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See also Daniel Bueno interview.

TimelineEdit

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(8:25 a.m.-8:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Military Liaison Arrives Late at Boston Center, Learns of First Hijacking Edit

in a template

Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at Boston Center, arrives at work an hour late and is informed of the hijacking of Flight 11. [1][2][3] Scoggins is an experienced air traffic controller and specializes in airspace, procedures, and military operations. He is responsible for managing operating agreements between the Boston Center and other air traffic control facilities, and between Boston Center and the military. He is also responsible for generating the military schedules that keep FAA facilities synchronized with military airspace requirements, and has therefore developed personal relationships with most of the military units in his region.[4]

In a 2006 radio interview, Scoggins will recall that he arrives at work one hour late, saying, “That morning I actually came in, took an hour early on the front of my shift, so I didn’t get in until 8:30.” [2] But in a statement that will be provided to the 9/11 Commission, he says he arrives at the Boston Center slightly earlier, at “about 8:25 a.m.[5] When he enters the building, a colleague tells him about the hijacking of Flight 11. [6]

Rather than going immediately to help deal with the hijacking, Scoggins heads to the credit union Wikipedia at the center. He will recall, “I wasn’t in a rush because when hijacks do occur, sometimes too many people try to get involved, but instead they just get in the way.”

When he gets to the credit union, Scoggins decides he should go to the center’s traffic management unit, to make sure that fighter jets are launched in response to the hijacking. As he will later recall, he says to an employee at the credit union that “if it really came to it,” and fighter jets “had to stop the hijack from hitting a building or something, there wasn’t much [the fighters] could do.” [5]

Scoggins then heads to the center’s operational floor, arriving there at about 8:35.[2][7] He goes to the traffic management unit and the desk of Daniel Bueno, who is the unit’s supervisor. Bueno brings Scoggins up to date on the details of the hijacking. He tells him: “It sounds real. We heard a Mideastern or Arabic voice on radio. They’ve also turned off the transponder to prevent the hijack code from appearing.” Bueno says the Boston Center controllers are still tracking the primary radar return for [[Flight 11], but they lack information on its altitude. According to author Lynn Spencer, it occurs to Scoggins that NEADS might be able to provide altitude information for Flight 11, “because the FAA radar system filters out certain altitude information that NEADS gets.” He will therefore phone NEADS as soon as he arrives at his station [see 1].[6]


(Between 8:30 a.m. and 8:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Boston Center Supervisor Alerts Otis Air Base Tower to Flight 11, Requests Fighters Edit

Daniel Bueno, a supervisor at Boston Center, calls the air traffic control tower at Otis Air National Guard Base Wikipedia to alert it to the problems with Flight 11 and request military assistance. [8][9] Otis Air Base is one of NORAD’s seven alert sites in the continental United States, which keeps two armed fighter jets ready for immediate takeoff. [10]

Bueno calls the control tower at Otis even though, according to Lynn Spencer, he “knows it’s not standard operating procedure to call the military directly—that’s supposed to be done by FAA headquarters.” But he has “checked the FAA regulation manual, and in the back under section FAAO 7610.4J, Appendix 16, it states that fighters can be launched directly at FAA request, so he is going to make that happen. He may not be FAA headquarters, but he is FAA!” [11]

Bueno tells Tim Spence,the controller at the Otis tower, that Flight 11 has lost its identification signal and appears to be headed toward Manhattan; it looks like a possible hijacking, and fighter jets are needed, fast. [12] But the controller tells Bueno that he must follow the protocol, which is to contact NEADS. The controller says: “You’ve got to go through the proper channels. They’re the only ones with the authority to initiate a scramble order.” [11] Bueno asks the controller for the telephone number for NEADS. [13] Following this call, the tower controller will contact the Otis Air Base operations desk, to let it know that it might be receiving a call from NEADS [see 2].[14]

The two alert pilots at Otis Air Base will later criticize Bueno for calling the base directly. One of them, Major Daniel Nash, will complain: “It sounds like the FAA didn’t have their [act] together at all when they were calling the [Otis] tower.… To me, it sounded like there was someone who didn’t know what they were doing.” [15] Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Duffy, the other alert pilot, will comment: “It didn’t happen the way it was supposed to.… We were the ones who were contacted right away and knew about it before the air defense sector.” [16]

Bueno also calls the FAA’s Cape Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), which is located on Otis Air Base, at 8:34 a.m. and requests that fighters be launched from Otis [see 3].[17] Whether he makes that call before or after he calls the Otis tower is unstated. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, “the first notification received by the military—at any level—that American 11 had been hijacked” is when Boston Center calls NEADS just before 8:38 a.m.[see 4]. [18] If that is correct, it would indicate that Bueno calls the Otis tower after he calls the Cape TRACON.


8:34 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Boston Center Supervisor Calls FAA Facility at Otis Air Base, Requests Fighters Edit

This article has been assessed as havingUnknown importance.

Good scope?NoN Timeline? +YesY wikified?NoN red links < 10?NoN all red links fixed?NoN referenced?NoN Illustrated?NoN Googled and added info? NoN Checked 9/11 records archives? NoN Checked Wikinews? NoN Checked Wikisource? NoN Daniel Bueno, a supervisor at Boston Center, contacts the FAA’s Cape Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), located on Otis Air National Guard Base Wikipedia, to alert it to the possible hijacking of Flight 11 and request that it arrange for military assistance in response.[19]

After his call is initially answered by an air traffic controller[who?] at the Cape TRACON, Bueno is quickly passed on to Tim Spence, an operational supervisor at the facility. Bueno says, “I have a situation with American 11, a possible hijack.” He adds that Flight 11 “departed Boston, going to LAX [Los Angeles International Airport]. Right now he’s south of Albany.” He says, “I’d like to scramble some fighters to go tail him.” Spence replies that he will contact Otis Air Base about the situation, and tells Bueno, “I’ll talk to these guys over here and see what we can do.” Bueno then adds that Flight 11 is currently airborne, is about 40 miles south of Albany, and is visible only on primary radar. [20] Bueno also calls the air traffic control tower at Otis Air Base around this time, to alert it to Flight 11 and request military assistance [see 5].[21] Whether he makes that call before or after he calls the Cape TRACON is unstated. Immediately after receiving the call from Bueno, Spence will call the Otis control tower to inform it of the situation, and he then calls the operations desk at Otis Air Base to let it know that it may be receiving orders (presumably from NEADS) soon [see 6].[22]

Bueno will say he decided to call the Cape TRACON based on his memory of a previous aircraft hijacking. [23] But according to the 9/11 Commission Report, by trying to get military assistance through the TRACON, the “Boston Center did not follow the protocol in seeking military assistance through the prescribed chain of command.” [24] Indeed, Bueno will tell the 9/11 Commission that he knows his call should instead be to NEADS, “but due to the urgency of the circumstance [he] called directly to the FAA contact point for Otis.”. [25] And Spence will tell the Commission that arranging for fighters to be scrambled in response to a hijacking “is not the typical responsibility of an operations supervisor with the FAA,” like himself. He will also say that it is “unusual for the [air traffic control] centers to contact TRACON for information. Normally the FAA receives the call from the military for a scramble, but this time it went the other way around, and then the official order came back down from the military.” . [26]

However, according to the 9/11 Commission, “Bueno gets high marks” from the Boston Center personnel it interviews, “for instinctively calling FAA traffic approach personnel at the location where he knew the fighters to be—Otis [Air National Guard Base].” Even Colin Scoggins, the Boston Center’s military liaison, “who knew that the call had to go to NEADS, did not fault Bueno for trying to call the Air Force wing directly through other FAA personnel.” [27]


(8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Center Seeks Information about Plane that Hit WTC, Military Liaison Wonders if It Was Flight 11Edit

Employees at the FAA’s Boston Center learn that a plane has hit the World Trade Center, and Colin Scoggins, the center’s military liaison, starts to wonder if this plane was Flight 11, which disappeared from radar just before the time of the crash (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001). After the center’s manager informs them that a plane has crashed into the WTC, personnel at the system engineer’s desk turn on CNN and see the footage of the burning North Tower. Scoggins hears yelling from the desk and walks over to see what is going on. He sees the news reports, which currently state that just a small aircraft hit the tower. As author Lynn Spencer will describe: “His initial thought is that some controller must have really screwed up. Yet the more he thinks about it, the less that makes sense. It’s a clear day with unlimited visibility, and planes don’t just fly into buildings.” Along with supervisor Daniel Bueno, Scoggins starts contacting other facilities, trying to find out more about what is going on. Several of these facilities are picking up an aircraft’s emergency locator transmitter—a device which begins transmitting a signal when a plane crashes. But Boston Center lacks the necessary equipment to pinpoint where the signal is coming from. Looking again at the TV footage showing the WTC, Scoggins wonders if Flight 11 crashed into the tower. He tells Bueno, “Call American [Airlines] and confirm if their aircraft is down!” Bueno complies, but soon reports back that American Airlines “can’t confirm that the plane that has hit the Trade Center is American 11. They’ve lost their radar track on the plane and cannot confirm where it is.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 49-50] Scoggins will later recall that American Airlines does not confirm that its plane has hit the North Tower for several hours. He says, “With American Airlines, we could never confirm if it was down or not, so that left doubt in our minds.” [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006]

(9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Asked to Issue Nationwide Cockpit Security Alert, but Does Not Act on RequestEdit

At “approximately 9:15 a.m.,” according to the 9/11 Commission, Daniel Bueno, a supervisor at the FAA’s Boston Center, asks the FAA’s Herndon Command Center to contact all the FAA centers nationwide and instruct them to issue an alert, informing all airborne aircraft of the events unfolding in New York and advising them to heighten their cockpit security. Boston Center air traffic controllers have recently issued a similar alert to all aircraft in their airspace (see 9:09 a.m.-9:10 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 25-26 ] However, the 9/11 Commission will conclude, “We have found no evidence to suggest that the Command Center acted on this request or issued any type of cockpit security alert.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 23] According to author Lynn Spencer, “The request never makes it to Ben Sliney,” the national operations manager at the Command Center. “Tragically, it is lost in the confusion and never gets past the staff person monitoring Sliney’s desk as events rapidly spiral out of control.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 99] But Ellen King, a Command Center manager, offers a different explanation. She will tell the 9/11 Commission that the FAA culture and mindset on 9/11 are such that the FAA “would never have relayed this message directly to all pilots.… [T]he FAA would pass situational awareness to the airline company representatives who, in turn, would determine if such action was necessary.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 26 AND 92 ]


RefsEdit

  1. . [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/20/2001;
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 . [WAMU, 8/3/2006] [1]
  3. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 32-33
  4. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... 38-39 [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 32-33]
  5. 5.0 5.1 .  [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/20/2001]
  6. 6.0 6.1 Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... 33
  7. .  GRIFFIN, 2007, PP. 335]
  8. . 
  9. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 47; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 22]
  10. . [FILSON, 2003, PP. 50; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 17]
  11. 11.0 11.1 Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 22
  12. . [FILSON, 2003, PP. 47]
  13. . [102ND FIGHTER WING, 2001]
  14. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 27
  15. . [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/11/2005]
  16. . [FILSON, 2003, PP. 50]
  17. .  [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 4/19/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 9/22/2003 ]
  18. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 20
  19. .  [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 4/19/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20]
  20. . [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 4/19/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 9/30/2003 ]
  21. .  [FILSON, 2003, PP. 47; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 22]
  22. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 9/30/2003 ]
  23. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 9/22/2003]
  24. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 20
  25. [9/11 COMMISSION, 9/22/2003 ]
  26. [9/11 COMMISSION, 9/30/2003 ]
  27. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 9/22/2003 ]

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