Cory Lidle was a New York Yankees pitcher, a private pilot and an aircraft owner. His Cirrus SR-22 crashed into a Manhattan skyscraper in October 2006, and on board with him was an FAA Certified Flight Instructor Tyler Stanger. There are a few videos attached with this post, for educational purposes, so we can learn how Human Factors play such a disastrous role in General Aviation accidents. 2 qualified pilots, one being a flight instructor, and a technically advanced aircraft – in controlled airspace – and in VFR conditions (marginal).

Here is the NTSB report excerpt:

On October 11, 2006, about 1442 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus Design SR20, N929CD, operated as a personal flight, crashed into an apartment building in Manhattan, New York City, while attempting to maneuver above the East River. The two pilots on board the airplane, a certificated private pilot who was the owner of the airplane and a passenger who was a certificated commercial pilot with a flight instructor certificate, were killed. One person on the ground sustained serious injuries, two people on the ground sustained minor injuries, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and post-crash fire. The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. Marginal visual flight rules (MVFR) conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

You can read the full report on NTSB’s site by clicking here. NTSB reported the probable cause as:

The pilots’ inadequate planning, judgment, and airmanship in the performance of a 180º turn maneuver inside of a limited turning space.

During your CFI course, we will cover the human factors, pilot errors and simple but critical flight maneuvers, like 180 degree power off turns, and chandelles. It is the responsibility of the CFI to not only teach the flight maneuvers properly, but to also develop the correct and safe attitude in his or her students.

  • TreeHouseForRent

    This was really a tragedy. It’s sad how most small airplanes crashes are due to human error.

    • CFI Academy

      Yes, and this is why we say a good pilot (or a CFI) is always learning. The moment we lose this attitude, and respect for the nature, it will turn around and bite us.

    • CFI

      And many are caused due to fuel starvation! How many times have we run out of gas in our cars? In my case….just once and that was some 15 years ago..but I was able to pull over on the shoulder, and walk 2 miles to the nearest gas station, and promised myself this will never happen again, not even in a car!