A law enforcement official says New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was on board the plane that crashed into a New York high-rise Wednesday. And other officials say both people on board were killed. There had earlier been reports that two others also died.
Lidle was an avid pilot who got his flying license during last year's off-season. His big-league career began in New York with the Mets -- and that's where he returned this season, in a trade from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Yankees. In nine big-league seasons, the pitcher compiled a record of 82-and-72 with the Mets, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Oakland Athletics, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Cincinnati Reds, the Phillies and the Yankees.
Lidle was married and had a six-year-old son, Christopher. The 34-year-old was a high-school teammate of fellow Yankee Jason Giambi at California's South Hills High.
The airplane he was in crashed into a high-rise residential building on Manhattan's east side in New York City. A witness said the aircraft hit and was followed by a huge explosion.
The 50-story building is located on 72nd and York Street. The FAA is reporting it was a general aviation "fixed wing" aircraft that was flying under visual flight rules, and was not in contact with the tower. Emergency officials are on the scene. Norad has decided to put fighter aircraft over several U.S. cities as a precaution, but the FBI says, "there is no indication of terrorism at this time."
ABOUT THE PLANE:
A federal aviation official says the plane that hit a Manhattan apartment high-rise was a Cirrus S-R-20. And according to the company's Web site, the two versions of the model are largely aimed at entry-level pilots.
One is billed as a "practical and affordable" option for people looking to take flying lessons. That one has a base price of about 250-thousand dollars. The other version of the plane starts at around 335 grand. Cirrus bills it as providing "entry level luxury" at a price "that makes indulgence affordable."
Both versions of the S-R-20 carry a maximum payload of just over 900 pounds, and can cruise at up to 156 knots.