"The Tapes" -- plane radio traffic on 9/11.
October 15, 2001 9:24 PM   Subscribe

"The Tapes" -- plane radio traffic on 9/11. (NYTimes link, registration required.) It would almost be refreshing to read something like this -- hard facts and timelines, actual quotes instead of vague inferences -- were it not for the content of those quotes, which is chilling. Very much worth a read, however.
posted by precipice (9 comments total)
Just read that piece myself... it is very vivid and kind of a difficult read. Recommended, even for those who usually snub NYT links.
posted by spilon at 9:39 PM on October 15, 2001

There are related links: a tabbed overview of significant exchanges, and ATC transcripts for Flights 11 and 175 (WTC) and Flight 77 (Pentagon).

The first piece also includes the most detailed reporting yet on the F-15s that were scrambled, ending with a quote that will make your blood run cold. You're not going to see those pilots on Good Morning America anytime soon.
posted by dhartung at 11:10 PM on October 15, 2001

Beware, cockpit intrusion.

Goosebumps. Big time.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:11 AM on October 16, 2001

Creepy. I don't believe I could remain very calm and purposeful in that kind of situation. Aircraft controllers must be very well trained to deal with this sort of occurrence.

And while we're talking about disasters, I now gather that London is to be the next terrorist target, sometime between October 20 and the end of the month. Anybody heard this, too?

I don't mean to turn this thread into a de-facto chat room, and I certainly don't mean to be off topic and spreading rumors/nonsense. My apologies if this post irritates anyone. Please, back to the script.
posted by Bixby23 at 2:41 AM on October 16, 2001

Anyone have any further info on the blackboxes? I remember they found the blackbox from the Penn plane. I haven't heard a thing about the WTC and Pentagon planes' blackboxes. I could imagine the WTC ones being destroyed but, still, not a word.
posted by mmarcos at 4:14 AM on October 16, 2001

on the morning of Sept. 11, the entire country was being defended by 14 Air National Guard planes dispersed among seven bases.

The quotes from the plane radios aren't nearly as chilling as this part. . . .
posted by LeLiLo at 5:31 AM on October 16, 2001

They haven't found any WTC black boxes yet.
posted by aaron at 6:47 AM on October 16, 2001

Lelilo. I hope you're questioning the number of planes rather than the pilots themselves. Guard pilots, on average, have much more stick time than their active duty counterparts, I've put my safety in their hands in military planes (and you have in civilian ones) more times than I can count.
posted by m@ at 7:34 AM on October 16, 2001

Addressing that, well, the number of planes was appropriate given military expectations, our early-warning system, and so forth. We've stood down from the Cold War, put the Looking Glass command & control planes on the ground, and closed a lot of bases to save money (Rumsfeld was begging Congress to close more just this summer).

I admit that I used to roll my eyes when the USAF recruitment ad came on that showed pilots patrolling our skies, with a CGI "crane shot" dropping down to a kid looking out his window, as a sleep-tight lullaby song played. I thought it was a little cheesy, and wildly inaccurate. In fact, it was, but I don't think it was inappropriate anymore.

Ironically, the fact that they weren't ready to protect us means that they're not running that ad anymore (there's a new one with lots of flags and such). But I'm more ready to see it.

Even if it's still cheesy.
posted by dhartung at 4:27 PM on October 16, 2001

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