Saturday, September 10, 2011

Orders to Take Down the Plane

Following is a riveting, yet as till now, an untold story of exceptional heroism during 9/11 as shared by The Borg Conspiracy

A story as yet untold

This is a story that has been ten years in the telling. Only now, on the tenth anniversary is it finally being told.

Pilot told to ram, take down Flight 93 By Washington Post Saturday, September 10, 2011 Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, Lt. Heather "Lucky" Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day's fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it. The one thing she didn't have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft. Except her plane. So that was the plan. Because the surprise attacks were unfolding faster than they could arm war planes, Penney and her commanding officer went up to fly their jets into a Boeing 757. "We wouldn't be shooting it down. We'd be ramming the aircraft," Penney recalled of her charge that day. "I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot." For years, Penney, one of the first generation of female combat pilots in the country, gave no interviews about her experiences on Sept. 11 (which included, eventually, escorting Air Force One back into Washington). But 10 years later, she is reflecting on one of the lesser-told tales of that endlessly examined morning: how the first counterpunch the military prepared to throw at the attackers was effectively a suicide mission. "We had to protect the airspace any way we could," she said last week in her office at Lockheed Martin, where she is a director in the F-35 program. Penney, now a major, is no longer a combat flier. She flew two tours in Iraq and serves as a part-time National Guard pilot, mostly hauling VIPs around in a military Gulfstream. She takes the stick of her own vintage 1941 Taylorcraft tail-dragger whenever she can. But none of her thousands of hours in the air quite compare with the rush of launching was supposed to be a one-way flight to a midair collision. 'I'll take the tail' She was a rookie in the autumn of 2001, the first female F-16 pilot they'd ever had at the 121st Fighter Squadron of the D.C. Air National Guard. She had grown up smelling jet fuel. Her father flew jets in Vietnam and still races them. Penney got her pilot's licence when she was a literature major at Purdue. She'd planned to be a teacher, but during a graduate program in American studies, Congress opened combat aviation to women and Penney was nearly first in line. "I signed up immediately," she said. "I wanted to be a fighter pilot like my dad." On Sept. 11, 2001, they had just finished two weeks of air combat training in Nevada. They were sitting around a briefing table when someone looked in to say a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. When it happened once, they assumed it was some yahoo in a Cesna. When it happened again, they knew it was war. But the surprise was complete. In the monumental confusion of those first hours, it was impossible to get clear orders. Nothing was ready. The jets were still equipped with dummy bullets from the training mission. A third plane hit the Pentagon, and almost at once came word that a fourth plane could be on the way, maybe more. The jets would be armed within an hour, but somebody had to fly now, weapons or no weapons. "Lucky, you're coming with me," barked Col. Marc Sasseville. They were gearing up in the pre-flight life-support area when Sasseville, struggling into his flight suit, met her eye. "I'm going to go for the cockpit," Sasseville said. She replied without hesitating. "I'll take the tail." It was a plan. And a pact. She muttered a fighter pilot's prayer -- "God, don't let me (expletive) up" -- and followed Sasseville into the sky. 'The real heroes are the passengers' The planes screamed over the smoldering Pentagon, heading northwest at more than 400 mph, flying low and scanning the clear horizon. Her commander had time to think about the best place to hit the enemy. "We don't train to bring down airliners," said Sasseville, now stationed at the Pentagon. "If you just hit the engine, it could still glide and you could guide it to a target. My thought was the cockpit or the wing." He also thought about his ejection seat. Would there be an instant just before impact? "I was hoping to do both at the same time," he said . "It probably wasn't going to work, but that's what I was hoping." Penney worried about missing the target if she tried to bail out. "If you eject and your jet soars through without impact ..." she trailed off, the thought of failing more dreadful than the thought of dying. But she didn't have to die. She didn't have to knock down an airliner full of kids and salesmen and girlfriends. They did that themselves. It would be hours before Penney and Sasseville learned that United Flight 93 had gone down in Pennsylvania, an insurrection by hostages willing to do just what the two Guard pilots had been willing to do: Anything. And everything. "The real heroes are the passengers on Flight 93 who were willing to sacrifice themselves," Penney said. "I was just an accidental witness to history."
They were ready and prepared to sacrifice their lives for the cause of freedom. And there are millions and millions just like them in this nation to this day.

Let every conspiracy here this, let every conspirator know this, you will not prevail.

xtnyoda, shalomed

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