NY Times: More details on 9-11 hijackings, air traffic controllers, etc.

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October 16, 2001


'We Have Some Planes,' Hijacker Told Controller


ASHINGTON, Oct. 15 American Airlines Flight 11 had fallen mysteriously silent. The air traffic controller called over and over for a response. None came. Then he heard an unidentified voice from the cockpit: "We have some planes. Just stay quiet and you'll be OK. We are returning to the airport."

The controller, confused, asked, "Who's trying to call me?"

No response. Then he heard the voice again: "Nobody move please, we are going back to the airport. Don't try to make any stupid moves."

The man was apparently trying to talk to the passengers, but he was transmitting on the frequency monitored by pilots and air traffic controllers, and his voice was the first hint of the horror of Sept. 11.

Transcripts of the communications between pilots and controllers, obtained by The New York Times, capture the dawning awareness of the terror in cockpits and control centers. Knitted together with interviews and other documents, they offer a previously unseen view of how, moment by moment, a bell-clear and routine morning turned to confusion and then to horrific inevitability. [Excerpts, Page B9.]

In the cool, clipped jargon of aviation, signals of unprecedented disaster bounced between the ground and the air as airline and military personnel struggled to understand and then control the chaos.

..... see the rest of the long article online. Requires a free registration to access the site.

-- slza (slzattas@tidalwave.net), October 15, 2001

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