Fucking hell! NORAD LIED! Flight 93 might have been saved???

I’m still trying to figure this out, what this means, but I’d imagine that the families of those people who died on Flight 93 are going to be screaming their heads off, as well they should! May they scream very very loud and very very long.

I’ going to withhold a snap judgement on this until I know more. Let me just offer the caveat that Senator Mark Dayton is one of the most radically liberal members of the Senate- not that there’s anything wrong with that, I voted for him and will vote for him again- but Mark can sometimes be…shall we say…a bit of a drama queen. He may have a valid point here, but he may also be overplaying it. Nobody seemed to know whether to shit or go camping that day. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

And if the F-16s had intercepted Flight 93, what the fuck would have been different, Equipoise? How could they have ‘saved’ Flight 93, as you claim?

Brutus, the claim is that they could have broadcast a warning to all pilots in the air about what was going on. This could have been done in time for the pilots of Flight 93 to not allow the takeover. The relevant part of the quote is bolded in the OP.

I am just repeating the claim, not endorsing it.

Haj

I’ve just recently begun reading the 9/11 Commission Report, but what comes across to me more than anything else for the first few pages (where the commission details the events of the hijackings and the reactions of the air traffic controllers, the FAA, and NORAD) is the general sense that nobody was prepared mentally to comprehend the extent of the hijackers’ plans. The people directly involved, starting with the air traffic controllers and continuing through their hierarchy eventually to the FAA and NORAD, did not fully understand exactly what was happening at the time. It does appear, however, that United 93 was advised of the threat of a possible cockpit intrusion, but it was only mere minutes before it actually happened to them:

Apparently the pilot himself either does not understand the warning, or doesn’t quite grasp the threat. All of the people involved in that day’s events were operating under extremely stressful circumstances, presented with situations they may never have contemplated.

Yes, there were breakdowns in communication, and there were opportunities to do more sooner - and I’m not about to make excuses for them. But I’m hopeful the commission report will serve as a useful basis to retool the bureaucracy for the future.

How were the pilots supposed to secure the cockpit door?

As a practical matter, there was no way for them to keep the hijackers out of the cockpit. Remember, back then cockpit doors weren’t much different from what was on the lav - in fact, the hijackers probably couldn’t keep the passengers out once they started their attack, which is why (it now seems) they crashed the plane rather than let it be retaken.

A couple points:

My personal opinion is that, since 9/11, one thing that has really bothered some people is that there is no person alive “responsible” and available to punish.

This totally ignores the fact there was no system in place to either generate or disseminate a “systemwide message” of that sort. A need for such was never anticipated, therefore the mechanism did not exit on that day.

Also, a “land NOW” order was disseminated via an ad hoc relay system that had air traffic broadcasting on all aviation frequencies, but even that had problems with people “stepping on” transmissions, and the time delay involved in diseminating the message. It took several hours to relay just that one simple item.

Even today, I’m not sure the FAA could broadcast a “systemwide” emergency alert any quicker. Yes, there’s a system, but it’s not a system that was ever intended or set up to do such a thing. The air traffic control system in this system is geared to just that air traffic control, not national defense.

Bullshit. Let’s, for just a moment, assume the Air Force HAD intercepted Flight 93. Do you think the hijackers would

A) Surrender meekly

B) Crash the airplane in preference to being caught

I believe the outcome - everyone aboard dead post-crash - would be the same.

Leaving aside for the moment the whole issue of phones on airplanes (or lack thereof) this just demonstrates that this man is ignorant of how aviation communication presently works. Again, the FAA is NOT a division of “national defense”. Even now it’s not - that aspect of transportation is handled by the Transportation Security Administration. The FAA cooperates with them, of course, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same thing.

Um… gosh… See, the transponder works with secondary radar, which is useful for picking out individual airplanes. They still had primary radar, on which the hijacked airplanes showed up just fine - along with every other airplane out there, and a bunch of other stuff like flocks of migrating birds. Secondary radar was, in fact, the solution to the problem of too many radar returns… I don’t think this is a problem that can be resolved in such a manner as to make this gentleman happy. The military may use computers to filter out non-airplane returns from primary radar, but that won’t identify a particular airplane without some sort of marker/tag. Which is what the transponder is for. Which the Bad Guys turned off… and any substituted might be something that could be disabled/masked/elminated as well.

I can’t speak for NORAD (actually, I don’t speak for the FAA, either ) but I’m not sure you could classify what happened as a “failure” on their part. It is NOT the job of the FAA to gather or interpret intelligence data, and they aren’t the military or charged with the defense of the nation. They’re job is to keep aviation running as smoothly and safely as possible in this country.

Reading is a breeze if you don’t sweat comprehension.

So far, there are two things to be learned here:

  1. Broomstick has done his homework and knows how to think, and

  2. Mark Dayton, like too many junior legislators, is louder than he is smart.

Three. The third being Broomstick is a woman with a pilot’s license. :slight_smile:

And she writes pretty good…

Is it known whether or not there was a struggle with the flight controls prior to the descent? Meaning, did the plane exhibit increases and decreases in altitude prior to the ultimate outcome? Is this info known by the NTSB?

I can’t find a cite for this, but I recall a report that the black box recording suggested that the hijackers believed they would lose control of the aircraft to the passengers and decided to crash while they were still in charge.

That would be the report of the 9/11 Commission.

I’m pretty sure that the E-3 radar automatically filters out anything below 80mph.

Dayton for Director, Hooked on Histrionics.

Broomstick for junior Senator from Minnesota.

I read in an interview with a commercial airline pilot shortly post 9/11 that if he had notice of what was going on with the other three planes and he thought that someone was trying to break into his cabin, he could easily make maneuvers, such as rolling the aircraft several times, that would incapacitate pretty much anyone in the back of the plane not strapped down. IANA pilot and I have no idea how feasible such a tactic would be.

The revised chronology clears up one thing for me: why NORAD didn’t ring all the alarm bells it had (and given NORAD’s historical mission, its alarm bells must be considerable) once it had reason to believe we had a way-unprecedented three hijackings going on simultaneously. The answer: it didn’t know about them before they crashed.

I’m still kinda puzzled, though, that no one was in a position to realize we had multiple hijackings while the planes were still in the air. Given the sort of event a hijacking was before 9/11 (rare but a big deal if it happened) you’d think that even within the air-traffic control system and the FAA, word of each hijacking would have been relayed up the line in a hurry, until word reached someone who’d realize that we’d passed from happenstance to coincidence to enemy action, and would have woken up their boss’s boss if necessary to get the word relayed to the top. After all, even if 9/11 hadn’t been what it turned out to be, you still wouldn’t have wanted the President to find out from CNN that three planes had been hijacked at once.

The Master speaks.

Full aerobatic manoeuvres wouldn’t be necessary to incapacitate someone in the back of an airliner. A series of 3 G pulls followed by -1 G bunts would be entirely sufficient to at least keep people from moving purposefully around the cabin.

However, at some stage you’re going to have to calm down and land, you’d better hope the hijackers are unconscious or under Pax Control.