The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal safety officials say an air traffic controller should have warned the pilot of a small plane that collided with a helicopter over the Hudson River that there were other aircraft in his path.

The accident earlier this month near New York City killed nine people.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a letter released Thursday that if the controller at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey had been following procedures he would have warned the pilot of the other traffic in his path.

The controller was talking on the phone to a female friend at the time of the crash.