Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2001 Attacks - The Aircraft

I don't like to use other people's pictures on the posts that I use on here but since I don't have personal pictures of these aircraft, I will use them.  The pictures come from and if you are looking for pictures of airlines, I highly recommend that page.  These are pictures of the aircraft that were used to carry out the terrorist attacks.
 At 7:45A.M., American Airlines Flight 11 was scheduled to leave Boston's Logan Airport and was supposed to go to LAX in Los Angeles, CA.  The flight was carrying 81 passengers (including the 5 hijackers) and 11 crew.  It is believe that the hijacking of the aircraft occurred around 8:15 in the morning.  The plane was told to ascend to it's cruising altitude of 35,000 but it remained at 29,000 feet.  At 8:21, the planes transponder was turned off.  This plane was carrying Mohammed Atta who was believed to be the ringleader of the hijacking attempts.   It is also believed that one of the passengers attempted to stop one of the hijackers but was killed.

At 8:46 A.M., the plane slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.  It was carrying nearly a full load of fuel and hit between the 93rd and 99th floors.  The North Tower burned for 102 minutes before collapsing to the ground.  All people on the plane were killed, along with approximately 1,600 that were either in the tower at the time or responders who came to fight the fire.
 United Airlines Flight 175 was scheduled to leave Boston's Logan Airport at 8:00A.M. and was originally heading to LAX in Los Angeles, CA as well.  It was also a 767.   It was carrying 56 passengers and 9 crew members.  It is believed that the hijacking of this aircraft took place at roughly the same time that Flight 11 slammed into its target.  The pilots were killed immediately.  The hijackers did not turn the aircraft's transponder off.  Around the time the plane was turning towards New York, it nearly collided with Delta Airlines Flight 2315.

At 9:03 A.M., Flight 175 slammed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.  It was flying at nearly full speed and almost full of fuel.    The tower collapsed after 56 minutes.  All people on board the aircraft plus another 900 people that were in the towers or responding to the emergency.

When this plane slammed into the World Trade Center, it was certain that something was amiss.
 American Airlines Flight 77 was scheduled to depart Washington's Dulles Airport for Los Angeles, CA at 8:10 A.M.  The flight was carrying 58 passengers and 6 crew at the time of departure.  It was a Boeing 757 Aircraft.  It is believed that the aircraft was hijacked at approximately 8:50A.M.  It's transponder was disabled.  At this time, Air Traffic Controllers knew something was up, but they weren't sure.

At 9:37 A.M. the plane slammed into the side of the Pentagon at pretty much full speed.  The damage to the Pentagon wasn't quite as severe as the damage to the World Trade Center.  At the time of the crash, there were 125 people in the building because it was a section that was just remodeled.  All of those were killed along with the passengers of the aircraft.
United Airlines Flight 93 was scheduled to depart Newark Airport at 8:00 but did not leave until 8:42A.M. because of heavy congestion.  It was scheduled to go to San Francisco, CA.  It is believed that the hijacking of the aircraft occurred at 9:28.  Unlike the other three planes, the passengers were getting rumblings that something was wrong and were starting to organize an effort to retake the plane.

It is believed the passengers struck back at 9:57 with the phrase, "Let's Roll".  There was a struggle and the plane crashed near Shanksville, PA six minutes later.  It was uncertain what the hijacker's intended target was.  Speculation was either the Capitol Building or the White House.  If you get a chance, watch the movie called "United 93" and that gives a pretty good description of the events.  It is also a pretty jarring one because you can put yourself in that situation.
Allegedly, had the passengers not retaken Flight 93, there was a pair of F-16's on a training mission out of Selfridge that were prepared to crash into the Flight.  It was not until 10:20A.M. that any official orders to down hijacked aircraft was given.  This picture is my own.
Almost immediately after the attacks, all aircraft in the air were ordered to land at the nearest airport.  Any planes that were headed to the United States were told to land outside the US borders (either Canada or Mexico).  Planes were kept on the ground for at least a week (if I remember correctly).  One thing I do remember is that it was an odd day.
On a side note, I do not subscribe into any of the conspiracy theories surrounding this event.  But then again, I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theories surrounding Pearl Harbor, the Moon Landings or the Kennedy Assassination.  I think conspiracy theories are a way that people deal with things they can't fathom.

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