage, however, and is
bent... which may limit the amount of information investigators are
able to recover from it.
Evidence suggests the plane's propeller was turning when the
plane impacted the building, Hersman added -- suggesting the
plane's engine was functional at the time of the accident.
Hersman also stated the rocket used to deploy the plane's
ballistic recovery parachute showed evidence of being thermally
detonated -- meaning, the heat of the post-impact fire may have set
the rocket off. The plane's parachute was still packed tightly,