Pilot error blamed in Lidle crash

first_imgNew York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor did not realize their misjudgment of a U-turn until it was too late to avoid their fatal New York City plane crash, investigators in Washington said Tuesday. They had several options in how they handled that maneuver, the probe found. In presenting their findings, National Transportation Safety Board members said they still didn’t know whether Lidle or his flight instructor Tyler Stanger was piloting the plane in the Oct. 11, 2006, crash. Both were killed when the Cirrus SR-20, owned by Lidle, slammed into a high-rise apartment building. The NTSB declared Tuesday that the cause was “inadequate judgment, planning and airmanship” by Lidle and Stanger. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Lidle and Stanger families are suing the plane’s manufacturer, and their lawyer criticized the NTSB’s conclusions. “It’s not surprising, the Safety Board always blames the pilot in an accident,” said the lawyer, Todd Macaluso. The families fault the plane’s steering mechanism, though the NTSB found no evidence of system, structure or engine malfunction. Investigator Lorenda Ward told board members that the turn above the East River could have been made safely if the plane had begun the turn further east or banked harder in the turn. NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said the pilots had a third option: If they’d risen briefly into restricted air space above the Manhattan skyline, “they’d be alive today to explain why they had to do that.” NTSB investigators said the pilots apparently did not factor in a 13-knot wind, pushing the plane toward Manhattan as it turned. last_img read more