Unless otherwise indicated, all times are set in local time, based on a 12-hour clock.
Aircraft Accident/Incident Overview:
The accident aircraft was a Boeing 767-223ER. It first flew in 1987. Under American Airlines the accident aircraft was registered as “N334AA”. At the time of the accident the aircraft was 14 years old. The accident aircraft was equipped with 2 General Electric CF6-80A2 engine(s).
Air Accident/Incident Overview:
On the 11th of September, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 departed Logan International Airport in East Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America for Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, United States of America at 7:59 AM. On board the aircraft were 81 passengers and 11 crew members. Among the 92 passengers were 5 young men affiliated with Al-Qaeda. There plan was to hijack the aircraft, disable the flight crew, take over the flight controls and crash the aircraft into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States of America. Flight 11 would be one of four aircraft hijacked that day as part of the September 11 terrorist attack plot.
At 8:14 AM as Flight 11 was passing through 26,000 feet or “flight level 2-6-0” for 29,000 feet or “flight level 2-9-0” the pilot(s) stopped responding to the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). At 08:13 local time, roughly a minute earlier Boston ARTCC told the pilot(s) to ascend to a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet or “flight level 3-5-0” however received no response. The last communication Boston ARTCC had with the pilot(s) of Flight 11 was at 8:13 AM when they told pilot(s) to turn the aircraft 20 degrees to the right. Shortly after loosing contact with the pilot(s) Boston ARTCC made multiple attempts to contact the aircraft but were unsuccessful. At 8:16 AM Flight 11 leveled off 29,000 feet or “flight level 2-9-0”. 5 minutes later at 8:21 AM Flight 11 stopped transmitting its Mode-C transponder signal.
Since the black boxes from Flight 11 were never retrieved from the ruble at the World Trade Center, little is know when exactly the hijackers began there assault and what exactly took place in the cockpit during and after the assault. However, some evidence does exist as to what happened on board the aircraft and this came from phone calls from two female flight attendants who called American Airlines relaying information regarding the hijacking. Both flight attendants stated that two first flight class flight attendants had been stabbed, one more severely than the other, a male first class passenger had been fatally stabbed, mace or mustard gas had been stabbed and that all five hijackers had barricaded themselves inside the cockpit with both pilots. In addition to this the mace and/or mustard gas that was sprayed in first and/or business class forced passengers and crew to move towards the rear of the aircraft. In addition to this both flight attendants provided seat locations of the hijackers, which later helped investigators to determine their identities.
8:24 AM, the pilot hijacker in the cockpit tried to communicate with the passengers and crew, however either the wrong button was pressed or at least one of the pilot(s) who is/are possibly still alive pressed a button so that air-traffic controllers would be alerted/warned that Flight 11 was a hijacked flight. The pilots on board United Airlines Flight 175, which was to be hijacked roughly 20 minutes later also heard the suspicious transmission. At 8:33 AM when the pilot hijacker tried to communicate with the passengers and crew, Boston ARTCC heard the transmission once again. It is unknown whether the passengers and crew heard the announcement. At 8:26 AM the Flight 11 deviated from its scheduled flight path and began heading south and started descending from 29,000 feet or “flight level 2-9-0”, flying erratically towards Lower Manhattan in New York City. At 8:32 AM the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, notified FAA headquarters. Boston ARTCC bypassed standard protocols and directly contacted the military. However no action was taken by the military until 8:53 AM, 7 minutes after Flight 11 would crash into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
At 8:46 AM, the hijackers crash Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center killing all 92 passengers and crew on board and countless others in the tower. The North Tower later collapsed at 10:28 AM after burning for 102 minutes.
Air-Traffic Control/Cockpit Voice Recording(s):