New York City Accident Under Investigation
October 12, 2006 — Wednesday afternoon's airplane accident that claimed the life of New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle is an "unmistakable tragedy for everyone involved" according to EAA's president, but is not an event that should change the way people safely fly in and around our nation's major cities.
"There have been calls by some politicians and media outlets for bans of general aviation in and around metropolitan areas," said EAA President Tom Poberezny. "This, however, makes no more sense than banning cars and trucks from roads after an automobile or semi-trailer accident."
Early reports of a small airplane striking a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan caused appropriate fears among post-9/11 New York City residents, but it was quickly learned the event was a tragic accident, not an act of terrorism. New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg also said that this event had no bearing on the city's security.
FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are now investigating the accident. Those agencies, as well as the Transportation Security Administration, have repeatedly stated that general aviation does not pose a security threat. As an example, the building fire caused by the accident was readily extinguished by New York City firefighters, again proving that small aircraft do not have the size, capacity or momentum to cause catastrophic damage to property.
"There may be calls for tightened security after this sad event, but such demands are emotional reactions without the benefit of facts," Poberezny said.
EAA reached out to many media outlets with background information and resources following Wednesday's accident, particularly to New York City-area media. EAA will continue to work with the media regarding safety record of general aviation.