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Profile: Pan Am International Flight School


Positions that Pan Am International Flight School has held:




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Pan Am International Flight School actively participated in the following events:


August 13-15, 2001: Moussaoui Immediately Raises Suspicions at Flight School      Complete 911 Timeline

       Zacarias Moussaoui trains at the Pan Am International Flight School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he pays $8,300 ($1500 by credit card and the remainder in cash) to use a Boeing 474 Model 400 aircraft simulator. After just one day of training most of the staff is suspicious that he is a terrorist, especially after they discuss with him “how much fuel [is] on board a 747-400 and how much damage that could cause if it hit[s] anything.” Staff members call the FBI with their concerns later that day. [New York Times, 2/8/02; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 10/17/02] They are suspicious because:
In contrast to all the other students at this high-level flight school, he has no aviation background, little previous training, and no pilot's license. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 10/17/02]
He wants to fly a 747 not because he plans to be a pilot, but as an “ego boosting thing.” [New York Times, 10/18/02] Yet within hours of his arrival, it is clear he “was not some affluent joyrider.” [New York Times, 2/8/02]
He is “extremely” interested in the operation of the plane's doors and control panel. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 10/17/02] He also is very keen to learn the protocol for communicating with the flight tower, despite having no plans to become an actual pilot. [New York Times, 2/8/02]
He is evasive and belligerent when asked about his background. When an instructor, who notes from his records that Moussaoui is from France, attempts to greet him in French, Moussaoui appears not to understand, saying that he had spent very little time in France and that he is from the Middle East. The instructor considers it odd that Moussaoui did not specify the Middle Eastern country. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 12/21/01; Washington Post, 1/2/02]
He tells a flight instructor he is not a Muslim, but the instructor senses he is lying about this. [New Yorker, 9/30/02]
He says he would “love” to fly a simulated flight from London to New York, raising fears he has plans to hijack such a flight. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 10/17/02] His original e-mail to the flight school similarly stated he wanted to be good enough to fly from London to New York. [New York Times, 2/8/02]
He pays for thousands of dollars in expenses from a large wad of cash. [New York Times, 2/8/02]
He seems determined to pack a large amount of training in a short period for no apparent reason. [New York Times, 2/8/02]
He mostly practices flying in the air, not taking off or landing (although reports claiming he did not want to take off or land at all appear to be an exaggeration). [New York Times, 2/8/02; Slate, 5/21/02; Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 12/21/01; New York Times, 5/22/02] Failing to get much initial interest from the FBI, the flight instructor tells the FBI agents, “Do you realize how serious this is? This man wants training on a 747. A 747 fully loaded with fuel could be used as a weapon!” [New York Times, 2/8/02]
People and organizations involved: Zacarias Moussaoui, Pan Am International Flight School, Federal Bureau of Investigation

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