Yes you are watching too much of something
Here is my two cent's worth on the Cory Lidle, Cirrus SR-22 crash in NYC.
First, the speculation from richmagnon seems awfully juvenile, something a teenager might think up. Yes, he watches too much Law and Order. Perhaps on his next post he could blame this accident on aliens, toxic contrails, terrorists or even the metric system.
Now back to the temporal plain. A Cirrus SR-22 at, say, 160 knots and 45 degree bank angle requires perhaps 2500 feet of lateral space to reverse direction, in no-wind conditions. Add a fairly strong wind from the upwind side of the turn and the turn diameter is increased dramatically. Perhaps Lidle failed to reduce airspeed before initiating the turn, to minimize the diameter of the turn. Or he may have began the turn without positioning the aircraft close to one side of the area, to make use of the full space available.
How this crash happened with a CFI onboard is even tougher to fathom, but is is plausible that the instructor failed to take control of the airplane before it was too late to avoid the buildings.
Bush pilots and other pilots who live in in mountainous areas use similar techniques to reverse direction in narrow valleys. In a tight box canyon, a manoeuver with some sort of vertical component may be further required to do a 180: a chandelle—an oblique half turn—a wingover, or even a hammerhead turn may be required. Hammerhead are inadvisable for any pilot flying a normal or utility category airplane.
Surrey, BC Canada