Lidle and Stanger were evidently trying to follow the rules of the corridor when they crashed (who was flying still hasn't been determined). The corridor ends at the point where the aircraft went into a left turn and pilots are required to make a relatively tight (2,000-foot) U-turn to avoid going into airspace controlled by the La Guardia Airport tower, or breaching the sides of the corridor by wandering over Manhattan or Queens. Media reports on Friday suggested pilot inexperience may have been a factor. The plane was relatively new to Lidle (and his 88-hour total time) and Stanger -- Cirrus told The Washington Post that Stanger had not taken the company's five-day instructor course " that the company requires for those who teach students how to fly its airplanes." Some analysts suggested gusty winds blowing between the Manhattan skyscrapers contributed to the accident, but winds were out of the east and Manhattan's skyscrapers were to the aircraft's west. It will likely be a year before any official causes are determined.
Lidle, whose baseball season ended when his New York Yankees were eliminated from further play a week ago, was planning to fly the Cirrus back to his home in California. He invited Stanger, his flight instructor from California, to join him. A memorial service for Lidle will be held in Covina, Calif., on Tuesday. Lidle's family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Stanger's family.