Small plane hits Manhattan building

By George L. Anesi

This is what I know (4:05 pm):

-No indication of terrorism

-Small plane hit 20th floor of 50 story building on 72nd/York Ave, Upper East Side, Manhattan

-4 alarm fire, 150 firefighters on the scene

-President has been informed

-NORAD scrambled jets over US cities as precaution

-Varying reports indicated 1-2 dead

-Building is residential and also has doctors’ offices affiliated with Hospital for Special Surgery

Cops and firefighters are doing a great job. Will keep you updated.

Update 4:44 pm: First responders to the New York plane crash say an emergency call was made from the plane indicating a possible fuel problem. (

4:47: The plane may have been registered to New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, who was traded to the Yankees earlier this season from the Phillies with Bobby Abreu (unconfirmed on CNN).

4:56: Yankees Manager Joe Torre confirms the plane was registered to Cory Lidle; no accounts of whether or not he was the pilot or a passenger (

4:57: NYC officials confirm Cory Lidle died in plane crash (NYTimes)

4:59: ESPN confirms Cory Lidle was pilot of the plane and was one of the two people who died.

5:11: Lidle was the pilot and only occupant of the plane; reports now indicate 3 people in the building were killed. Lidle took off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey at 2:30 and crashed 15 minutes later (ESPN)

5:16: Lidle was a licensed pilot flying under visual sight guidelines, and therefore not in radio contact with air traffic control; FAA is sending a team to NY to investigate from DC (NYTimes)

5:19: Plane hit around 40th floor and was reported flying erratically before impact (NYTimes)

5:21: NY airports are functioning normally; Bush and Cheney were not removed to secure location; building has 183 apartments

6:00: 11 firefighters and 6 civilians brough to hospital with injuries.

10:14: The final word seems to be that Cory Lidle and his flight instructor died when their plane had fuel trouble and crashed into a building. No one in the building itself was seriously injured. The flight left north Jersey, circled the Statue of Liberty and headed up the East River until it lost control and dipped off radar around 59th Street, crashing at 72nd. The plane was a Cirrus Design SR-20 four seater.

NYTimes article (Sept 8): In Lidle, Yanks Have Extra Pitcher and Backup Pilot