Washington, D.C. — Most small, fixed-wing planes have been banned from flying along the East River in New York City unless the pilot is in contact with air traffic controllers, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday.
The announcement comes two days after a plane carrying New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor above the East River slammed into a skyscraper.
The ban will affect small aircraft, but not helicopters, that previously have been allowed to fly along the river, which runs along the east side of Manhattan Island.
The FAA exempted seaplanes that fly in and out of a seaplane base in the river. Those pilots are more familiar with the airspace than private pilots like Lidle and his flight instructor, who were new to the area.
Since 1980, flights along the river have been limited to small aircraft flying no higher than 1,100 feet in weather good enough for pilots to see and avoid other airplanes.
The flight restrictions go into effect immediately, the FAA said.