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Thu, Oct 11, 2007

Building Damaged In 2006 Manhattan CFIT Accident Nearly Repaired

Thursday Marks One-Year Anniversary Of Cory Lidle Crash

It was a high-profile accident, that sent ripple effects throughout New York, the nation, and the general aviation community. Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the fatal building collision that killed New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, and flight instructor Tyler Stanger... and crews are still working to repair the damage caused by the small plane.

"We’re coming down the home stretch," condominium board co-president Jay W. Dankner told the New York Times, speaking of repairs to the 40th floor of the Belaire building in Upper Manhattan.

Those repairs include new walls, replacement windows, and a new front door. In all, about 100 of the building's 137 apartments experienced smoke or water damage from the accident, and resulting firefighting efforts.

As ANN reported, Lidle's Cirrus SR20 impacted the Belaire at approximately 1500 EDT on October 11, 2006. Investigators with the NTSB later determined the plane struck the building while attempting a 180-degree inside limited airspace; the Board determined  the plane did not bank aggressively enough to complete the turn.

There remain several unresolved lawsuits pertaining to the crash. Plantiffs include a prominent celebrity dentist who lived in the building, and Lidle's widow, Melanie; she is also a defendant in a suit filed by another building resident, as is Stanger's widow, alleging their husbands showed "negligence, carelessness and recklessness."

Other parties involved in lawsuits stemming from the accident include Metropolitan Life Insurance Company -- which Melanie Lidle unsuccessfully sued to collect an accidental death benefit on her husband -- and Cirrus Design.

In the days following the accident, the FAA banned planes from the East River corridor in New York, unless the pilot was in contact with air traffic control. Previously, planes flying below 1,100 feet were allowed to fly without contacting ATC; the ban remains in place today.

FMI: Read The NTSB Probable Cause Report

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