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5:43 a.m. September 11, 2001: Hijackers Check in at Portland Airport; Atta Becomes Angry with Ticket Agent Edit

Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari check in at the US Airways counter at Portland International Jetport.[1] [2] They are wearing ties and jackets. Atta checks in two bags, Alomari none. Atta is randomly selected for additional security scrutiny by CAPPS [see 1]. However, the only consequence is that his checked bags will be held off the plane until it is confirmed that he has boarded. [3][4][5]

Noting that their flight is soon due to leave, the ticket agent who checks them in, Michael Tuohey, says, “You’re cutting it close.” [6] Tuohey thinks the pair seems unusual. He notices they both have $2,500 first-class, one-way tickets. He later comments, “You don’t see many of those.” Atta looks “like a walking corpse. He looked so angry.” In contrast, Tuohey says, Alomari can barely speak English and has “a goofy smile, I can’t believe he knew he was going to die that day.” Tuohey will later recount, “I thought they looked like two Arab terrorists but then I berated myself for the stereotype and did nothing.”[7][5]

Atta becomes angry when Tuohey informs him he will have to check in again in Boston. He complains that he was assured he would have a “one-step check-in.” [8][9]

Tuohey will be recalled to work later in the day to speak to an unnamed FBI agent about his encounter with Atta and Alomari. He is shown video footage of them passing through the airport’s security checkpoint upstairs [see 2]. Although recognizing the two men, he notices that in the video they are no longer wearing the jackets and ties they’d had on when checking in just minutes before. He assumes they must have taken these off and tucked them into their carry-on baggage. He is also informed that the security camera behind his own desk, which should have captured the two hijackers, has in fact been out of order for some time.[6] [5]

8:amEdit

(8:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Israeli Special-Ops Passenger Possibly Shot or Stabbed by Hijackers Edit

[1]

An FAA memo written on the evening of 9/11, and later leaked, will suggest that a man on Flight 11 is shot and killed by a gun before the plane crashes into the World Trade Center. The “Executive Summary,” based on information relayed by a flight attendant[who?] to the American Airlines Operation Center, states “that a passenger located in seat 10B [ Satam Al Suqami ] shot and killed a passenger in seat 9B [ Daniel Lewin ] at 9:20 a.m.” (Note that since Flight 11 crashes at 8:46, the time may be a typographical error, probably meaning 8:20).[citation needed]

A report in Ha’aretz on September 17 will identify Lewin as a former member of the Israel Defense Force Sayeret Matkal Wikipedia, Israel’s most successful Special Operations unit.[10] Lewin founded Akamai Wikipedia, a successful computer company, and his connections to Sayeret Matkal will remain hidden until the gun story becomes known.[11][12]

FAA and American Airlines officials[who?] will later deny the gun story and suggest that Lewin is probably stabbed to death instead.[13] Officials assert that the leaked document was a “first draft,” and subsequently corrected, but decline to release the final draft, calling it “protected information.” However, an unnamed FAA official present when the memo is drafted will dispute the FAA’s claim, asserting that “[t]he document was reviewed for accuracy by a number of people in the room, including myself and a couple of managers of the operations center.” [14][15] This unnamed official is probably Bogdan Dzakovic, a leader of the FAA’s “red team” conducting covert security inspections. He will later tell the 9/11 Commission:

“There are serious indications that the FAA deceived the public about what happened on 9/11. On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, I was working in one of the FAA operations centers collecting information on details of what happened during the hijacking. We received information that a firearm was used on one of the hijacked aircraft.… That evening the administrator of FAA requested an executive summary covering the day’s activities, and this information about a gun was included in the summary. Days later, without any explanation or questioning of the summary’s author, the administrator publicly announced that no guns had been used in the hijacking. Several months passed when the press re-surfaced this issue. FAA’s initial response was that no so such executive summary existed. Later, when confronted with the document, FAA admitted the executive summary existed, but denied its accuracy. Sometime later I learned that another operations center also received a report that a firearm was used.… There were also reports of a possible explosive threatened on a flight.” [16][17][18]


  1. "The night before terror". PORTLAND PRESS HERALD. 10/5/2001. 
  2. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. 10/14/2001. http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/100401.htm. 
  3. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 1
  4. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 2
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 cnn. 3/3/2006. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0603/03/lol.03.html. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Ticket agent haunted by brush with 9/11 hijackers". PORTLAND PRESS HERALD. 3/6/2005. 
  7. PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. 2/24/2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20050227013534/http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/columnists/michael_smerconish/10977209.htm. 
  8. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 2
  9. "Airline Ticket Agent Recalls Atta on 9/11". ASSOCIATED PRESS. 3/7/2005. 
  10. .  [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 3/6/2002] NEW YORKER, 10/29/2001]
  11. . 
  12. [GUARDIAN, 9/15/2001]
  13. .  [WASHINGTON POST, 3/2/2002; UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 3/6/2002]
  14. . 
  15. [WORLDNETDAILY, 3/7/2002]
  16. CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/02/26/eveningnews/main502094.shtml. [CBS NEWS, 2/25/2002;
  17. "911 commission". 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/22/2003;
  18. "village voice". VILLAGE VOICE, 2/8/2005]

8:25 a.m. September 11, 2001: Boston Center Starts Notifying Chain of Command Edit

in a template This article has been assessed as havingUnknown importance.

Good scope?NoN Timeline? +YesY wikified? +YesY red links < 10?NoN all red links fixed?NoN referenced?NoN Illustrated?NoN Googled and added info? NoN Checked 9/11 records archives? NoN Checked Wikinews? NoN Checked Wikisource? NoN [2]

Boston Center begins notifying the chain of command that a suspected hijacking of Flight 11 is in progress. Those notified include the center’s own facility manager, the FAA’s New England Regional Operations Center (ROC) in Burlington, Massachusetts Wikipedia, and the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia [see 3][1][2]

According to the 9/11 Commission, this is consistent with FAA protocol:

“From interviews of controllers at various FAA centers, we learned that an air traffic controller’s first response to an aircraft incident is to notify a supervisor, who then notifies the traffic management unit and the operations manager in charge. The FAA center next notifies the appropriate regional operations center (ROC), which in turn contacts FAA headquarters.”[3]


But according to Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA’s Command Center, “the protocol was in place that the center that reported the hijacking would notify the military.… I go back to 1964, where I began my air traffic career, and they have always followed the same protocol.” [4]

Yet Boston Center supposedly will not contact NORAD Wikipedia about Flight 11 until about 12 minutes later [see 4]. Already about ten minutes have passed since controllers first noticed a loss of contact with Flight 11[see 5]. Boston reportedly also contacts several other air traffic control centers about the suspected hijacking at this time [see 6]

(8:26 a.m.-8:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 11 Turns, Many Watch It on Primary Radar Edit

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At 8:26, Flight 11, which is already way off course, makes an unplanned 100-degree turn to the south over Albany, New York. A minute later, it turns right, to the south-southwest. Then, two minutes on, at 8:29, it turns left to the south-southeast. Boston Center air traffic controllers never lose sight of the flight, though they can no longer determine altitude as the transponder is turned off. Its last known altitude was 29,000 feet. [5]

Before this turn, the FAA had tagged Flight 11’s radar dot for easy visibility and, at American Airlines’ System Operations Control (SOC) in Fort Worth, Texas, “All eyes watched as the plane headed south. On the screen, the plane showed a squiggly line after its turn near Albany, then it straightened.” [6] Boston air traffic controller Mark Hodgkins later says, “I watched the target of American 11 the whole way down.” [7] However, NEADS has different radar. When they are finally told about the flight, they cannot find it [see 7] NEADS has to repeatedly phone the FAA, airlines, and others, for clues as to the plane’s location. NEADS will eventually focus on a radar blip they believe might be Flight 11, and watch it close in on New York. [8]

8:28 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Informed of Flight 11 Hijacking, Establishes Teleconference between Air Traffic Control Centers Edit

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Boston Center calls the FAA Command Center and says it believes Flight 11 has been hijacked and is heading toward the New York Center’s airspace. The Command Center immediately establishes a teleconference between the Boston, New York, and Cleveland Center air traffic control centers, so Boston can help the other centers understand what is happening, in case Flight 11 should enter their airspace. Minutes later, in line with the standard hijacking protocol, the Command Center will pass on word of the suspected hijacking to the FAA’s Washington headquarters [see 8][9][10][11]

Tom Paccione[12]a supervisor at the Command Center, promptly passes on the news of the possible hijacking to Ben Sliney, who is on his first day as the national operations manager there. The supervisor says the plane in question is “American Flight 11—a 767 out of Boston for Los Angeles.” According to author Lynn Spencer, “Sliney flashes back to the routine for dealing with hijackings from the days when they were more common.” The procedure is to

"[k]eep other aircraft away from the errant plane. Give the pilots what they need. The plane will land somewhere, passengers will be traded for fuel, and difficult negotiations with authorities will begin. The incident should resolve itself peacefully, although the ones in the Middle East, he recalls, often had a more violent outcome.”

Apparently not expecting anything worse to happen, Sliney continues to the conference room for the daily 8:30 staff meeting there [see 9]

The FAA Command Center is located in Herndon, Virginia, 25 miles from Washington, DC. According to Spencer, it

“is a communications powerhouse, modeled after NASA’s Mission Control. The operations floor is 50 feet wide and 120 feet long, packed with tiered rows of computer stations, and at the front, seven enormous display screens show flight trajectories and weather patterns.”


The center has nearly 50 specialists working around the clock, planning and monitoring the flow of air traffic over the United States. These specialists work with airlines and air traffic control facilities to fix congestion problems and deal with weather systems. [13]

8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: Several Senior Members of FAA Staff Away From Base When Attacks Begin Edit

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Good scope?NoN Timeline? +YesY wikified? +YesY red links < 10?NoN all red links fixed?NoN referenced?NoN Illustrated?NoN Googled and added info? NoN Checked 9/11 records archives? NoN Checked Wikinews? NoN Checked Wikisource? NoN

A number of key senior FAA personnel happen to be away from their usual bases this morning, at the time of the attacks. Bill Peacock, the FAA director of air traffic services, is in New Orleans Wikipedia for a meeting with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association Wikipedia. Among his many duties, Peacock is “the ultimate manager of all the air traffic controllers in the country’s system.” He will be transported from New Orleans later in the day in an FAA business jet, one of the few aircraft permitted to fly, and only arrive at FAA headquarters shortly after 5:00 p.m.[14]

Jack Kies Wikipedia, the FAA’s manager of tactical operations, is in Nashua, New Hampshire for a meeting with representatives of the Canadian air traffic control organization. [15]Consequently Linda Schuessler, the deputy director of system operations, has to take his place in charge of the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia.[16]

Tony Ferrante Wikipedia, the manager of the FAA’s air traffic investigation arm, is in Chicago Wikipedia to testify at a hearing. He will become frustrated later in the day about being stuck there, knowing he should he at his post in Washington gathering forensic data on the hijackings and crashes. [17]

Rick Hostetler Wikipedia, a member of the FAA’s planning and procedures organization, is at the dentist’s in Waldorf, Maryland when the attacks begin. His job includes acting as the FAA’s primary air traffic liaison for the Secret Service, the US Special Operations Command, and the Pentagon. After seeing the second WTC tower hit live on television, reportedly while sitting in the dentist’s chair, he will quickly set out for his duty station at the FAA Command Center. But due to the heavy traffic, his journey will take hours and the attacks will be over by the time he gets there. [18]

Mike Canavan, the director of the FAA’s Office of Civil Aviation Security, is visiting the airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He will only make it back to Washington in the evening, on a special Army flight. [19][20] As part of his job, Canavan is the FAA’s hijack coordinator, responsible for requesting military assistance in the event of a hijacking [see 10]. [21]

FAA Administrator Jane Garvey is in a breakfast meeting at the Department of Transportation, in Washington, DC. She will quickly relocate to FAA headquarters soon after the first attack [see 11]. [22]

Whether the absence of these senior personnel impairs the FAA’s ability to respond to the attacks is unknown.

8:30 a.m.-8:40 a.m. September 11, 2001: Managers at FAA Command Center Learn of Flight 11 Hijacking, but Continue with Staff Meeting Edit

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Managers at the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, learn of the apparent hijacking of Flight 11, but continue with a meeting they are in for several minutes, until being notified that one of the plane’s flight attendants may have been stabbed.

The daily staff meeting among all the department heads at the Command Center begins at 8:30 a.m. Ben Sliney, who is on his first day as national operations manager there, has just been informed of the suspected hijacking of Flight 11 [see 12]. He begins the meeting by announcing news of the hijacking to the other managers, but then continues with his normal briefing, about the outlook for the coming day’s operations. Sliney is interrupted, apparently at around 8:40 a.m., when a supervisor(either Tom Paccione or Mike Artis[23] enters the conference room and whispers to him that the situation with the hijacking has deteriorated: American Airlines has just called, reporting that a flight attendant on the plane may have been stabbed.

Deciding he should be on the center’s operations floor rather than in the meeting, Sliney announces to the other managers:

"Look, this hijack situation has seriously escalated and I need to get back to the floor. There is an unconfirmed report indicating that a flight attendant may have been stabbed.”

He then excuses himself. The meeting is quickly broken up before the first World Trade Center crash occurs at 8:46 a.m. The managers then head to their posts. Despite the “intuitive nature of this group of people,” none of them will initially consider the first WTC crash to be connected to the hijacking they have been informed of. According to Linda Schuessler, the deputy director of system operations at the Command Center, “something that seemed so bizarre as flying a hijacked plane full of people into a skyscraper didn’t seem possible.” [24][25] [26]

8:32 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Headquarters Informed of Flight 11 Hijacking, but Does Not Contact the Pentagon to Request Assistance Edit

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Four minutes after it is informed of the suspected hijacking of Flight 11[see 13], the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, passes on word of the hijacking to the operations center at FAA headquarters in Washington, DC. The headquarters is apparently already aware of the hijacking, as the duty officer who speaks with the Command Center responds that security personnel at the headquarters have just been discussing it on a conference call with the FAA’s New England regional office.[27][28]

According to the 9/11 Commission, “FAA headquarters is ultimately responsible for the management of the national airspace system,” and the operations center there “receives notifications of incidents, including accidents and hijackings.” FAA headquarters has a hijack coordinator, who is “the director of the FAA Office of Civil Aviation Security or his or her designate.” Procedures require that, if a hijacking is confirmed, the hijack coordinator on duty is

“to contact the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC) and to ask for a military escort aircraft to follow the flight, report anything unusual, and aid search and rescue in the event of an emergency.”

Yet, the Commission will state, although “FAA headquarters began to follow the hijack protocol,” it does “not contact the NMCC to request a fighter escort.”[29] Mike Canavan, who would normally be the FAA’s hijack coordinator, is away in Puerto Rico this morning, and it is unclear who—if anyone—is standing in for him in this critical role [see 14].. [30][31]

  1. "The night before terror". PORTLAND PRESS HERALD. 10/5/2001. 
  2. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. 10/14/2001. http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/100401.htm. 
  3. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 1
  4. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 2
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 cnn. 3/3/2006. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0603/03/lol.03.html. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Ticket agent haunted by brush with 9/11 hijackers". PORTLAND PRESS HERALD. 3/6/2005. 
  7. PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. 2/24/2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20050227013534/http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/columnists/michael_smerconish/10977209.htm. 
  8. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 2
  9. "Airline Ticket Agent Recalls Atta on 9/11". ASSOCIATED PRESS. 3/7/2005. 
  10. .  [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 3/6/2002] NEW YORKER, 10/29/2001]
  11. . 
  12. [GUARDIAN, 9/15/2001]
  13. .  [WASHINGTON POST, 3/2/2002; UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 3/6/2002]
  14. . 
  15. [WORLDNETDAILY, 3/7/2002]
  16. CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/02/26/eveningnews/main502094.shtml. [CBS NEWS, 2/25/2002;
  17. "911 commission". 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/22/2003;
  18. "village voice". VILLAGE VOICE, 2/8/2005]

Shortly After 8:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: NEADS Staff Unable to Locate Hijacked Planes on Radar ScreensEdit

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Members of staff at NEADS have difficulty locating Flight 11 and other aircraft on their radar screens.

Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins of NEADS will say that when the FAA first calls and reports the first hijacking [see 15], “He [FAA] gave me the latitude and longitude of that track… [but] there was nothing there.” [32][FOX NEWS, 9/8/2002]

Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center, later recalls:

"I was giving NEADS accurate location information on at least five instances where AA 11 was, yet they could never identify him.… I originally gave them an F/R/D, which is a fix/radial/distance from a known location; they could not identify the target. They requested latitude/longitudes, which I gave them; they still could not identify the AA 11.… I gave them 20 [miles] south of Albany heading south at a high rate of speed, 600 knots, then another call at 50 south of Albany.”

[33][GRIFFIN, 2007, PP. 47]

Master Sergeant Kevin Foster and Staff Sergeant Mark Rose, also working at NEADS this morning, later complain about their inability to locate the hijacked planes. After being informed of the first hijacking, reportedly:

“As they had practiced countless times before, the NEADS team quickly began searching their [radar] screens for the plane. Because they had been informed its transponder was off, they knew to look for a tiny dash instead of the usual dot. But radar systems also use such lines to indicate weather patterns, so NEADS personnel began urgently clicking their computer cursors on each stray line to see if information indicating an aircraft would appear.”
Yet, after receiving further calls indicating more hijackings, “the inability to find the hijacked planes on the radar, despite their best efforts, was difficult.” According to Foster, “We were trying to find the tracks, and not being able to was very frustrating.” [34][UTICA OBSERVER-DISPATCH, 8/5/2004] 


NEADS Staff Sergeant Larry Thornton will recall:

“Once we were called by the FAA, we could find split-second hits on what we thought we were looking for. But the area was so congested and it was incredibly difficult to find. We were looking for little dash marks in a pile of clutter and a pile of aircraft on a two-dimensional scope.”
Each fluorescent green pulsating dot on their radar scopes represents an airplane, and there are thousands currently airborne, especially over the busy northeast US. [35][FILSON, 2003, PP. 56]

(8:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Manager Ben Sliney Begins Responding to Hijacking Edit

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At the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, the national operations manager, Ben Sliney, learns more details of the hijacking of Flight 11, and becomes involved with the emergency response to it.[36]

Tom Paccione informed Sliney of the suspected hijacking at just before 8:30 [see 16]. Soon after, a supervisor (either Paccione or Mike Artis interrupted a meeting Sliney was in, to tell him American Airlines Wikipedia had called to report the deteriorating situation on Flight 11 [see 17].

Sliney heads to the center’s operations floor, where he is given further details of the call from American Airlines, including information about Betty Ong’s phone call from Flight 11[see 18]. He is told the plane’s transponder has been switched off [see 19], which means no flight data is showing on the screens of air traffic controllers, and the latest information from the FAA’s Boston Center is that Flight 11 has turned south, and is now 35 miles north of New York City. On one of the large screens at the front of the Command Center that shows flight trajectories, Sliney can see that the track for Flight 11 is in “ghost.” This means that, because no transponder data is being received, the computer is displaying track information based on previously stored track data.

Sliney instructs his staff to contact facilities along the path the flight appears to be on, to find if anyone is in contact with it or tracking it. [37] He will later recall, “I figured we’d try to get the people on the ground, the towers in the area, the police departments, anyone we could get to give us information on where this flight was.” [38]

Sliney then requests a teleconference between the FAA’s Boston Center, New York Center, and FAA headquarters in Washington, so they can share information about the flight in real time. [36]

The Command Center has already initiated a teleconference between the Boston, New York, and Cleveland Centers, immediately after it was notified of the suspected Flight 11 hijacking. [39] However, Sliney apparently does not request military assistance. According to Lynn Spencer, “The higher echelons at headquarters in Washington will make the determination as to the necessity of military assistance in dealing with the hijacking.” [36]

8:41 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA, Unusually, Does Not Contact United Airlines about Communications from Flight 175Edit

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Senior United Airlines personnel are, unusually, not informed about air traffic control communications with Flight 175.

At 8:41, the pilots of United Airlines 175 report to air traffic controllers that they heard “a suspicious transmission” from another aircraft on their departure out of Boston [see 20]. Yet this information is not passed on to personnel at the United Airlines System Operations Control (SOC) center, just outside Chicago.

Rich Miles, the manager there, will later tell the 9/11 Commission that,

"though he normally received relevant information about United flights from FAA air traffic control, on September 11, 2001, he did not recall receiving information about any air traffic control communications with or from Flight 175, including the 8:41 a.m. report.”

None of the other senior United Airlines officials at the SOC on this morning are told of the 8:41 communication, although they will tell the 9/11 Commission that air traffic controllers will “first and foremost” communicate directly with pilots. Furthermore, these officials will recall, “they never received any communication… from the FAA or the air traffic control system advising United to contact its aircraft about the hijackings.” The 9/11 Commission will not offer any explanation for this lack of communication between the FAA and United Airlines.[40][41]

(After 8:46 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Establishes Open Telephone Line with the Secret Service Edit

Shortly after the WTC is hit, the FAA opens a telephone line with the Secret Service to keep the White House informed of all events. [ [SOURCES: RICHARD (“DICK”) CHENEY] A few days later, Vice President Cheney will state, “The Secret Service has an arrangement with the FAA. They had open lines after the World Trade Center was…” (He stopped himself before finishing the sentence.) [MSNBC, 9/16/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(8:48 a.m.-8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Manager Ben Sliney Learns of First WTC Crash, Doesn’t Realize It Is Flight 11Edit

Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, learns that a plane has hit the World Trade Center, but it does not occur to him that this might have been the hijacked Flight 11 that he has been tracking. As national operations manager, Sliney is in charge of supervising all activities on the Command Center’s operations floor and overseeing the entire air traffic control system for the United States. He is currently on the operations floor, trying to gather and disseminate whatever information he can about Flight 11. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 2 AND 45-46] At 8:48 a.m., a manager at the FAA’s New York Center provides a report on Flight 11 over a Command Center teleconference, saying: “We’re watching the airplane. I also had conversation with American Airlines, and they’ve told us that they believe that one of their stewardesses was stabbed and that there are people in the cockpit that have control of the aircraft, and that’s all the information they have right now.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 21] Although Flight 11 crashed two minutes earlier (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001), this is all Sliney is currently hearing about the aircraft. The Command Center’s military liaison then approaches him. The liaison is a colonel who is responsible for handling military airspace reservations, but is not part of the NORAD chain of command. He tells Sliney to put CNN up on one of the center’s screens, because “They are reporting that a small plane has hit the World Trade Center.” Upon following this suggestion, Sliney and his colleagues see the television footage of the burning North Tower. Sliney is baffled, commenting aloud: “That’s a lot of smoke for a small plane. I’ve worked New York airspace. Why would you be right over the World Trade Center on a clear, bright day?” However, according to author Lynn Spencer, “The notion that it is actually American 11 that has hit the tower doesn’t cross his mind; the idea that the hijacking they’ve been tracking might have flown into that building, especially on such a clear day, is simply unfathomable.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 46] Entity Tags: New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, Ben Sliney, Lynn Spencer, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 8:48 a.m.) September 11, 2001: United Airlines Learns Crashed Plane Belonged to American Airlines, but Director Unable to Contact Corporate Officials about ThisEdit

Apparently, managers at United Airlines’ System Operations Control (SOC) center, just outside Chicago, are unaware of any unfolding emergency until they see CNN reporting the burning World Trade Center (see 8:48 a.m. September 11, 2001). “Within minutes,” the air traffic control coordinator at United Airlines’ headquarters, located next to the SOC, calls an official at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center to confirm that the plane that just hit the WTC was not one of United’s aircraft. The FAA official tells him the plane had been a hijacked American Airlines 757. Soon afterwards, the air traffic control coordinator briefs Bill Roy and Mike Barber—the director and the dispatch manager at United’s SOC—on this information from the FAA. Barber then tries notifying United’s top corporate officials about it. However, he is unable to because the airline’s pager system is not working. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 21-22 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Bill Roy, Mike Barber, United Airlines Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Soon after 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001: FBI Arrives at Boston Air Traffic Control Center Edit

The FBI arrives at the FAA’s Boston Center, in Nashua, New Hampshire, “minutes after Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center,” and seizes tape recordings of radio transmissions from the hijacked plane. Boston Center handled Flight 11, and recorded intermittent radio transmissions from its cockpit (see (After 8:14 a.m.-8:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 9/13/2001] According to FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown, the FAA has to turn over all its records from 9/11 to the FBI immediately afterwards. She says it is not unusual for the FAA to turn over its records after a major disaster, but normally this is to the National Transportation Safety Board, not the FBI. [GRIFFIN, 2004, PP. 185] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Laura Brown, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Establishes Phone Bridges, Including with the Military, Earlier than Claimed by 9/11 Commission According to a statement by two high-level FAA officials, “Within minutes after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center, the FAA immediately established several phone bridges [i.e., telephone conference calls] that included FAA field facilities, the FAA command center, FAA headquarters, [Defense Department], the Secret Service, and other government agencies.” The FAA shares “real-time information on the phone bridges about the unfolding events, including information about loss of communication with aircraft, loss of transponder signals, unauthorized changes in course, and other actions being taken by all the flights of interest, including Flight 77. Other parties on the phone bridges in turn shared information about actions they were taken.” The statement says, “The US Air Force liaison to the FAA immediately joined the FAA headquarters phone bridge and established contact with NORAD on a separate line.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] Another account says the phone bridges are “quickly established” by the Air Traffic Services Cell (ATSC). This is a small office at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, which is staffed by three military officers at the time of the attacks (see (Between 9:04 a.m. and 9:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001). It serves as the center’s liaison with the military. According to Aviation Week and Space Technology, the phone bridges link “key players, such as NORAD’s command center, area defense sectors, key FAA personnel, airline operations, and the NMCC.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/10/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] According to an FAA transcript of employee conversations on 9/11, one of the phone bridges, between the FAA Command Center, the operations center at FAA headquarters, and air traffic control centers in Boston and New York, begins before Flight 11 hits the World Trade Center at 8:46 (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 3-10 ] If these accounts are correct, it means someone at NORAD should learn about Flight 77 when it deviates from its course (see (8:54 a.m.) September 11, 2001). However, the 9/11 Commission will later claim that the FAA teleconference is established about 30 minutes later (see (9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The Air Force liaison to the FAA will claim she only joins it after the Pentagon is hit (see (Shortly After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Services Cell, US Department of Defense Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Between 8:51 a.m. and 8:56 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Air Force Liaison to FAA Arrives at FAA Headquarters, but Does Not Join TeleconferenceEdit

The US Air Force liaison to the FAA arrives at FAA headquarters in Washington, DC, but, according to her own later recollections, does not immediately join a teleconference that has been set up in response to the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, 8/31/2006 ] Military Liaisons at FAA Headquarters - Each of the four military services within the US Department of Defense (the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps) assigns an FAA liaison officer to represent its requirements to the director of air traffic. These four liaisons share office space on the fourth floor of FAA headquarters. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] Colonel Sheryl Atkins is the Air Force liaison there. Air Force liaisons at the FAA regional offices all report to Atkins, and she reports to the Pentagon. Atkins Arrives at FAA Headquarters - Atkins will later recall that she was on her way to work when the first plane hit the WTC at 8:46 a.m., and she arrives at FAA headquarters “probably five, 10 minutes after that.” Once there, she goes to her office, where everyone is gathered around the television. She will see the CNN coverage of the second plane hitting the WTC at 9:03 a.m., and then immediately begin “personnel accounting.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/26/2004; US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, 8/31/2006 ] Atkins Does Not Join Teleconference - According to a 2003 statement provided by the FAA, the FAA established a teleconference with several other agencies minutes after the first WTC tower was hit (see (8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and the Air Force liaison to the FAA (i.e. Atkins) “immediately” joined this. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] However, Atkins will say she only joins this teleconference after 9:37 a.m., when the Pentagon attack occurs (see (Shortly After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/26/2004; US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, 8/31/2006 ] Not Responsible for Reporting Hijackings - Atkins will tell the 9/11 Commission that she is not responsible for being a channel from the FAA to the military for hijack and/or fighter escort protocols. She will explain that her office is “a liaison military administrative office,” and therefore, if she is notified of a hijacking, this does not represent “procedural military notification.” 9/11 Commission staff members will confirm “that there is no indication in the FAA handbook for special military procedures that [Atkins’s] office has a role in the notification to the military of a hijack, or the request to the military for fighter asset support.” Atkins will recall that, on this morning, “no one at the FAA” says to her that she should initiate “notification for a military response and/or coordination with the FAA response to the attacks.” Instead, she is “involved with military administrative coordinating and facilitating… and not with direct assessment or response to the attacks.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/26/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 4/19/2004] No Other Military Liaisons Present - The three other military liaisons that share office space with Atkins at FAA headquarters are currently elsewhere, spread out around northern Virginia and Washington, DC. The Navy and Marine Corps liaisons will arrive at FAA headquarters at around 10:30 a.m.; the Army liaison will not arrive until the following day. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] Entity Tags: Sheryl Atkins, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9 amEdit

Main article: FAA:9am

10amEdit

10:01 a.m. September 11, 2001: Local Pilot Sees Flight 93 Rocking Back and ForthEdit

Bill Wright. [Source: WTAE-TV] Bill Wright is piloting a small plane when an air traffic controller asks him to look around outside his window, according to his later claims. Wright sees Flight 93 three miles away—close enough that he can see the United Airlines colors. Air traffic control asks him the plane’s altitude, and then commands him to get away from the plane and land immediately. Wright sees the plane rock back and forth three or four times before he flies from the area. He will later say, “That’s one of the first things that went through my mind when they told us to get as far away from it as fast as we could—that either they were expecting it to blow up or they were going to shoot it down, but that’s pure speculation.” [PITTSBURGH CHANNEL, 9/19/2001] According to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA Command Center tells FAA headquarters that a nearby plane has seen Flight 93 “waving his wings.” The Commission will say, “The aircraft had witnessed the radical gyrations in what we believe was the hijackers’ effort to defeat the passenger assault.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] This presumably is a reference to Wright. Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Bill Wright Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(After 10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: United Airlines Tells FAA Flight 93 Is over Maryland, Says Military Will Be Informed United Airlines official Sandy Rogers calls Ellen King at the FAA’s Command Center to discuss Flight 93. The timing of the call is not known specifically, although it appears to be after the Pentagon was hit and could not be long after Flight 93 is thought to have crashed, which is shortly after 10:00 a.m. (see (10:03 a.m.-10:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Rogers tells King that Flight 93 has been hijacked, and King responds, “Oh God… thank you,” indicating she was previously unaware of the hijacking. However, the FAA had been aware of the situation since a few minutes after the hijacking took place (see (9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). Rogers also says: “It’s over Hagerstown now and you’re not aware of it. It’s heading toward Washington, DC, and we are under a threat of a hijacking on board and this flight is out of our control now heading toward Washington, DC.” Rogers states that United Airlines is “advising the military” about the plane and King also says that the FAA will do the same. [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 37-39 ] However, there are no other reports of Flight 93 ever being over Hagerstown, which is in Maryland. Flight 93 is said to crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and is thought never to reach Maryland. There will be some—apparently mistaken—reports that the plane is still airborne after it is thought to have crashed (see (Between 10:10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 10:10 a.m.-10:11 a.m. September 11, 2001), and this may be another such report. Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Ellen King, United Airlines, Sandy Rogers Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

10:02 a.m. September 11, 2001: Secret Service Warns Vice President Cheney that Hijackers Are Headed Toward Washington Vice President Cheney and other leaders now in the White House bunker begin receiving reports from the Secret Service of a presumably hijacked aircraft heading toward Washington. The Secret Service is getting this information about Flight 93 through links to the FAA. However, they are looking at a projected path, not an actual radar return, so they do not realize that the plane crashes minutes later. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: NMCC Learns of Flight 93 Hijacking, NORAD Still Not Told According to the 9/11 Commission, the NMCC learns about the Flight 93 hijacking at this time. Since the FAA has not yet been patched in to the NMCC’s conference call, the news comes from the White House. The White House learned about it from the Secret Service, and the Secret Service learned about it from the FAA. NORAD apparently is still unaware. Four minutes later, a NORAD representative on the conference call states, “NORAD has no indication of a hijack heading to Washington, D.C., at this time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration, National Military Command Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(10:03 a.m.-10:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Crashes; Seven-Minute Discrepancy on Exact Timing of Crash Exactly when Flight 93 crashes remains unclear. According to NORAD, Flight 93 crashes at 10:03 a.m. [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/18/2001] The 9/11 Commission gives an exact time of 11 seconds after 10:03 a.m. It will claim this “time is supported by evidence from the staff’s radar analysis, the flight data recorder, NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board] analysis, and infrared satellite data.” It does note that “[t]he precise crash time has been the subject of some dispute.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] However, a seismic study authorized by the US Army and drafted by scientists Won-Young Kim and Gerald Baum to determine when the plane crashed will conclude that the crash happened at 10:06:05 a.m. [KIM AND BAUM, 2002 ; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 12/9/2002] The discrepancy is so puzzling that the Philadelphia Daily News will publish an article on the issue, titled “Three-Minute Discrepancy in Tape.” This notes that leading seismologists agree on the 10:06 a.m. time, give or take a couple of seconds. [PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 9/16/2002] The New York Observer will note that, in addition to the seismology study, “The FAA gives a crash time of 10:07 a.m. In addition, the New York Times, drawing on flight controllers in more than one FAA facility, put the time at 10:10 a.m. Up to a seven-minute discrepancy? In terms of an air disaster, seven minutes is close to an eternity. The way our nation has historically treated any airline tragedy is to pair up recordings from the cockpit and air traffic control and parse the timeline down to the hundredths of a second. However, as [former Inspector General of the Transportation Department] Mary Schiavo points out, ‘We don’t have an NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigation here, and they ordinarily dissect the timeline to the thousandth of a second.’” [NEW YORK OBSERVER, 2/15/2004] Entity Tags: North American Aerospace Defense Command, Mary Schiavo, 9/11 Commission, Won-Young Kim, Gerald R. Baum, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:08 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Informed that Flight 93 Has Crashed, Confirms Crash Nine Minutes Later According to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA Command Center reports to FAA headquarters at this time that Flight 93 has crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside. “It hit the ground. That’s what they’re speculating, that’s speculation only.” The Command Center confirms that Flight 93 crashed at 10:17 a.m. [GUARDIAN, 10/17/2001; MSNBC, 9/11/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:17 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA out of the Loop; Finally Joins NMCC Teleconference The FAA finally joins an emergency teleconference being conducted by the National Military Command Center (NMCC) at the Pentagon. The NMCC has been holding this teleconference since 9:29 a.m. It began as a “significant event” conference, but after eight minutes continued as an air threat conference call (see (9:29 a.m.-9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Yet, according to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA has not been included in it until this time, because operators have had “equipment problems and difficulty finding secure phone numbers.” NORAD asked three times before 10:03 a.m., when the last hijacked plane crashed, to confirm the presence of FAA on the teleconference, to provide an update on hijackings, but without success. Furthermore, the FAA representative who now joins the teleconference has “no familiarity with or responsibility for hijackings, no access to decisionmakers, and none of the information available to senior FAA officials.” The highest level Defense Department officials rely on this teleconference to coordinate with their counterparts at the FAA. As a result of the FAA’s absence from it, the leaders of NORAD and the FAA have effectively been out of contact with each other. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 37-38] General Richard Myers, the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will later write that the lack of communication with the FAA has contributed to confusion at the NMCC over the flight numbers of the aircraft that were hijacked. However, according to Myers, the NMCC could not contact the FAA over ordinary phone lines because “[t]errorists who could hijack aircraft so readily could probably also eavesdrop on unsecured phone lines.” [MYERS, 2009, PP. 153] Entity Tags: US Department of Defense, Richard B. Myers, Federal Aviation Administration, National Military Command Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:21 a.m. September 11, 2001: All International Flights into US Diverted by FAA Jane Garvey, the head of the FAA, orders the diversion of all international flights with US destinations. Most of the flights are diverted to Canada. [CNN, 9/12/2001; TIME, 9/14/2001; MSNBC, 9/22/2001] Entity Tags: Jane Garvey, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 10:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Air Traffic Control Center Evacuated following Report of Airborne Threat The FAA’s Boston Center is evacuated after it receives a report that an unidentified aircraft is heading its way. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/20/2001; USA TODAY, 8/11/2002; NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER, 9/11/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 243] The Boston Center, located in Nashua, New Hampshire, manages air traffic above New England, and monitored Flight 11 and Flight 175 earlier on. [USA TODAY, 8/11/2002; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/12/2002] Employees there are already concerned because a large tractor-trailer has parked directly in front of their facility, on New Hampshire’s Route 3. State police have been called to get it away from there. Possible Airborne Threat Leads to Evacuation - The FAA’s New England regional office in Burlington, Massachusetts, now calls the Boston Center and reports that an unidentified aircraft is heading for the facility. In response to this potential threat, managers at the center immediately order the closure and evacuation of their building. They also declare “ATC zero,” which shuts down the Boston Center’s airspace (see (Shortly After 10:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Employees run from the building while managers try to decide which, if any, personnel should remain in the facility. According to Colin Scoggins, the center’s military liaison, “at this time we honestly felt that we were targeted and an impact was imminent.” Bomb Threat to Childcare Facility - Making matters worse, a bomb scare phone call is received at the center’s childcare facility, which is the employees’ usual evacuation point. Center managers therefore decide that everyone must leave the building. Employees are advised to go to either 11 Murphy Drive—an FAA administrative facility—or a nearby Holiday Inn. According to Scoggins, three or four Flight Service Data Processing System personnel remain in the basement of the Boston Center when it is evacuated, apparently because there is no paging system in their office on which they can receive the evacuation order. Evacuation Time Unclear - The time the evacuation takes place at is unclear. According to the account of author Lynn Spencer, it occurs some time shortly after 10:20 a.m. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/20/2001; USA TODAY, 8/11/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 242-243] At 10:34 a.m., John White, a manager at the FAA’s Command Center, reports that the Boston Center “has received a threat,” and is “going down to skeleton staffing.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 11/4/2003] A 10:52 a.m. entry in the log of the FAA headquarters’ teleconference will state that the Boston Center is “evacuating the building.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] USA Today will report that the center is evacuated at “about 11 a.m.” Few Employees Return to Building - About 30 minutes to an hour after the building is evacuated, some of the center’s personnel will return to work. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/20/2001; USA TODAY, 8/11/2002] By 12:16 p.m., the center is back in operation, but with only a skeleton staff. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] Suspicious Aircraft Only a Coast Guard Plane - As it turns out, the approaching aircraft that prompts the evacuation is just a Coast Guard plane. According to Scoggins, “We had already identified it.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/20/2001] The aircraft was noted in a 10:18 a.m. entry in the log of the FAA headquarters’ teleconference, which stated: “Aircraft 160 miles east of Nantucket is headed westbound toward Boston at a high rate of speed.” But a log entry five minutes later, at 10:23 a.m., noted that the aircraft “is identified as a Coast Guard flight from Nantucket.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] Shortly before the Boston Center is alerted to this aircraft, Scoggins had been tracking what is apparently another unidentified target on his radar screen: a slow-moving large aircraft that is also flying toward the Boston Center from the east (see (10:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 242-243] The identity of that aircraft is unclear. Entity Tags: Colin Scoggins, Federal Aviation Administration, Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Commander Wants Fighters Launched in Response to Aircraft Approaching Washington, Supposedly Flight 93 Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, wants his fighter jets to intercept a suspicious aircraft coming down the Potomac River toward the capital, which is apparently thought to be Flight 93, although that plane has already crashed (see (10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 79-81; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] Numerous Suspicious Aircraft - According to the Washington Post, the DCANG has learned there are “about a half-dozen suspicious aircraft in the air across the country, among them hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, on a path toward Washington.” Wherley will add: “Nobody knew it had crashed. We just knew there was an airplane out there that could be coming to Washington. We knew the threat was real.” Fighters Launched due to False Report - The first three DCANG fighters to take off in response to the attacks are ordered to go after this alleged inbound aircraft. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002] Lieutenant Colonel Phil Thompson, the chief of safety for the DC Air National Guard, will later recall: “We had something coming down the Potomac at low altitude. Brigadier General Wherley is standing here, and we’ve got the tower with the Secret Service agent, and they want us to launch anything we’ve got. And the general said, ‘Do it.’” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 81] DCANG pilot Billy Hutchison, who takes off at 10:38 a.m. (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001), will describe, “There was an aircraft coming down the Potomac that they needed me in the air for” that had to “be prevented from reaching the DC area.” He is told this aircraft is “coming from Pennsylvania.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] And pilot Marc Sasseville, who, along with Heather Penney Garcia, takes off at 10:42 a.m. (see 10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001), later says: “We all realized we were looking for an airliner—a big airplane. That was Flight 93; the track looked like it was headed toward DC at that time.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] Incorrect Report Comes from Secret Service - According to Major David McNulty, the senior intelligence officer of the DCANG, his understanding is that “the information about the plane coming down the river” came from the Secret Service’s White House Joint Operations Center. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] FAA personnel are also receiving similar information from the Secret Service. At 10:32, an FAA employee tells John White, a manager at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, “Secret Service is reporting one unknown eight miles out, flying inbound.” Two minutes later, this employee says they are “[t]rying to tell [the] Secret Service about [Flight] 93,” because the Secret Service is “a little bit behind, still getting reports.” They then tell White, “Secret Service is saying the aircraft they are talking is coming up the Potomac right now.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 11/4/2003] Fire and rescue workers are evacuated away from the Pentagon site around this time, in response to a report from the FBI of a hijacked aircraft flying toward Washington (see (10:15 a.m.-10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). This may be the same alleged plane that the DCANG and FAA learn of. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A30; FIRE ENGINEERING, 11/2002] Aircraft Supposedly a Helicopter - The incoming aircraft is apparently a false alarm. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] After searching for it, Hutchison will be instructed to fly back toward Washington because, he will say, “the plane had been lost.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] According to a 9/11 Commission memorandum, “FAA tapes and transcripts” reveal the aircraft to be “an Army National Guard helicopter based out of Davison Field, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, which had become isolated in Maryland as events unfolded and which wanted to return to its home field.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] Secret Service Thinks Plane Crashed at Camp David - However, at 10:36, the FAA employee relays that the “Secret Service is saying they believe United 93 hit Camp David.” Seconds later, they add that the Secret Service is “confirming that UA 93 did go into Camp David.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 11/4/2003] Even President Bush is given an incorrect report of a plane going down near Camp David around this time (see (10:37 a.m.-11:09 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 108] So this erroneous information may be what leads to Hutchison being informed that the aircraft he was sent after has been lost. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] Entity Tags: Secret Service, David Wherley, Billy Hutchison, Phil Thompson, David McNulty, John White, Marc Sasseville, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Heather Penney Garcia, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001: Military and Law Enforcement Flights Resume The FAA allows “military and law enforcement flights to resume (and some flights that the FAA can’t reveal that were already airborne).” All civilian, military, and law enforcement flights were ordered at 9:26 a.m. to land as soon as reasonably possible. [TIME, 9/14/2001] Civilian flights remain banned until September 13. Note that the C-130 cargo plane that witnessed the Flight 77 crash (see 9.36 a.m. September 11, 2001) and which came upon the Flight 93 crash site (see 10:08 a.m. September 11, 2001) right after it had crashed was apparently not subject to the grounding order issued about an hour earlier. Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(10:37 a.m.-11:09 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Plane Incorrectly Reported to Have Crashed at Camp David The press incorrectly reports that an airliner has crashed on or near Camp David. [DAILY RECORD (BALTIMORE), 9/12/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, 3/2002] Camp David is the presidential retreat, located about 70 miles north of Washington, DC, in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. [FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS, 10/2/2000; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 7/30/2007] On Air Force One, at 10:37, White House chief of staff Andrew Card relays to the president the incorrect report of the crash. [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 108] At around 11:09, CBS News reports that “a plane apparently has crashed at or near Camp David.” [BROADCASTING AND CABLE, 8/26/2002] An early article by Forbes states, “There are reports of a fourth airliner [having] been brought down near Camp David… by US military fighters.” [FORBES, 9/11/2001] And an early report by the Northwestern Chronicle similarly states, “Air Force officials say an airliner has been forced down by F-16 fighter jets near Camp David.” [NORTHWESTERN CHRONICLE, 9/11/2001] Theresa Hahn, the catering manager for a restaurant in the Camp David area, hears the erroneous report. She subsequently describes, “Lots of fire trucks were on the road and no one can get up there.” But J. Mel Poole, the Catoctin Mountain Park superintendent, states there has been “no crash at Camp David.” [DAILY RECORD (BALTIMORE), 9/12/2001] At some point, the FAA calls the military to confirm the crash, and is reassured that no crash occurred at Camp David. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 42] The actual Flight 93 crash site is about 85 miles northwest of Camp David. [PBS, 9/11/2001] The Secret Service reportedly tells the White House that Flight 93 may have been on a course for Camp David. [PITTSBURGH CHANNEL, 9/11/2001] And, following a military briefing, Representative James Moran (D-VA) tells reporters that Flight 93 was apparently heading for Camp David. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/11/2001; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/12/2001] (However, the 9/11 Commission will later state that its intended target was either the White House or the Capitol building. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 14] ) The source of the incorrect report of the Camp David crash is unclear. However, when the FAA’s Washington Center first informed NEADS that Flight 93 had crashed, at 10:15, it simply reported that it had gone down “somewhere up northeast of Camp David” (see 10:15 a.m. September 11, 2001), so this may have created some of the confusion. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] There are also numerous false reports of terrorist attacks having taken place in Washington, DC around this time (see (Between 9:50-10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Some commentators make the connection that the 9/11 attacks come 23 years after the signing of the Camp David accords—a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt—on September 17, 1978. [FORBES, 9/11/2001; VILLAGE VOICE, 9/11/2001; DAILY RECORD (BALTIMORE), 9/12/2001] WCBS reports, “[T]here is speculation that perhaps, perhaps, this may be in retaliation for those accords.” [BROADCASTING AND CABLE, 8/26/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, J. Mel Poole, Andrew Card, James Moran, Theresa Hahn, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:39 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Closes All US Airports The FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, issues a formal Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), closing all operations at all US airports. [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; HARRALD ET AL., 7/15/2002 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(10:42 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Status of Three Planes Unknown; False Rumors Persist of More Terrorist Activity Around this time (roughly), the FAA tells the White House that it still cannot account for three planes in addition to the four that have crashed. It takes the FAA another hour and a half to account for these three aircraft. [TIME, 9/14/2001] Vice President Cheney later says, “That’s what we started working off of, that list of six, and we could account for two of them in New York. The third one we didn’t know what had happened to. It turned out it had hit the Pentagon, but the first reports on the Pentagon attack suggested a helicopter and then later a private jet.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/17/2001] Amongst false rumors during the day are reports of a bomb aboard a United Airlines jet that just landed in Rockford, Illinois. “Another plane disappears from radar and might have crashed in Kentucky. The reports are so serious that [FAA head Jane] Garvey notifies the White House that there has been another crash. Only later does she learn the reports are erroneous.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Jane Garvey Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: All Flights over US Soil Complying with Controllers The FAA Command Center is told that all the flights over the United States are accounted for and pilots are complying with controllers. There are 923 planes still in the air over the US. Every commercial flight in US airspace—about a quarter of the planes still in the air—is within 40 miles of its destination. Others are still over the oceans, and many are heading toward Canada. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(After 11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Further Increases Its Security Additional measures are taken to increase the level of security at the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 65] After the second attack on the World Trade Center, the Command Center’s doors were locked, and all non-FAA personnel were ordered to leave the premises immediately (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FRENI, 2003, PP. 64; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] Linda Schuessler, the deputy director of system operations, is still concerned about the security of the center, and calls the building owner to request additional protection. Soon, armed guards are stationed at all entrances and roaming the floor there. The exact time when this happens is unstated. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 65] It is unclear whether the increase in security is a general precaution, or is in response to specific threats against the Command Center. Entity Tags: Linda Schuessler, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

11:06 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Advisory Officially Suspends Operations in US Airspace The FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, sends out an advisory that suspends operations in the national airspace system, requiring all aircraft to land and prohibiting aircraft from taking off from all airports. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 4/15/2002] At 9:26 a.m., the FAA ordered a national ground stop that prevented any aircraft from taking off (see (9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and at 9:45 a.m. it instructed all airborne aircraft to land at the nearest airport (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001] According to a 2002 FAA report, “With this advisory, the shutdown of the air traffic system en masse had officially begun.” The advisory states: “Due to extraordinary circumstances and for reasons of safety. Attention all aircraft operators. By order of the Federal Aviation Command Center all airports/airdromes are not authorized for landing and takeoff. All traffic including airborne aircraft are encouraged to land shortly, including all helicopter traffic. Aircraft involved in firefighting in the Northwest US are excluded. Please read this notice over the emergency frequencies, and VOR [VHF omnidirectional range] voice.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline


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