Plane crashes into apartment building

Plane crashes into apartment building


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A cargo plane crashes into an apartment building near an airport in Amsterdam, Holland, on October 4, 1992. Four people aboard the plane and approximately 100 more in the apartment building lost their lives in the disaster.

An El-Al Boeing 747 cargo jet was scheduled to bring 114 tons of computers, machinery, textiles and various other materials from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 4. At 6:30 that Sunday evening, Captain Isaac Fuchs piloted the jet, carrying two other pilots and one passenger, out of Schipol Airport in good weather. However, only minutes after takeoff, fires broke out in the plane’s third and fourth engines and they fell right off the wing.

Fuchs decided to dump the plane’s fuel in a lake and head back to the airport, but the plane did not have enough power to make the return trip. Six miles short of the airport, Fuchs radioed, “Going down,” and the plane plunged straight into an apartment building in the Bijimermeer section of Amsterdam. A massive fireball exploded through the building. Firefighters rushed to the scene, but by the time the fire was under control, about 100 people were dead. An exact number was impossible to determine, as the explosion made body identification extremely difficult and the building housed mainly undocumented immigrants from Suriname and Aruba.

The accident was very similar to one that had taken place in Taiwan less than a year earlier, in which a China Airlines jet had crashed after losing its two right engines. An investigation into that crash had revealed the problem to be related to a fuse pin, part of the mechanism that binds the engines to the wings. Both crashes probably resulted from the fatigue and failure of this part.


F/A-18 Crashes Into Apartment Building in Virginia Beach

The two pilots safely ejected from the aircraft after a mechanical malfunction.

Fighter Jet Crashed into Apt Building

April 6, 2012 -- A Navy training jet that crashed into an apartment building in Virginia Beach, Va., shortly after takeoff this afternoon suffered a mechanical malfunction, the Navy said.

The crash sent two pilots and five people on the ground to the hospital. All but one of the pilots have been released.

The pilots, a student and an instructor, ejected from the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet prior to the crash at 12:05 p.m. and were taken to the hospital. One was is in fair condition, while the other was in good condition, according to the hospital.

There was a massive fuel leak on takeoff, and the crew followed the appropriate procedures, shutting down the engine with the leak, a military source told ABC News military and aviation consultant Stephen Ganyard. The crew began dumping fuel by pumping it over the side to keep the plane light enough to fly.

Less fuel also "mitigated what could have been an absolute massive, massive fireball and fire," said Bruce Nedelka, the Virginia Beach EMS division chief, according to The Associated Press.

The crash started a fire at the Mayfair Mews apartment complex, according to ABC News affiliate WVEC. Some 40 units were destroyed or damaged in the fire. The five people who were on the ground near the crash were taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.

"The plane went straight up with no sound," John, an eyewitness, told WVEC. "And [then] he went right into a dive and I thought maybe it was a training exercise. And then, boom. I could hear it hit and I seen black smoke and instantly smelled jet fuel. . I've never seen nothing like it before."

Eyewitness Colby Smith said he helped one of the pilots after the crash.

"I saw the pilot laying there with a bloodied-up face. He was pouring blood," Smith told WVEC. "I looked out my bedroom window and I saw nothing but red, just red and orange, flashing, and just a crackling noise. I said, 'What is that?' And then I heard a lot of 'pop, pop, pop.'"

Smith and several other bystanders rushed to carry the pilot to safety.

"We picked up the pilot, who was really heavy," Smith said. "He must have weighed at least 200 pounds, with all his equipment. Me and three other guys picked him up and we carried him to the street. I got so much blood on me."

Patrick Kavanaugh, who retired from a rescue squad, told the AP he opened up his sliding glass door and saw one of the pilots, whom he described as "a young boy" who was very apologetic, on the ground.

"The poor guy was in shock," Kavanaugh said. "I checked for broken bones and opened wounds."

Former Navy SEAL Patrick McAleenan told Navy Times he was a block away from the crash and believed the pilots ejected at the last second in an attempt to avoid hitting a school.

The apartment complex is about three miles from the landing strip at Oceana Naval Station and, according to Google Maps, there are several schools within a two-mile radius of the crash site, including one elementary school a half mile away.

"We have planned for this," Virginia Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Tim Riley told WVEC. "We've done two mishap drills in the past two years and, unfortunately, today it has come to fruition."

The aircraft was part of the Strike Fighter Squadron 106, which is a training squadron for student pilots. The Navy said the student pilot was in the front seat and an experienced instructor was in the back.

"The fact that they had to eject from the airplane tells me the aircraft was clearly uncontrollable and there was nothing more they could do to move that aircraft from populated areas," Ganyard said.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell offered additional resources to the Virginia Beach community.

"I have spoken to Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms several times and informed him that all commonwealth resources are available to him as the community responds to this breaking situation," he said in a statement. "We are monitoring events carefully as they unfold and State Police resources are now on the scene. Our fervent prayer is that no one was injured or killed in this accident."


Contents

The aircraft departed from Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, at 2:29 pm EDT (18:29 UTC). Lidle planned to fly to Nashville, Tennessee, where he had a hotel room booked for the night, [11] then to Dallas, Texas, and finally on to his home in California. [1] [12] [13]

Radar measurements show that, immediately before the crash, Lidle's aircraft was flying at 112 mph (180 km/h) at 700 feet (210 m) altitude [14] in the East River VFR corridor, an area which former NTSB official Peter Goelz described as "very tricky" due to its narrow width and frequent congestion. [15] [16] The VFR corridor ends abruptly at the northern tip of Roosevelt Island. Aircraft must receive an air traffic control clearance to proceed beyond the boundaries of the corridor, or else make a sharp U-turn and return the way they came. Lidle's plane flew north along the corridor almost to the end before executing a turn and hitting the north face of the building along the river. [16]

The airplane struck the Belaire, a 42-story condominium tower at 524 East 72nd Street, [17] at approximately 30 stories above the ground. [18] The plane hit the apartment owned by Dr. Parviz Benhuri and his wife Ilana, [8] the latter of whom was seated in the room when the plane crashed and sustained shrapnel injuries and burns. Her housekeeper was also present and helped her escape. [19]

The aircraft's Ballistic Recovery Systems emergency parachute, designed to bring the small plane down safely from altitudes above 500 ft, was not deployed. [20] The plane circled the Statue of Liberty before flying north up the East River and disappeared from radar near the Queensboro Bridge. It was flying under visual flight rules (VFR) and had attracted no special attention from air traffic controllers or NORAD before the crash. The aircraft took a hard U-shaped turn before it hit the building. [21]

In an interview Lidle gave about a month earlier, he stated he had been a pilot for seven months and had flown about 95 solo hours. [22] The crash garnered extra attention because of superficial similarities to the September 11 attacks in New York City, which had occurred five years earlier. U.S. officials said that NORAD scrambled fighter aircraft over numerous American and Canadian cities for Combat Air Patrol, [23] and that U.S. President George W. Bush was informed about the situation, but that these were precautionary measures only. [24] The FBI quickly announced there was no reason to suspect that the crash was an act of terrorism. [25]

LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport did not experience delays from the crash. Police cordoned off several blocks at the peak of the confusion, but subway and NY Waterway ferry services continued without interruption. The FAA initially imposed a temporary flight restriction on an area within one nautical mile (1.9 km) of the scene, from ground level to 1,500 feet (460 m) altitude. [26] This restriction was lifted the next day, [ failed verification ] though New York Governor George Pataki called for permanent restrictions. [16]

On October 13, 2006, two days after the crash, the FAA banned all fixed-winged aircraft from the East River corridor unless in contact with local air traffic control. The new rule, which took effect immediately, required all small aircraft (with the exception of helicopters and certain seaplanes) to seek the approval of and stay in contact with air traffic control while in the corridor. The FAA cited safety concerns, especially unpredictable winds from between buildings, as the reason for the change. [14]

On October 11, the National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a six-member "Go Team" from Washington, D.C. to New York City, [27] which arrived at the scene in the evening to take fuel samples and examine clues found in the debris. These included the aircraft's bent propeller, a charred memory chip, the undeployed parachute, [28] and Lidle's flight log book. [29]

The NTSB's final hearing on May 1, 2007, determined that "the pilots' inadequate planning, judgment, and airmanship in the performance of a 180-degree turn maneuver inside of a limited turning space" caused the crash. [30] The investigation was unable to determine whether Lidle or his flight instructor Stanger was at the controls. Although there was 2,100 feet (640 m) of space available, the aircraft used only about 1,700 feet (520 m) of width in which to make the 180-degree turn—but this distance was effectively reduced to 1,300 feet (400 m) by the 13-knot (24 km/h) easterly winds that day. A bank angle of at least 53 degrees would be required to successfully execute a 180-degree turn in this distance. If the required bank was not initiated early then, as the turn progressed, the bank angle would have needed to have been increased, possibly resulting in an aerodynamic stall. The investigation was unable to determine if the plane stalled at the time of the crash. An animation of the flight path combining radar data with a Coast Guard video of the East River was also presented. [10] [31] [32] [33]

A lawsuit brought by Lidle's family against the manufacturer of the aircraft, Cirrus Design, alleging a mechanical defect, was rejected by a jury in May 2011. [34]


2 Killed in Jersey When Small Plane Hits Building in Fog

VERONA, N. J., June 16—A light plane bound for Teterboro Airport crashed into a luxury apartment building here this evening, killing the plane's two occupants.

No one in the Claridge House, in 11‐story structure on Route Z3, was injured when the plane, reported to have been from Caldwell Airport in Fairfield, struck the top of the building.

The two dead persons were tentatively identified as John V. Miles of Mineola, L. I., ap parently the pilot, and Edmond Davidson of 280 Maple Hill Drive, Hackensack, a bank of ficer.

The crash, which caused no serious damage to the building, which is on a hill, occurred in foggy weather.

Mrs. George Clare, who was having dinner with her husband in their penthouse apartment, said they heard the plane “very close” before seeing it appear out of the fog.

“I said, ‘It's going to hit.’ My husband and I jumped up from the table and ran into another room,” Mrs. Clare re called.

The plane, she said, hit the building above her apartment and parts fell onto the root before sliding off and dropping into a parking lot.

“I shook for about an hour and a half—It was a very frightening experience,” she said.


Find out what's happening in Alameda with free, real-time updates from Patch.

I was flying one of three or four A-3 Skywarriors that night on a routine flight to Naval Air Facility Crows Landing, a runway out on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley near I -5 just a few minutes past Livermore by jet. Each A-3 had one pilot and one Naval Flight Officer. The NFO, among other duties, navigated and handled the radios.

In contrast the A-7 Crusader was a single seat jet, so that pilot was alone in his cockpit.


Navy F 18 Crash: Jet Slams Into Apartments In Virginia Beach, Virginia

A U.S. Navy jet crashed into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Friday afternoon. CNN reports that the plane -- an F/A-18D assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 -- slammed into the Mayfair Mews Apartment complex, setting several apartments on fire.

The US Navy reported that both pilots ejected from the plane, but are being transported to the local hospital for observation.

The burning fuselage of an F/A-18 Hornet lies smoldering after crashing into a residential building in Virginia Beach, Va., Friday, April 6, 2012. (AP Photo)

The video posted below appears to show the fire and smoke after the crash:

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- An F/A-18D assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 crashed in Virginia Beach, Va. April 6.

Initial reports indicate that at approximately 12:05 p.m., the jet crashed just after takeoff at a location just off of the base.

Both aircrew safely ejected from the aircraft.

VFA-106 is based at Naval Air Station Oceana, and serves as the East Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron. Their mission is to train Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 Replacement Pilots and Weapon Systems Officers (WSOs) to support fleet commitments.

The Navy is coordinating with local authorities.

WAVY.com posted photos of the crash, which reportedly shut down traffic on I-264. WTKR NewsChannel 3, a CBS affiliate, also posted photos of the crash on Facebook.

More photos and video from the crash:

Smoke rises from the burning fuselage of an F/A-18 Hornet after the jet crashed into an apartment building in Virginia Beach, Va., Friday, April 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Caitlin Goforth)


Yankees Pitcher on Plane that Hit New York Building

New York (AP) -- A small plane carrying New York Yankee Cory Lidle slammed into a 50-story skyscraper Wednesday, apparently killing the pitcher and a second person in a crash that rained flaming debris onto the sidewalks and briefly raised fears of another terrorist attack.

A law enforcement official in Washington, D.C., said Lidle -- an avid pilot who got his flying license during last year's offseason -- was aboard the single-engine aircraft when it crashed into the 30th and 31st floors of the high-rise on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said both people aboard were killed.

It was not immediately clear who was at the controls and who was the second person aboard. Law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lidle's passport was found on the street.

Federal Aviation Administration records showed the plane was registered to Lidle, who had repeatedly assured reporters in recent months that flying was safe and that the Yankees -- who were traumatized in 1979 when catcher Thurman Munson was killed in the crash of a plane he was piloting -- had no reason to worry.

"The flying?" the 34-year-old Lidle told The Philadelphia Inquirer this summer. "I'm not worried about it. I'm safe up there. I feel very comfortable with my abilities flying an airplane."

The crash came just four days after the Yankees' embarrassingly quick elimination from the playoffs, during which Lidle had been relegated to the bullpen. In recent days, Lidle had taken abuse from fans on sports talk radio for saying the team was unprepared.

The law enforcement official said the plane had issued a distress call before the crash. The FAA said it was too early to determine what might have caused the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators.

"This is a terrible and shocking tragedy that has stunned the entire Yankees organization," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement. He offered his condolences to Lidle's wife and son.

The crash rattled New Yorkers' nerves five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, abut the FBI and the Homeland Security quickly said there was no evidence it was anything but an accident. Nevertheless, within 10 minutes of the crash, fighter jets were sent aloft over several cities, including New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Seattle, Pentagon officials said.

The plane came through a hazy, cloudy sky and hit The Belaire -- a red-brick tower overlooking the East River, about five miles from the World Trade Center -- with a loud bang. It touched off a raging fire that cast a pillar of black smoke over the city and sent flames shooting from four windows on two adjoining floors.

Firefighters put the blaze out in less than an hour.

Large crowds gathered in the street in the largely wealthy New York neighborhood, with many people in tears and some trying to reach loved ones by cell phone.

"It wasn't until I was halfway home that I started shaking. The whole memory of an airplane flying into a building and across the street from your home. It's a little too close to home," said Sara Green, 40, who lives across the street from The Belaire. "It crossed my mind that it was something bigger or the start of something bigger."

On Sunday, the day after the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, Lidle cleaned out his locker at Yankee Stadium and talked about his interest in flying.

He said he intended to fly back to California in several days and planned to make a few stops. Lidle discussed the plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy Jr. and how he had read the accident report on the NTSB Web site.

Lidle, acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 30, told The New York Times last month that his four-seat Cirrus SR20 was safe.

"The whole plane has a parachute on it," Lidle said. "Ninety-nine percent of pilots that go up never have engine failure, and the 1 percent that do usually land it. But if you're up in the air and something goes wrong, you pull that parachute, and the whole plane goes down slowly."

Lidle pitched 1 1/3 innings in the fourth and final game of the Division Series against the Detroit Tigers and gave up three earned runs, but was not the losing pitcher. He had a 12-10 regular-season record with a 4.85 ERA.

He began his career in 1997 with the Mets, and pitched with the Phillies before coming to the Yankees. He also pitched for Tampa Bay, Oakland, Toronto and Cincinnati.

The guarantee language of Lidle's $6.3 million, two-year contract, signed with the Phillies in November 2004, contained a provision saying the team could get out of paying the remainder if he were injured or killed while piloting a plane. Because the regular season is over, Lidle already had received the full amount in the deal.

After the Yankees' defeat at the hands of the Tigers, Lidle called in to WFAN sports-talk radio two days before the crash to defend manager Joe Torre, saying, "I want to win as much as anybody. But what am I supposed to do? Go cry in my apartment for the next two weeks?"

The plane left New Jersey's Teterboro Airport, across the Hudson River from the city, at 2:30 p.m., about 15 minutes before the crash, according to officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport. But they said they did not where the aircraft was headed.

Former NTSB director Jim Hall said in a telephone interview he doesn't understand how a plane could get so close to a New York City building after Sept. 11.

"We're under a high alert and you would assume that if something like this happened, people would have known about it before it occurred, not after," Hall said.

Despite initial fears of a terrorist attack, all three New York City-area airports continued to operate normally, FAA spokesman Jim Peters said. The White House said neither President Bush nor Vice President Dick Cheney was moved to secure locations.

The Belaire was built in the late 1980s and is situated near Sotheby's auction house. It has 183 apartments, many of which sell for more than $1 million.

Several lower floors are occupied by doctors and administrative offices, as well as guest facilities for family members of patients at the Hospital for Special Surgery, hospital spokeswoman Phyllis Fisher said. No patients were in the high-rise, Fisher said.


No survivors after small plane crashes into building in Ohio

AKRON, Ohio -- There are no survivors after a small plane crashed into an apartment building in Akron, Ohio, authorities say.

Lt. Leon Henderson of Akron Police and Fire Department tells CBS News that the pilot and copilot are dead.

Their names have not been released.

CBS affiliate WOIO reports that officials from ExecuFlight, the company that leased the aircraft, tell them that there were nine people aboard the plane, a pilot, copilot and seven passengers. Authorities have not yet confirmed this.

WOIO reports that it happened just before 3 p.m. The Ohio Highway Patrol says the plane clipped a telephone wire, hit an apartment building on Mogadore Road at Skelton Road, then crashed into an embankment behind that building.

"We do know there are going to be fatalities inside that plane. We do not know how many at this time," said OSHP Staff Lt. Bill Haymaker from the scene to WOIO.

Trending News

Haymaker says authorities have been in touch with the homeowner, who confirmed that no one was home at the time of the crash. He also says no one else on the ground was injured.

FAA: Hawker H25 business jet was approaching #Akron Fulton Airport when it crashed into a building. We're heading to scene @cleveland19news

&mdash Sara Goldenberg (@SaraGoldenberg) November 10, 2015

The FAA says a Hawker H25 business jet was on approach to Akron Fulton Airport, WOIO reports.


9 dead after small plane slams into Ohio apartment building

AKRON, Ohio — Nine people were killed on Tuesday when a small business jet crashed into two residential buildings while approaching an Akron airport, local media reported, citing police sources.

Ohio State Highway Patrol officially confirmed that the pilot and co-pilot as well as an unknown number of passengers were killed in the fiery crash.

However, unnamed police sources at the site of the crash told local media that a total of nine people were dead.

Ohio State Highway patrol spokesman Lieutenant Bill Haymaker said the 10-passenger plane was “intact but burnt.” Summit County medical examiner Lisa Kohler told reporters she was implementing a “mass casualty plan” for the morning, when it is light.

The plane struck a residential building at about 3 p.m. (2000 GMT), engulfing it in flames, said Haymaker. The plane then hit an embankment and another residential building, Haymaker added. A utility wire was also hit.

No one was at home in either building at the time of the crash, and there were no other injuries reported on the ground, Haymaker said.

The accident involved a Hawker H25 business jet, and the National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation, according to FAA Spokesman Tony Molinaro.

The jet had been approaching the Akron Fulton Airport, Molinaro said.

Akron-based utility FirstEnergy Corp said the crash caused a power outage for 1,500 customers around the airport.

“It appears that the plane clipped a couple of lines,” said Mark Durbin, a FirstEnergy spokesman.

The owner of the plane, Augusto Lewkowicz of ExecuFlight, did not immediately respond to calls for comment. The website for the business is down.


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Dr. Thomas Thames of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital told WAVY-TV that six people were brought to the hospital, including the two pilots. Two people were treated for smoke inhalation, one fainted at the scene and the other person was a police officer hurt at the scene, he said.

The jet, confirmed to be a Delta two-seat model, crashed at the Mayfield Mews apartment complex, about a mile from the Atlantic Ocean and Virginia Beach. It had 'suffered a catastrophic mechanical malfunction' during a training flight, Navy Captain Mark Weisgerber said from the Pentagon.

The Navy said in a news release that the jet was an F/A-18D assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 based at Naval Air Station Ocean. It added that the jet crashed shortly after takeoff at a site near the base at about 12:05 p.m.

Take off: The F18 is seen taking off from Naval Air Station Oceana in its ill-fated flight

Gaining control: Firefighters worked hard to contain the fire, which could have been much worse if the pilots did not first dump much of the jet's fuel

In shock: Elizabeth DeAngelis, right, a resident of the Mayfair Mews Apartments, huddles in a blanket, as her daughter Misty Caine lets a caller know that her mother is fine

Mother and daughter: Steffany Poe with her two-year-old daughter Izabella watch as Virginia Beach Fire Department try to extinguish the flames

Witness Zack Zapatero told CNN that the jet crashed into a building where many senior citizens live. ‘There’s these large fire balls coming up,’ he said.
There were also reports of buildings collapsing.

Bruce Nedelka, the Virginia Beach EMS division chief, said that it seemed like the pilots were dumping the jet’s fuel prior to the crash.

That action likely prevented a massive fireball upon impact, he said. ‘He mitigated what could have been an absolute massive, massive fireball. With all of that jet fuel dumped, it was much less than what it could have been.’

George Pilkington also witnessed the disaster, and told CNN the timeline of events, describing a few large explosions after the initial crash. He said: ‘It was emptying out fuel and the tail end was down. They (the crew members) must have ejected before they came down.’

Mr Pilkington also said the engine sounded like it was ‘straining and stressing’.

Overhead helicopter video from WAVY-TV showed fire crews in the apartment complex with large ladders spraying water on multiple smoking buildings, one of which has part of its roof torn off.

Robert Matthias, assistant to Virginia Beach's city manager, told The Associated Press crews are at the scene of an apartment complex where the jet crashed in what he described as a courtyard. 'So far, they haven't found any casualties,' Mr Matthias said.

Scene of chaos: Emergency personal swarmed the scene after the crash

Scene of destruction: Firefighters quelled the flames by spraying foam over the apartment buildings

Ongoing: Rescue teams had searched 95 per cent of the structures by Friday evening, the fire service announced

Back in black: Virginia Beach Police walk through the crash site emergency workers were applauded by Virginia Beach mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. today

Put out: The Virginia Beach Fire Department used several engines to fight the flames

Speaking five blocks from the smouldering buildings, Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr released a statement on Friday afternoon praising the work of first responders, lauding ‘how quickly and effectively Virginia Beach’s police, fire, and EMS personnel responded to the scene of this horrific crash’.

He added: ‘Their dedication to their jobs, to saving lives, and to public safety is commendable.’

Dozens of firefighters and emergency workers converged on the scene following the crash, covering the apartment complex with foam to quell the flames.

Rescuers worked into the evening checking the buildings for victims. 'We have physically been in every structure, and we have 95 per cent completed the search and rescue,' Virginia Beach Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Tim Riley told Reuters on Friday night.

Residents of the apartment complex described a confusing scene and an apologetic pilot.

Colby Smith said his house started shaking and then the power went out, as he saw a red and orange blaze outside his window. He ran outside, where he saw billowing black smoke and then came upon the pilot as he ran to a friend's home.

'I saw the parachute on the house and he was still connected to it, and he was laying on the ground with his face full of blood,' Smith told WVEC-TV. 'The pilot said, "I'm sorry for destroying your house."'

Smith said he and another man helped the pilot onto the street.

Fallen: One of the ejected pilot seats landed in a nearby yard

Guard duty: Virginia Beach Police guard one of the ejection seats which landed about 100 yards from the crash site

Clearing up: Navy personnel remove the plane's ejector seat after it landed in a nearby garden

Taken away: A man is helped by rescue personnel at the scene of a jet crash

Taken away: One of the pilots is seen being taken away on a stretcher by emergency crews - he and the other pilot ejected from the F-18 jet

Confusion: Virginia Beach residents saw a grey-black plume of smoke snaking into the sky some described the overwhelming smell of jet fuel

Burning: The apartment complex is seen engulfed in flames

PilotOnline.com quoted a spokesman for Naval Air Force Atlantic who said the F/A-18 Hornet crashed Friday in the vicinity of Birdneck Road.

Another witness said that when the pilot came down he was still strapped to his ejector seat and had to be pulled out of the wreckage - when he immediately said sorry for the crash.

'(The pilot) apologised very much for hitting out complex and I told him: ‘Don’t worry about it, everything’s going to be fine.'

Retired Virginia Beach rescuer Pat Kavanaugh told CNN: ‘He apologised very much for hitting out complex and I told him: ‘Don’t worry about it, everything’s going to be fine’.

‘I checked him over, did a body survey, he was in shock, still strapped to his seat so we picked him up, dragged him to the other side of the parking lot away from the fire.

‘He had something on the lower half of his body, something heavy.

‘I knew we have gas in the buildings, so I didn’t know if there were going to be secondary explosions’.

Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesperson Cmdr. Phil Rosi told the website that both aviators safely ejected from the plane.

The jet belongs to VFA’s Strike Fighter Squadron 106 – a training division for student pilots. Because of the crash, Virginia State police have shut down Interstate 264 in both directions. People were advised to stay away from the area.

Stealing a view: Onlookers climb a wooden fence to get a better look at the crash

Observer on the roof: Resident Marcus Jones stands on the rooftop of a townhouse to get a better view

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell issued the following statement: ‘We are taking all possible steps at the state level to provide immediate resources and assistance to those impacted by the crash of an F-18 fighter jet in Virginia Beach.

‘In the past half hour I have spoken to Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms several times and informed him that all Commonwealth resources are available to him as the community responds to this breaking situation. We are monitoring events carefully as they unfold and State Police resources are now on the scene. Our fervent prayer is that no one was injured or killed in this accident.'

According to wsbt.com, the Red Cross has dispatched first responder teams to help with the accident, and will dispense food, water, shelter, and clothing as needed.

Virginia Beach is on the Atlantic Coast about 200 miles south of Washington, D.C. It has 440,000 residents and is home to a complex of military bases, including Oceana, and the home of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet is next door at Norfolk, Virginia.

Cinder and smoke: At least ive buildings were reported to be seriously damage there are no reports yet of civilian injuries

Elite aircraft: An F/A-18D Hornet is seen landing on an aircraft carrier (stock photo)

ANOTHER MILITARY CRASH INTO CIVILIAN HOMES: 2008 F-18 CRASH LEAVES FOUR DEAD IN SAN DIEGO

Emergency personnel sift through the wreckage of a military F/A-18 jet plane that crashed into a suburb of San Diego, California in 2008

In December 2008, a Military aircraft crashed into a home in San Diego, killing four people.

A U.S Marine Corps two-seat aircraft crashed into a residential area in University City killing four residents in one of the two homes that were destroyed.

Pilot Lt Neubauer, who was the only person in the aircraft, survived after he ejected to safety.

The plane crashed into homes just two miles from the Miramar runway. Young Mi Lee and her toddler Rachel and baby Grace all died. Mi Lee’s mother Suk Im Kim was the fourth victim.

An investigation found that poor maintenance had caused the engine to malfunction. The pilot was found to have made errors and was temporarily grounded. Other USMC personnel were disciplined after the fatal crash.

After the crash University City residents renewed their calls for the military training base MCAS Miramar to be moved to a more remote location.

The family were awarded $17.8m after a non-jury trial in December last year.


Manhattan Plane Crash Kills Yankee Pitcher

A single-engine plane carrying the Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle smashed into a 42-story building on the Upper East Side yesterday, killing Mr. Lidle and his flight instructor, the authorities said.

The afternoon crash beneath overcast skies sent debris clattering hundreds of feet to the sidewalk and started a fire that destroyed several apartments and left a charred smudge on the face of the building.

Fourteen firefighters and four people in the building were injured, officials said, including a woman who had been in an apartment hit squarely by the plane and escaped the inferno, suffering burns.

The plane, owned by Mr. Lidle, was a Cirrus SR20, a four-seat propeller plane that is popular for its performance and sleek looks. It has a fixed landing gear reminiscent of a stunt plane. With two sets of controls, officials said, either Mr. Lidle or his instructor could have been flying it.

Debbie Hersman, a spokeswoman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said today in a televised interview that investigators had found Mr. Lidle’s flying logbook amid the rubble. She said it showed that Mr. Lidle had recorded over 80 hours in the air, more than half of them as pilot in command.

But she said that did not mean that he was necessarily in control at the time of the crash.

It slammed into the center of a 501-foot building on East 72nd Street several hundred yards from the East River. New Yorkers with memories of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center watched smoke drifting toward the sky as firefighters clambered into another high-rise, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled military jets. Some worried that they had witnessed another terrorist attack, but officials quickly dismissed that notion.

Mr. Lidle, 34, a pilot for less than a year who was traded to the Yankees in the summer, had talked enthusiastically about flying to his home in California this week.

As he cleaned out his locker at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, the day after the Yankees’ playoff hopes fizzled in a series loss in Detroit against the Tigers, he said that he planned to work on instrument training exercises yesterday before he left for California, and that his regular instructor, whom he identified as Tyler Stanger, was coming in to work with him. Officials said they believed that Mr. Stanger was the second victim.

The plane took off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey about 2:30 p.m., according to a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said it circled the Statue of Liberty before heading north by the East River. Radar contact was lost around the Queensboro Bridge. He said it was not clear why the plane veered toward Manhattan, apparently after traveling farther north, and hit the building on the north side about 12 minutes after takeoff. The plane never got higher than 800 feet, according to Passur, a flight-tracking service.

Pilots describe that area of the East River as a particularly treacherous corridor that tends to be crowded with helicopters. Several witnesses said the plane appeared to be in trouble moments before it crashed. One investigator said initial reports indicated that the aircraft had radioed La Guardia Airport to say that it was running low on fuel.

The plane disintegrated as it hit the building, shaking bricks loose from the façade, and ended up as a smoking wreckage on the street. “The engine with the propeller was two feet inside the window,” another investigator said, adding that much of the rest of the plane had fallen to the street outside the building, at 524 East 72nd Street.

The plane bore into an apartment on the 30th floor, which under the building’s numbering system is Apt. 40ABG. Dr. Parviz Benhuri, who owns the apartment with his wife, Ilana, said she was at home when the plane blasted through the window and the apartment went up in flames.

“She told me she saw the window come out and the fire comes,” he said. “She told me she saw the window coming out and she ran. She’s in shock. She’s lucky she made it. It’s a miracle.”

She ran down the stairs and went to the emergency room at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center a couple of blocks away.

Three other people walked down from lower floors and were treated for exhaustion, one city official said.

Other witnesses said that the sequence of events leading to the crash unfolded so quickly that they realized only later that noises they had heard must have come from Mr. Lidle’s plane.

“It sounded like a truck gearing down,” said Kim Quarterman, a doorman at a nearby building. “Then I saw a cloud of smoke.”

Jeremy Chassen, a real estate developer who was in an apartment across the street, recognized the droning of an airplane engine — he has taken flight lessons himself.

Joanne Hartlaub, an actress and filmmaker who was working out in a gym across the street, heard explosions and a “loud whooshing noise, like something falling, very loud.”

She said she saw “this large object falling from the sky it was aluminum and it was smoking.”

Inside the building that was struck, five construction workers going over renovation plans for an apartment on the 42nd floor looked out the window and the plane bearing down on them. One of the workers, Luis Gonzalez, 23, said it was so close that he could see the pilot’s face.

“It was coming right at us,” he said. “The whole building shook. Then we ran for the elevator.”

Fuel burned on the sidewalk as black smoke rose from the apartments above.

In the penthouse, a housekeeper, Ann Robert, was ironing clothes. “I heard a boom and saw smoke and ashes outside the kitchen window,” she said, “and then the painter came running in frantically from working in the baby’s room,” Ms. Robert said.

Her 21-year-old daughter was also in the apartment, watching television and talking on the telephone. Within seconds, Ms. Robert had grabbed her purse and was hurrying her to get out. “Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go,” she shouted.

“Death was going through my mind,” Ms. Robert said. “When I saw the smoke, I did not know if we would make it out alive.” She added, “As I was coming down the stairs I thought that the whole building might come down and that me and my daughter might go at the same time. But once we got past the 30th floor, I said in my mind that maybe we were safe.”

The building is a condominium with residents like Marvin R. Shanken, the publisher of Cigar Aficionado and other specialty magazines Marvin S. Traub, the former head of Bloomingdale’s and Carol Higgins Clark, a mystery writer who is the daughter of Mary Higgins Clark. A dozen lower floors are used by the Hospital for Special Surgery for offices and guest rooms for patients’ families.

The building remained closed to residents last night. While structurally sound, a spokeswoman for the Department of Buildings said that there had been extensive damage and, with only one elevator working, it was not suitable for people to return.

For the Yankees, Mr. Lidle’s death stirred memories of another player who perished at the controls of his own plane, the catcher Thurman Munson, in 1979. But where Mr. Munson was the team captain, Mr. Lidle was still something of a newcomer.

A 5-foot-11 right-hander who rarely threw his fastball above 90 miles an hour, he was not drafted out of high school and played for three organizations in the minor leagues, including an independent team, before joining the Mets in 1997. He had also played for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Oakland Athletics, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies before joining the Yankees.

“He was a good guy, a real competitor,” said Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager. “He wasn’t here long, but I saw him compete for years with different teams, and he had a lot of success. That’s one of the reasons why we wanted him.”

Mr. Lidle made one memorable start, a victory on Aug. 21 that concluded the Yankees’ five-game sweep of the Red Sox in Boston’s Fenway Park. He had a 4-3 record with a 5.16 earned run average for the Yankees and made a brief relief appearance in the team’s final playoff game on Saturday.

For his career, Lidle was 82-72 with a 4.57 earned run average, pitching in 277 games. He was a free agent and was not expected to return to the Yankees, though he said on Sunday that he hoped to sign a two-year contract this winter.

Mr. Lidle, who was married with a 6-year-old son, lived in Glendora, Calif. He had earned his pilot’s license during the last off-season. He said last month that the four-year-old plane had cost $187,000 and had “cool safety features.”

“The whole plane has a parachute on it,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of pilots that go up never have engine failure, and the 1 percent that do usually land it. But if you’re up in the air and something goes wrong, you pull that parachute, and the whole plane goes down slowly.”

Shortly after his trade to New York from Philadelphia, he flew his plane from a small airport in southern New Jersey to Teterboro. Describing his itinerary in a September interview, he said: “I didn’t fly around New York, but I flew straight up north. I don’t like to go in the big boys’ airspace.”

But yesterday, he did. The plane left Teterboro, in Bergen County, at 2:29 p.m., officials said.

Police and fire officials applauded what they said was a fast and efficient response, noting that there were no fatalities beyond the two men in the plane. They said that they too had worried at first that the crash was a terrorist attack.

“We are concerned about the possibility of things being something more than an accident,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said. “But it seemed clear fairly early it was a small plane.”


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