NY Times' publishes wrong time for mid-air crash: Plane already in water at 11:56

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The New York Times published this icon that leads to its interactive map documenting the time-line of the fatal August 8 mid-air crash. Unlike their news report, that claimed the plane, involved in the mid-air collision, was still in the air at "about" 11:56 a.m., the graphic correctly cited 11:53 as the last time before the first reports of the crash at 11:54 a.m.

One day after the deadly mid-air collision between a helicopter and small plane, The New York Times should have the time of the crash right.

The first calls–about the fatal flights that killed nine people on August 8, over New York City and New Jersey’s Hudson River–were received in the 911 system at 11:54 a.m.

So why does The New York Times still write that the plane was up in the air at “about” 11:56 a.m.?

In their lede, Serge F. Kovaleski and Michael M. Grynbaum write: “At 11:50 a.m. Saturday, Steven M. Altman set off from Teterboro Airport in northern New Jersey at the controls of a single-engine Piper airplane for what should have been a routine, short flight to the Jersey Shore. Nearby sat Daniel Altman, his brother and partner in the family’s real estate business, and a teenage boy. The three had been in the air for only about six minutes when, according to the authorities,….”

The NYPD press office and FDNY operations both confirmed with StinkyJournalism.org that first reports came in at 11:54 a.m.

A Times graphic is consistent with this fact. It provides a time line with 11:53 as the last time before the crash of the doomed air crafts.

iMediaEthics wrote to the Metro and Public editors and we have received no response.

UPDATE: 08/17/09: Please go to our latest report for an update.

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NY Times’ publishes wrong time for mid-air crash: Plane already in water at 11:56

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