Investigators with the NTSB say that a 13-knot easterly crosswind may have been a factor in the accident that killed Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor, Tyler Stanger, Oct. 11 when they crashed into a luxury high-rise apartment building in New York City. According to the NTSB, Lidle’s Cirrus SR20 was flying over the east side of Roosevelt Island before starting a 180° turn. From that position, there was only 1,700 feet to complete the turn. However, the easterly crosswind would have caused the aircraft to drift about 400 feet, leaving only 1,300 feet to complete the turn. Investigators computed that with an airspeed of 97 knots, the pilot would have needed a 53° bank angle and pulled 1.7 Gs to complete the turn inside the building. If the bank angle at the beginning of the turn were less steep, an increasingly aggressive bank would have been needed, and that would have put the aircraft close to a stall.
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