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View Full Version : Its 9/11/2007...

Zoot Suit
09-10-2007, 08:07 PM
...First, please remember those who lost their lives 6 years ago and the thousands now dying of lung disease from working at ground zero for months on end.

Second, where where you when you heard what was happening? If you were in the air, what was it like on the radio and in the cockpit?

09-10-2007, 08:28 PM
Certainly 9/11/01 is a day that will affect (and has affected) all of us, regardless of where you were or what you were doing that day, or if you personally knew any of the victims that day.

It's certainly a day that I will never forget. I was a first year FO, flying for Atlantic Coast Airlines. We'd started the fourth and final day of our scheduled trip in Saginaw, Michigan, flying the first flight of the day for United Express to Chicago.

We caught a quick Starbucks and breakfast, and turned the plane for our final city pair home... ORD to Charleston, SC, then the last leg home to Washington-Dulles. Our departure from ORD was uneventful, except for the fact that at the same time we pushed back, several other aircraft in DC and Boston were also departing on their fateful journeys.

It was a beautiful day, and we cruised along at FL330, enjoying the paper and breakfast. The crew was in good spirits (it was the last day after all), and we had a good laugh about some crew room antics that we'd seen that morning. As we neared Ashville, NC, I started to think about putting down the paper and looking up the ATIS frequency. We got a normal handoff from Atlanta Center to Jacksonville... the exchange that followed is still etched in my mind:

Jax: "Jacksonville center, good morning. Blue Ridge 743, flight level three three zero."

Me: "Blue ridge 743, Jax center. Do you want Columbia or Greenville sir?

<A second or two passes as we look puzzled at each other...>

Me: "Uhhh, sir, we're going to Charlie South this morning."

Jax: "Haven't you guys heard?"

Me: "Heard what?"


Jax: "Multiple aircraft have been hijacked in the Northeast. One just hit the Pentagon. The FAA is closing down the national airspace system. Descend to one-zero thousand, maintain two five zero knots. Expect vectors to Columbia, SC. You'll be about number seventeen for the airport."

As you can imagine, things got a bit crazy... at least they did after the initial shock of the transmission went by. Of course from there it was all @$$es and elbows for a few minutes as we did our divert to an airfield that was only about 100 miles away (and we were still at FL330).

We landed and talked to the passengers about what we knew. They could sense that something was wrong as soon as we landed since so many other aircraft had already beat us to the field, including several international flights and large aircraft that never fly to places like CAE. Fortunately our station was on the ball, and had a bus for our folks within an hour. We never did get through to dispatch... but they figured out where we were over the next few days.

Ended up staying in CAE until early Saturday morning when we got released to fly home. Fortunately, the hotel there treated us magnificently, and we weren't alone... several other crews were still there from the previous night, as well as a USAirways A321 that diverted.

It's a day that I'll never forget... and never should.

09-10-2007, 08:47 PM
I was supposed to have my private checkride on the 12th. I was sleeping and my roomate called me and these were his exact words, "Dude, turn on CNN, put a tape in the VCR and start recording NOW." Three minutes into recording the second plane hit.

By noon, I was walking to class and was amazed at the silence. Nothing in the sky, nobody talking, just this sense of anger everywhere. It was a beautiful day in St. Louis too and we were only two weeks into a new semester. I think this thing that I thought would be fun to do lost some of that. While I still enjoy flying I think that some of the joy was taken away from it that day. Suddenly life got a lot more serious.

09-10-2007, 08:51 PM

09-10-2007, 09:21 PM
Never forget.....

I was walking in from gym class and heard the news.. did not really understand until I saw it on t.v next period.

09-10-2007, 11:22 PM
I was flying a light twin around SoCal, was told to land immediately. Rented a car with my student and drove back to the San Francisco Bay Area, listening to the news coverage the entire way back. Neither of us said a word on the drive home.

9/11- Never Forgive, Never Forget

And to the U.S. Armed Forces- Good job, and don't stop until each and every one of the pigs responsible for that attack are lying face down, drowning in a pool of their own blood, in the back alley of whatever $hithole they crawled out of! :mad:

09-11-2007, 12:33 AM

09-11-2007, 01:13 AM
Nice post, HSLD. They're all in our thoughts today...

09-11-2007, 01:30 AM
I still have a recording of the ATIS from that day.

09-11-2007, 03:17 AM
Its a sin that the pin heads in DC knowingly allowed the Binladen clan along with their entourage to flee the US without questioning by the FBI, CIA, Justice Department. What a miscarriage of security and justice to not only our country... but to the respect of the families of the fallen many. May those who have perished never be forgotten...

Zoot Suit
09-11-2007, 04:11 AM
I was doing some computer work here on Long Island when someone told me a plane hit the tower. We thought it was a Cessna at first but then people realized it was larger. We had no TV there and I raced over to my parents house and put on Fox news and I was stunned. I looked outside of the window of my parents house and I could see the smoke from the Trade centers. Never again was I going to see those 2 buildings as I drove down the Meadowbrook parkway or flew out of JFK,EWR,LGA or one of the city heliports. For the next 3 years, whenever I heard a jet and I looked up I would think of that horrible morning. I could not separate the sound and site of a graceful airliner from that day. Flying has never been the same. The funerals around Long Island the next week or so never seemed to end, especially for the FDNY firemen who were also local firemen. RIP

09-11-2007, 04:12 AM
We had just leveled off at altitude after departing LAS when center reported to all about an aircraft hitting one of the WTC Towers. We all assumed the same thing, a light plane sightseeing up the River. Less than a minute later, they reported another a/c hit the other tower, and the reality of terrorism set in.

The communications from Center went something like this for the next 30 minutes or so:

"All aircraft, check your cockpit doors locked. There's a rash of hijackings going on across the country."

"All aircraft, contact your companies and find out where they want you to go."

"Be advised when you arrive at your destination, you may NOT receive clearance to land there."

All the advisories were vague at best. Why couldn't we land there? We didn't understand the scope of what was happening. We were never told the "system" was being shut down. We diverted on our own, when told we may not be able to land at destination, because of not having large fuel reserves on an otherwise beautiful, clear day. It was only after landing in TX more than an hour later that we heard the Towers were down. It was beyond our comprehension that they could fall.

09-11-2007, 05:15 AM
What a sad day.....

I was stationed in Japan and since it was late night over there and I had already went to bed, I didn't see it on the news until the following morning. The base was lokced down, we packed our bags, armed our jets, and deployed the next day.

Zoot Suit
09-11-2007, 06:22 AM,0,3510239.story

09-11-2007, 07:11 AM
I think this thing that I thought would be fun to do lost some of that. While I still enjoy flying I think that some of the joy was taken away from it that day. Suddenly life got a lot more serious.

I agree......

HSLD, that's tough to look at.

09-11-2007, 07:26 AM

For someone who can help. All I get is a square with a red x in it. Why wouldn't the picture go through?

Thanks in advance.

09-11-2007, 07:45 AM
Here's the link:

Huggy Bear
09-11-2007, 07:47 AM
I was on the USS Enterprise. We were off the coast of Oman doing some training flights as we slowly cruised South. We had just left the Persian Gulf where we were supporting Operation Southern Watch. I was in a good mood that morning as we were finally headed home after month 5 of deployment. We were going to take the long way and be the first carrier to stop in South Africa in many years. I was also satisfied that I had flown my first combat mission into Iraq two days earlier on the 9th. I was the last one of the nuggets in my squadron to go in country and I was dreading that I we would leave and I would be the only one to not go in and get at least one combat mission like my peers. Little did I know...

I was in the ready room preparing for a large training flight that day. I was drawing notes on the board when someone called to the ready room and told us to turn on the news. Even half way around the world on a ship we got live news coverage. Within a half-hour all flight ops for the day were canceled. Within an hour the ship was turned around and we were steaming North East where we would be the first on the scene off the coast of Pakistan.

It was really mixed emotions for us that day. We were disappointed to not be heading home, but we were thrilled that we would be delivering some pay back shortly. Over the next few weeks there was also some trepidation over who exactly we were after. We spent more time studying the Pakistani Order of Battle than Afghanistan's, we didn't that they would play nice for several weeks.

Payback came soon enough. I'll never forget October 7th, when we launched our first missions. The energy and atmosphere on the ship was electric. You could see it in the eyes of everyone. There was no place we would rather be and we really felt that the entire country was behind us on that flight deck and in the cockpit. I have never been more proud of being an American as on that day.

09-11-2007, 08:33 AM
I was a jr in high school. Kinda funny signing in for my trip last night I walk through the same hall and past door that the bos crews went through six years ago. Gave me an erry feeling. Like walking with the ghosts of 911.

09-11-2007, 09:06 AM
I had just arrived in Europe for a vacation touring Normandy. The French in that region still like Americans for liberating them so many years ago. They were especially nice to us this time. By the time our vacation was over flights across the pond had resumed.

Please don't forget most of the hijackers were Saudi. I'm just saying.

09-11-2007, 10:31 AM
I was supposed to be in Canada on a flight, but I was taken off the trip for a 30 in 7 problem (lucky me). I was in uniform about to walk out the door to pick up the rest of my pairing. I turned on CNN Headline news while I put on my shoes. I saw the second plane hit. I didn't bother going to work, of course. My class for Continental was cancelled, but at least I was alive.

People forget easy. They blame Bush or anyone but the people responsible. Want to remember? Go to Youtube and search for 9/11 and watch the towers hit and fall. I do it to remember. Don't let it happen again. God Bless.

09-11-2007, 10:45 AM
I was off that day and was sitting at home watching everything unfold. I didn't get home until very late the night before. My wife woke me up and told me what was going on. I spent the rest of the day trying to contact my friend who worked at WTC. He got out okay.

09-11-2007, 10:52 AM
Half way between BNA and LGA.

"Patriot XXX, LGA is closed due to an accident, say intentions"

"We'll just go to EWR or JFk"

"ALL of New York is closed, call your dx center"

That was when we found out what happened.

09-11-2007, 07:26 PM
I was still in school for engineering, I was just waking up and my brother barged into my room in our apartment and said "dude, they're attacking us. they hit the world trade center and the pentagon." Of course I quickly went into the living room and turned on the TV - a few minutes later the first tower collapsed.

09-11-2007, 09:28 PM
walking thru terminal C at EWR when AA11 hit the North tower, it all quickly went downhill from there. the sorrow comes back to me, we will never forget.

09-11-2007, 10:47 PM
I was in Lemoore about 3/4 through the FA-18 syllabus. My wife and I actually had an appointment that morning with base legal to get our wills done, so we were up relatively early getting showered. A neighbor called and said to turn on the news.

Base went to lock down, and those of us on base (we were in base housing) got recalled. Most of the squadrons on base were at sea, and normally the ANG would have the responsibility of launching for this, but the nearest ANG unit in Fresno, had fighters ready on the line with no pilots available with the system shut down. The RAG squadron was tasked with CAPing over San Franscisco, IP's only of course, but get this, the base only had 2 live heaters and 3 live sparrow's, one of which was bad. Split that between 4 aircraft (2 on 2 off for 24 hour coverage) and you've got quite an impressive capability there.

BTW, Huggy Bear, my parents were at a NASCAR race on that Oct 7th, and I remember my dad calling me from the race saying that the announcers had just come up and said "Ladies and Gentlemen, at this time US fighters from the USS Enterprise have launched attacks against Afghanistan..." the rest of the announcement was drowned out by the entire race stands standing and cheering. So, yes, the country was absolutely behind you that day. I don't think it can possibly get any better than that. Short of an actual invasion, I don't see us ever being as unified of a country as we were that fall.

09-12-2007, 01:39 PM
I was in Lemoore about 3/4 through the FA-18 syllabus.

So they were still teaching you how to land on the bo-at and you had yet to learn one thing about actual tactical aviation. Sounds pretty correct for the Navy! Just givin ya a hard time! :eek:

09-12-2007, 01:48 PM
well I was in MKE when the planes hit, getting ready for a short jump to FWA . watched the news on the tv for a while then stood outside watching planes line up for 19R . they soon locked all of us in the pilot lounge at signature (about 15 of us) and soon realized why, former pres. Bush and wife Barbra were in a falcon 2000 when instructed to land in MKE. they came into the pilot lounge and watched the coverage with the rest of us and pres. talked on his cell for about 20 mins. then they weree escorted out to a hotel

09-13-2007, 05:29 AM
I was working in the Bagroom (t-point) in TPA. One of my co-workers came back from break saying something about a small airplane had hit the Trade center. I got to the break room just as the second plane hit. 35 rampers stood there with our jaws on the floor, You could hear a pin drop..We later recovered and secured all the a/c that were staying in TPA. The rest of the day was eerily quiet.

09-13-2007, 06:28 AM
I landed in IAD just as the first one hit... I had a 45 min. layover before I was supposed to do a LGA turn. That day I heard the most erie sound I have ever heard at a major airport... Birds, crickets, silence. God bless all of those souls and shame on those responsible for this senseless tragedy.

09-13-2007, 05:51 PM
I was scheduled to fly that day, was watching the tv for weather purposes and the first thing I saw was the second plane crashing into the trade center. It was a feeling I will never, ever forget. I called my best friend and he told me my words were "we are being attacked" The one distinct thing i remember was September 12, 2001. In my 27 years on this planet, I have never seen this country so unified as I did on that day. It didnt matter if you were black or white, or what you believed in, everyone was waving Amercian flags talking to each other, showing resolve and pride in our country. Everyone was fired up for the battle that was to begin. We were all ready to get revenge. Sadly, not that many people in America feel that way anymore, we are all divided in our thoughts on the war in iraq and other things, is that in itself a small victory for terrorists? I hope not, I wear my american flag sticker on my bag, a never forget sticker on my bag, and every serviceman or woman that I transport, I treat them with the upmost respect. I will never forget 9/11, and I dont care if I just fly a regional jet, I know that they are always thinking of ways to attack and we all must be vigilant in this fight against terror, from a beech 1900 to the Airbus A380

09-13-2007, 06:12 PM
Here's the link:

HSLD maybe I am a wuss but I am mad and sad an tearing up at the same time Thats really hard to look at

09-13-2007, 06:38 PM
Best thing we can do now is NEVER get complaicent... Dont be afraid to not be politically correct... Ask questions, take offense...

09-13-2007, 06:55 PM
HSLD maybe I am a wuss but I am mad and sad an tearing up at the same time Thats really hard to look at

I'd say that your only human and it IS hard to look at. The linked image was a photo that I took on the one year anniversary (in 2002). I shared your same feelings as I stapled the photos to the board.

I photoshopped those images from family photos that were forwarded to me. The only pilot who had a photo "in uniform" was Jason Dahl, the rest of the guys had wedding photos, photos from vacation, etc.

My task was to put them in uniform so that we could commission an engraver to etch a granite memorial piece. That was without a doubt the most difficult graphics job I've ever done.

The finished memorial piece now hangs in JFK UAL flight ops. A frequent participant to this forum "Fireman" saw the project through locally and deserves the credit.

Freight Dog
09-13-2007, 07:00 PM
I didn't know you did that graphic, Paul-- well done.

09-14-2007, 02:35 AM
Living in Atlanta my wife and I flew our little airplane down to Savanna for a couple of days of fun and relaxation. Woke up on 9/11 and turned on the TV in the hotel room to see what the weather was going to be like for golf when the first A/C had hit the north tower. I called my wife into the room and as she sat down on the bed the second jet flew into tower number 2. Needless to say we spent the rest of the day aimlessly walking around Savanna and after a day or two drove home back to Atlanta. Wasn't able to get my plane home for about a week.

My background is X Navy and I later found out that the F/O on A/A flight 11 was Tom "Stout" McGuiness. He was one of my navy students.

Just got back from Tailhook 2007 held in Reno. Yes Tailhook, but it will never be the wild and wooley days of old, but still fun to go to and see old friends, play, shoot some craps and play a little golf.

One thing I did this year which I haven't done in awhile was to attend the Flag Panel. This is a panel of about 6- 8 admirals and marine generals that give an update on whats happen with the fleet/corps and then follewed with a Q/A session.

One statement really caught my ear was when one admiral stated that AL-Quada thinks this is a 100 year war. Thats right a 100 year long war in 5 seperate stages. Stage 1 is to declare Ji-Had and go to war. Can't recall all of the phases but around phase 3 is to control the ENTIRE World's supply of oil and wreak and crush all western economys. Phase 4 is something like wipe of the planet Isreal. And finally phase 5 is to convert everybody to ISLAM.

So while all the winy liberals are crying we've been at this war soooooo long Al-Quada is more than willing to go the long haul.

At some point in time it will come time to US vs THEM.

Sorry this is a little long winded.................. Thank God I live in the good old USA................

09-14-2007, 02:44 AM
Tailhook? Good ole days gone. Back in the 70s, you couldn't get an Admiral within two states of Vegas. (WESTPAC in SAN didn't count, far enough away). (Biff, that you?)

What always I don't get about some of our pinheads, is our tolerance of everyone elses intolerences.

09-14-2007, 06:00 AM
Tailhook? Good ole days gone. Back in the 70s, you couldn't get an Admiral within two states of Vegas. (WESTPAC in SAN didn't count, far enough away). (Biff, that you?)

What always I don't get about some of our pinheads, is our tolerance of everyone elses intolerences.

Its Me.....................:cool:

09-14-2007, 09:59 AM
Its Me.....................:cool:

Check your PMs.

09-14-2007, 02:18 PM
Was on deployment with a P-3 squadron in Sigonella, Sicily. In the air during the attacks. Received a call to RTB immediately (with no explanation why), and cut a TAC crew training mission short. Armed security forces wearing vests and helmets stood around the parking spot as we came to a stop.

Entire crew thought it was drill, and we performed post flight duties in typical fashion. I helped the NAV secure a crypto box, then walked off the plane. Halfway between the aircraft and hangar, a group of crewmembers were huddled around a sensor operator who had been following the news all day. I was stunned when the group responded to my, “What’s up?” with “We are under attack”.

Walking through squadron spaces, everyone was busy and wore serious expressions. The command was preparing to fly surface combat air patrols for an amphibious battle group steaming through the med.

It took forever to sign in crypto at the Tactical Support Center. Emergency Action Messages were continuously rolling off printers (I’d only previously seen those on Crimson Tide). All of the watch officers were running around like crazy.

Didn’t make it back to the BOQ for several hours after landing. My crew watched the attacks on TV in stunned silence. Looking out of my window that night, a short fence 20 yards away separated the Q from a country road and an abyss of dark farm land beyond. Visions of Khobar Towers flashed in my mind. It was an eerie feeling.

Flew some outstanding missions in the following months. Gathered lots of good intel, and tracked some bad people. Very rewarding work.