Crash raises questions about flight safety

    A weekend air crash in New York City that resulted in nine fatalities has people wondering about the air traffic over Philadelphia and the Delaware River.

    A weekend air crash in New York City that resulted in nine fatalities has people wondering about the air traffic over Philadelphia and the Delaware River.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090810tmpilot.mp3]

    The mid-air collision over the Hudson River was between a helicopter and small plane. The New York Area has about 250 takeoffs and landings a day, compared to Philadelphia with under a dozen from the city’s single heliport at Penns’ Landing.

    Private pilot Bruce Schimmel has flown over both the Hudson and Delaware river hundreds of times. He says the number of small aircraft in New York is what makes that area tough to navigate.

    Schimmel: It’s kind of like Spruce Street, where you have mixed modes of traffic, you have bicyclists who are slower than cars and pedestrians that are slower than those, it’s the mixture of traffic that is difficult.

    The CEO of Sterling Aviation, the city’s riverfront heliport says there are no helicopter tours of the city which cuts down on frequent takeoffs and landings. Small planes and helicopters in Philadelphia share a common radio frequency and must coordinate flight paths.

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