2006_10_eastsklyine.jpgAfter temporarily restricting airspace over the East River just after a small plane crashed into an East 72nd Street Building - and the restrictions were lifted shortly after the situation was under control - the Federal Aviation Admistration has decided to exlude all fixed wing aircraft from the East River corridor, excluding helicopters and seaplans. Airplane pilots must now get permission from air traffic control. Various politicians, from Governor Pataki to Senators Schumer and Clinton, asked for the FAA to restrict airspace, while Mayor Bloomberg thought that as long as the FAA thought the rules worked, so be it. The Mayor's office now says, “The mayor said he believes this decision should be left to the experts at the F.A.A., and he appreciates that they have acted swiftly."

Other politicians are glad the FAA made this decision, but wants more changes. The best quote comes from Representative Carolyn Maloney, whose district includes the East Side: “The Upper East Side is not Disney World; people are living there. The F.A.A. has a pre-9/11 mind-set. We know we are a target.”

A former NTSB official thinks the plane carrying Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor was going slower and was probably close to stalling, which made its turn more dangerous.