On October 11, 2006, New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle departed the Teterboro Airport in New Jersey with his flight instructor, hoping to see the sights of New York from a different perspective. But the flight ended in tragedy after the plane spun out of control and crashed into a high-rise condominium building in New York's Upper East Side. Both 34-year-old Lidle and his 26-year-old flight instructor were killed on impact.
Now, Lidle's widow has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer of the airplane involved in the tragic accident. In the suit, Melanie Lidle alleges that design flaws in the Cirrus SR-20 airplane caused the crash that took her husband's life.
In court, the wrongful death attorney for the widow described the last few moments of Lidle's life, as deduced from eyewitness reports and parts of the airplane that were recovered after the crash. The airplane was flying erratically, fast approaching the building, but there was nothing either pilot could do. "They're fighting the controls and they see the building come at them," he said. "The crew did everything they could do to control this airplane. It didn't work."
The attorney for Cirrus Design Corp., however, blamed the pilots' inexperience and errors for the tragic crash. The airplane was too low as it turned above the East River, he said, which showed their inexperience and lack of skill. This contention is supported by the National Transportation Safety Board, which in 2009 declared that the accident was caused by pilot error.
However, both Lidle and his instructor were experienced pilots, the widow's attorney said.
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Source: New York Daily News, "Cory Lidle crash caused by pilot error, says plane maker's lawyer; widow's lawyer blames design", Scott Shifrel and Rich Schapiro, 27 April 2011