The FAA Wednesday afternoon issued a temporary flight restriction (TFR) over an aircraft accident scene in upper Manhattan. A light aircraft hit a high-rise condominium building next to the East River at about 2:45 p.m. The TFR extends for one mile around the accident scene and extends up to 1,500 feet agl.
New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, the owner of the Cirrus SR20, was killed in the crash, along with another individual reported to have been a flight instructor.
Security officials say there is absolutely no indication of terrorist activity, but the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) did put fighter patrols over several major cities as a precaution.
Meanwhile, AOPA President Phil Boyer and the AOPA media team are working with the news media, helping them understand the nature of aviation activity in the New York area and urging them not to rush to judgment without facts [see " AOPA provides facts during media storm"].
AOPA member Henry Neimark was driving into the city at the time of the accident. He saw the light aircraft maneuvering, banking steeply left and right. "My impression is that he was desperately trying to get back to the airport," Neimark told AOPA. "The aircraft was in a steep, coordinated bank, level, and then disappeared behind a building. I then saw a huge fireball."
Media reports say the aircraft took off from Teterboro Airport to the west of New York City, flew to the Hudson River and down the VFR corridor to the Statue of Liberty, then up the East River VFR corridor.
Updated: October 11, 2006, 9:55 p.m. EDT