Where were the fighters?

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kent

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Sep 15, 2001, 9:35:58 PM9/15/01
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I got into a little tiff with a co-worker this morning concerning his
admonishment of the U.S. military as to whether or not fighter planes
should have intercepted the hijacked craft before they
hit.(particularly the one in Pittsburgh)

After considering his points,I agreed it seemed as if they
should've.It at least seemed reasonable to expect,especially in
consideration of the fact that planes responded so quickly to Payne
Stewarts' _private_ plane...a fact he brought up.

He claimed that from the time of the second hit on the towers till the
plane crashed here in western PA(about 20 miles away)plenty of time
was had to mobilize and intercept.

Has anyone else heard criticism in this regard?I'd like to give a
little more informed opinion soon.

Thanks

Mirhanda Sarko

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Sep 15, 2001, 9:35:08 PM9/15/01
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bach...@yahoo.com (kent) wrote in alt.fan.cecil-adams:

Fighter planes scrambled, but weren't able to get there in time. Even if
they had, what would they have done? Shot down civilian airliners over NYC
and Washington D.C? What good could they have done? Saved the WTC only to
have the plane crash onto other buildings? Saved the Pentagon, only to have
the plane crash onto the Capitol Building? I really don't see how shooting
down those airliners would have really changed anything. They were over
*cities* not open countryside, like the PA plane.

Mirhanda

--
Decapitate my addy to email me

War wreaked on you his hideous ravishment;
We, we alone, Nereids inviolate,
Remain to weep, with the sea-birds to chant:
Corinth is lost, Corinth is desolate.

Carl Fink

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Sep 15, 2001, 11:37:26 PM9/15/01
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In article <Xns911DD2CA9EFF7az...@65.82.44.7>,
Mirhanda Sarko wrote:

> Fighter planes scrambled, but weren't able to get there in time. Even if
> they had, what would they have done? Shot down civilian airliners over NYC
> and Washington D.C? What good could they have done? Saved the WTC only to
> have the plane crash onto other buildings?

Um, yes. Killing hundreds instead of thousands is a fairly easy
calculation.

> Saved the Pentagon, only to have the plane crash onto the Capitol
> Building?

Or a field? The Pentagon isn't even in DC, you know, it's in
Arlington, Virginia. There's a lot of open space around it. (I was
there last month. Not the Pentagon, Washington, I mean.) The area
isn't remotely as built-up as downtown Manhattan.

> I really don't see how shooting down those airliners would have
> really changed anything. They were over
> *cities* not open countryside, like the PA plane.

First of all, they weren't over cities instantly - flying from Boston
to NYC is not completely done over urban areas. Second, as above,
making them miss would have had great value.

A friend told me today that his volunteer fire department supervisor
is also a supervisor for the FAA's TRACON, and was on duty during the
hijackings. The first hijacking was immediately reported to the Air
Force (when the transponder was cut off and the plane stopped
responding to commands). The guy refused to say whether any fighter
aircraft responded.

The nearest Air Force base is apparently in South Jersey. Even on
afterburner, if launched immediately, an F-15 probably couldn't catch
up to a 767 taking off from Newark before it got to NYC. 767's are
*fast*, they travel at over 500 MPH at cruising speed if I recall.
--
Carl Fink ca...@dm.net
I-Con's Science and Technology Programming
<http://www.iconsf.org>

John Seeliger

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Sep 16, 2001, 1:15:51 AM9/16/01
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Carl Fink <ca...@panix.com> wrote in article
<slrn9q87lg...@panix2.panix.com>...

Yes, but as you noted, it took off from Boston, not Newark. The Newark to
San Francisco flight (United 93 IIRC) was the one that crash in rural
Pennsylvania. What was important though was where the plane was who it was
hijacked and changed course. It seems (from the animations they showed on
ABC) that it was near Albany, so it was about the same distance from New
York City as South Jersey is, and an F-15 can go much faster than a 767,
even if it can go 500 mph --that is if you don't mind the sonic boom, but
then again making a sonic boom seems like less of a problem than shooting
down a commercial airplane in a vital national security situation.
Certainly though, by the time the second plane got to NYC, there was plenty
of time for an F-15 to arrive and intercept it. The best place to shoot in
down, if you can, is over the water. New York Harbor, esp., or the Hudson
otherwise. But that is just my opinion, not based on military knowledge,
extensive or otherwise.

One thing I thought about when Payne Stewart's plane was lost is that it
would be nice if somehow, planes could be designed to be flown remotely, by
satellite from a nearby airport. Have some code known only to the high up
people at the FAA and if that code is issued, then the plane transfers
control to the remote site. This would be a pretty big engineering
problem. You would need a camera onboard, transferring images via
satellite to the remote flight control as well as flight data transfer. On
the way back, you would need data for whatever operations the remote pilot
is making. Perhaps a lot of bandwidth there. I don't really know. It
would mostly be from the camera though, since I think the flight instrument
data and the control data from the remote pilot site would be small by
comparison, but I don't think the camera data would be too much that it
wouldn't be done with a small dish (note, I'm not an electrical engineer
and I don't know what the typical upstream bandwidth of say a 1 meter dish
would be, but it should be many times greater than a cell phone I should
think.). There would be other significant engineering problems besides
though. (Especially with the hydraulics system, I would think.)

David Wilton

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Sep 16, 2001, 10:47:33 AM9/16/01
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On 15 Sep 2001 18:35:58 -0700, bach...@yahoo.com (kent) wrote:

>I got into a little tiff with a co-worker this morning concerning his
>admonishment of the U.S. military as to whether or not fighter planes
>should have intercepted the hijacked craft before they
>hit.(particularly the one in Pittsburgh)
>
>After considering his points,I agreed it seemed as if they
>should've.It at least seemed reasonable to expect,especially in
>consideration of the fact that planes responded so quickly to Payne
>Stewarts' _private_ plane...a fact he brought up.

Stewart's plane was in the air for hours. I don't know the timeline
for interception. How fast was it intercepted? Also, did it fly over
any sensitive facilities (ICBM fields, etc.) that would have prompted
a faster Air Force response?

>He claimed that from the time of the second hit on the towers till the
>plane crashed here in western PA(about 20 miles away)plenty of time
>was had to mobilize and intercept.

AA 11 took off at 7:59. It crashed into the WTC at 8:45. It diverted
at about the halfway point. That means the Air Force had only about 20
minutes to do something. And all they knew was that a airliner was off
course.

UA 175 took off a minute earlier, and it crashed into the WTC at 9:05.
It didn't significantly deviate from its flight path until nearly the
last. So all you had was an airliner that was slightly off course,
until only a few minutes before the end.

AA 77 too off at 8:10. It turned off its transponder at (est.) 8:55.
And it crashed into the Pentagon at 9:40. Conceivably the Air National
Guard should have been able to intercept this one.

UA 93 took off at 8:01. It deviated from its flight pat at (est.) 9:30
and crashed in Pennsylvania at 10:10. The Air National Guard did
attempt to intercept this one, I don't know how close they got to
completing the interception.

So in the case of the two that hit the WTC, all the Air Force would
have been able to know is that two airliners were off course.

Air Defense of the continental US is largely an Air National Guard
mission. In normal times, relatively few squadrons are on alert. This
means that there could be significant delays while the fighters flew
to the interception point.

And what do you do when they get to the interception point? Do you
shoot down an airliner filled with passengers? DepSecDef Wolfowitz
commented on this and said it would have been a presidential decision.
In retrospect the answer seems obvious, but in the confusion of the
moment, when we were still trying to grasp what was happening, the
decision is not at all clear.


--Dave Wilton
da...@wilton.net
http://www.wordorigins.org

kent

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Sep 16, 2001, 2:54:58 PM9/16/01
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David Wilton <da...@wilton.net> wrote in message news:<vgd9qt8647ef84a00...@4ax.com>...
> da...@wilton.net
> http://www.wordorigins.org

<snip>

> And what do you do when they get to the interception point? Do you
> shoot down an airliner filled with passengers? DepSecDef Wolfowitz
> commented on this and said it would have been a presidential decision.
> In retrospect the answer seems obvious, but in the confusion of the
> moment, when we were still trying to grasp what was happening, the
> decision is not at all clear.
>
>
> --Dave Wilton

Thank you Dave,this is what I was trying to stress to my friend.Who
exactly is going to give the order to down a commercial airliner? He
didn't seem to allow for any inherent confusion in such a mammoth
situation.

Perry Farmer

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Sep 16, 2001, 6:58:10 PM9/16/01
to

-> >He claimed that from the time of the second hit on the towers till the
-> >plane crashed here in western PA(about 20 miles away)plenty of time
-> >was had to mobilize and intercept.

-> AA 11 took off at 7:59. It crashed into the WTC at 8:45. It diverted
-> at about the halfway point. That means the Air Force had only about 20
-> minutes to do something. And all they knew was that a airliner was off
-> course.

Which given the date and world happenings, they should have been alert,
probably not able to stop this one, however.

-> UA 175 took off a minute earlier, and it crashed into the WTC at 9:05.
-> It didn't significantly deviate from its flight path until nearly the
-> last. So all you had was an airliner that was slightly off course,
-> until only a few minutes before the end.

This one they should have been on alert as the first one at this point
was reported to be known as hijacked. Added to the date and world
happenings, flags should have been raised.

-> AA 77 too off at 8:10. It turned off its transponder at (est.) 8:55.
-> And it crashed into the Pentagon at 9:40. Conceivably the Air National
-> Guard should have been able to intercept this one.

Yep, especially since flags should have really been raised now, the
first two being known hijackings.

-> UA 93 took off at 8:01. It deviated from its flight pat at (est.) 9:30
-> and crashed in Pennsylvania at 10:10. The Air National Guard did
-> attempt to intercept this one, I don't know how close they got to
-> completing the interception.

This one was reported to have been seen to have crashed, maybe they did
something about this one since flags have been raised and even the
passengers knew about those flags.

-> So in the case of the two that hit the WTC, all the Air Force would
-> have been able to know is that two airliners were off course.

Except for the date and the fact that the first one was known to be
hijacked, flags should have been raised.

-> Air Defense of the continental US is largely an Air National Guard
-> mission. In normal times, relatively few squadrons are on alert. This
-> means that there could be significant delays while the fighters flew
-> to the interception point.

Except for the fact of the date, that some of the hijackers were already
under video scrutiny, the state of world tensions, and that other flags
have been raised.

-> And what do you do when they get to the interception point? Do you
-> shoot down an airliner filled with passengers? DepSecDef Wolfowitz
-> commented on this and said it would have been a presidential decision.
-> In retrospect the answer seems obvious, but in the confusion of the
-> moment, when we were still trying to grasp what was happening, the
-> decision is not at all clear.

And now what we have are flags that have been lowered.

-> --Dave Wilton

Perry

Greg Goss

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Sep 17, 2001, 2:36:51 AM9/17/01
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>On 15 Sep 2001 18:35:58 -0700, bach...@yahoo.com (kent) wrote:
>>He claimed that from the time of the second hit on the towers till the
>>plane crashed here in western PA(about 20 miles away)plenty of time
>>was had to mobilize and intercept.
[...]

>Air Defense of the continental US is largely an Air National Guard
>mission. In normal times, relatively few squadrons are on alert. This
>means that there could be significant delays while the fighters flew
>to the interception point.

They scrambled fighters about two minutes before the first WTC impact.
They did not reach Manhattan until after the second impact. They had
to come in from Cape Cod.

They scrambled fighters for the Pentagon plane. Again, they were too
far out to reach it in time.

The fighter(s) for the PA plane were apparently on position, ready to
deal with it when it fell out of the sky on its own. I have seen
reports from people who report seeing a fighter circling around a much
slower airliner.

>And what do you do when they get to the interception point? Do you
>shoot down an airliner filled with passengers? DepSecDef Wolfowitz
>commented on this and said it would have been a presidential decision.
>In retrospect the answer seems obvious, but in the confusion of the
>moment, when we were still trying to grasp what was happening, the
>decision is not at all clear.

The Presidential order had been given. The fighters trailing the
fourth plane had been given authority to use deadly force to deal with
it. That plane would not have reached the White House, Camp David,
the Air Force base or whatever it intended. If the pax hadn't brought
it down, the fighter pilot had means, motive, and orders.

Greg Goss

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Sep 17, 2001, 2:39:16 AM9/17/01
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bach...@yahoo.com (kent) wrote:

>David Wilton <da...@wilton.net> wrote in message news:<vgd9qt8647ef84a00...@4ax.com>...
>

>> And what do you do when they get to the interception point? Do you
>> shoot down an airliner filled with passengers? DepSecDef Wolfowitz
>> commented on this and said it would have been a presidential decision.
>> In retrospect the answer seems obvious, but in the confusion of the
>> moment, when we were still trying to grasp what was happening, the
>> decision is not at all clear.
>>
>>
>> --Dave Wilton
>
>Thank you Dave,this is what I was trying to stress to my friend.Who
>exactly is going to give the order to down a commercial airliner? He
>didn't seem to allow for any inherent confusion in such a mammoth
>situation.

As of Saturday, the Pentagon has been saying that, for the fourth
plane, a fighter was in position, and that the President had given
the order to use deadly force to bring it down if it wouldn't follow
directions. Then it fell out of the sky before they did anything.

Joe Shimkus

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Sep 16, 2001, 7:27:47 PM9/16/01
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In article <10006...@thefarm.tzo.com>,
perry....@thefarm.tzo.com (Perry Farmer) wrote:


<some 20/20 hindsight, arm chair quarterbacking comment about flags
being raised just so he could use this witticism...>

> And now what we have are flags that have been lowered.

To paraphrase Fat Albert...

You don't go to school.

What?

You have no class.

- Joe


--
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Lalbert1

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Sep 18, 2001, 2:31:10 PM9/18/01
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In article <joe-763B26.1...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>, Joe Shimkus
<j...@shimkus.com> writes:

>To paraphrase Fat Albert...

I ain't fat.

Les

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