The Official Facts

Flight 11

Boeing 767-223ER – American Airlines, registration N334AA

Took off from Logan Airport, Boston, heading for Los Angeles International Airport

Departed from gate B32, runway 4R

Carried 81 passengers (5 hijackers), 9 flight attendants, 2 pilots (51% capacity – average 59%)

Scheduled departure: 7:45am

Actual take off: 7:59am

Hijack: 8.13am-8.20am (last pilot communication – transponder switch-off)

Hijackers: Mohammad Atta (pilot), Abdulaziz al-Omari, Waleed al-Shehri, Wail al-Shehri, Satam al-Suqami

Crash: 8.46am, WTC 1 (north tower)

Approx distance from target upon take-off: 230 miles

Approx distance from target upon hijack: 170 miles

Total flight duration: 47 minutes

Time from hijack to collision: 26-33 minutes

Max speed observed: 425 knots (466 mph)

Phone calls: Flight attendant Betty Ong, Flight attendant Amy Madeline Sweeney

Notes and oddities:

  • Despite knowing how and why to switch off the transponder, and piloting the plane to its target with astounding accuracy, Mohammad Atta mistakenly transmitted his announcements for passengers to air traffic control, inadvertently telling them the plane had been hijacked.
  • BTS (Bureau of Transportation Statistics) has no record of flight 11 having taken off on 9/11.
  • All eyewitnesses say that the passengers boarded at gate B26.
  • No black boxes recovered. This is extremely unusual.

Flight 175

Boeing 767-222 – United Airlines, registration N612UA

Took off from Logan Airport, Boston, heading for Los Angeles International Airport

Gate C19, runway 9

Carried 56 passengers (five hijackers), 7 flight attendants, 2 pilots (33% capacity – ave. 49%)

Scheduled departure: 8:00am

Actual take-off: 8:14am

Hijack: 8:42-8:46am

Crash: 9:03am, WTC 2 (south tower)

Hijackers: Marwan al-Shehhi (pilot), Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Hamza al-Ghamdi, Ahmed al-Ghamdi, Mohand al-Shehri

Approx distance from target upon take-off: 230 miles

Approx distance from target upon hijack: 140 miles

Total flight duration: 49 minutes

Time from hijack to collision: 21 minutes

Max speed observed: 513 knots (590mph)

Phone calls: Anonymous flight attendant, Brian Sweeney, Peter Burton Hanson, Garnett ‘Ace’ Bailey

Notes and oddities:

  • No black boxes recovered. This is extremely unusual.
  • BTS database lists wheels off at 8:23, not 8:14 as in the official report.

Flight 77

Boeing 757-223, American Airlines, registration N644AA

Took off from Washington Dulles International Airport, Virginia, heading for Los Angeles

Gate D26, runway 30

Carried 58 passengers (5 hijackers), 4 flight attendants, 2 pilots (33% capacity – average 33%)

Scheduled departure: 8:10am

Actual take-off: 8:20am

Hijack: 8:51am-8:54am (last comm from pilot – course change)

Crash: 9:37am, Pentagon

Hijackers: Hani Hanjour (pilot), Khalid al-Mihdhar, Majed Moqed, Salem al-Hazmi, Nawaf al-Hazmi

Approx distance from target upon take-off: 27 miles

Approx distance from target upon hijack: 320 miles

Total flight duration: 77 minutes (1 hr 17 minutes)

Time from hijack to collision: 43-46 minutes

Max speed observed: 460 knots (530mph)

Phone calls: Barbara Olson, Flight attendant Renee May, four unknown calls

Notes and oddities:

  • BTS (Bureau of Transportation Statistics) has no record of flight 77 having taken off on 9/11.
  • Black box data indicates that the cockpit door wasn’t opened at any time during the flight.
  • The hijack pilot performed a tight circle and steep drop just before reaching its target, then hit the building almost at ground level yet without harm the picture-perfect lawn outside the Pentagon, nor the building’s foundations. These are incredible manouevres incurring massive G-forces and suggesting the pilot was both highly skilled and in no hurry.
  • Black boxes both recovered, but CVR damaged beyond usefulness

Flight 93

Boeing 757-200, United Airlines, registration N591UA

Took off from Newark International Airport, New Jersey, heading for San Francisco International Airport, California

Gate A17, runway 4R

Carried 38 passengers (4 hijackers), 5 flight attendants, 2 pilots (20% capacity – average 52%)

Scheduled departure time: 8:00am

Actual take-off: 8:42am (42 minutes late)

Hijack: 9:28am (‘Mayday’ call from pilot)

Crash: 10:03am open ground in Pennsylvania, 40.0511° N, 78.9047° W

Hijackers: Ziad Jarrah (pilot), Ahmed al-Nami, Ahmed al-Haznawi, Saeed al-Ghamdi

Distance from target upon take-off: 200 miles

Distance from target upon hijack: 350 miles

Distance from target upon crash: 150 miles

Total flight duration: 47 minutes

Time from hijack to collision: 26-33 minutes

Max speed observed: 489 knots (563mph)

Phone calls: Flight attendant Ceecee Lyles, Flight attendant Sandra Bradshaw, Mark Bingham, Todd Beamer, Edward Felt, Joseph DeLuca, Jeremy Glick, Linda Gronlund, Marion Britton, Honor Elizabeth Waino, Lauren Grandcolas, Tom Burnett

Notes and oddities:

  • Four hijackers instead of five.
  • BTS database reports a different take off time: 8:28am
  • Crash time is disputed (signs point to 10:06am), though in an air crash the time is usually pinpointed to the second.
  • Normal procedure should have cancelled this nearly-empty plane and moved the passengers to the slightly later flight 91.
  • Black boxes both recovered

WTC 1 – North tower

Impact zone: floors 93-99

Tenants: Marsh and McLennan (these were the only floors recently upgraded for fireproofing)

Hit by: Flight 11

Time of crash: 8:46am

Time of collapse: 10:28am

Duration of fires: 102 minues (1hr 42)

No of floors: 110

Footprint approx one acre

Height: 1368 feet/417m tall plus telecomms mast 360feet/110m tall. (Total 1,728 ft/527 m.)

WTC 2 – South tower

Impact zone floors 78-85

Tenants: AEON Corporation, Fuji Bank, First Commercial Bank, bepaid.com, Harris Beach & Wilcox LLP, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Eurobrokers

Hit by: Flight 175

Time of crash: 9:03am

Time of collapse: 9:59am

Duration of fires: 56 minutes

No of floors: 110

Footprint approx one acre

Height: 1362ft/415m

The towers were first proposed in 1943, and initial plans were made public in 1961. The architect was chosen in 1962 (Minoru Yamasaki lead architect, Emery Roth & Sons associate architects) and plans were finalised in 1964. Construction began August 5, 1966. 1 WTC completed December 23, 1970 (first tenants moved in December 1970). 2 WTC completed July 19, 1971 (first tenants moved in January 1972). Official opening April 4, 1973. Total cost to New York Port Authority $900 million.

Timeline

Flight 11 takes off:                 7:59am

Flight 175 takes off:               8:14am

Flight 11 hijacked:                  8.14am-8.20am

Flight 77 takes off:                 8:20am

Flight 175 hijacked:                8:42am

Flight 93 takes off:                 8:42am

Flight 11 hits WTC 1:             8:46am

Flight 77 hijacked:                  8:51am-8:54am

Flight 175 hits WTC 2:           9:03am

Flight 93 hijacked:                  9:28am

Flight 77 hits the Pentagon:    9:37am

WTC 2 collapses:                    9:59am

Flight 93 crashes in Penn.:      10:03am

WTC 1 collapses:                    10:28am

WTC 7 collapses:                    5:20pm

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