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[Classification] MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD Event: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Boston Center Field Site Interview

with Richard Beringer, Type of event: Interview Date: Monday, September 22, 2003 Special Access Issues: None Prepared by: Geoffrey Brown Team Number: 8 Location: FAA Boston Air Route Center, Nashua, New Hampshire Participants - Non-Commission: John R. Donnelly, FAA Senior Attorney [(781) 238 7045] Participants - Commission: John Azzarello, Miles Kara, Geoffrey Brown NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, the following paraphrases the response and opinion of the interviewee. Please refer to the interview transcript for a complete account.

Beringer started as an ATC in the Air Force in 1979 and with the FAA as an ATC in 1983. From there he became an Area C Specialist. Beringer informed Commission staff that prior to 9/11 NORDO aircraft were considered to "eventually come back", and wouldn't be thought of as a hijack. Occasionally it would occur with a commercial airliner, and then an ATC would inform the superviser, who might then have called the airliner company. There were other techniques at the disposal of an ATC in the pre-9/11 environment. An ATC might attampt to contact other aircraft to check altitude, or to contact the aircraft incase there was something wrong with the ATC equipment. If an aircraft took a serious deviation from course, then it would be considered a higher priority. The priority of a NORDO differed on the type of aircraft. Mostly ATC's did not pay as much attention to privately owned aircraft. When an aircraft was NORDO it was highly uncommon even in the pre-9/11 environment for the aircraft to go more than a sector without some form of communication with the ATC. Beringer noted that for the transponder to turn off and for their to be no radio contact was unusual and would call for a supervisor's attention in pre-9/11, but now is viewed with high suspicion. With the third factor of a serious course deviation Beringer noted that it would be viewed even prior to 9/11 with extreme seriousness. Beringer considers hijackings pre-9/11 as extremely out of the ordinary, even though they

are trained in the basic ATC response on a yearly basis. Beringer believes that multiple situations are practiced in the dynsim and CBI training, and also believes that a situation with the multiple factors that occurred on 9/11 has been practiced. On 9/11 Beringer was at the BoSox Sector RA position. This position covers the airspace above 10,000 ft including FL 230. He took AA11 and carried it through westbound after the handoff from Boston Tracon position. Beringer would normally intiate a handoff to the Boston High Sector from there. Beringer remembers a routine handoff from BoSox, and climbed the aircraft towards Athens 38. He then was releaved and went on break. When Beringer returned both AA11 and UAL 175 had hit the WTC, and the air traffic system was about to close. He heard from his colleagues corroborating information on the flights. Beringer noted that it was a widely held assumption in ZBW that UAL 175 was the second hit on WTC, since it had been reported when it "left" the ATC system. Pre-9/11 Beringer noted his understanding that it was the supervisor's responsibility to contact the military. Beringer stated there is no need for FAA controllers to contact the military. In the case of 9/11, Beringer would not have known who to contact at the military. He noted also that his ability to vector a fighter for intercept, if a case called for, would be due to his military experience and not from his training with the FAA. Regarding the fighters in Whiskey Warning Area 105, Beringer was responsible for working them over to Kennedy. Beringer stated that typically ZNY would not work those fighters. Beringer did bring the aircraft over from W105 but did not bring their Otis replacements over. His experience with the military is that they work closely together in upstate New York, but that his experience is more extensive because of his training. He acknowledged that there are sometimes difficulties in dealing with military pilots, but that because of the high performance level of their fighter aircraft they are often very willing to follow a controller's guidance to rapidly change their position. Overall Beringer believes the FAA and military coexist well in their shared airspace. Beringer stated that he has handled fighter aircraft in FAA dynsim training. Beringer noted that after ATC Zero was declared all aircraft was directed to the nearest airport, and by the time the ZBW building was empty the only aircraft left in the sky were military. In a 9/11 type event Beringer reiterated that there is not much the ATC system can do short of passing along timely information and vectoring a military aircraft to intercept. He is skeptical though that flight time to an intercept will allow a fighter to make a difference. Beringer stated that the only security would be to make cockpits completely safe from intrussion. But he also noted the threat posed by private aircraft. He also noted that a terrorist with thorough ATC knowledge could develop a much more sophisticated plan.

Beringer was the last ZBW controller to leave the building because he was controlling two military tankers and giving them instructions to get below his 18000 ft ceiling on airspace, at that point they could fly by visuals. One tanker called 23k visual, the other got below the 18000 mark.

Commission Sensitive
MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

Event: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Boston Center Field Site Interview with Richard Beringer, Type of event: Recorded Interview Date: Monday, September 22, 2003 Special Access Issues: None Prepared by: Geoffrey Brown Team Number: 8 Location: FAA Boston Air Route Center (ARTCC, Nashua, New Hampshire Participants - Non-Commission: John R. Donnelly, FAA Senior Attorney [(781) 238 7045] Participants - Commission: John Azzarello, Miles Kara, Geoffrey Brown NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, the following paraphrases the response and opinion of the interviewee. Please refer to the interview transcript for a complete account. Background Beringer started as an Air Traffic Controller (ATC) in the Air Force in 1979 and joined the FAA as an Air Traffic Controller in 1983. From there he became an Area C Specialist and has been in that position his entire career. (Area C is one portion of the ARTCC 24-hour operation. That means that Beringer has worked the same Bostoncontrolled air space his entire career.) On the morning of 9-11 Beringer was assigned as the Sector 47 Radar Associate (RA), assisting the Sector 47 Radar Controller, Stephen Roebuck. It is not uncommon for senior controllers to "sit" the associate position. According to Beringer's statement signed on October 31, 2001, he was on duty as Sector 47RA from 0737 to 0828 EOT on 9-11. Sector 47 is the "Bosox" sector and handles aircraft at lower altitudes after they are handed off from or before they are handed of to traffic approach/departure. Beringer's statement shows that he "removed the AAL11 strip from the active bay" at 1208UTC, meaning that AAL11 had been handed off to the en route controller. Anomalies—NORDO, no transponder, course deviation Beringer informed Staff that prior to 9/11 NORDO (no radio) aircraft were treated as if they would "eventually come back", and wouldn't be thought of as a hijack. Occasionally a NORDO situation would occur with a commercial airliner, and then an

ATC would inform the supervisor, who might then have called the airliner company. The priority of a NORDO differed on the type of aircraft. Mostly ATC's did not pay as much attention to privately owned aircraft. When an aircraft was NORDO it was highly uncommon even in the pre-9/11 environment for the aircraft to go more than a sector (Sectors are the divisions within an area, such as area C, that further define the air space to be managed by a given controller.without some form of communication with the ATC. There were also other techniques used by an ATC in the pre-9/11 environment. An ATC would try to contact another aircraft in case there was something wrong with the ATC equipment itself, or contact other aircraft to check altitude of the NORDO aircraft. If an aircraft took a serious deviation from course, then it would be considered a higher priority, but still not a hijack. Pre 9-11, a supervisor would also attempt to call the "company" (in this case American Airlines) Beringer noted that for the transponder to turn off and for there to be no radio contact was unusual and would call for a supervisor's attention in pre-9/11; but now is viewed with high suspicion. He said it was rare for an airplane to lose a transponder since they had a backup. The normal ATC response was to ask the crew to "recycle" the transponder or go to backup. He could not recall an aircraft ever losing both communications and transponder—"never heard of it." With the third factor of a serious course deviation Beringer noted that it would be viewed even prior to 9-11 with extreme seriousness. He had never encountered a situation such as presented itself on 9-11. He said that the appropriate response for an ATC was to "notify everyone you can," especially the supervisor. [By "everyone you can," Beringer likely means, as other controllers told Staff, adjacent, lower, and higher sectors.] Beringer considers hijackings pre-9-11 as extremely out of the ordinary, even though such events are part of ATC refresher training on a yearly basis. Beringer believes that multiple situations are offered in the dynamic simulation and computer-based instruction, and also believes that a situation with the multiple factors that occurred on 9/11 had been practiced. The standard in place on 9-11 concerning any of the three anomalies was for the controller to notify the supervisor. It was the supervisor's responsibility to take other actions. Morning of 9-11 On 9-11 Beringer was at the Bosox Sector RA position. This position covers the airspace above 10,000 ft including FL (flight level) 230 (23,000 ft). He took AA11 and carried it through westbound after the handoff from Boston Departure. Beringer would normally intiate a handoff to the Boston High Sector from there. Beringer remembers a routine handoff from departure, and climbed the aircraft towards Athens 38, an enroute sector. He then was relieved and went on break. When Beringer returned both AA11 and UAL 175 had hit the WTC, and the air traffic system was about to close. He had no personal knowledge of events after he went on break and heard what he knew from his colleagues. The first thought "in the building" was that AA11 was a hijacking to Cuba. Contacting the Military

Pre-9-11 Beringer noted his understanding that it was the supervisor's responsibility to contact the military; there is no need for controllers to do so. In the case of 9-11, Beringer would not have known who to contact at the military. He noted also that his ability to vector a fighter for intercept, if a case called for, would be due to his military experience and not from his training with the FAA. Regarding fighters operating in the Whiskey Warning Area 105(W105) [W105, off the southern Long Island coast, is one of multiple off-shore areas used by the military up and down the Atlantic seabord and controlled by them.] Beringer's Sector was responsible for controlled them initially and then handing them off to Kennedy Sector. Beringer stated that typically New York Center would not work those fighters. Beringer did bring the aircraft over from W105 [must have returned from break] but did not bring their Otis replacements over. His experience with the military is that they work closely together in upstate New York, but that his experience is more extensive because of his military training. He acknowledged that there are sometimes difficulties in dealing with military pilots, but that because of the high performance level of their fighter aircraft they are often very willing to follow a controller's guidance to rapidly change their position. Overall Beringer believes the FAA and military coexist well in their shared airspace. Beringer stated that he has handled fighter aircraft in FAA training. He does not know what ATC could have done differently on 9-11, unless the military had autonomous authority to shoot. Other Information Beringer noted that after ATC Zero was declared all aircraft was directed to the nearest airport, and by the time the Boston building was empty the only aircraft left in the sky were military. In a 9/11 type event Beringer reiterated that there is not much the ATC system can do short of passing along timely information and vectoring a military aircraft to intercept. He is skeptical though that flight time to an intercept will allow a fighter to make a difference. Beringer stated that the only security would be to make cockpits completely safe from intrussion. But he also noted the threat posed by private aircraft. He also noted that a terrorist with thorough ATC knowledge could develop a much more sophisticated plan. Beringer was the last Boston controller to leave the building because he was controlling two military tankers and giving them instructions to get below his 18000 ft ceiling on airspace, at that point they could fly visually. One tanker arbitrarily called 23,ooo ft "visual," the other got below the 18000 mark.

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