>While at a picnic with friends and their toddlers at Hudson River Park this afternoon, I heard a big bang. The park is wedged between the West Side Highway and the Hudson River, so I just assumed that it was a truck or some other large vehicle on the highway. I was paid little attention when a number of my fellow picnickers ran toward the river. When emergency boats began circling the area a few minutes later, I realized that the big bang was not what I thought it was.

It turns out that the big bang was a private plane crashing into a helicopter. The plane's wings clipped the blades of the helicopter, and both aircraft plunged into the river. Tragically, all three people on the plane and seven people in the helicopter died.

Husband is actually surprised that these horrible instances don't happen more often, as the lower altitudes above the Hudson River are unregulated. Today Mayor Bloomberg said that while he was sorry that this happened and extended his condolences to the families of those lost, he opposed regulating the airspace as it would be bad for tourism. I'm not sure that the families of the six Italian tourists who died in the helicopter would agree. I certainly don't.

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