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Wed, Oct 11, 2006

Cirrus SR20 Crashes Into NYC Building

Yankees Pitcher Cory Lidle Lost In Accident

ANN REALTIME UPDATE 10.11.06 1845 EDT: Officials have confirmed that New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, 34, was killed Wednesday when his Cirrus SR20 impacted a Manhattan apartment building.

Lidle was one of two people onboard the plane, according to the FAA. The identity of the second person is not known at this time.

Previous Reports

1735 EDT: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters at a press conference Tuesday afternoon the plane that crashed into a Manhattan highrise apartment building departed from nearby Teterboro Airport at approximately 2:30 pm, and flew around the Statue of Liberty before turning towards the Upper East Side.

The plane dropped off of radar shortly before it impacted the building at the corner of East 72nd St. and York.

Mayor Bloomberg said two people died in the accident, although he would not say if New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, the owner of the accident aircraft, was one of the victims.

1655 EDT: Officials report a passport belonging to New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle has been found in the wreckage of the Cirrus SR20 that impacted a Manhattan highrise apartment building earlier today.

CNN reports Lidle was the only person onboard the aircraft. A mayday call was received from the aircraft before the collision, and witnesses on the ground say the plane was flying erratically before impact.

1635 EDT: Industry sources tell ANN the plane involved in this afternoon's crash into a Manhattan highrise apartment building is a 2002 Cirrus SR20, N-number 929CD, that departed from New Jersey's Teterboro Airport at approximately 2:30 pm EDT.

According to the FAA database, the plane's registration is pending following a recent sale to New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle. FAA records show Lidle submitted an application for the plane on July 21.

It is not known if Lidle (right), who earned his pilot's license seven months ago, was flying the aircraft. The FAA states two persons were onboard the plane, and that there was a 'mayday' call received before the plane impacted the apartment building.

Sports Illustrated reports the Yankees have been told Lidle's plane was involved in the accident, with CNN reporting he was scheduled to fly home today for the offseason.

1600 EDT: At least two people are confirmed dead in the crash of a small aircraft into a Manhattan highrise apartment building approximately one hour ago.

Witnesses report seeing a single-engine aircraft -- not a multiengine plane, as previously reported -- impact the building near the 40th floor of the 50-story tower.

ANN has no confirmed information on the type of aircraft involved, although CBS News reports the plane involved may have been a Cirrus SR20 (file photo of type, below).

The National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched a Go Team to New York City to investigate the crash.

Senior Air Safety Investigator Lorenda Ward will serve as Investigator-in-Charge of the six-member team, with NTSB Member Debbie Hersman accompanying the team to serve as principal spokesperson for the on-scene investigation. Keith Holloway is accompanying the team as public affairs officer.

While NORAD has reportedly scrambled fighters over several US cities, there is no reported link whatsoever to terrorism.

"While every indication is that this is an accident, we see this as a prudent measure at this time," officials said in a statement.

1530 EDT: While there is no indication the crash of a small plane into a New York City highrise minutes ago was related to terrorism, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is not taking any chances -- with the agency confirming to CNN it has scrambled fighter aircraft to fly over several large US cities.

The agency stressed that this appears to have been nothing more than an unfortunate accident. President Bush has been notified of the incident.

1520 EDT: The FAA has confirmed the aircraft that apparently impacted a New York City high-rise approximately 30 minutes ago was a small, multiengine general aviation aircraft operating under Visual Flight Rules.

Firefighters are battling a four-alarm fire that has broken out in the center of the building, located along the East River corridor.

Fox News reports the aircraft impacted near the 40th floor of the 50-story Belaire building, located at 524 E. 72nd Street. The building houses over 180 high-rent apartments on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and is close to Rockefeller Center.

No information on possible casualties has been reported.

A recent weather report from New York's LaGuardia Airport states winds are from the east at 13 knots, with visibility of 9 statute miles and an overcast layer at 1800 feet.

Original Report

ANN REALTIME REPORTING 10.11.06 1500 EDT: CNN is reporting a small plane has impacted a building in Manhattan near the intersection of East 72nd St. and York. At this time there is no indication of any ties to terrorism.

The type of aircraft has not been verified, although Fox News reports the New York Fire Department has indicated the aircraft in question was a helicopter attempting to land at a nearby helipad.

That contradicts reports from the FAA, that state the aircraft is a small, multiengine GA plane, according to CNN.

ANN will have more on this developing situation as more information becomes available.

FMI: http://nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/home2.shtml, www.faa.gov

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