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T7 B18 Flight 93 Battle Story Fdr- Entire Contents- 3 Drafts w Handwritten Notes 523

T7 B18 Flight 93 Battle Story Fdr- Entire Contents- 3 Drafts w Handwritten Notes 523

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Published by: 911DocumentArchive on Jun 11, 2009
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02/03/2013

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"(M
Battle
for
Flight
93
At
8:41 a.m. (EDT) on September
11,
2001 United Airlines Flight 93 sped down runwayFour Left
at
Newark (New
Jersey)
Liberty International Airport
and
rose
into
a
cloudless
late
summer
sky
bound
for San
Francisco.
1
Originally scheduled
to
take-off
at
8:00
a.m.,
2
the
Boeing
757's
departure
for thewest
coast
was
delayed
becauseof
(INSERTREASON AFTER IV WITH NEWARK TOWER
PEOPLE)—a
41minute wait thatwould prove crucial
as the
day's
events
unfolded.
3
As the plane
left
Newark, the flight's two pilots and five flight attendants were unawarethat twenty two minutes earlier, at
8:19
a.m., a crewmember aboard another non-stoptranscontinental flight, American Airlines Flight
11,
had reported a security emergency
aboard
the
Boeing
767 on its way from
Boston
to Los Angeles.
4
Neither
did
they know
that
as Flight 93 paralleled Manhattan for a short time and then banked west toward itsscheduled destination,
FAA Air
Traffic
Control
was
tracking
Flight
11,a
declared
hijacking,
on its path back to the New York area. Five minutes later, at 8:46 a.m., Flight
11
would slam into
the
North
Tower
of the
World Trade
Center.
5
(ROLL-UP
ON
WHETHER
IT WAS
APPROPRIATE
TO LET UA 93
TAKE
OFF
UNDER THESE
O^
CIRCUMSTANCES).
(SEE
IF THE
OTHER TAKEOVERS OCCURRED WITHIN RANGE
OF THE VOR
I
THEIR DESTINATION).
HAD 93
BEEN TAKEN OVER EARLIER WOULDTHEY HAVE LOCKED
ON TO THE DC VOR AND NOT
GOTTEN
LOST),
f
x.oO X*J&!A
<rfv
?rf-Ax*>A
Vrr»*X-^
A
(ADD GRAPH
ON~LOW
PASSENGER LOAD
BUT NO
INDICATION
OF
FLIGHT
PURCHASES—GET
EXPERT VIEW THAT TUESDAY
IS THE
LOWEST
OF THE
WEEK)
By
all
evidence
and
accounts,
the first 47
minutes
of
Flight 93
s
cross-country tripproceeded
routinely.
Radio communications
from
the
plane were normal.
Heading,
speed and altitude ran according to plan.
6
At 9:28:05 a.m. the situation changed. Whiletraveling 35,000
feet
above Ohio, (confirm) Flight 93 suddenly and precipitously begantolose altitude, dropping nearly685
feet
overthenext
half-minute.
7
Eleven seconds into
the
descent the
FAA's
air
traffic
control center in Cleveland received the first of tworadio transmissions
from the
aircraft.
During4he
first
broadcast
the
pilot or
first-officer
^^could
be
heard declaring
"mayday"
amid
the
sounds
of a
physical struggle taking place
in
f
p
the
cockpit.
The
second radio transmission, thirty
five
seconds later, indicated that
the
.^r
clash
was
still
in
progress
as the
pilot
or first
officer
shouted:"Hey
get out of
here..
.get
out of
here...get
out of
here."
8
The
abrupt and extraordinary loss of altitude at 9:28 a.m. and the two radio broadcasts toAir
Traffic
Control that occurred withinthesame minute markthepointatwhich
four
ijjackersamong
the flight's 33
other passengers began their take over
the
jet's
cockpit.
 
Communication
records show that only
four
minutes earlier,at9:24 a.m. United AirlinesFlight Dispatcher
Ed
Ballinger
had
sent
a
text
message
to the
cockpit
of
Flight
93
stating:"Beware cockpit intrusion; two
a/c
(aircraft) just hit WTC (World Trade
Center)."
9
Thedispatcher's alert
was
sent
to
Flight
93 as
well
as
United Airline's
15
othertranscontinental flights that morning
after
a second commercial jet, United Flight 175,
had
hit the World Trade
Center.
10
The pilot of Flight 93 confirmed receipt of the messagewith
a
personalized acknowledgement
two
minutes
later at
9:26 a.m.
n
One
minute later
the
last routine voice communication
from
the
cockpit
of
Flight
93 was
received
by Air
Traffic
Control.
The
Commission uncovered no evidence to indicate that the FAA made any
effort
towarnpilots
of
commercial
aircraft
in the sky on the
morning
of
9/11
to
secure theircockpits, even after the second aircraft had struck the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m.Several FAA authorities interviewed by the Commission stated that it was the aircarriers' responsibility
to
notify
their planes
of
security problems.
One
highly placedFAA Air
Traffic
Control said that it was simply not the
FAA's
place to order the airlines
what
to
tell their
pilots.
12
(LISTEN
TO IV)
(WHAT
DID
POLICY REQUIRE)
The
Commission
notes
that
the
United Airlines
flight
dispatcher
who
sent
the
warning
to
Flight 93 did so by his own initiative.
13
A company-wide order for dispatchers to warncockpits was not issued
until
(GIVE
TIME).
14
The Commission could find no evidencethat American Airlines sent
any
cockpit
warnings
to
their aircraft
on
9/11 whatsoever.
While
theevidence pointsto theexact time thatthehijackers invadedthecockpit,the
Commission
has
found
no conclusive evidence to indicate precisely when the terrorists
tookover
the
main cabin
or
moved
passengers seated
in the first class
cabin back
to
coach—atactic reportedbyseveral passengers during phone callstopartieson the
ground. The
Commission believes, however, that
it is
most likely
the
four
hijackers
breached
the
cockpit simultaneous
to
taking
over
the front of the
plane
and
pushingpassengers back into the coach cabin. Taking over the cabin first would
likely
havealerted
the flight
deck
to a
problem. However, waiting
to
move passengers until
the
cockpit
was
secured
would have increased
the
risk
of
passenger
intervention, particularly
if
the passengers witnessed the hijackers displaced the crew from the controls.
On
the
morning
of 9/11, 37 of
Flight
93's
passenger seats were occupied.
The
Commission
notes that the occupancy rate of slightly over 20 percent was well below thenorm
for
Tuesday mornings during
the
summer
of
2001.
No
evidence
exists,
however,
to
indicatethatthehijackers manipulated passenger levelstofacilitate their operation.
Financial
records indicate that the hijackers did not purchase additional seats in order to
reduce
the
passenger
load.
The
number
of
cancellations
and
no-show passengers
recordedfor the flightwereatnormal levels.
The
Commission notes that the terrorists who hijacked three other commercial flights on9/11,operatedin five-manteams. They initiated their cockpit takeover operations withinthirty minutes
of
takeoff, most likely after
the
seatbelt sign
had
been turned
off and the
 
flight
attendants were beginning cabin service.
On
Flight
93,
however,
the
hijackers
numbered four,
and
waited
until
approximately
47
minutes
after
takeoff
to
begin theirtakeover.
The
evidence supports no conclusion why the hijackers' takeover of Flight 93 occurred
so
late into
the
trip compared
to the
others
flights.
(SEE
DIETER/HURLEY:ADD
WHATEVER INFORMATION
WE
HAVE ABOUT THEIR DESIRE
FOR
SIMULTANAITY) However, the Commission would note that the flight's tardydeparture could well have
caused some
level
of
uncertainty
or
apprehension among
the
four
terrorists aboard.One
of the key
mysteries associated with Flight
93 is
that
Wiigm.1
passengers
described
the
presence of three hijackers on the plane, rather than the
four
who were actuallyaboard.
15
{RS^42LC&fcfcS)
Some have wondered whether such reporting mightsuggest that
one of the
hijackers
was
positioned
in the
cockpit
from
the
outset
of the
flight
and
remained unseenby thepassengers.FAArules allowed commercialaircarriersto permit properly credentialed and approved individuals, usually air carrier personnelsuch
as
pilots
or
operational personnel
to
ride
in the
cockpit jump
seat
(a
seat
located
directly
behind
the
pilot
and first
officer).
16
United Airlines' policy
in
accordance withFAA regulations (GET COPY
OF THE JUMPSEAT
POLICYand
FAA
RULES)required that particular paperwork
be
submitted
(GET
DETAILS
ON
ID/PURPOSES
ETC)inordertopermitanddocument
jump
seat approval.
17
The
Commission cannot know with certainty whether
a
hijacker
had
gained access
to the
cockpit
prior to the violent takeover of the
aircraft.
Considering the following facts,however, the Commission believes it is not
likely
a hijacker occupied the jump seat priorto the takeover.
All
four
of
Flight
93's
hijackers were issued tickets
for
seats
in the first
class cabin
andused
their tickets to enter the
aircraft
at boarding time according to the air carriers' GateReader
information
(CONFIRM).
18
None of the required paperwork required by United
Airlines
to authorize a jump seat occupant for Flight 93 was filed.
19
(SEE
IF THEY
EVER LET
PEOPLE
UP
THERE AFTER
THE
FLIGHT
HAD
STARTED).
One
of the
passengers
who
contacted
a
party
on the
ground
to
provide
a
situation report
about
thehijacking reported that10 firstclass passengers were aboardthe flight.This
figure
accounts
for the
four
terrorists
and the six
non-hijackers
who
boarded
the
aircraft
holding
tickets for first class
seats.
20
J*5tirout
of the six occupants of first class seats, excluding hijackers, contacted theground
by
phone
to
share information about
the
hijacking.
21
These
individuals would
have
been positioned best
to
observe whether
a
passenger among them
had
gotten
up
during
the flight and entered the cockpit prior to the violent take-over of the
aircraft.
None
of the
callers
reported
the
occurrence
of
such
an
event.
Moreover,
the
pilot
and co-
pilot
of the Flight 93 were
experiejieed^weil^regarded
professionals, who would be quite
unlikely
to allow an
obsej>
j
efmto
the
cockpitpfD<jr
post take-off who had not garnered
r

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