(Rewritten from combined reports. Original content follows break.) A plane crashed in the Upper East Side of New York City today. Initially reported alternately as a helicopter and a small dual-engined fixed-wing aircraft, it was determined later that the single-engine four-seater Cirrus 20. The plane was registered to pilot Cory Lidle, who was killed in the crash.
Cory apparently lost control of the airplane while flying it down the Hudson River, apparently back towards New Jersey. After a near-miss, the plane lost control and hit the Bel Aire building, a high-rise condominium.
In the process of these events, NORAD deployed air defenses across the nation, sending aircraft patrols over many major cities. This was described as a precautionary measure, intended to prevent any further incidents if this were indeed terrorism. When it was determined that it was an accident, air defenses stood down again.
In the aftermath of this story, it was reported that Cory's family was not notified of this accident prior to his name being reported by the press. It's unclear at this time whether this was a police misstep, or if the press was running with an unconfirmed rumor.Original content follows:
No indications of it being a terrorist event.
Reported to be a dual-engine fixed-wing aircraft, of a smaller nature.
Crashed into residential high-rise.
Fire looks to be mostly under control at this time.
NORAD air defence systems mobilized nationwide, aircraft are patrolling the skies of many major American cities.
I'm tracking it live at FreeRepublic, but AllahPundit and a number of other bloggers are on the story as well.
Reported to be a sightseeing plane out of Teeterboro, NJ.
Reports coming in from cities around the nation (Houston, Chicago) show some doubt on the reports of NORAD scrambling air defences. It's possible that our air assets were put on alert, but not mobilized at present.
There are reports of 2 burnt corpses on the ground, presumably from the plane, and of people being trapped in the building above the crash floor.
MSNBC is supposedly reporting the plane was a Cirrus 20. This is a much smaller, single-engined 4-seater plane. Not as likely to be used by terrorists for an attack, as the damage caused by the plane would be minimal.
The latest reports are that the fire is indeed out, and the rest of the building is not at risk of collapse.
Plane is registered to Yankee Pitcher Cory Lidle. He was not necessarily on board.
FOX is reporting, however, that Cory was piloting the plane when it crashed, and issued a mayday call! Prayers up for his family, just in case.
New reports coming in of four confirmed dead.
Charles Rangel blames Bush.
According to ESPN, Lidle is confirmed as one of the two dead. Continued prayers for his family.
In Lidle, Yanks Have Extra Pitcher and Backup Pilot
According to WCBS, the fourth fatality may have been someone inside of the apartment that was struck.