Lidle, 34, lived with his pregnant wife and 6-year-old son in Glendora, Calif., outside Los Angeles. He got his pilot's license during the off-season last year.
New York-based flight instructor Stanley Ferber said the low-altitude airspace in and around the city is bustling with "a myriad of helicopters and planes." The city's heliports handle an estimated 88,000 takeoffs and landings a year.
"As a pilot, you always have to be on your toes, but it is not a tight situation," Ferber said. "In all the time of my flying over New York, I've never had anything like a close call."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a recreational pilot with decades of experience, said he believes the skies are safe under the current rules.
"We have very few accidents for an awful lot of traffic," he said. "Every time you have an automobile accident, you're not going to go and close the streets or prohibit people from driving."
Associated Press Writers Deepti Hajela, Beth Fouhy, Adam Goldman, Amy Westfeldt, and David B. Caruso contributed to this report.
Lawmakers have tried for years to close the corridor for reasons of safety and security.
The report issued Friday afternoon said the airplane was flying along the East River between Manhattan and Queens when it attempted a U-turn with only 1,300 feet of room for the turn. To make a...