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Flight 93 - The Three-Minute Gap: What Happened in the Last 180 Seconds?
AirDisaster.com/Philadelphia Daily News ^ | September 16, 2002 | William Bunch

Posted on 09/15/2002 10:01:23 PM PDT by Timesink

OK, people -- it's taken longer than I thought, but my story on Flight 93 is finally running tomorrow. It will the lead news story in the Philadelphia Daily News -- hopefully we can get some other media to pick it up. Here's the full text -- I'll put up a link early tomorrow when it's available. I guess this means I'm officially out of the closet LOL!

By William Bunch
Philadelphia Daily News
(bunchw@phillynews.com)

The final three minutes of hijacked United Flight 93 are still a mystery more than a year after it crashed in western Pennsylvania — even to grieving relatives who sought comfort in listening to its cockpit tapes last April.
A Daily News investigation has found there is a roughly three-minute gap between the time the tape goes silent — according to government-prepared transcripts — and the time that top scientists have pinpointed for the crash.
Several leading seismologists agree that Flight 93 crashed last Sept. 11 at 10:06 a.m. and five seconds, give or take just a couple of seconds. Family members allowed to hear the cockpit voice recorder in Princeton, N.J., last spring were told it stopped just after 10:03.
The FBI and other agencies refused repeated requests to explain the discrepancy. The cockpit voice recorder, a a roughly 30-minute tape loop, usually runs until a doomed plane’s impact — although not always. Aviation experts said there could be several explanations for the gap — all of them significant.
They said it could mean that the FBI and other government agencies either failed to properly synchronize the times, or there were other problems in the retreiving or handling of the tape from the so-called “black box” recovered from the wreckage at Shanksville, Pa.
Or, experts speculated, it could mean there was a major on-board electrical failure on the plane three minutes before Flight 93 crashed, causing the recorder to quit working.
The broader significance is that the three-minute gap points to how little is really known about how and why Flight 93 crashed over a year ago — even as the saga of the doomed jetliner and cell-phone calls from some of the 40 passengers and crew continue to captivate the nation.
“That’s part of the whole war aspect — we don’t want to tell about what we did and didn’t do,” said Vernon Grose, a former National Transportation Safety Board member who says he still has questions about the Flight 93 crash. He said he doubts there will ever be “a nice, open public hearing with eyewitnesses telling what they saw.”
However, in recent weeks two books about Flight 93 have topped the best-seller lists, while President Bush and other top government officials continue to invoke the story — based largely on the cell-phone calls — of fighting between the passengers and the hijackers as a rallying cry to continue the war against global terrorism.
But the FBI has clamped a tight lid of secrecy on the flight data recorder — which could best show how Flight 93 actually crashed — and on the cockpit voice recorder. Government officials recently turned down all requests by the Daily News to explain the three-minute gap.
“We have no comment at all on the tape issue,” said Sam Dibbley, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in northern Virginia that presented the tape to families. An FBI spokesman, Steven Berry, said the bureau continues to officially list the time of the Flight 93 crash as 10:03 a.m. The NTSB referred all questions to the FBI.
But the relatives of Flight 93 passengers who heard the cockpit tape at a Princeton, N.J., hotel last April 18 said they government officials laid out a timetable for the crash in a briefing and in a transcript that accompanied the recording. Relatives later reported they heard sounds of an on-board struggle beginning at 9:58 a.m., but there was a final “rushing sound” at 10:03, and the tape fell silent.
“There is no sound of the impact,” said Kenneth Nacke, whose brother Lou Nacke Jr. is one of the passengers believed to have fought with the hijackers. Nacke confirmed that the government said the tape ended at 10:03 a.m. He added: “The quality of the sound is really poor.”
Vaughn Hoglan, the uncle of passenger Mark Bingham, said by phone from California that near the end there are shouts of “pull up, pull up,” but the end of the tape “is inferred — there’s no impact.”
New York Times reporter Jere Longman, who spoke with relatives of all but one of the 40 Flight 93 victims, writes in the epilogue to bestseller “Among the Heroes” that “at about three minutes after ten, the tape went silent.” Lisa Beamer, the wife of passenger Todd Beamer, who heard the tape while working on her No. 1 bestseller “Let’s Roll,” also gives 10:03 as the end of the flight.
The cockpit voice recorder is a continuous, roughly 30-minute tape loop that — in the event of an air disaster — is supposed to record the sounds inside the cockpit right up until the moment of impact.
Several leading seismologists — experts in the earth’s vibrations — who’ve studied the events of Sept. 11 have almist exactly pinpointed the time of the crash of Flight 93 at 10:06 and five seconds, give or take a few seconds.
“The seismic signals are consistent with impact at 10:06:05,” plus or minus two seconds, said Terry Wallace, who heads the Southern Arizona Seismic Observatory and is considered the leading expert on the seismology of manmade events. “I don't know where the 10:03 time comes from.”
Likewise, a written study commissioned by the Department of Defense — carried out by seismologists from Columbia University and the Maryland Geological Survey — also determined impact was at 10:06 and five seconds.
Normally, such a large discrepancy might be cleared up when the National Transportation Safety Board releases a written transcipt of the voice recorder — edited for sounds of suffering or profanity — right before holding public hearings on an air disaster. But because the Flight 93 crash was part of a criminal act, no NTSB hearings are expected.
The Justice Department has also insisted that the cockpit tape can’t be released because it will be played to the jury at the trial of admitted Al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, now slated for January. Although Moussaoui is often referred to in the media as “the 20th hijacker,” there’s been no evidence that he was slated to be on board Flight 93 or the three other planes hijacked on Sept. 11. Moussaoui’s court-appointed lawyers sought last week to block the use of the recording.
Last fall, as the saga of the Flight 93 passenger uprising became widely known, several relatives of the crash victims made an unusual request: They wanted to hear the actual tape. The FBI initially issued a cold refusal.
“While we empathize with the grieving families, we do not believe that the horror captured on the cockpit voice recording will console them in any way," FBI Assistant Director John Collingwood said last December. But under continuing pressure, the bureau changed its mind and agreed to the unusual April gathering at a Princeton Marriott hotel.
None of the family members interviewed for this story recalls any explanation of a discrepancy between the times on the tape recording and the actual crash at 10:06. They were, according to the relatives and published accounts, given a talk by one of Moussaoui’s prosecutors, who speculated that the passengers may have used a food cart to break into the cockpit.
But with government officials refusing to be interviewed, leading aviation experts interviewed for this story could only speculate about the tape discrepancy.
Their suggestions:
* The FBI could have bungled this part of the investigation by failing to synchronize the time stamp of clocks onboard Flight 93 — which could have been set wrong — with air traffic control tapes and other tones that make it possible to determine the exact, correct times. Such a mistake would mean that the tape really did run until the impact, but that all the times given to the relatives on the transcript were off by three minutes.
But accident investigators typically nail down the correct times very early in their probe, experts said. Todd Curtis, who runs the Web site Airsafe.com, said the three-minute gap “does not make sense.”
“From what I have heard about the flight's CVR” — cockpit voice recorder, “there was at least one transmission from the cockpit to air traffic control that would have been captured by the ATC tapes,” Curtis said. “Those tapes should also have some kind of time reference.”
* At 10:03, the hijackers — or possibly passengers and crew who were fighting to regain control of the plane — flipped a circuit breaker, or switch, that would cut off power to the cockpit voice recorder.
Experts said this would explain why the tape ends abruptly, but they had no idea why the terrorists would do such a thing, especially so far along into their hijacking. And they noted the location of the switch in the cockpit makes it unlikely that it was struck accidentally during a struggle.
“That would be a much tougher task than turning off the transponder,” said John Hansman, an aviation professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “You would have to know exactly which circuit breaker to pull.”
* There was a major on-board electrical failure before the crash — although it’s not clear what could have triggered this. It has happened before. On Swissair Flight 111, which crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia in September 1998, the cockpit fire that caused the crash also killed power to the plane’s two black boxes six full minutes before the crash.
New evidence that came out last week may support the electrical-failure theory. A federal air traffic controller from Cleveland, Stacey Taylor, told “Dateline NBC” that Flight 93’s transponder, initially shut off by the hijackers, came back on briefly only to give out — at 10:03 a.m.
* There was some unknown problem either in retreiving the cockpit tape from the black box, or in its handling by government officials and contractors since last September, or in the presentation that was given in Princeton.
No one has stepped forward with any evidence of that.
But the three-minute gap is certain to fuel ongoing debates on the Internet over how Flight 93 really crashed, and whether the plane could have been shot down by military jet fighters that were sent aloft as the Sept. 11 hijackings unfolded. The government insists there was no shootdown.
Numerous witnesses in the Shanksville area have told the Daily News and other publications since last September that a mysterious, low-flying unmarked white jet, military in nature, circled the area at the time of the crash. The FBI has claimed this was a business jet that had been asked by air-traffic controllers to inspect the Flight 93 crater.
The debate has also been driven by the wide debris field from Flight 93 — including papers found eight miles away — and by conflicting accounts over whether a 911 caller reported an explosion and white smoke on board.
Grose, the former NTSB member, said he doubts the entire story of Flight 93 will ever be told. “I don’t think so,” he said. “It’s like David Crockett at the Alamo. We need heroes.”


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: 911; blackbox; flight93; ntsb; september11; shankesville; shanksville; unitedflight93
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To be published in Monday's PDN; this is an advance copy.
1 posted on 09/15/2002 10:01:23 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Timesink
By the way, the above article does not necessarily reflect my own personal views yadda yadda yadda. I'm merely offering fodder.
2 posted on 09/15/2002 10:03:52 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Timesink
Excellent. Congrats, mon.
3 posted on 09/15/2002 10:04:20 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: Timesink
good read, heads up, I see a small correction that needs to be made: "But the relatives of Flight 93 passengers who heard the cockpit tape at a Princeton, N.J., hotel last April 18 said they government officials laid out a timetable for the crash in a briefing and in a transcript that accompanied the recording."

**I think you meant to have "that" instead of "they" but I say just take out the "they" but don't replace it with anything.

4 posted on 09/15/2002 10:10:24 PM PDT by The PeteMan
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To: Timesink; aristeides; abner; Senator Pardek; OKCSubmariner
But the FBI has clamped a tight lid of secrecy on the flight data recorder — which could best show how Flight 93 actually crashed — and on the cockpit voice recorder.

I agree with the author; the real story will never be told.

5 posted on 09/15/2002 10:11:07 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: Timesink
You're good, my friend.

Very well done.
6 posted on 09/15/2002 10:11:18 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: Timesink
You're good, my friend.

Very well done.
7 posted on 09/15/2002 10:11:29 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: Timesink
Good work, sir! And thanks for the sneak peek.
8 posted on 09/15/2002 10:12:30 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Timesink
(I think I should add that I am not William Bunch. I'm just the reposter.)
9 posted on 09/15/2002 10:13:48 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Timesink
Congrats on your story being published.

I established my own record of events in the weeks following the 9-11 attack.

THE HEROES OF FLIGHT 93

All of it was based on news reports at the time.

I believe there is no doubt that the passengers attacked the terrorists. I believe there is no doubt that they were struggling with them for control of the aircraft at the end.

I also believe there is no doubt that military aircraft were aloft and had orders to not allow Flight 93 to reach Washington DC. Either way, that aircraft was not going to the Capitol.

The folks on the aircraft could not have known of the fighters IMHO or their orders. They acted on their own and they did fight those terrorists. That is enough for me as regards their status as heroes and their deserving a National Monumnet.

Best FRegards.

10 posted on 09/15/2002 10:15:23 PM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: Timesink
Oops ... I see it is not your story. Well then, thanks for posting it here.
11 posted on 09/15/2002 10:16:23 PM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: Timesink
Asked a business jet to inspect the crash crater! That explanation, if true, is so awful. No security response. Planes hijacked, crashing into the nations most important buildings here there and everywhere. Minutes pass, hours pass, more planes hijacked, flying about with their transponders off. No a single airforce jet put up to do anything. No point in having an air force!

"Swissair Flight 111, which crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia in September 1998 ... " was also missing the last part 6 mins of the black box tape. Ah, that crash was another strange one - part of the series in the 1990s, like TWA800 and all the rest. I await a full explanation. I suspect that a covert war was being fought all through the 1990s, a full ten years before Sept 11.
12 posted on 09/15/2002 10:16:56 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: Fred Mertz
See my post number ten.

We probably will never know the whole story ... but I believe what we do know is enough as regards those passengers who attacked the bastard terrorists on that flight.

13 posted on 09/15/2002 10:18:22 PM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: Jeff Head
I believe you and I are on the same sheet of music....again.
14 posted on 09/15/2002 10:20:05 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: BlackVeil
Minutes pass, hours pass, more planes hijacked, flying about with their transponders off. No a single airforce jet put up to do anything.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but most of that is simply not true.

15 posted on 09/15/2002 10:24:08 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: BlackVeil; Timesink
NBC at their 8 o'clock hour on Sept. 11th (Dateline?) interviewed a number of air traffic controllers involved in the days' events. One of them DID state that they asked a nearby pilot if he would mind checking out the scene.

(& timesink, there's a couple of other typos besides the "they" previously mentioned, if you can do anything about getting them fixed, one of which was "transcipt," but maybe they're both the sort that will be fixed by spellchecking)
16 posted on 09/15/2002 10:25:43 PM PDT by Amore
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To: Fred Mertz
Ya buddy.
17 posted on 09/15/2002 10:29:40 PM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: BlackVeil
Asked a business jet to inspect the crash crater! That explanation, if true, is so awful.

Not unusual for ATC to request reports from nearby aircraft. We were flying overhead when Valujet crashed near Miami, and were asked to inspect/report. I'm sure there were jets in the area that could have provided eyes and ears on Flt 93, too. We'll probably never know the real story about any military action.

18 posted on 09/15/2002 10:36:09 PM PDT by CIApilot
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To: Timesink
My stepson just today was telling me the tail section of the plane was found 5 miles from the crash site. I have not heard this before. Anyone know if this is true?
19 posted on 09/15/2002 10:38:36 PM PDT by sjeann
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To: Timesink
Excellent read, thanks for the post.

It's been my opinion 93 was shot down, mainly because of the reported debris field. Remember the reports of a farmer finding a cargo door in a pond? That was several miles from the impact point. I might believe paper or insulation being carried on the wind after a crash and intense fire, but not a cargo door.

There were early reports, including video, of other plane parts found nearby as well. Mysteriously all those reports, along with the people who found debris, seem to have vanished.

There was also an early report, and noted in this article as well, of a phone conversation. The operator said the caller was near the tail of the plane and he was saying a group of passengers was going to storm the cockpit. But, BEFORE or JUST AS, the attack began there was a loud sound, the caller saying something abou the plane pitching and him seeing sky. The operator heard a rushing noise and the phone went dead.

Admittedly that was an early report, and I may have some of the details a bit wrong, but that's how I remember it.

prisoner6

20 posted on 09/15/2002 10:48:33 PM PDT by prisoner6
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To: Amore
One of them DID state that they asked a nearby pilot if he would mind checking out the scene.

Yes, I remeber that too. The ATC seemed to me to be rather shskey, the story didn't quite make sense to me hten and doens't now.

Weren't ALL non-military aircraft ordered to land ASAP before 93 went in?

prisoner6

21 posted on 09/15/2002 10:54:42 PM PDT by prisoner6
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To: Fred Mertz
I agree with the author; the real story will never be told.

ditto.

Can I say that?

22 posted on 09/15/2002 11:02:48 PM PDT by abner
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To: Timesink
If you are not the author, what does this mean?

I guess this means I'm officially out of the closet LOL!

23 posted on 09/15/2002 11:27:49 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Jeff Head
We probably will never know the whole story ... but I believe what we do know is enough as regards those passengers who attacked the bastard terrorists on that flight.

I like this story better with the passengers doing a job on the terrorists.

But, then I wouldn't be surprised if another story comes out later about another Hero of 9-11, who did his very distasteful duty.

24 posted on 09/15/2002 11:35:54 PM PDT by Mike Darancette
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To: prisoner6
The order went out for planes to land but that order came late, Flt 93 was already down while other aircraft were still in the air. There were about twelve commercial passenger jets still up at that time- flight 93 was not the 'last plane in the air,' not by a long shot. The priority was on the airliners; small bizjets and civ craft took a while longer to get down - there was even an airliner near Air Force One as it headed out on its last leg to Nebraska.

25 posted on 09/15/2002 11:43:27 PM PDT by piasa
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To: All
I'm no pilot and certainly have no technical knowledge on the subject ..... but I would think that the stress of a high-speed dive towards earth, brought about by the passenger heroes struggling with the terrorists and all control of the plane being lost, could cause the plane to begin to come apart before impact.

I would love to hear comments on this subject from those in the know.

26 posted on 09/15/2002 11:48:09 PM PDT by kayak
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To: Timesink
This whole article is just a nice way of saying the plane was shot down, something dems have been claiming for awhile to try and make Bush and the party look bad and like liars. In some of there propoganda, they claim that the picture of him on the phone in the plane is him ordering the shoot down.
27 posted on 09/15/2002 11:49:54 PM PDT by Sonny M
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To: Timesink
"I'm just the reposter."

Better that than the imposter...

28 posted on 09/15/2002 11:51:06 PM PDT by okie01
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To: Auntie Mame
If you are not the author, what does this mean?

It means the same thing every other post on FR means! Everything between the headline and the first horizontal rule is the text of the copied article. Everything after the horizontal rule is the comments of the reposter.

29 posted on 09/16/2002 12:00:14 AM PDT by Timesink
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To: sjeann
My stepson just today was telling me the tail section of the plane was found 5 miles from the crash site.

Somehow, I doubt anything that could be defined as a "section" of Flight 93 was found anywhere. There weren't a lot of pieces left that were too big, from what I've read. If you look at photos of the crater, you can see what appear to be imprints made by the engines and tail. That thing hit going full-tilt, nose-down. That might give ye an idea of what we're dealing with. An impact that severe is enough to throw debris a considerable distance.

Another factoid: The "black box" was found 15 feet below the surface of the crater's bottom. That plane hit HARD.

Snidely

30 posted on 09/16/2002 1:32:01 AM PDT by Snidely Whiplash
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To: piasa
Thanks for clearing that up for me. I did know 93 wasn't the absolute last plane in the air, but I was under the impression that as far as this area virtually every plane was down.

Thanks again

prisoner6

31 posted on 09/16/2002 2:12:04 AM PDT by prisoner6
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To: Timesink
Interesting, none-the-less. :-)
32 posted on 09/16/2002 2:15:09 AM PDT by nopardons
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To: Howlin
I've always wondered why just about every eyewitness to the crash reports that they saw an intact plane hit the ground. I've never heard one person say that they saw the plane break up before hitting or that they saw it trailing smoke, not one.

I live 20 miles from the crash site so I saw the interviews with the eyewitnesses only hours after the crash on the local news coverage, and I've also heard the stories first and second hand, and there was NEVER a mention of anything that would confirm this story.

33 posted on 09/16/2002 4:28:20 AM PDT by TomB
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To: Timesink
bump for later
34 posted on 09/16/2002 5:09:32 AM PDT by the crow
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To: kayak
Things fall off airplanes all the time. We hear about only when something lands in someone's yard. Military pilots have already admitted that they thought about ramming the plane, because they were not armed. This is one of those instances where the simplest explanation is probably the best. We don't know exactly how the plane came down, but we know the passengers fought.
35 posted on 09/16/2002 5:17:05 AM PDT by js1138
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To: SlickWillard; Bloody Sam Roberts
FYI
36 posted on 09/16/2002 5:23:17 AM PDT by fone
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To: Timesink
* At 10:03, the hijackers — or possibly passengers and crew who were fighting to regain control of the plane — flipped a circuit breaker, or switch, that would cut off power to the cockpit voice recorder. Experts said this would explain why the tape ends abruptly, but they had no idea why the terrorists would do such a thing, especially so far along into their hijacking. And they noted the location of the switch in the cockpit makes it unlikely that it was struck accidentally during a struggle. “That would be a much tougher task than turning off the transponder,” said John Hansman, an aviation professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “You would have to know exactly which circuit breaker to pull.”

I am not sure this is still the case, but when I worked on DC-9s back in the 70s, the cockpit voice system did not have a breaker. This was intentionally designed this way to prevent crews from shutting off the mike in order to hold private conversations. In order to disable the recorder, power would have to be cut somewhere between the cockpit and the tail section, which is where the recorder is generally mounted for survivability reasons.

I tend to think the lapse is probably due to time sync of the system at pre-flight. I know for a fact that we used to set ours by our watches, although, I would think that in this modern age with GPS and other technology, that process would have been automated. On the other hand, it takes a long time for technology the make its way into design and implementation.

I'll keep my tinfoil hat off on this one for awhile but keep my antennae extended. After all, it doesn't hurt to have heros, and even if the aircraft was brought down by military defence mechnisms, I can't see putting the families through that briefing which would only intensify their grieving process. Better to follow the "Let's Roll" scenerio.
37 posted on 09/16/2002 5:52:47 AM PDT by GreyWolf
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To: kayak
but I would think that the stress of a high-speed dive towards earth, brought about
by the passenger heroes struggling with the terrorists and all control of the plane
being lost, could cause the plane to begin to come apart before impact.


I think a NOVA special about an American Airlines plane (737 or larger) that
was lost during routine flight revealed that after the plane slowly (imperceptibly to the pilots)
rolled over and dived (during a night flight), the wings were lost on the
meteoric dive to earth.

This was in South America.
38 posted on 09/16/2002 7:33:10 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Jeff Head
...a mysterious, low-flying unmarked white jet, military in nature, circled the area at the time of the crash.

Jeff, I know almost nothing about military aircraft, but this description still bothered me. Are there "military in nature" jets painted white and unmarked? I guess I'm wondering what would make it "military in nature" short of having gun mounts or something, and, if it had such things, why would it be white/unmarked. Can you tell me what such vehicles are used for or if they exist? Thanks.

I remember all the stories of "unmarked" black choppers which turned out to be true with black matt markings on a black plane--the uses for which are all too easy to imagine. Outside of Alaska, why white?

39 posted on 09/16/2002 8:29:58 AM PDT by Sal
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To: Sal
The "mystery" plane appears to have been just a private jet flown by a hired private pilot. I don't see why this would be a mystery though as this is standard operating procedure to get a pilot in the area to make visual contact and confirm what their radar is telling them. There was also another plane that did a fly-by at the Pentagon that many on the ground mistook as a possible second attacker.

I might also add that this would lead me to believe that there was no missle and the F-16 was further behind than I thought. Why have a private pilot do a fly-by when there was an F-16 in the area?

40 posted on 09/16/2002 8:52:38 AM PDT by Hatteras
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To: Hatteras
I agree with you about it being totally reasonable to get a nearby civilian plane to confirm. I also agree that there would be no point in doing so if an F-16 had just done a shoot-down. A simple loop by the F-16 to eyeball the wreckage would have done the job.

My question is with the wording of the author of this article--"military in nature". It sounded like BS to me--maybe something to almost subliminally bolster his argument about military involvement. But I'm NOT knowledgeable about planes and didn't want to expose myself to an embarrassing correction (it's happened before) if I'd just called it BS and then got 100 responses that EVERYBODY knows about the white military xxxxxxxs...

Bottom line, I think that if 93 was shot down, it was proper but terribly tragic procedure--notice the complaints that the others were NOT shot down, thus playing both sides of the street. OTOH I don't necessarily think it was shot down, and your point about the white plane recon being unnecessary is a good one. I agree with Fred that we'll probably never really know the answer to this one, but the passengers of 93 are heroes EITHER WAY.

41 posted on 09/16/2002 9:27:58 AM PDT by Sal
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To: Sal
Could, perhaps, "military in nature" be a description of a jet as opposed to what a less than knowledgable witness would expect a civilian craft to be such as a Cessna 172? Or maybe, a Learjet at high speed and low altitude could also give an on-looker a false impression? I live in the approach and departure path of Raleigh/Durham International (RDU) and on many occasions small private business jets have beat hasty departures to which visiting friends have questioned if they were military jets.

I can appreciate the questions asked in the article but descriptions such as "military in nature" without a reliable source for such a description is borderline Michael Rivero-esque. In such cases, not always though, chances are that the simplest explanation is probably the most accurate. IMHO

42 posted on 09/16/2002 10:16:22 AM PDT by Hatteras
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To: Timesink
good story.
43 posted on 09/16/2002 10:33:31 AM PDT by jjm2111
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To: Sonny M
This whole article is just a nice way of saying the plane was shot down...

I don't care if the plane was shot down or not. We know for certain that the passengers, followed Todd Beamer's charge of "Let's Roll", and they were at least making an attempt to overcome the terrorist bastards. Whether or not they got help from an F-16 or not is irrelevent, imo.

I am satisfied that the government admits that the order to engage was given by the VP, and that there is evidence of the passenger's heroic intentions. This is one of the few occasions that the exact truth doesn't matter.

Those concerned with the 3 seconds need to let it go.

44 posted on 09/16/2002 10:35:54 AM PDT by Semper911
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To: Timesink
Great article. My son and I were talking about this flight back on the 9/11 anniversary when CNN showed the timeline of Cheney's day, including the meeting where he gave permission for our fighters to shoot down hijacked passenger jets.

I read the article in the Daily News this morning and went to post it and saw that you beat me to it. You did, however, have a slightly unfair advantage.
Great work, and congratulations.

45 posted on 09/16/2002 7:04:03 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Timesink
bttt
46 posted on 09/16/2002 7:08:36 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Timesink
I listened to the tape yesterday.

The controllers asking each other if they had heard the screaming, they all said yes.

Then you could hear from the plane something about a bomb and the controllers asking each other if they had heard that.

Then controllers talking about the plane climbing and then turning East.

Then asking each other if they had seen a "puff of smoke", they agreed they had.

Then the tape cut off.

47 posted on 09/16/2002 8:01:18 PM PDT by carenot
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late night bump
48 posted on 09/16/2002 11:13:34 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Jeff Head
and their deserving a National Monument.

I had never thought of that.

If ever one was deserved.

49 posted on 09/16/2002 11:18:37 PM PDT by PFKEY
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To: Mike Darancette
But, then I wouldn't be surprised if another story comes out later about another Hero of 9-11, who did his very distasteful duty.

Agreed, He would be a hero too.

50 posted on 09/16/2002 11:24:28 PM PDT by PFKEY
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