Wednesday, September 11, 2002
[ F-16 Pilots Considered Ramming Flight 93 ]
Within minutes of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on Sept. 11, Air National Guard F-16s took off from here in response to a plea from the White House to "Get in the air now!" Those fighters were flown by three pilots who had decided, on their own, to ram a hijacked airliner and force it to crash, if necessary. Such action almost certainly would have been fatal for them, but could have prevented another terrorism catastrophe in Washington.
Another call from the Secret Service commanded, "Get in the air now!" Almost simultaneously, a call from someone else in the White House declared the Washington area "a free-fire zone. That meant we were given authority to use force, if the situation required it, in defense of the nation's capital, its property and people," Sasseville said.
[ 9/11/2002 06:43:00 PM ] [