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9:00 a.m. September 11, 2001: Pentagon Command Center Learns of Flight 11 Hijacking, But Does Not Discuss Scrambling FightersEdit

The deputy director of operations and his assistant in the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC) have been notifying senior Pentagon officials of the first WTC tower being hit. At around 9 a.m., the senior NMCC operations officer contacts the Operations Center at FAA headquarters asking for information, and is informed of the hijacking of Flight 11. This is the earliest time mentioned by the 9/11 Commission Report that the NMCC learns of this hijacking.[1] Yet, according to military instructions, the NMCC is supposed to be “the focal point within Department of Defense for providing assistance” in response to hijackings in US airspace. [2] Apparently, during the call, the FAA Operations Center does not connect the plane crashing into the WTC with the hijacked Flight 11, which it claims is still airborne: The relevant entry in the NMCC operations officer’s log will state, “9:00 NMCC called FAA, briefed of explosion at WTC possibly from aircraft crash. Also, hijacking of American Flight 11 from Boston to LA, now enroute to Kennedy [International Airport in New York City].” Nor is there any discussion about launching fighter jets. [3]

(After 9:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Indianapolis Flight Control Issues Alert to Look for Flight 77; FAA and NORAD Not NotifiedEdit

According to the 9/11 Commission, shortly after 9:00 a.m., Indianapolis flight control begins to notify other government agencies that American 77 is missing and has possibly crashed. For instance, at 9:08 a.m., Indianapolis contacts Air Force Search and Rescue at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, and tells them to look out for a downed aircraft. It is not clear what Air Force Search and Rescue does with this information. Indianapolis also contacts the West Virginia State Police at about 9:15 a.m., and asks whether they have any reports of a downed aircraft (see Soon After 9:09 a.m. September 11, 2001). However, they apparently do not contact NORAD, but do notify the FAA regional center at 9:09 a.m. (see 9:09 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: North American Aerospace Defense Command, Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center, 9/11 Commission, Langley Air Force Base, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Before 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Special FAA-Military Link Fails to Help Communication Problems Edit

At some point before the second WTC crash, the FAA Command Center sets up a teleconference with FAA facilities in the New York area. Also on the same floor of the same building is “the military cell”—the Air Traffic Services Cell (ATSC)—created by the FAA and the Defense Department to coordinate priority aircraft movement during warfare or emergencies if needed. “The Pentagon staffs it only three days per month for refresher training, but September 11 happen[s] to be one of those days.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001] There are three officers in the ATSC at the time of the attacks: Col. John Czabaranek, Lt. Col. Michael-Anne Cherry, and Maj. Kevin Bridges. According to the FAA’s Deputy Director of Air Traffic Control Jeff Griffith, these officers become “immediately involved in coordinating FAA… Command Center actions with military elements.” Additionally, just six weeks earlier the cell had been given a secure Internet terminal to access SIPRNET, the military’s classified computer network, and other hardware, allowing it to “immediately look at NORAD and [Defense Deptartment] plans as they evolved” and “greatly enhancing the movement of vital information.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/10/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/9/2004 ] The 9/11 Commission later determines that communication between the FAA and the military is extremely poor. It is unclear why this connection, which the 9/11 Commission fails to mention, does not help. Entity Tags: Michael-Anne Cherry, John Czabaranek, SIPRNET, Air Traffic Services Cell, Federal Aviation Administration, Kevin Bridges Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly Before 9:02 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Center Military Liaison Learns of Second Hijacking over FAA Teleconference Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center, learns from an FAA teleconference that there is a second hijacked plane over the US. He has previously called the FAA’s New York Center and was told, “We’re working a hijack,” but mistakenly thought the controller was referring to Flight 11 (see (Between 8:40 a.m. and 8:54 a.m.) September 11, 2001). According to author Lynn Spencer, Scoggins now hears on the FAA headquarters’ hijack teleconference of the second hijacked airliner, Flight 175. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 48-49 AND 82] Spencer’s account is consistent with a May 2003 statement by the FAA, according to which the FAA established its teleconference “[w]ithin minutes after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center” (see (8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] But the 9/11 Commission will claim that the FAA headquarters’ hijacking teleconference is only established at “about 9:20” (see (9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 36] According to Spencer, Scoggins assumes that NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) is also on the FAA teleconference and is receiving the same information that he is about the second hijacking. However, the “FAA headquarters’ teleconference is between air traffic control facilities, the [FAA] Command Center, the Defense Department, and several other agencies; NORAD is not looped in.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 82] Although the FAA will claim that the “Air Force liaison to the FAA immediately joined the FAA headquarters [teleconference] and established contact with NORAD on a separate line,” the Air Force liaison will subsequently claim she only joins the teleconference after 9:37 a.m., when the Pentagon is hit (see (Shortly After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, 8/31/2006 ] Even though Scoggins assumes NEADS is already aware of the information, he will subsequently call it with the news of the second hijacking (see (9:02 a.m.-9:07 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 82] Entity Tags: Colin Scoggins, Federal Aviation Administration, Northeast Air Defense Sector Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:01 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA’s New York Center Tells FAA Command Center about Flight 175 Hijack Edit

In a conference call, Peter Mulligan, a manager at the FAA’s New York Center, tells the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia: “We have several situations going here. It’s escalating big, big time. We need to get the military involved with us.” [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 15 ] This is apparently a reference to the hijacking of Flight 175. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 22] Manager Gives No Details of Aircraft - Mulligan does not initially give any details of the hijacked aircraft, such as its flight number, position, or heading, but soon leaves the phone to inform his military liaison of the hijack (see 9:01 a.m.-9:02 a.m. September 11, 2001). After about one minute, Mulligan comes back on the phone, says that the liaison has been notified, and adds: “We’re involved in something else. We have other aircraft that may have a similar situation going on here.” Again, he provides no detailed information about the second hijacked plane, whose number does not appear to be communicated to the FAA’s Command Center before it crashes. [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 16-18 ] 9/11 Commission Confused - According to the transcript of the 9/11 Commission hearing at which a recording of the teleconference is played, it is the Herndon Command Center that says, “We’re involved with something else, we have other aircraft that may have a similar situation going on here.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] This version, which indicates the Command Center already knows about the hijacking of Flight 175 when Mulligan passes on the notification, is subsequently picked up by some media. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; AMERICAN RADIOWORKS, 9/2/2004; CBC, 9/12/2006] However, this will be altered in the Commission’s final report, which attributes the “We’re involved with something else” statement to Mulligan. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 22] The transcript of the call on which this section of the report is based indicates that the statement is actually made by Mulligan and that the 9/11 Commission is therefore only correcting an initial error it made at the hearing in its final report. [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 18 ] Entity Tags: New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, Peter Mulligan, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Learns of Hijackers’ ‘We Have Some Planes’ Communication At the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, manager John White learns of the communication apparently made by a hijacker on Flight 11, stating “We have some planes” (see 8:24 a.m. September 11, 2001), and quickly notifies the national operations manager of this. Terry Biggio, the operations manager at the FAA’s Boston Center, is relaying all the information he has about Flight 11 to the Command Center’s teleconference. In the conference room at the Command Center, White is listening in. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 79-80] Because the air traffic controller monitoring Flight 11 had not understood the “We have some planes” hijacker communication, the Boston Center’s quality assurance specialist had been instructed to “pull the tape” of the transmission, listen to it carefully, and then report back. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 19] Having learned that the specialist has deciphered the transmission, Biggio now relays the details of it over the teleconference. Seconds later, those at the Command Center see Flight 175 crashing into the South Tower of the World Trade live on CNN. White promptly dispatches a manager to pass on the details of the transmission to Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the Command Center (see 9:06 a.m. and After September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 79-80] The FAA’s New England regional office also learns of the “We have some planes” communication at this time (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 23 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Ben Sliney, John White, Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Terry Biggio Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: Boston Center Tells FAA Regional Office that Hijackers Said ‘We Have Planes’; Office Suggests Notifying Military

Terry Biggio. [Source: Federal Aviation Administration] Over an FAA teleconference, Terry Biggio, the operations manager at the FAA’s Boston Center, reports to the FAA’s New England regional office the “We have some planes” comment apparently made by a Flight 11 hijacker at 8:24 a.m. (see 8:24 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 23 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 79-80] Because the Boston Center controller monitoring Flight 11 had not understood the communication, the center’s quality assurance specialist had been instructed to “pull the tape” of the transmission, listen to it carefully, and then report back. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 19] Biggio now reports to the New England region representative: “I’m gonna reconfirm with, with downstairs, but the, as far as the tape, Bobby seemed to think the guy said that ‘we have planes.’ Now, I don’t know if it was because it was the accent, or if there’s more than one [hijacked plane], but I’m gonna, I’m gonna reconfirm that for you, and I’ll get back to you real quick. Okay?” Another participant in the teleconference asks, “They have what?” and Biggio clarifies: “Planes, as in plural.… It sounds like, we’re talking to New York, that there’s another one aimed at the World Trade Center.… A second one just hit the Trade Center.” The New England region representative replies: “Okay. Yeah, we gotta get—we gotta alert the military real quick on this.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 23] A manager at the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, is monitoring the teleconference, and so also learns of the “We have some planes” communication at this time (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 79-80] At 9:05 a.m., Biggio will confirm for the New England region representative—with the Command Center listening in—that a hijacker said, “we have planes” (forgetting the “some”). [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 24 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Terry Biggio Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: Newark Controllers Watch Flight 175 Hit WTC

Rick Tepper. [Source: Eileen Blass] Air traffic controllers at Newark International Airport in New Jersey are on the phone with controllers at the FAA’s New York Center and are asked to find Flight 175 from their windows. They see it and watch in horror as it drops the last 5,000 feet and crashes into the World Trade Center. Controller Rick Tepper will recall: “He was in a hard right bank, diving very steeply and very fast. And he—as he was coming up the Hudson River, he—he made another hard left turn and—just heading for downtown Manhattan.… You could see that he was trying to line himself up on the tower. Just before he hit the tower, he almost leveled it out and just—just hit the building.” Newark tower immediately calls the FAA’s Herndon Command Center and says it will not land any more airplanes in Newark, in an effort to keep aircraft away from New York City. This is the first step in shutting down the national airspace system. [MSNBC, 9/11/2002] Entity Tags: Rick Tepper, Federal Aviation Administration, New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, Newark International Airport Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Airport Manager Tries Calling Special Ops Personnel at FAA, but Call Goes Unanswered The most senior manager on duty at Washington’s Reagan National Airport tries to contact Special Operations personnel at FAA headquarters, but his call is not answered. Bob Lazar, the airport’s acting operations manager, was in his office in the administrative wing of Reagan Airport at the time the first attack in New York took place. Upon hearing news of the crash, he went to the nearby break room to watch the television coverage of it. Lazar has a background in Navy Special Operations, and immediately suspected that terrorism was involved. Therefore, at around the time the second attack is taking place, he tries calling Special Operations people at the FAA headquarters in Washington, DC. However, no one answers his call. The reason for this is unknown. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/28/2003 ] Entity Tags: Bob Lazar, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Agent Establishes Open Line with FAA Soon after the second WTC tower is hit, a senior Secret Service agent who is responsible for coordinating the president’s movements establishes an open line with his counterpart at the FAA. This FAA official tells him of further planes, on top of the two that have already crashed, that are unaccounted for and possibly hijacked. Although the Secret Service agent asks someone to pass this information on to the Secret Service’s operations center, the 9/11 Commission says that either this does not happen or else the message is passed on but not disseminated. Therefore the information fails to reach agents assigned to the vice president and, consequently, “the Vice President was not evacuated at that time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 464] However, some other accounts contradict this, saying the vice president is indeed evacuated from his White House office by Secret Service agents at around this time. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002] Entity Tags: 9/11 Commission, Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Between 9:03 a.m. and 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: American Airlines and FAA Command Center Again Discuss Loss of Flight 77 American Airlines and the FAA Command Center discuss the hijacking of Flight 77 again, apparently at some point between when Flight 175 hits the World Trade Center at 9:03 (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001) and Flight 77 hits the Pentagon at 9:37 (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). Although American Airlines was initially informed of the hijacking by the FAA (see 8:58 a.m. September 11, 2001 and 9:02 a.m. September 11, 2001), at this point an American Airlines employee calls an FAA employee and tells him that Flight 77 has been hijacked. The FAA employee appears to be unaware of this hijacking, as, when he is told that American Airlines is missing a second plane (in addition to Flight 11, which has hit the World Trade Center) he asks for the flight number and inquires when the company last knew something about the flight. The American Airlines employee responds by saying, “we were talking to them according to Indianapolis Center about 45 minutes ago.” As the last recorded communication with Flight 77 was as at 8:51 (see 8:51 a.m. September 11, 2001), this would put this conversation at around 9:36. However, this conversation is part of a transcript of discussions by FAA employees and others, and in the transcript it appears shortly after the first mention of Flight 175’s crash at 9:03, indicating it may have occurred earlier than 9:36. [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 19-21 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, American Airlines Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Administrator Garvey Arrives at FAA Headquarters and Learns of Second Attack FAA Administrator Jane Garvey arrives at her office at FAA headquarters in Washington, DC, and is informed that a second aircraft has just hit the World Trade Center. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 88] Garvey learned of the first crash while at the nearby Department of Transportation, where she had been in a meeting with Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and the Belgian transportation minister (see (8:48 a.m.-9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001). She had phoned FAA headquarters and was told by a supervisor, “We know a plane has just gone in, but we’re also tracking a hijacking.” She immediately went out to her car and headed back to headquarters, which is located two blocks away from the Department of Transportation. [BOSTON GLOBE, 11/4/2001] When Garvey arrives at her office on the 10th floor of the headquarters, she finds Monte Belger, her acting deputy, there. She asks him, “What do we know?” and he replies: “[T]his is something beyond a hijacking. This is not an accident. There is something here. [The Department of] Defense is going to be taking the lead.” Belger also informs Garvey that, just before she arrived, a second plane hit the WTC. Garvey heads across the hall to the Operations Center, where security personnel have already established a “hijacking net”—a teleconference that includes several agencies, including the Defense Department (see (8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). According to author Lynn Spencer, Garvey “understands that it will be her job to pull information from the [FAA] Command Center in Herndon and forward that information as quickly as possible up the chain, to the Department of Transportation and any other agencies requiring it.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 88-89] Garvey and Belger spend the next 40 minutes going back and forth between their offices and the Operations Center. Staffers keep them informed about decisions being made by Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA Command Center. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Entity Tags: Monte Belger, Jane Garvey, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Manager Linda Schuessler Responds to Second WTC Crash, Secures FAA Command Center

Linda Schuessler. [Source: Robert A. Reeder / Washington Post] After staff members at the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, see the second attack on the World Trade Center live on CNN, Linda Schuessler, the deputy director of system operations there, makes the decision to secure the center in order to protect the building and its occupants. The Command Center’s doors are locked and all non-FAA personnel are ordered to leave the premises immediately. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 64; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 80-81] Schuessler will later say her reason for doing this is “because we didn’t know exactly what the situation was and what was going on.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001] At some point early on, she also assigns a member of staff to each manager at the Command Center, to be a note-taker and keep a record of every decision and order given by that manager. She realizes that documentation of all actions will be crucial for later recreating the day’s events. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 65] FAA Managers Gather Information - Schuessler will recall that, following the second attack, those in the Command Center start receiving information from FAA field facilities, “about unusual things that were going on.” National operations manager Ben Sliney, three first-level supervisors, and Schuessler are involved in gathering together information from around the country that the specialists at the Command Center are receiving. Schuessler will recall, “Every few minutes, we would gather in the middle of the operational floor and share the information and discuss what some of our options might be, what we needed to be doing.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001; FRENI, 2003, PP. 64] Schuessler Standing in for Absent Manager - Linda Schuessler has come to the Command Center after working at FAA headquarters, and lacks operation-level experience there. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] She is in charge of the Command Center this morning only because Jack Kies, the FAA’s manager of tactical operations, who would normally be in charge, is away for a meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FRENI, 2003, PP. 65-66; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 5/18/2006] According to author Lynn Spencer, Schuessler therefore focuses on staying out of Ben Sliney’s way, and taking care of administrative tasks. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Ben Sliney, Linda Schuessler Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001: WTC 7 Alarms Activate; OEM Calls for Air Security and Warned of Plane Heading for New York The second plane hitting the World Trade Center (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001) causes internal alarms to go off in WTC Building 7, located just a few hundred feet away from the Twin Towers. The alarms warn there is no water pressure and that the building’s emergency power generator has been activated. Office of Emergency Management (OEM) staff, based in Building 7, immediately request air security over New York. They are told that federal support is on its way, but the Federal Aviation Administration instructs them to use NYPD and Port Authority Police Department air assets to clear the airspace around the WTC. They are also warned that the Kennedy Airport control tower is reporting an unaccounted for plane heading towards New York. A report by the Mineta Transportation Institute will claim that this plane is Flight 93, which later crashes in Pennsylvania. [JENKINS AND EDWARDS-WINSLOW, 9/2003, PP. 16] However, Flight 93 is still flying west at this time, and only reverses course and heads towards Washington at around 9:36 a.m. (see (9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001). According to at least one person at the scene, WTC 7 is evacuated around this time due to the reports of this incoming third plane (see (9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [JEMS AND FIRERESCUE SUPPLEMENT, 3/2002, PP. 68 ] Entity Tags: Office of Emergency Management, World Trade Center, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Soon After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: Director of Air Traffic Services Joins FAA Teleconference Bill Peacock, the FAA director of air traffic services, is currently away from FAA headquarters for a meeting in New Orleans (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). His staff called him earlier to alert him to the possible hijacking of Flight 11. He returned to his hotel room in time to see the second attack live on CNN. He quickly phones FAA headquarters, trying to contact his staff, and has his call added to the teleconference being run from the conference room next to his office. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 12 AND 22] According to a statement provided by the FAA to the 9/11 Commission in 2003, this teleconference began “[w]ithin minutes” of the first WTC tower being hit (see (8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Yet the 9/11 Commission will later claim that it was not established until “about 9:20” (see (9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001), which is about 15 minutes later than Peacock supposedly joined it. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 36] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Bill Peacock Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Notifies FAA that It Wants Fighters Launched; Message Relayed to Air Force Base near Washington

Andrews Air Traffic Control Tower. [Source: FAA] The Secret Service tells FAA headquarters that it wants fighter jets launched over Washington, DC, and this message is then relayed to the air traffic control tower at Andrews Air Force Base, which is 10 miles from Washington. The District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews is notified, but no jets will take off from the base until 10:38 a.m. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44, 465] The request for fighter jets is apparently made by Secret Service agent Nelson Garabito, who is responsible for coordinating the president’s movements, during a phone call with his counterpart at FAA headquarters in Washington, Terry Van Steenbergen. This call began shortly after the second tower was hit at 9:03 a.m. (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/28/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/30/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 464] FAA Headquarters Calls Andrews Tower - According to the 9/11 Commission, “The FAA tower” at Andrews is then “contacted by personnel at FAA headquarters” who are “on an open line with senior agents from the president’s detail,” and is informed that the Secret Service wants fighters airborne. Karen Pontius at FAA headquarters tells Steve Marra, an air traffic controller at the Andrews control tower, “to launch F-16s to cap the airspace over Washington.” Message Passed to DCANG - Marra then relays Pontius’s message to the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard, which is based at Andrews. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/28/2003 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 465] Marra apparently passes the message to Major Daniel Caine, the 113th Wing’s supervisor of flying, when Caine phones the control tower (see (Between 9:05 a.m. and 9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Caine will later recall that the tower controller (i.e. Marra) tells him “that they just received the scramble order.” But Caine will also tell the 9/11 Commission that the Andrews tower “would not have been in the loop for any Secret Service orders to scramble aircraft.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 76; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ] Despite receiving this message from the Secret Service, the DCANG will not launch its first fighter jet until 10:38 a.m. (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44] Entity Tags: Daniel Caine, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Andrews Air Force Base, Steve Marra, Terry Van Steenbergen, Nelson Garabito, Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Karen Pontius Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Clarke, Cheney, and Rice Talk; Clarke Concludes that Al-Qaeda Is behind Attacks Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke is driving up to a gate outside the White House when Lisa Gordon-Hagerty—a member of his staff who is already at the White House—calls and tells him, “The other tower was just hit.” He responds: “Well, now we know who we’re dealing with. I want the highest level person in Washington from each agency on-screen now, especially the FAA.” He ordered Gordon-Hagerty to set up a secure video conference about five minutes earlier. A few minutes later, according to his own recollections, Clarke finds Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in Cheney’s White House office. Clarke tells Cheney: “It’s an al-Qaeda attack and they like simultaneous attacks. This may not be over.” Rice asks Clarke for recommendations, and he says, “We’re putting together a secure teleconference to manage the crisis.” He also recommends evacuating the White House. (A slow evacuation of the White House will begin around 9:20-9:25 (see (9:22 a.m.) September 11, 2001).) Rice notes the Secret Service wants them to go to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House, and as Clarke leaves the other two, he sees Cheney gathering up his papers. In Cheney’s outer office, Clarke will recall, he sees eight Secret Service agents instead of the usual two, ready to move to the PEOC. [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 1-2; AUSTRALIAN, 3/27/2004] Entity Tags: Secret Service, Richard A. Clarke, Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, Al-Qaeda, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:05 am (and After) September 11, 2001: Flight 77 Reappears on Radar, but Flight Controllers Do Not Notice According to the 9/11 Commission, Flight 77’s radar blip, missing for the last eight minutes, reappears on Indianapolis flight control’s primary radar scope. It is east of its last known position. It remains in air space managed by Indianapolis until 9:10 a.m., and then passes into Washington air space. Two managers and one flight controller continue to look west and southwest for the flight, but don’t look east. Managers don’t instruct other Indianapolis controllers to join the search for the flight. Neither they nor FAA headquarters issues an “all points bulletin” to surrounding centers to search for Flight 77. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Newsday claims that rumors circulate the plane might have exploded in midair. [NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001] However, the 9/11 Commission’s conclusion that Indianapolis flight controllers did not look east is contradicted by an account indicating that American Airlines headquarters was told that Flight 77 had turned around. Entity Tags: American Airlines, Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:06 a.m. and After September 11, 2001: FAA Manager Ben Sliney Responds to Second Crash, Declares New York ‘Ground Stop’ At the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, national operations manager Ben Sliney responds to the second plane hitting the World Trade Center and orders a “first-tier ground stop” to prevent aircraft from departing, arriving at, or flying through the airspace of the FAA’s New York Center. Like many others at the Command Center, Sliney has just seen Flight 175 crashing into the South Tower of the WTC live on CNN. A manager at the center then reports to him the news just received over the Command Center’s teleconference, about the sinister radio transmissions that have been deciphered by the Boston Center, stating “We have some planes” (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). According to author Lynn Spencer, “The words take on a sickening significance” to Sliney “after what he has just observed.” Sliney Orders 'First-Tier Ground Stop' - Sliney orders across the room, “Give me a first-tier ground stop!” According to Spencer, “The order stops all aircraft departing, arriving, or flying through New York Center’s airspace, effectively closing down the nation’s busiest skies.” At 9:06 a.m., an advisory is sent out to every air traffic control facility in the nation, and the skies above New York are now officially closed. Numerous flights that are in the air or preparing to take off are given “holding instructions.” Meanwhile, the large screen at the front of the room in the Command Center displays the footage of Flight 175 hitting the WTC as it is shown repeatedly on CNN. According to Spencer: “[I]t becomes sickeningly obvious to all watching that the plane was a large commercial airliner. And it was no accident.” [AOPA PILOT, 11/2001; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 80-81] Around this same time, the FAA’s New York Center takes action similar to that of the Command Center, declaring “air traffic control zero,” which prevents all air traffic from departing, arriving at, or traveling through its airspace (see 9:05 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 24 ] And at around 9:25 a.m., the Command Center will order a “nationwide ground stop,” which prevents any aircraft from taking off in the entire United States (see (9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 33 ] Sliney Expands Teleconference - Also in response to the second WTC crash, Sliney decides that he needs to expand the Command Center’s teleconference (see (Between 8:48 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001) so as to include the secretary of transportation. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] It is expanded to include the secretary of transportation’s office, FAA headquarters, and other agencies. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001] It is unclear whether Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta participates himself, as he is told to go to the White House around this time, and subsequently heads there (see (9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] Military Liaison Unable to Help - Sliney also seeks out the military liaison at the Command Center to get more information about what is going on. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] Presumably this officer is one of the three members of the Air Traffic Services Cell (ATSC) there (see (Between 9:04 a.m. and 9:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001; AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/10/2002] But, according to Spencer, it is “clear that the lieutenant colonel’s job has nothing to do with NORAD or the air defense interceptors. He is military, but his job duties at the Command Center are focused on military airspace usage. He has no place in the military chain of command that is relevant this morning.” Sliney therefore “can only assume that people much higher up than both of them are dealing with the military response. The fighters must be on their way.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] Entity Tags: Ben Sliney, Norman Mineta, Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Services Cell Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:07 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Informs All Air Traffic Facilities of First Hijacking According to a book about the Federal Aviation Administration’s response on 9/11, the FAA Command Center sends a message to all the nation’s air traffic facilities at this time, announcing the first hijacking. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 59] This would be two minutes after it had been informed that the Flight 11 hijackers had announced, “we have [some] planes” (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). Yet according to the 9/11 Commission, Indianapolis Center, which handles Flight 77, only learns that there are other hijacked aircraft “By 9:20” (see (9:20 a.m.-9:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 23-24] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:07 a.m. September 11, 2001: Boston Center Manager Wants Cockpit Security Warnings Sent to Aircraft After conferring with the FAA’s New England regional office and contacting representatives of the Air Transport Association, the FAA’s Boston Center decides to issue a Notice to Airmen, warning pilots to heighten cockpit security. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 24-25 ] Following the second attack on the World Trade Center, Terry Biggio, the operations manager at the Boston Center, is concerned that there may be additional attacks. He therefore asks a manager at the FAA’s New England regional office if warnings could be sent to airborne aircraft via “ACARS or something,” advising them to increase their cockpit security. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 24 ] (ACARS is an e-mail system that allows personnel on the ground to rapidly communicate with those in the cockpit of an aircraft. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 9 ] ) Biggio is particularly concerned about the need to warn airborne international flights that are scheduled to arrive at New York’s JFK International Airport. On the advice of a New England Region representative, Boston Center decides to contact Air Transport Association representatives through the FAA’s Herndon Command Center and ask them to formally request that airlines warn their aircraft to heighten cockpit security. According to the 9/11 Commission, though, Biggio is “[n]ot content to rely on the airlines to warn their aircraft,” and so decides that the Boston Center will issue a Notice to Airmen (“NOTAM”) to heighten cockpit security in light of the attacks in New York. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 24-25 ] The NOTAM system is the communication method used to define the rules of the day for air traffic controllers and pilots. With the status of equipment, airports, and rules changing frequently, the NOTAM system is used to distribute any changes to all pilots and controllers. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 86] Two or three minutes later, controllers at the Boston Center will contact all the aircraft in their airspace by radio and advise them to increase cockpit security (see 9:09 a.m.-9:10 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 25 ] Entity Tags: Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Terry Biggio, Air Transport Association Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Shortly After 9:06 a.m. September 11, 2001: Reagan Airport Instructed to Secure Washington Airspace

The air traffic control tower at Reagan National Airport. [Source: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority] Air traffic controllers at Washington’s Reagan National Airport are instructed to start securing the airspace around Washington, DC. In the tower at Reagan Airport, the controllers heard about the two aircraft hitting the World Trade Center. They then received the ground stop order for all flights going to or through New York. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 145] (This order was issued at 9:06 a.m.—see 9:06 a.m. and After September 11, 2001. [AOPA PILOT, 11/2001] ) Shortly afterwards, they receive the instruction to start securing the airspace around the capital. They are told to turn away all non-airliner aircraft, such as private planes, as these are considered high risk. Who it is that issues this instruction is unstated, but presumably, like the New York airspace ground stop, it comes from the FAA’s Herndon Command Center. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 145]

9:09 a.m. September 11, 2001: Indianapolis Flight Control Tells Local FAA Flight 77 Is Missing, But FAA Headquarters and NORAD Are Not Yet Told Indianapolis flight control reports the loss of contact with Flight 77 to the FAA’s Great Lakes Regional Operations Center. They describe it as a possible crash. The center waits 15 minutes before passing the information to FAA headquarters at 9:24 a.m. (see 9:24 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; WASHINGTON POST, 11/3/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] However, American Airlines headquarters has been notified of the same information before 9:00 a.m. (see 8:58 a.m. September 11, 2001).

9:09 a.m.-9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001: Otis Fighters Remain in Holding Pattern over Ocean instead of Defending New York City The two F-15 fighter jets launched from Otis Air National Guard Base in response to Flight 11 (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001) have been directed to “Whiskey 105,” a military airspace training area over the Atlantic Ocean, just south of Long Island. According to the 9/11 Commission, “To avoid New York area air traffic and uncertain about what to do, the fighters were brought down to military airspace to ‘hold as needed.’ From 9:09 to 9:13, the Otis fighters stayed in this holding pattern.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 85] Otis pilot Major Daniel Nash will later comment, “Neither the civilian controller or the military controller knew what they wanted us to do.” [CAPE COD TIMES, 8/21/2002] 'Pushback' from FAA Controllers - By 9:08 a.m., Major Kevin Nasypany, the NEADS mission crew commander, had learned of the second World Trade Center crash and wanted to send the Otis fighters to New York City. However, according to Vanity Fair, the NEADS “weapons techs get ‘pushback’ from civilian FAA controllers, who have final authority over the fighters as long as they are in civilian airspace. The FAA controllers are afraid of fast-moving fighters colliding with a passenger plane, of which there are hundreds in the area, still flying normal routes.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 25 ; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Author Lynn Spencer will add: “[L]ocal FAA controllers are busy shutting down New York’s airspace and are less than eager to grant the fighters access to the civilian airspace. They’re afraid of fast-moving fighters colliding with the hundreds of airliners that are still in the area. Many of those flights are doing unpredictable things just now, such as canceling their flight plans and changing course, and controllers are not convinced that they can provide adequate separation if fast-moving fighters are added to the mix. They just need a few more minutes, they keep saying.” New York Center Not Answering Phone - Nasypany tries contacting the military liaison at the FAA’s New York Center, but no one is answering the phone. According to Spencer, “He wants the Otis fighters over New York, not in military airspace 100 miles off the coast, but he has little choice. Without permission from the FAA to penetrate the civil airspace over New York, NEADS must advise the Otis F-15 pilots… to continue to remain clear of the city.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 111-112] Director Wants Jets 'Closer In' - At 9:10 a.m., the senior director on the NEADS operations floor tells the weapons director, “I want those fighters closer in.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 459] NEADS weapons controller Major Steve Hedrick asks Major James Fox, the weapons team leader, “Can we give [the fighters] a mission?” Fox replies, “Right now their mission is to hold.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 111] Then, at around 9:11 a.m., either the senior weapons director at NEADS or his technician instructs the Otis fighters to “remain at current position [holding pattern] until FAA requests assistance.” Fighters Exit Holding Pattern for New York - Just before 9:13 a.m., the Otis pilots tell their controller at the FAA’s Boston Center that they need to establish a combat air patrol over New York. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 459] According to the 9/11 Commission, “Radar data show that at 9:13, when the Otis fighters were about 115 miles away from the city, the fighters exited their holding pattern and set a course direct for Manhattan” (see 9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 24] Entity Tags: James Fox, Federal Aviation Administration, New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, Kevin Nasypany, Steve Hedrick, Daniel Nash, Northeast Air Defense Sector Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:09 a.m. and After) September 11, 2001: Numerous False Reports of Hijacked Aircraft Cause Confusion

NEADS commander Robert Marr. [Source: Dick Blume] During the course of the morning, there are “multiple erroneous reports of hijacked aircraft in the system,” according to the 9/11 Commission. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Around 9:09 a.m., the FAA Command Center reports that 11 aircraft are either not communicating with FAA facilities or flying unexpected routes. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/3/2002] NORAD’s Major General Larry Arnold will later claim that during the “four-hour ordeal” of the attacks, a total of 21 planes are identified as possible hijackings. [FILSON, 2002; CODE ONE MAGAZINE, 1/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 71] Colonel Robert Marr, the NEADS battle commander, will recall, “At one time I was told that across the nation there were some 29 different reports of hijackings.” [NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE, 3/31/2005] Officials will later claim that these false reports cause considerable chaos. Arnold says that particularly during the time between the Pentagon being hit at 9:37 a.m. and Flight 93 going down at around 10:06 a.m., “a number of aircraft are being called possibly hijacked.… There was a lot of confusion, as you can imagine.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 71-73] He says: “We were receiving many reports of hijacked aircraft. When we received those calls, we might not know from where the aircraft had departed. We also didn’t know the location of the airplane.” [CODE ONE MAGAZINE, 1/2002] According to Marr: “There were a number of false reports out there. What was valid? What was a guess? We just didn’t know.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 73] Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke, who is in the Pentagon during the attacks and for most of the rest of the day, will recall: “There were lots of false signals out there. There were false hijack squawks, and a great part of the challenge was sorting through what was a legitimate threat and what wasn’t.” [CNN, 6/17/2004; CLARKE, 2006, PP. 215-231] Entity Tags: Robert Marr, Larry Arnold, Federal Aviation Administration, Victoria Clarke Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:10Edit

(9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Requests Information on Unusual Flight Activity, Receives Numerous ReportsEdit

The FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia. [Source: Federal Aviation Administration] Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, puts the word out that he wants all air traffic control facilities around the US to inform him of anything unusual that occurs with the flights they are handling. In response, news of suspicious activity quickly starts coming in to the Command Center. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 125-126] Command Center Calls Field Facilities - Sliney wants air traffic control facilities to notify him of anything out of the ordinary, such as a radar target disappearing from the radar scope, loss of communication with an aircraft, or an aircraft making an unauthorized change of course. He also wants to know immediately of any glitches that occur, even if these are common, everyday problems, such as a flight deviating from its course, missing a frequency change, overlooking a radio call, or getting a transponder code wrong. The center’s controllers at each regional desk therefore start calling their field facilities, and ask them to report any unusual occurrences. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/22/2003 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 125] The Command Center has telecommunications lines to all the major air traffic control facilities in the US, which enables it to reach out to those facilities and establish the big picture about aircraft activity. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 64] 'More and More' Responses Received - Following the call for information, numerous reports of suspicious activity are received from the air traffic control facilities. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 125-126] Linda Schuessler, the deputy director of system operations at the Command Center, will later recall, “[W]e started getting more and more calls about bomb threats, about aircraft that we had lost communication or radar identification with.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001] Center Lists Suspect Aircraft - Sliney wants a list compiled of the reportedly suspicious aircraft. A dry-erase board is set up in the middle of the room. On it a manager keeps track of the reports that are coming in, writing down where each suspect aircraft was last seen, who was working it, where the flight originated, and where it is going. Another person contacts the field facilities to follow up on the reports. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/22/2003 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 126] Two Dozen Suspicious Flights - Author Pamela Freni will later describe, “[F]or the next several hours the call signs and status” of every suspicious aircraft will be recorded. Command Center personnel call “airline operations centers, trying to determine any crises on each flight. Only when each plane landed or was found safe did its identification information disappear from the board. Upward to two dozen were listed at one time, but ultimately the number was whittled to 11 highly suspicious cases” (see (9:09 a.m. and After) September 11, 2001). “Nine of those airplanes would land safely. Two of them—AA 77 and UA 93—would not.” [FRENI, 2003, PP. 64-65] Entity Tags: Linda Schuessler, Ben Sliney, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Washington Flight Control Sees Unidentified Plane, Apparently Fails to Notify FAA or NORADEdit

Washington flight control notices a new eastbound plane entering its radar with no radio contact and no transponder identification. They do not realize it is Flight 77. They are aware of the hijackings and crashes of Flights 11 and 175, yet they apparently fail to notify anyone about the unidentified plane. [NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Another report says they never notice it, and it is only noticed when it enters radar coverage of Washington’s Dulles International Airport at 9:24 a.m. (see (9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 11/3/2001] Entity Tags: North American Aerospace Defense Command, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:12 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NEADS Takes Control of New York Airspace NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) declares “AFIO” (Authorization for Interceptor Operations) for New York airspace, which gives the military authority over the FAA for that airspace, and will enable the fighter jets launched from Otis Air National Guard Base in response to Flight 11 (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001) to head toward the city. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 113] For the last few minutes, the two Otis fighters have been kept in a “holding pattern” in military airspace over the Atlantic Ocean (see 9:09 a.m.-9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001), and NEADS has been unable to get permission from the FAA for them to enter the civilian airspace over New York. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 111-112] Marr Wants AFIO - According to author Lynn Spencer, Colonel Robert Marr, the NEADS battle commander, now “decides that he is done waiting for FAA approval for his fighters to enter New York airspace.… He will play his ace card. There is one method for the military to override the FAA’s authority over the airspace, and it is called AFIO.” The declaration of AFIO will give the military “emergency authority to enter FAA-controlled airspace without permission.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 113] According to an FAA document, “Upon declaring ‘AFIO,’ NORAD assumes responsibility for [interceptor fighter jets] seeing and avoiding all known aircraft and ensuring safe intercept conduct.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 2/19/2004, PP. 4-12-1 - 4-12-2] Nasypany Directed to Declare AFIO - Marr, who is in the NEADS battle cab, speaks over a direct phone line to Major Kevin Nasypany, the NEADS mission crew commander, who is on the operations floor there. He orders him to declare AFIO for New York airspace and to immediately move the Otis fighters over the city. Nasypany then calls out across the operations floor to the weapons team, “Okay, we’re declaring AFIO at this time.” The directive is relayed immediately to the two Otis pilots, who will then leave their holding pattern and head toward Manhattan (see 9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 113] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Robert Marr, Kevin Nasypany Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001: Port Authority Asks New York Airports about Hijacked Planes, Airports Know Little A Port Authority police officer calls a flight controller at La Guardia Airport in New York City. The officer asks, “They are inquiring whether or not you can call Kennedy’s tower, because they can’t get through, and inquire whether or not they had any contact with these aircrafts.” The flight controller responds, “At this time, we do not think that anyone in the FAA had any contact with them.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/30/2003] “Kennedy” is a reference to John F. Kennedy Airport, another major airport in New York City. Port Authority police, who patrol both the WTC and the airports, seek information from the controllers about the hijackers. However, the controllers are unable to offer any news. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/30/2003] Entity Tags: La Guardia Airport, Federal Aviation Administration, New York Port Authority, John F. Kennedy Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Asked to Issue Nationwide Cockpit Security Alert, but Does Not Act on Request 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 ] Entity Tags: Daniel Bueno, Ellen King, Federal Aviation Administration, Ben Sliney Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:16 a.m.-9:18 a.m. September 11, 2001: American Airlines Contacts FAA; Thinks Flight 77 May Have Hit the WTC Bill Halleck, an American Airlines air traffic control specialist at the airline’s System Operations Control (SOC) in Fort Worth, Texas, phones an official at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, to ask about the status of New York City air traffic. During their two-and-a-half minute conversation, Halleck says American thinks Flight 11 crashed into the WTC, and says that Flight 77 is “missing.” Presently, he receives an update from someone else at SOC, indicating that Flight 77 may also have crashed into the WTC (see 9:08 a.m. September 11, 2001). He wonders how it could have gotten to New York, but updates the FAA official on this news. The FAA official replies that the second WTC crash may not have been Flight 77 because “we have another call sign” for that incident. The FAA Command Center is currently uncertain of the identity of either of the planes that hit the Twin Towers, and provides no further information. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 31 AND 94 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Bill Halleck, American Airlines Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:16 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Reported Hijacked before Hijacking Supposedly Occurs, According to Some Accounts; One Hijacker May Have Snuck into Cockpit Early According to an early timeline laid out to CNN by unnamed but “informed defense officials,” the FAA informs NORAD at this time that Flight 93 may have been hijacked. [CNN, 9/17/2001] In public testimony before the 9/11 Commission in 2003, NORAD officials will similarly claim that the FAA first reports the possible hijacking of Flight 93 at this time. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] Yet this is 12 minutes before the hijacking is meant to have occurred (see (9:28 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 38 ] One explanation is put forward that could possibly help explain the discrepancy: There are media reports that “investigators had determined from the cockpit voice recorder from United Airlines Flight 93… that one of the four hijackers had been invited into the cockpit area before the flight took off from Newark, New Jersey.” Cockpit voice recordings indicate that the pilots believed their guest was a colleague “and was thereby extended the typical airline courtesy of allowing any pilot from any airline to join a flight by sitting in the jumpseat, the folded over extra seat located inside the cockpit.” [FOX NEWS, 9/24/2001; HERALD SUN (MELBOURNE), 9/25/2001] This would be consistent with passenger phone calls from the plane, describing only three hijackers on Flight 93 (see (9:27 a.m.-10:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 120] However, the reports will not be confirmed. The 9/11 Commission Report will dismiss the claim that NORAD was alerted at 9:16, stating, “In public testimony before this Commission in May 2003, NORAD officials stated that at 9:16, NEADS received hijack notification of United 93 from the FAA. This statement was incorrect. There was no hijack to report at 9:16. United 93 was proceeding normally at that time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 34] No further explanations will be offered for the incorrect timelines. NORAD’s own initial timeline, released on September 18, 2001, will not give a time for when the FAA alerted it to Flight 93. It will only say that the FAA and its Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) “established a line of open communication discussing AA Flt 77 and UA Flt 93.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/18/2001] Entity Tags: Northeast Air Defense Sector, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:17 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Shuts Down All New York City Airports The FAA shuts down all New York City area airports. [CNN, 9/12/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/12/2001] A flight controller at La Guardia airport reports the taxiways, runways, and airspace are completely clear at 9:37 a.m.m [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/30/2003] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, La Guardia Airport Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:17 a.m. EST, September 11, 2001: New York Airports Closed The Federal Aviation Administration closes down New York Metro area airports. [CNN, 9/12/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Environmental Impact of 9/11

9:19 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Concerned about Delta Flight 1989, Wants It to Increase Cockpit Security The FAA’s New England regional office calls the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, and asks it to tell Cleveland Center to contact Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 and advise it to use extra cockpit security. The reason the New England regional office makes this request is unclear. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 10] As the 9/11 Commission will describe, apparently in response to the request, “[A]t 9:19 the FAA… Command Center in Herndon ordered controllers to send a cockpit warning to Delta 1989 because, like American 11 and United 175, it was a transcontinental flight departing Boston’s Logan Airport.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 455] Minutes earlier, the FAA’s Boston Center asked the Command Center to contact the nation’s FAA centers and instruct them to tell all airborne aircraft to increase their cockpit security (see (9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The Command Center’s instruction to air traffic controllers about Delta 1989 is apparently an exception, as the 9/11 Commission will say it found “no evidence to suggest that the Command Center acted on this request.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 23; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 25-26 ] Delta 1989 will subsequently be mistakenly reported as having been hijacked (see (9:28 a.m.-9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 9:39 a.m. September 11, 2001). [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:20Edit

(9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Sets Up Ineffectual Hijacking Teleconference Edit

The FAA sets up a hijacking teleconference with several agencies, including the Defense Department. This is almost one hour after the FAA’s Boston flight control began notifying the chain of command (see 8:25 a.m. September 11, 2001) and notified other flight control centers about the first hijacking at 8:25 a.m. (see 8:25 a.m. September 11, 2001). According to the Acting FAA Deputy Administrator Monte Belger, this teleconference (called the “hijack net”) is “the fundamental primary source of information between the FAA, [Defense Department], FBI, Secret Service, and… other agencies.” Yet even after the delay in setting it up, FAA and Defense Department participants later claim it plays no role in coordinating the response to the hijackings. The 9/11 Commission says, “The NMCC [National Military Command Center inside the Pentagon] officer who participated told us that the call was monitored only periodically because the information was sporadic, it was of little value, and there were other important tasks. The FAA manager of the teleconference also remembered that the military participated only briefly before the Pentagon was hit.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 36] According to a statement provided by the FAA to the 9/11 Commission in 2003, this teleconference began significantly earlier—“[w]ithin minutes after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center” (see (8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Monte Belger, US Department of Defense, 9/11 Commission Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:20 a.m.-9:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA’s Indianapolis Center Finally Aware of National Crisis; Discusses Flight 77 Concerns with Command Center According to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA’s Indianapolis Center, which was monitoring Flight 77 when it disappeared from radar (see 8:56 a.m. September 11, 2001 and (8:56 a.m.-9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001), has learned by 9:20 a.m. that there are “other hijacked aircraft,” and begins “to doubt its initial assumption that American 77 had crashed.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 24] In fact, a transcript of air traffic controller communications will show that the Indianapolis Center was informed of the Flight 11 hijacking, and that two planes had hit the World Trade Center, at 9:09 a.m. (see 9:09 a.m. September 11, 2001); five minutes later, it received confirmation of the Flight 11 hijacking (see 9:14 a.m. September 11, 2001). [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001] And television networks have been covering the crashes in New York since as early as 8:48 a.m. (see 8:48 a.m. September 11, 2001). [BAMFORD, 2004, PP. 16-17] Other Facilities Notified - The manager at the Indianapolis Center now discusses the concern that Flight 77 may not have crashed with the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia. This discussion prompts the Command Center to notify some FAA field facilities that Flight 77 is lost. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 32 ] Also at around 9:20, the Indianapolis Center operations manager contacts the FAA’s Chicago Center. He advises its operations manager of his concern that Flight 77 may have been hijacked, and says to be on the lookout, based on the events that have occurred in New York. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ] By 9:21, according to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA “Command Center, some FAA field facilities, and American Airlines had started to search for American 77. They feared it had been hijacked.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 24-25] Entity Tags: Chicago flight control, Federal Aviation Administration, Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center, American Airlines Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FBI Washington Office Is Warned Flight 77 Has Been Hijacked

Arthur Eberhart. [Source: Spc. Edgar R. Gonzalez] In a government report analyzing the effectiveness of rescue worker response to the Pentagon crash, it is mentioned that, “At about 9:20 a.m., the WFO [FBI Washington Field Office] Command Center [is] notified that American Airlines Flight 77 had been hijacked shortly after takeoff from Washington Dulles International Airport. [Special Agent in Charge Arthur] Eberhart dispatche[s] a team of 50 agents to investigate the Dulles hijacking and provide additional security to prevent another. He sen[ds] a second team to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport as a precautionary step. At the WFO Command Center, Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) Jim Rice [is] on the telephone with the Pentagon when Flight 77 crashe[s] into the building.” [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. C-55] Yet according to the 9/11 Commission, NORAD is not told that Flight 77 had been hijacked at this time or any time before it crashes. However, the FAA has claimed they officially warned NORAD at 9:24 a.m. (see (9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001) and informally warned them even earlier (see (9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: North American Aerospace Defense Command, Arthur Eberhart, US Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration, Albert T. Church III, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, FBI Washington Field Office Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001: Boston Air Traffic Control Center Mistakenly Tells NEADS Flight 11 Is Still Airborne According to the 9/11 Commission, NEADS is contacted by the FAA’s Boston Center. Colin Scoggins, Boston Center’s military liaison, tells it: “I just had a report that American 11 is still in the air, and it’s on its way towards—heading towards Washington.… That was another—it was evidently another aircraft that hit the tower. That’s the latest report we have.… I’m going to try to confirm an ID for you, but I would assume he’s somewhere over, uh, either New Jersey or somewhere further south.” The NEADS official asks: “He—American 11 is a hijack?… And he’s heading into Washington?” Scoggins answers yes both times and adds, “This could be a third aircraft.” Somehow Boston Center has been told by FAA headquarters that Flight 11 is still airborne, but the 9/11 Commission will say it hasn’t been able to find where this mistaken information came from. Scoggins Makes Error - Vanity Fair magazine will later add, “In Boston, it is Colin Scoggins who has made the mistaken call.” Scoggins will explain why he believes he made this error: “With American Airlines, we could never confirm if [Flight 11] was down or not, so that left doubt in our minds.” He says he was monitoring a conference call between FAA centers (see 8:28 a.m. September 11, 2001), “when the word came across—from whom or where isn’t clear—that American 11 was thought to be headed for Washington.” However, Boston Center was never tracking Flight 11 on radar after losing sight of it near Manhattan: “The plane’s course, had it continued south past New York in the direction it was flying before it dipped below radar coverage, would have had it headed on a straight course toward DC. This was all controllers were going on.” Scoggins says, “After talking to a supervisor, I made the call and said [American 11] is still in the air.” [NORTHEAST AIR DEFENSE SECTOR, 9/11/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Myers Refers to Mistaken Report - In the hours following the attacks, acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers will apparently refer to this erroneous report that Flight 11 is still airborne and heading toward Washington, telling the Associated Press that “prior to the crash into the Pentagon, military officials had been notified that another hijacked plane had been heading from the New York area to Washington.” Myers will say “he assumed that hijacked plane was the one that hit the Pentagon, though he couldn’t be sure.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/11/2001] Entity Tags: Richard B. Myers, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Federal Aviation Administration, Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Colin Scoggins Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001: Dulles Airport Control Facility Advised to Look for Flight 77

The air traffic control tower at Dulles International Airport. [Source: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority] The FAA’s Herndon Command Center informs a supervisor at the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) at Washington Dulles International Airport that the FAA has lost contact with American Airlines Flight 77 and is trying to locate it. The Dulles TRACON then informs its air traffic controllers that a commercial aircraft is missing, and instructs them to look for primary targets on their radar screens. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 25; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 32 ] (A primary target is a radar track that provides an aircraft’s position and speed, but not its altitude, and which can still be viewed when the plane’s transponder has been turned off. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/11/2001; SALON, 9/10/2004] ) Dulles Airport is located 26 miles west of Washington, DC, and 22 miles from the Pentagon. [NEW YORK TIMES, 6/19/1994; USA TODAY, 9/13/2001] According to the 9/11 Commission, controllers at its TRACON will locate an unidentified aircraft on their radar screens at 9:32 (see 9:32 a.m. September 11, 2001), although other accounts will suggest they locate the target slightly earlier (see (Between 9:25 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 33 ] Entity Tags: Washington Dulles International Airport, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Between 9:22 a.m. and 9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Airline Managers Join Teleconference but Receive No Guidance; Timing Unclear Managers from American Airlines and United Airlines are added by the FAA to a teleconference, but they receive no guidance from top government officials on what to do. According to author Lynn Spencer, at some point after the second aircraft hit the World Trade Center, the executives from the two airlines are “quickly on the phone to FAA headquarters and the FAA Command Center.” They are brought into “a conference call that has now been set up with Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and Vice President Dick Cheney at the White House. The airline executives inform the secretary that they are each dealing with additional aircraft that they are unable to contact. They seek guidance, but there is none.… The nation is under attack, but there is no plan in place, and no guidance is forthcoming from the top as the crisis escalates.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 109] The time when the airline executives join the teleconference is unclear. In Spencer’s account, she places it after United Airlines dispatchers have warned their aircraft to secure their cockpits (see (Shortly After 9:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001), which would mean some time after 9:21. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 37 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 109] But Spencer also says that, when the executives join the conference, the “president is still reading to children in a Florida school room” (see (9:06 a.m.-9:16 a.m.) September 11, 2001), which would be roughly between 9:05 and 9:15. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 38-39; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 109] If Norman Mineta is already participating in the teleconference when the airline executives join it, the time would have to be after around 9:20, which is when Mineta later says he arrived at the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House (see (Between 9:20 a.m. and 9:27 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] And Cheney, who Spencer also says is participating in the teleconference when the executives join it, arrives at the PEOC as late as 9:58, according to the 9/11 Commission, although other accounts indicate he arrives there much earlier than this (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 40] According to the Wall Street Journal, American Airlines president Don Carty and United Airlines CEO Jim Goodwin are talking on the phone with Mineta (presumably over the conference call) about five minutes before the FAA shuts down all US airspace (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001), which would mean they are participating in the teleconference by around 9:40 a.m. [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Don Carty, United Airlines, Norman Mineta, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, American Airlines, Jim Goodwin Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:24 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Regional Center Contacts Headquarters about Flight 77 Edit

The FAA’s Great Lakes Regional Operations Center notifies the Operations Center at FAA’s Washington headquarters of the simultaneous loss of radar identification and radar communications with Flight 77. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 32 ] This is almost 30 minutes after this loss of contact occurred (see 8:56 a.m. September 11, 2001), and 15 minutes after the Great Lakes regional center was informed of it (see 9:09 a.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001: By Some Accounts, FAA Notifies NORAD Flight 77 Is Hijacked and Washington-Bound; 9/11 Commission Claims This Never Happens Shortly after 9/11, NORAD reported that the FAA notified them at this time that Flight 77 “may” have been hijacked and that it appears headed toward Washington. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/12/2001; CNN, 9/17/2001; NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/18/2001; GUARDIAN, 10/17/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/21/2002] Apparently, flight controllers at Dulles International Airport discover a plane heading at high speed toward Washington; an alert is sounded within moments that the plane appears to be headed toward the White House. [WASHINGTON POST, 11/3/2001] In 2003, the FAA supported this account, but claimed that they had informally notified NORAD earlier. “NORAD logs indicate that the FAA made formal notification about American Flight 77 at 9:24 a.m. (see (9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001), but information about the flight was conveyed continuously during the phone bridges before the formal notification.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 5/22/2003] Yet in 2004, the 9/11 Commission claims that both NORAD and the FAA are wrong. The 9/11 Commission explains that the notification NEADS received at 9:24 a.m. was the incorrect information that Flight 11 had not hit the WTC and was headed south for Washington, D.C. Thus, according to the 9/11 Commission, NORAD is never notified by the FAA about the hijacking of Flight 77, but accidentally learns about it at 9:34 a.m. (see 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Washington Dulles International Airport, Federal Aviation Administration, North American Aerospace Defense Command Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:25 a.m. September 11, 2001: 9/11 Commission’s Conflicting Account of Clarke-Led Video Conference Begins at This Time According to his own account, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke, started a video teleconference from the White House’s Secure Video Conferencing Center, next to the Situation Room, at around 9:10 a.m.(see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). However, the 9/11 Commission says that logs indicate this conference beginning 15 minutes later than this. Included in the conference are the FBI, the CIA, the FAA, the departments of State, Justice, and Defense, and the White House shelter. The FAA and CIA join at 9:40 a.m. The 9/11 Commission says, “It is not clear to us that the video teleconference was fully under way before 9:37, when the Pentagon was struck.” Furthermore, it states: “We do not know who from Defense participated, but we know that in the first hour none of the personnel involved in managing the crisis did. And none of the information conveyed in the White House video teleconference, at least in the first hour, was being passed to the NMCC [in the Pentagon].” Clarke’s video teleconference is not connected into the area of the NMCC from where the crisis is being managed. Consequently, “the director of the operations team-who was on the phone with NORAD-did not have the benefit of information being shared on the video teleconference.” And, “when the Secretary [of Defense Rumsfeld] and Vice Chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Myers] later participated in the White House video teleconference, they were necessarily absent from the NMCC and unable to provide guidance to the operations team.” Clarke, however, gives a specific recollection of Myers speaking over video at 9:28, which is seemingly at odds with the 9/11 Commission’s account (see 9:28 a.m. September 11, 2001). One witness later recalls: “[It] was almost like there were parallel decision-making processes going on; one was a voice conference orchestrated by the NMCC… and then there was the [White House video teleconference].… [I]n my mind they were competing venues for command and control and decision-making.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004] Entity Tags: North American Aerospace Defense Command, Central Intelligence Agency, US Department of Justice, US Department of State, US Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration, Richard A. Clarke Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:25 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Finally Tells FAA Headquarters about Flight 77 According to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA Command Center advises FAA headquarters that American 77 is lost in Indianapolis flight control’s airspace, that Indianapolis has no primary radar track, and is looking for the aircraft. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] When exactly the Command Center first learned that Flight 77 was lost is unclear. The earliest time reported by the 9/11 Commission is when an American Airlines employee mentioned it when calling the center at 9:16 a.m. (see 9:16 a.m.-9:18 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 24] American Airlines headquarters was notified of the loss of contact with Flight 77 before 9:00 a.m. (see 8:58 a.m. September 11, 2001), but had mistakenly thought this was the aircraft that hit the second WTC tower minutes later (see 9:08 a.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, American Airlines Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Between 9:25 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Dulles Airport Controllers Reportedly Notice Flight 77, Earlier than 9/11 Commission ClaimsEdit

According to an FAA report, between 9:25 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., air traffic controllers at the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) at Washington Dulles International Airport notice an unidentified blip, later identified to be Flight 77, on their radar screens. This is several minutes earlier than the 9/11 Commission will claim they notice it. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 9] Plane Flying East at High Speed - The TRACON at Dulles Airport, which is about 22 miles west of the Pentagon, learned several minutes earlier that the FAA had lost contact with Flight 77. It then advised its controllers to look out for “primary targets” (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001). [USA TODAY, 9/13/2001; NAVY TIMES, 9/22/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 32 ] These are radar tracks that can still be viewed when a plane’s transponder has been turned off. [SALON, 9/10/2004] Several of the facility’s controllers now observe a primary radar target heading eastbound toward Washington at high speed, almost 500 miles per hour. Although the aircraft has no transponder signal to identify it, it is later determined to be Flight 77. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Conflicting Times - According to the 9/11 Commission Report, the Dulles TRACON controllers only notice this aircraft at 9:32 a.m. (see 9:32 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 9] The FAA report, which is published less than a week after 9/11, will state that its time of between 9:25 and 9:30 is “approximate, based on personnel statements from Dulles Terminal Radar Approach Control.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ] But this earlier time will receive some corroboration from a report in USA Today, which states that the FAA’s Command Center is notified by a Dulles controller of the unidentified aircraft at “just before 9:30 a.m.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Furthermore, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, who is currently at the White House, will tell the 9/11 Commission that at “about 9:25 or 9:26” he overhears someone warning Vice President Dick Cheney of an aircraft approaching Washington (see (9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] Radar evidence obtained by CBS News will show that “at 9:30 a.m.… radar tracked the plane as it closed to within 30 miles of Washington.” [CBS NEWS, 9/21/2001] Entity Tags: Washington Dulles International Airport, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Rookie FAA Manager Bans All Take Offs Nationwide, Including Most Military Flights? Mineta Asserts He Issues Order Minutes Later

FAA Administrator Jane Garvey. [Source: FAA] Time magazine later reports that Jane Garvey, head of the FAA, “almost certainly after getting an okay from the White House, initiate[s] a national ground stop, which forbids takeoffs and requires planes in the air to get down as soon as is reasonable. The order, which has never been implemented since flying was invented in 1903, applie[s] to virtually every single kind of machine that can takeoff—civilian, military, or law enforcement.” Military and law enforcement flights are allowed to resume at 10:31 a.m. (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001) A limited number of military flights—the FAA will not reveal details—are allowed to fly during this ban. [TIME, 9/14/2001] Garvey later calls it “a national ground stop… that prevented any aircraft from taking off.” [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001] Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta later says he was the one to give the order: “As soon as I was aware of the nature and scale of the attack, I called from the White House to order the air traffic system to land all aircraft, immediately and without exception.” [US CONGRESS. SENATE. COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE AND TRANSPORTATION, 9/20/2001] According to Mineta, “At approximately 9:45… I gave the FAA the final order for all civil aircraft to land at the nearest airport as soon as possible.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] At the time, 4,452 planes are flying in the continental US. A later account states that Ben Sliney, the FAA’s National Operations Manager, makes the decision without consulting his superiors, like Jane Garvey, first. It would be remarkable if Sliney was the one to make the decision, because 9/11 is Sliney’s first day on the job as National Operations Manager, “the chess master of the air traffic system.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] When he accepted the job a couple of months earlier, he had asked, “What is the limit of my authority?” The man who had promoted him replied, “Unlimited.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Yet another account, by Linda Schuessler, manager of tactical operations at the FAA Command Center where Sliney was located, says, “… it was done collaboratively… All these decisions were corporate decisions. It wasn’t one person who said, ‘Yes, this has got to get done.’” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001] About 500 planes land in the next 20 minutes, and then much more urgent orders to land are issued at 9:45 a.m. (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [TIME, 9/14/2001; US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001; AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/3/2002; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/21/2002; NEWSDAY, 9/10/2002] Entity Tags: Jane Garvey, Ben Sliney, Norman Mineta, Federal Aviation Administration, Linda Schuessler Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:28 a.m.-9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Cleveland Center Controllers Mistakenly Think Delta 1989 Is Hijacked

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767, the same kind of aircraft as Delta 1989. [Source: Public domain] The FAA’s Cleveland Center incorrectly concludes that Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 has been hijacked, but accounts will conflict over how it comes to this conclusion. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 167] Delta 1989, a Boeing 767, is currently in the sector of airspace being monitored by Cleveland Center air traffic controller John Werth. [9/11 COMMISSION, 10/2/2003 ; USA TODAY, 9/11/2008] It is flying west over Pennsylvania, approaching the Ohio border, and is about 25 miles behind Flight 93. FBI agents suspected Delta 1989 might be the next plane to be hijacked and called the Cleveland Center after the second attack on the World Trade Center, with the warning to watch this flight (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] A supervisor at the center told Werth to keep an eye on the flight because, as Werth will later recall, “he was a suspected hijacking because he had taken off from Boston at approximately the same time as” the first two hijacked aircraft, Flights 11 and 175. [9/11 COMMISSION, 10/1/2003 ; USA TODAY, 9/11/2008] Controllers Hear Suspicious Communications - When, at 9:28, Werth hears the sound of screaming (subsequently determined to have come from Flight 93) over the radio (see (9:28 a.m.) September 11, 2001), he is unsure which of seven or eight possible aircraft it is coming from. The radio frequency is put on the speaker so other controllers can hear it, and they subsequently make out the words, “get out of here.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 10/1/2003 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 11, 28] Controllers Think Delta 1989 Is Hijacked - According to USA Today, when Cleveland Center controllers then hear a voice with a heavy accent over the radio, saying “Ladies and gentlemen: Here the captain.… We have a bomb on board” (see (9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001), they mistakenly think it is coming from Delta 1989, not Flight 93. They suspect the flight has been hijacked, and start informing their chain of command. “Officials at Cleveland Center rush word to Washington: Hijackers have another flight. At the Federal Aviation Administration’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, Delta Flight 1989 joins a growing list of suspicious jets.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 12] Werth Decides Hijacked Aircraft Is Flight 93 - Werth then calls all of the aircraft in his sector, and Flight 93 is the only one that does not respond. He also sees Flight 93 go into a quick descent and then come back up again. Werth therefore concludes that it is Flight 93, not Delta 1989, that has been hijacked, and instructs his supervisor to “tell Washington” of this. [9/11 COMMISSION, 10/1/2003 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 10/2/2003 ] However, events in the following minutes will cause Cleveland Center controllers to remain suspicious of Delta 1989 (see (Shortly After 9:44 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 9:45 a.m. September 11, 2001). [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 10/2/2003 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 168; USA TODAY, 9/11/2008] Book Gives Alternative Account - In a book published in 2008, author Lynn Spencer will give a different explanation for why Cleveland Center becomes suspicious of Delta 1989. According to her account, after hearing a later radio transmission where a hijacker again says “There is a bomb on board” (see (9:39 a.m.) September 11, 2001), Werth begins to hand off his flights to other controllers so he can devote his full attention to Flight 93. “In the distraction of the emergency, the crew of Delta 1989 misses the hand-off to the new frequency. The new sector controller for Delta 1989 calls out to the plane several times and gets no response.” As a result, “News travels fast,” and “Soon, word on the FAA’s open teleconference call is that a fifth aircraft is out of radio contact: Delta 1989… is added to the list of suspect aircraft.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 167] At 9:39 a.m., even though it is not responsible for handling Delta 1989, the FAA’s Boston Center will call NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) and incorrectly tell it that Delta 1989 is another possible hijack (see 9:39 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Entity Tags: John Werth, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:29 a.m.-9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Pentagon Command Center Begins High Level Conference CallEdit

The National Miilitary Command Center, inside the Pentagon. [Source: National Military Command Center] Captain Charles Leidig is temporarily in command of the National Military Command Center (NMCC), “the military’s worldwide nerve center.” In response to the attacks on the World Trade Center, he convenes a conference call. [CNN, 9/4/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004 ] Telephone links are established between the NMCC located inside the Pentagon (but on the opposite side of the building from where the explosion will happen), Canada’s equivalent Command Center, Strategic Command, theater commanders, and federal emergency-response agencies. At one time or another, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, key military officers, leaders of the FAA and NORAD, the White House, and Air Force One are heard on the open line. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/3/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] NORAD command director Captain Michael Jellinek claims this call was initiated “at once” after the second WTC tower was hit. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/3/2002] However, the 9/11 Commission concludes it starts at 9:29 a.m. According to the commission, it begins as an all-purpose “significant event” conference. But at 9:30, Leidig states that it has just been confirmed that Flight 11 is still airborne and is heading toward Washington, DC. (This incorrect information apparently arose minutes earlier during a conference call between FAA centers (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001).) In response to this erroneous report, the significant event conference is ended at around 9:34. It then resumes at about 9:37 as an air threat conference call, which lasts for more than eight hours. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 37] This is broadcast over a loudspeaker inside the NMCC. [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 8/31/2003] Brigadier General Montague Winfield, who later takes over from Leidig in charge of the NMCC, says, “All of the governmental agencies that were involved in any activity going on in the United States at that point, were in that conference.” [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] The call continues right through the Pentagon explosion; the impact is not felt within the NMCC. [CNN, 9/4/2002] However, despite being in the Pentagon when it is hit, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld doesn’t enter the NMCC or participate in the call until 10:30 a.m. (see (10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Mike Jellinek, Montague Winfield, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, George W. Bush, National Military Command Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Charles Leidig, Donald Rumsfeld Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:30Edit

Main article: FAA:9:30am

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