Posted: Sep 16, 2009 2:59 PM by Associated Press
A federal safety official says the pilot of a plane involved in a mid-air collision over the Hudson River read back the wrong radio frequency to an air traffic controller but wasn't corrected.
Nine people were killed in the Aug. 8 crash between the single-engine Piper and an air tour helicopter.
National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman told a congressional committee Wednesday that an air traffic controller gave the plane's pilot the radio frequency for Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, but the pilot read back the wrong frequency. She said there is no indication the pilot was corrected and he never contacted Newark. Later attempts to contact the pilot were unsuccessful.
It was reported last month thatan air traffic controller was joking on the phone about barbecuing a dead cat minutes before a small plane collided with a tour helicopter over New York City's Hudson River.
The transcripts show that shortly after the controller at nearby Teterboro Airport in New Jersey cleared the single-engine Piper for takeoff, he made a phone call to the airport's operations office and remained on the phone until just before the plane collided with the helicopter.