Initial fears caused officials at the Pentagon to put fighter jets in the skies over major U.S. cities, until the threat of another terrorist attack had been cancelled and more information about the plane was made available. All of the jets that were protecting cities have now been sent back to their bases. Officials report that all three New York airports are operating normally.
The building is on Manhattan's Upper East Side and the plane reportedly hit around the 20th floor of the building. It's not known if the fatalities were from the building or other occupants of the plane, besides Lidle.
"I just saw something come across the sky and crash into that building," said one witness. Many witnesses reported a "small" explosion after the initial impact of the plane. There were also reports that the plane appeared to be flying erratically before the crash.
The FAA has not given an official response as to what type of plane Lidle was piloting or provided any thoughts as to what may have caused the crash.
Mystery writer Carol Higgins Clark, daughter of author Mary Higgins Clark, lives on the 38th floor of the building and was coming home in a cab when she saw the smoke. She hasn't been able to get into her apartment.
"Thank goodness I wasn't at my apartment writing at the time," she said. She described the building's residents as a mix of actors, doctors, lawyers and writers, and people with second homes.