Small Aircraft Crashes Into New York City High-Rise Building

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Captain
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Nov 9, 2005
Cracow
NEW YORK — A small aircraft crashed into a high-rise building on Manhattan's Upper East Side Wednesday,

Local news reports quoted New York Fire Department officials as saying two people were confirmed dead. Officials said there is no indication the incident was a result of terrorism.

The crash set off a raging fire that sent a pillar of gray smoke over the city, police said. Witnesses reported seeing a gigantic fireball come out of the building, police said.

Flames could be seen shooting from windows on two upper floors of the 50-story building, near the East River. Burning debris fell from the tower, and a column of gray smoke rose over the city.

"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."

Fire Department spokeswoman Emily Rahimi said the aircraft struck the 20th floor of the building, located at 524 East 72nd Street.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it was a small aircraft that was involved, but there was very little other information collected so far. A helicopter would be expected in that area of the city; no other aircraft should be around that part of Manhattan, the FAA said.

(FOX News)
 
The news stations are in a feeding frenzy on this one. Some say it was a helicopter, others say fixed wing. I have received word that NORAD has activiated some CAP flights over major cities. This is probably a precautionary measure at this time.
 
I just got wind of this info. It was a single engine, fixed wing aircraft that departed from Teterboro Airport and was flying north along the East River corridor. The aircraft suddenly banked sharply 90 degrees and dropped quickly in altitude. It levelled off before impacting the building. Word is that the JTTF is treating this as a deliberate act, and not an accident. The investigation continues.

I am hoping that the aircraft and pilot info becomes available soon. Something smells kind of fishy...
 
We just looked up his info - private pilot, no instrument rating. The weather in the area? Between 1 1/2 to 2 miles visibility, between 1000 - 1500 foot ceiling, haze and drizzle, definitely not VFR. Again, Mr. Lide does (did) not have an instrument rating.
 
Didn't you guys get the memo - if you're famous you don't need an instrument rating. Seriously - people vastly underestimate the importance of being able to fly in IMC. Any billy-bob can tote his cessna in vmc.
 
I'll go further and state most light general aircraft pilots scare the hell out of me . In Niagara we have a published race track pattern for viewing the Falls with altitudes determined by type of aircraft . I would not be surprised to find a Lycoming engine in my yard one day from the result of a mid air the general aviation aircraft are at all altitudes and flying the race track in any direction. The fact we've only had one mid air between two helos really shocks me . While contolling I've witnessed people flying with road maps for navigation , fuel tanks from outboard motors in the cockpit to extend range . Myself when I flew I ran into some weather decided on a 180 and and ended up doing a 360 :oops: it was a real learning experiance but how many of those types of thrills can you have before you find yourself in the middle of a smoking hole in the ground
 
It seems he was turing around, he was being tracked on radar and was in a VFR corridor. As posted, the weather was horrible, this guy shouldn't even been thinking of flying. I think he turned around becuase he was worried about pentrating LaGuardia's airspace or he was encountering reduced visibility, in any case 1000' above the east river in under 2 mile visibility is not a place to do a 180 degree turn...
 
It seems he was turing around, he was being tracked on radar and was in a VFR corridor. As posted, the weather was horrible, this guy shouldn't even been thinking of flying. I think he turned around becuase he was worried about pentrating LaGuardia's airspace or he was encountering reduced visibility, in any case 1000' above the east river in under 2 mile visibility is not a place to do a 180 degree turn...

But he apparrantly was not concerned about max elevation figures??? Who needs obstacle clearance anyway
 
But he apparrantly was not concerned about max elevation figures??? Who needs obstacle clearance anyway

Yep! I bet he forgot about that from his student pilot days. I'm sorry, but there's a lot of people morning him and saying what a tragedy this is, flat out the guy was an idiot and the thing we should all be thankful for is more people weren't killed. This wasn't a matter of a simple mistake or human error, this was a blatant FAR violation, the accident chain started when he decided to go and started his engine....
 
So my father was reading an article and said that the weather was legal. Report said he took off 1421 local (1821Z) was in the air for 20m. The metar says he was legal - but with the way the conditions changed so rapidly, doesn't seem like it was a legit 7sm. Everyone knows that sometimes metars are just plain off.

I pulled up all the metars from yesterday - and showed the visibility near LGA diminishing from 9 down to below 2sm in the matter of an hour and a half. Weather pretty similar near TEB, but teterboro started getting socked in about 30 mins earlier. I couldn't find yesterdays tafs, but I would think that there was a hell of a tempo line or a becoming line for the weather that was supposed to move in. Which would mean that they knowingly flew into IMC.

So - was the instructor instrument rated? Any way you slice it - piss poor preflight planning, doesn't seem like they even checked the wx, and were flying in an area below MEF...

Everyone in aviation has done stupid things at one point or another - but this is gross incompetence.
 
Yep - just found out he was with his instructor, a low time instructor. My god, double stupid!

Check the METAR for LaGuardia - I showed they were 1 1/2 miles 1000.' This wasn't far from where they crashed. I pulled up a sectional for the area and they had to be under ATC for the area they were at along the East River. Here a great site to get on line moving sectionals...

SkyVector.com - Aeronautical Charts - Flight Planning

I agree 100% with you - "Gross Incompetence."
 
KLGA 112038Z 08011KT 1 3/4SM RA BKN016 OVC022 17/14 A2985 RMK AO2 TWR VIS 2 1/2 P0006
KLGA 111951Z 10011KT 8SM -RA OVC018 18/13 A2987 RMK AO2 RAB46 SLP114 P0000 T01830133
KLGA 111851Z 10013KT 9SM OVC018 18/13 A2988 RMK AO2 SLP118 T01830128
KLGA 111751Z 10011KT 9SM OVC018 18/13 A2991 RMK AO2 SLP128 T01830133 10183 20161 58019

Report said T/O time of 1421L (1821Z) - so the wx i'm seeing OVC018/9SM
It didn't drop below 3sm till 2038Z, which is 1638 local.

Either way - you have a responsibility to check wx - clearly it was heading south. I mean God - look at the falling altimeter... that should get the hamster running by itself. And if you're weather handicapped - check the weather channel even they'd give you wx in simple baseball player terms to tell you that you should not be flying vfr.

I really wanted to see what the TAF said - because factoring in your +/- 1 hour, I'm sure the weather depicted on that line would be below vFR mins.

Flying is dangerous, and it's even more dangerous when you're stupid. Celebrities are apparently trying their best to drive home this fact.
 

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