WASHINGTON - The plane of New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle crashed in New York because the pilot misjudged a narrow U-turn before veering into a Manhattan high-rise, federal investigators said yesterday.

In presenting their findings, investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board said they still did not know whether Lidle or his flight instructor was piloting the plane at the time of the crash, on Oct. 11, 2006. Both were killed.

Investigator Lorenda Ward told board members that the turn above the East River could have been made safely if the plane had begun the turn farther east or banked harder.