Cory Lidle's death recalls similar historical events

Published 16 October 2006

Small planes crash into buildings far more often than one would expect; episodes at the Empire State Building, and in Tampa and Milan, show danger

The tragic death of Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle, in which his single-engine Cirrus SR20 crashed into a high-rise apartment building, immediately evoked memories of 9/11. Fortunately, mechanical failure or pilot error were quickly identified as the cause, but both the 9/11 attack and the Lidle incident remind us that airplanes crashing into buildings are not as rare as we might expect. Here are a few other examples:


July 28, 1945: An Army B-25 bomber crashed into New York’s Empire State Building, killing three crew members and eleven office workers. The plane had been lost in morning fog.

Jan. 5, 2002: A 15-year-old boy intent on suicide stole a Cessna from a flight school and crashed into the Bank of America Plaza in downtown Tampa, Florida. He was the only fatality.

April 18, 2002: A Rockwell Commander 112TC slams into the Pirelli tower in Milan, Italy, killing the pilot and two workers inside the building. Investigators blame pilot error or technical difficulties.

-read more in this AP report