From Takeoff to Takeover

Putting It All Together

by James Hillston
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
October 28, 2001


7:49 A.M. Mark Bingham calls friend. Says that he is sitting in first class and drinking orange juice.

8:42 A.M. United Airlines Flight 93 departs from Newark International Airport in New Jersey, 41 minutes late.

8:47 A.M. Planes passes through 10,000 feet.

9:02 A.M. Plane reaches cruising altitude of 31,000 feet. Estimated cruising speed is 515 mph, but actual speed on this flight may have varied.

Just after 9 A.M. United warns all aircraft of the potential for cockpit intrusion and to take precautions to barricade cockpit doors.

9:20 A.M. Hijacking begins. Tom Burnett calls wife, reports takeover.

9:28 A.M. Keyed microphone reveals someone in cockpit saying, "Get out of here!"

9:29 A.M. Jeremy Glick calls his wife and describes the hijackers. He is told about the attacks in New York.

9:34 A.M. Cockpit intercom: In broken English, a man announces there is a bomb and that the plane is returning to the airport.

9:35 A.M. Hijacked plane is turned around near Cleveland.

9:41 A.M. Marion Birtton calls friend. She tells him that two people have been killed and the plane has been turned around.

9:45 A.M. Todd Beamer's cell phone call is transferred to Verizon operator Lisa Jefferson. He tells her about the passenger's plan to fight the hijackers.

9:49 A.M. Pittsburgh International Airport flight tower is evacuated.

9:50 A.M. Sandra Bradshaw calls her husband. She tells him that they are in the rear galley filling pitchers with hot water to use against the hijackers.

9:58 A.M. Todd Beamer's call ends as he and others begin to carry out their plan to force their way into the cockpit and take over the plane. CeeCee Lyles has called her husband. Screams and jumbled noises heard in the background. Call disconnects as confrontation with hijackers begins.

10:04 A.M. Johnstown-Cambria County Airport reports the plane is 15 miles south and coming fast.

10:05 A.M. People on the ground witness the plane flying low and erratically.

10:06 A.M. Flight 93 crashes near Shanskville, approximately 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

15-20 minutes away. Possible terrorist target: Washington D.C. approximately 124 miles, or 15-20 minutes, from crash site.


Copyright 2001 PG Publishing

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