Monday, February 18, 2008


Crash Site Of United 93.
United Airlines Flight 93 was a regular flight from Newark International Airport (now known as Newark Liberty International Airport) in Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco International Airport, then continuing on to Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan, on a different aircraft. On September 11, 2001, the United Airlines Boeing 757-222, registered N591UA, was one of four planes hijacked as part of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It did not reach its intended target, instead crashing in an empty field just outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, about 150 miles (240 km) northwest of Washington, D.C. The 9/11 Commission (through testimony, tapes of passengers' phone calls, and the flight data recorders recovered from the crash) determined that crew and passengers, alerted through phone calls to loved ones, had attempted to overpower the hijackers. The Commission concluded that the hijackers crashed the plane to keep the crew and passengers from gaining control.

Hijackers
The plane was a Boeing 757-222 on a morning route from Newark International Airport (now known as Newark Liberty International Airport) in Newark, New Jersey, near New York City, to San Francisco International Airport near San Francisco, California (EWR-SFO). It had 182 seats but was carrying only 37 passengers (including the four hijackers) and seven crew members: two pilots, the captain Jason M. Dahl and his first officer, LeRoy Homer Jr.; and five flight attendants. Because one passenger had booked two seats, some early accounts said there were 38 passengers on board. The four hijackers were seated in first class.
The aircraft was scheduled to depart at 8:00 a.m. but did not lift off until 8:42 due to routine heavy morning traffic. At 9:32 a man with an Arabic accent, probably Ziad Jarrah, transmitted to air traffic control the following: "Ladies and gentlemen: Here the captain, please sit down keep remaining seating. We have a bomb on board. So sit.." (It is likely that Jarrah was attempting to broadcast this over the plane's intercom, but did not understand that the message was transmitted to air traffic control instead.) The flight then reversed direction and began flying eastward at a low altitude. At 9:39 air traffic controllers overheard Jarrah saying, "Hi. Here's the captain. I would like to tell you all to remain seated. We have a bomb aboard, and are going back to the airport, and to have our demands. So, please remain quiet." There were no further transmissions.

The flight
Much of what happened on the plane has been reconstructed from the many phone calls made by passengers and crew, mainly through onboard GTE airfones. Beginning at approximately 9:32 a.m., 50 minutes after the flight took off, passengers and crew began making phone calls.

United Airlines Flight 93 Phone calls
The plane crashed into a reclaimed coal strip mine in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, near Shanksville. Initial media reports and eyewitness accounts cited the time of the crash at 10:06 a.m.

Crash
The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were recovered on the afternoon of September 13, buried 25 feet (8 m) deep at the impact site, but only transcripts have been released to the public. In April 2002, the FBI allowed the relatives of the Flight 93 victims to listen to the tapes from the cockpit voice recorder. Further details were released by the 9/11 Commission in July 2004.
The transcripts of the cockpit voice recorder [6] were made public as part of the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, but the actual recording has not been released. At the start of the transcript, a woman is heard pleading for her life. This is thought to be the voice of a flight attendant.
The tape is reported to contain voices saying "Allahu Akbar," shouts in English that included "Let's get them!" and "We have to (muffled but probably "get") in the cockpit. If we don't, we'll die." Then, screaming and other sounds are heard, followed by silence. Sounds of crockery smashing have led to the conclusion that a service trolley was used as a battering ram to force open the cockpit door.
Some of the hijackers retreated into the cockpit prior to the charge; those that didn't were likely killed in the counterattack by the passengers. Those in the cockpit can be heard praying, reassuring one another, and discussing on separate occasions, in Arabic, whether to use a fire axe in the cockpit on those outside, or to cut off the oxygen to quell the charge. Jarrah said, "Is that it? Shall we finish it off?" Another hijacker replied, "No. Not yet. When they all come, we finish it off." Jarrah later said, "Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?" to which another hijacker replied, "Yes, put it in it, and pull it down," then later "Pull it down! Pull it down!" Jarrah forced the plane downward. The plane rolled upside-down and the hijackers said their final words. "Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!". The recording stopped at 10:03:10 a.m.
The 9/11 Commission found from the recordings that, contrary to what many had believed, the passengers did not succeed in entering the cockpit.

United Airlines Flight 93 "Black Box" recorders
The hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93 had turned the plane around and were heading towards Washington, D.C.. The United States Capitol Building and the White House are widely believed to have been possible intended targets. The 9/11 Commission Report cited the actions of the crew and passengers that prevented the destruction of the White House or the U.S. Capitol Building. According to an interview with captured Al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, as published in The New York Times on September 9, 2002, the target of Flight 93 was indeed the U.S. Capitol.

Intended target
The 9/11 Commission reported that "authorities suggested that U.S. air defenses had reacted quickly, that jets had been scrambled in response to the last two hijackings and that fighters were prepared to shoot down United Airlines Flight 93 if it threatened Washington. In fact, the commission reported a year later, audiotapes from NORAD's Northeast headquarters and other evidence showed clearly that the military never had any of the hijacked airliners in its sights and at one point chased a phantom aircraft — American Airlines Flight 11 — long after it had crashed into the World Trade Center," according to CNN.com. Furthermore, the closest fighters were about 100 miles away and were unarmed. Fighters also went after a Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 which was suspected to be hijacked though it was later determined untrue and the plane was safe.

Aftermath

Main article: Flight 93 National Memorial Flight 93 National Memorial
The section could be improved by integrating relevant items into the main text and removing inappropriate items.

Although there were a total of 44 people on board, passenger Lauren Grandcolas was three months pregnant at the time of her death, leading some to count 45 fatalities.
The L.A. Guns song "OK, Let's Roll" from the album Waking the Dead is about the passengers on this plane. [8]
Rock musician Neil Young wrote a song dedicated to the passenger revolt on Flight 93 called "Let's Roll".
U.S. Route 219 was dedicated the "Flight 93 Memorial Highway" from Maryland to Cambria County, Pennsylvania on August 09, 2007 by State Department of Transportation Secretary Allen D. Biehler. Miscellaneous

United Airlines Flight 93 for the tribute wiki pages for this flight
USS Somerset
See Casualties of the September 11, 2001 attacks: plane passengers for the flight manifest
The Flight that Fought Back
Flight 93 (TV film)
United 93 (film)
I Missed Flight 93
Flight of Valor
Flight 93 Memorial Highway, new designation of U.S. Route 219 in Pennsylvania Further reading

No comments: