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Last Communication First Controller Attempt to Contact 13:33 6 12:15 11 Supervisor notified 13:38 12:20 Air Defense Sector Notified 13:55 28 12:38 Fighters Enroute 14:12 45 12:52 Fighters on Station 14:52 85 13:23 Key Points: A one-hour time zone difference, if not accounted for, gives the impression that DoD reacted faster than it actually did to the Payne Stewart incident Therefore, all times on this chart are Coordinated Universal Time (ZULU) FAA had a choice of vectoring a fighter on a training mission or a three-fighter air defense scramble. It selected the single fighter to track down the Stewart aircraft.

Payne Stewart Incident and American Air 11 Stewart AA11 Time Cumulative Time Cumulative 13:27 0 12:14 0
1 6 24 38 69

NTSB 8:46:40 9:02:40 9:37:45

9-11 Incident Aircraft Impact Notification Other Time Warning Rounded Flight 8:46:34 8:47 AA11 8:38 9 minutes
9:03:08 9:37:57 9:03 9:38 10:03

UA175 AA77 UA93

9:03 0 minutes 9:34 4 minutes 10:06 0 minutes

10:03:11 10:03:10

NEAPS Reaction (nearest minute)

8:38 8:38 8:38 8:39 8:39 8:39 8:40 8:40 8:41

Activity Boston ARTCC Watch Desk call received AA11 Cape TRACON call received AA11 Mission Crew Commander summoned to ops floor Loudspeaker recall for Alpha Flight ID Section initiated separate call to Boston ARTCC Major Deskins continued call from Boston ARTCC Lat/Long obtained from Boston ARTCC Trackers began looking for AA11 Otis ordered to Battle Stations

8:41 8:45 8:45 8:46 8:46 8:48 9:03 9:04

Ground Control Position for Otis established Scramble decision made ID Section initiated call to New York ARTCC Scramble order issued AA11 picked up 8 nm from impact Updated Lat/Long obtained from New York ARTCC Second hijack notification from FAA UA175 is reported as the second aircraft


Time 1220

Action Off

Terrorist Pilot Manipulation of Aircraft Transponders Effect Result Known Target Unknown Altitude (FAA) FAA tracked, not effectively communicated to NEADS Unknown Target Unknown Location (NEADS) NEADS picked up target, no track, just before impact Known Target Unknown Location (FAA) Unknown Target Known Location (FAA) Unknown Target Unknown Location (FAA) Unknown Target Unknown Location (NEADS) FAA lost UA175, never communicated to NEADS FAA picked up intruder, never communicated to NEADS FAA lost AA77 and reported as possibly crashed FAA and NEADS picked up intruder in last minutes FAA maintained continuity, Pittsburgh Tower evacuated NEADS tracked DAL1989, followed it to west and back


1247 1248

Change Change







Known Target Known Location (FAA) Wrong Target Known Location (NEADS)

Lufthansa Flight 592, Frankfurt to Cairo, hijacked to New York May Testimony: No domestic hijacking in last decade Lufthansa: First hijacking since 1985 First trans-Atlantic hijacking since September 1976 Multi-agency conference 2 hours and 20 minutes after FAA first notified; FBI lead, on the ground Otis AFB Air Defense fighters are scrambled, take handoff from Canadian jets and escort plane to JFK Lufthansa 592 February 12, 1993 Politcal Asylum Trans-Atlantic 1 Ethiopian Starter Pistol Pilot Hostage LE Issue Otis AFB Duffy Marr (BC) Fox (WD) McCain (IT) American 11 September 11,2001 Unknown Domestic 5 Saudi, Egyptian Knives, Spray Crew Neutralized Presumed LE Issue Otis AFB Duffy Marr (FO) Fox (SD) McCain (MCC/T)

Date Goal Type Hijackers Nationality Weapon Method Initial Reaction Air Defense Lead Pilot Battle Cab Weapons ID/MCC

Gofer 06, a Minnesota ANG C130, takes off routinely for home, sights primary only traffic, is vectored to follow by Washington Approach, and is two minutes behind when it observes the aircraft impact the Pentagon.


Gofer 06, C130

^Andrews AFB Mixing Bowl 8:36 American 77, B757

Langley Scramble, a series of individual actions that don't cohere in the aggregate. 1. NEADS scrambles Langley fighters for a heading and altitude (010, FL 290) but does not provide target data—a bearing and range. No mission, "words," is given. 2. NEADS adds a third fighter to the scramble, after battle stations has been authorized. 3. Langley Base Operations asks for "words" from NEADS and is told it has to do with the situation in New York. 4. Langley Tower enters a standard flight plan (090 for 60) so that it can get the fighters off the ground and at altitude as quickly as possible. 5. Langley Tower turns control over to Norfolk Approach while the fighters are taking off and understands that someone else will head the fighters where they need to go. 6. Norfolk Approach believes the flight plan to be later information that supercedes the scramble order. 7. The fighters take off to the east, standard air defense procedure and proceed on runway heading (080) to 4000 altitude. 7. The lead pilot concurs that the flight plan is his second heading. 8. Norfolk Approach asks the lead pilot which direction he would like to go? The pilot does not hear that question at the time. 9. Norfolk Approach hands off ATC to Giant Killer which is not expecting to receive the fighters; it heard the scramble order. 10. NEADS controller recognizes his fighters are "headed for Whiskey 386.. .1 have no idea why." 11. He is told, "call Giant Killer, no rush. There is no rush because NEADS is waiting for the third pilot to catch up. Net result is that no one took action or initiative to change the flight plan and the Langley fighters proceeded into military controlled airspace over water. AFIO (Authority for Intercept Operations) Controllers "paired" the fighters to a "Z" point south of BWI NEADS became aware of a target six miles from the White House and established a track B032 on what would ultimately be identified as American Air 77. Controllers desperately tried to gain control of the Langley fighters and took the only step they could NEADS declared AFIO and got the fighters headed toward Baltimore. Controllers then paired the fighters to the new track B032 and vectored them to Washington DC Through either a transposition of numbers or a faulty pointer in the cockpit of the lead pilot the fighters temporarily headed for a CAP south of Washington