Small aircraft crashes into NYC skyscraper; Update: Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle piloted the plane?

posted at 3:01 pm on October 11, 2006 by Allahpundit

Right off the East River, on 72nd Street. It looks like an apartment building; the fire is small, perhaps confined to one apartment unit thus far. Fox and CNN are carrying it live.

No clue what’s going on yet. It is, in fact, overcast here today.

Update: The AP says it’s a small plane. Police sources say it’s small but multi-engine.

Update: AP says it’s the Bel Aire building.

Update: It has to be an accident. The UN and Chrysler Building are only 30 blocks south. Why target an apartment complex when you could hit them instead?

Update: It’s a three-alarm fire. People are trapped inside, according to the FDNY.

Update: “‘There’s huge pieces of debris falling,’ said one witness who refused to give her full name. ‘There’s so much falling now, I’ve got to get away.’”

Update: Two confirmed dead. FAA says it’s a fixed-wing aircraft, not a helicopter.

Update: The FBI tells CNN that two joint-terrorism task force teams are on their way to the scene. A witness on Fox says she saw the plane dip and lose altitude; it could have been a stall.

Update: The building is 50 floors; the plane went in at around. The job for the FDNY is getting people out above the impact zone. One witness is telling the local Fox affiliate that the plane hit the building and then pieces of it slid down the side into the street.

Update: Here’s the building, I think.

Update: Live video at WNBC4-NY. You can see the black streak on the building where the plane slid down.

plane.jpg

Update: It’s a four-alarm fire now. One witness says the plane was doing “acrobatic” maneuvers. Over Manhattan? A reporter on WNBC4 says the plane took a “hard, 90-degree turn” into the building.

There are two bodies on the ground on 72nd Street — as well as luggage. Would terrorists have packed?

Update: The FDNY says it was a helicopter. The FAA begs to differ.

Update: Norad has deployed several fighter jets over U.S. cities as a precautionary measure.

Update: Multiple “U.S. sources” tell Fox the crash appears to be an accident.

Update: The FDNY says it wasn’t a major impact and that fighting the fire should be “routine.” In fact, the flames are substantially extinguished. No injuries to any firefighters but no word on the occupants. The structural integrity of the building is also supposedly “excellent,” according to WNBC4.

The plane apparently didn’t hit the building hard enough to penetrate deeply. A terrorist would have accelerated and driven into it as hard as he could, no?

Update: The local news stations are covering this wall to wall. It’s like a vet with PTSD flipping out at the sound of a car backfiring.

Update: An eyewitness tells WNBC4 that the plane nosedived straight down into the building — again, not the way you’d want to do it if you’re looking to do maximum damage. Sounds like the engine cut out. Pretty clearly an accident.

Update (Ian): Just in case you haven’t noticed, today is 10/11.

Update: Four dead, according to WNBC4: two in the plane, two inside the building.

The aircraft was a Cirrus-20.

Update: The Truthers are already accusing the FDNY of covering up.

Update: The plane was flying at roughly 800 feet when it made a “radical turn” and crashed. That’s around the same altitude Flight 11 was at when it hit the North Tower.

Update: The plane was registered to an individual from Lakeland, Florida. No name yet.

Update: “Firefighters shot water streams of water at the flames from the floors below and put the blaze out in less than an hour.”

Update: WNBC4 just mentioned that Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle apparently applied to buy the plane in July. Wait — hold the phone. Lidle did actually purchase the plane, they’re saying now.

Was Cory Lidle flying the plane? Trying to impress his date by doing a little acrobatics over Manhattan? Standby.

Update: Fox is reporting that Lidle was indeed flying the plane. CNN quotes first responders as saying the pilot might have made a distress call before the crash.

WNBC4 says an official has confirmed that a member of the Yankees was onboard the plane. Now sources are saying that Lidle’s passport was found on the street.

Update (Ian): CNN is repoting near miss before crash.

Update: Kim Priestap googled around and found some potentially important info about the Cirrus-20: it’s notoriously hard to pull out of a spin.

Update: Karol spots a newspic of Alec Baldwin throwing a tantrum because he’s been inconvenienced by a fatal plane crash in the middle of Manhattan.

baldwin.jpg

Update: Tom Tomorrow links this post and snarks that no one’s going to win a blog Pulitzer for being the fastest to transcribe what’s on their TV. True, but no one’s going to win a blog Pulitzer anyway. And it does come in handy for the 90% of the readership that are at work and looking for information.

Update: Ace uncovers the Truth about October 11th.


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Baldwin blames Bush while a few on MSNBC questioned if Cory Lidle crashed due to his state of mind from losing their recent ball game.

I wish I had heard Rangel making a fool of himself again. Perhaps he will now blame Bush because of his influence on American Baseball.

DannoJyd on October 11, 2006 at 6:48 PM

Aside from the tragedy of this accident, and the deaths and damage from it, this will give general aviation a black eye again and it will once again be overblown by the ignorant in the media, and otherwise. Very sad, indeed…

Entelechy on October 11, 2006 at 7:17 PM

AllahPundit: I personally thank you and all who’ve helped for covering this. Although not at work, your frequent updating does help me follow what’s going on, what’s being speculated – and I am very impressed with how professional and non-committed (as in not committed to any story or scenario until the facts are in) you and others have been.

Would that the real media were like this.

Muslihoon on October 11, 2006 at 7:50 PM

I’ll offer a second to Muslihoon’s kudos regarding the coverage here.

A: I was at work when it happened.

B: I came home and my wife was watching a movie. So I couldn’t get access to our TV for more than about 90 seconds during commercials.

Very useful, and keep up the good work!

jefferson101 on October 11, 2006 at 8:52 PM

Fox just reported that the plane ran out of gas and that the NTSB will report on it later.

For this pilot error there can be no excuse and no pardon.

Entelechy on October 11, 2006 at 9:07 PM

Forgot to say that this was on Hannity & Colmes, at the beginning, by a lady reporter, who said she had it on good authority…sorry that her name escapes me.

Entelechy on October 11, 2006 at 9:08 PM

I guess A-Rod will have to deal with the fact that if he could hit in the postseason, maybe Lidle would have been traveling with the team or working out at Yankee Stadium.

Just a little bit harsh, I’d say.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on October 11, 2006 at 10:01 PM

“Allah uh Akbar, Allah uh Akbar, uh uh uh… ”

Everyone sing along —

“Allah uh Akbar, Allah uh Akbar, uh uh uh… ”

j/k but hey – they’ve conditioned us to ridicule.

———–

On Foxnews a resident just said “it’s amazing that a plane would hit a building…”

The Stupid Masses!!! PWNED by life and muslims.

ar_basin on October 11, 2006 at 10:08 PM

Attila, you’re right, it is harsh. I just can’t bring myself to say anything nice about a Yankee.

Maybe I should have followed that old rule.

eagles5 on October 11, 2006 at 10:51 PM

Update: Ace uncovers the Truth about October 11th.

What a riot! Ace is the ace! Here a comment on the Ace truther thread, from Slublog:

Oh, great. GregH found this blog.

Don’t worry, all. He’ll squat and leave his little “truth nugget” and then you won’t see him again on this thread.

Entelechy on October 12, 2006 at 1:48 AM

When in a stall, instead of diving (forcing the nose down hard), which is what s/b done, they raise the nose further, begin to drop rapidly and/or spin, and give up. It’s illogical but instinctive.

So it’s the aviation equivalent of turning into a skid? Interesting…

Pablo on October 12, 2006 at 8:07 AM

And it does come in handy for the 90% of the readership that are at work and looking for information.

Exactly. I was at work when this happened and got all my information from Hot Air.

And honestly, I try to leave politics when I get home since my husband doesn’t share my views, at all.

Thank you for transcribing what’s on TV.

Esthier on October 12, 2006 at 9:34 AM

Exactly. I was at work when this happened and got all my information from Hot Air.

And honestly, I try to leave politics when I get home since my husband doesn’t share my views, at all.

Thank you for transcribing what’s on TV.

Esthier on October 12, 2006 at 9:34 AM

Actually I find this very interesting. I would really love to hear about that… I would have tons of questions, i.e. how? why? regrets? marriage age?

For me, politics has been alive and well since I was 12 years old – when my old brothers would bring home bar chics that would fight with my Mom…

Anyhow… that’s your private business unless you want to chat off- Hot Air – line.

ar_basin on October 12, 2006 at 10:26 AM

The short answer is that we love each other and want to keep it that way.

The long answer is that at some point, the debating became too much for us to handle. When we met in high school, debating was our thing, the way we got to know each other better. We always admired each other and were attracted to each other, but I’m not sure either of us thought we’d get married five years later.

In order to preserve our relationship, we’ve had to consider how hurtful we can get when we argue, specifically on things I’m emotional about, like abortion. Or things he’s passionate about, like Iraq.

I’m not saying we’ve been great about it. I listen to talk radio all the time and read many conservative authors, so it’s almost all I have to talk about.

Politics is a great topic with my family, and he’s polite enough to let me vent to my mother when we visit, but if I already know his opinion on a subject, I know enough to not pick a fight, most of the time.

But to answer your direct questions…
How?
Not easily. I go to a joke site for conversation and listen to him talk about chess.
Why?
It’s better to pick your battles.
Regrets?
Sometimes I wish I’d married a conservative, or more accurately, that he was a conservative.
Marriage age?
Possibly. We married young, right out of college. I certainly don’t recommend it to anyone but still wouldn’t trade the last two years.

Does that help?

And I’m not worried about my private life. I’m just a screen name here and wouldn’t have mentioned my husband’s stance if I was easily offended by your questions. Though sorry to anyone completely uninterested in this. I realize this is completely off topic.

Esthier on October 12, 2006 at 11:39 AM

Hey that was a great reply… I understand.

Yeah, in my household we differ on opinions but it’s within the conservative pool of ideas. Now within my distant family I don’t speak to some siblings because of their socialist/communist ideas and ideals; plus their “Evo” dogma and secular/non-theistic ideas are silly.

I guess the reason I asked is because I’ve recently debated with a Co-worker about this very idea. They argued that it keeps the relationship lively. I guess it could; however, if someone is super principled then I could see how it would be a problem (how big, I don’t know).

For me, it would be major as I would wonder “What are we going to teach our kids, her ideas or mine?”

In HS I knew chics that I wouldn’t have anything to do with… maybe I ruined their self-esteem… hey, that’s the cost.

Well I wish you well, I’m the bond and love can see it through.

ar_basin on October 12, 2006 at 4:12 PM

Esthier

** Well I wish you well, I’m *Sure the bond and love can see you through.

ar_basin on October 12, 2006 at 4:34 PM

So it’s the aviation equivalent of turning into a skid? Interesting…

Pablo on October 12, 2006 at 8:07 AM

Indeed, the tendency to slam the brakes even harder, when in fact s/b let go…training and expertise…, but harder done than said, in times of crises. And real crises are never the same as simulated ones because the conditions, environments, etc. vary.

Entelechy on October 12, 2006 at 5:55 PM

Update: Tom Tomorrow links this post and snarks that no one’s going to win a blog Pulitzer for being the fastest to transcribe what’s on their TV. True, but no one’s going to win a blog Pulitzer anyway. And it does come in handy for the 90% of the readership that are at work and looking for information.

Kralizec reads Tom Tomorrow’s remark and snarks that no one with real concerns cares very much about getting a Pulitzer “Prize,” anyway.

Kralizec on October 12, 2006 at 11:40 PM

I’m the bond and love can see it through.

I know you corrected it, but it gave me a laugh.

And as far as what are we going to teach our (hypothetical) kids, that’s easy, mine.

I mean traditionally the mother stays home to raise the kids anyway, so it’s only natural. I figure I’ll let them listen to their father but will be sure and reeducate them afterwards.

Besides, I have a feeling he’ll come around. We used to argue about religion too, but now, we’re actually looking for a church together and praying together. It’s a slow process, but he’s very intelligent. He can’t stay a lib for too long. (And I’m writing that in a teasing tone to any liberals in the group who might be offended.)

Esthier on October 13, 2006 at 8:43 AM

But even if he never comes around to the Right, I can see a benefit in kids hearing both sides of the issue.

Esthier on October 13, 2006 at 8:45 AM

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