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Category Archives: Air disaster

Has TSA Forgotten 9/11 Already?: Knives, Baseball Bats and Golf Clubs To Be Allowed On Planes

Just when we thought it was safe to fly again, after the 9/11 tragedy 12 years ago weapons are being allowed aboard planes.  Knives with two-inch blades will be allowed on planes, along with baseball bats and golf clubs on April 25, unless the change is rescinded, before being put into effect.

Ironically box cutters still will not be allowed on board planes, even though knives can be used as a weapon just like box cutters,  against passengers and flight attendants. TSA apparently thinks hijackers will never be able to enter the pilot’s cabin, due to safety measures put into place since 9/11. However, that doesn’t protect the passengers and flight attendants from being cut by knives and attacked by bats and golf clubs.

Former Transportation Security Administration chief Kip Hawley says he would also allow battle axes and machetes to be carried aboard planes. How could anyone feel safe flying, while knowing that the person in the seat next to them may be a terrorist, that is carrying a knife with them.

What will the TSA personnel checking the belongings of passengers say, when they see someone who looks like a terrorist carrying weapons? The TSA could then face discrimination charges, for not allowing possible terrorists to carry these weapons, then let other passengers board the planes with the same weapons.

I have flown only twice since 9/11 and with these lax rules on weapons I may never fly again. Have we forgotten the terror those airline passengers and crews went through on September 11, 2001? They had to helplessly watch as the terrorists used the planes, for battering rams against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon building. Those passengers met fiery deaths on those planes, when they exploded upon impact.

Allowing these weapons won’t speed up the check-in process at the security gates, since TSA officials will have to closely examine each knife, to see if it is two inches or less and to check the length of baseball bats, which can’t be longer than 24 inches.

Personally, I think the new rules are an invitation to disaster and that terrorists and criminals will take advantage, of the less stringent rules for bringing weapons aboard planes.

We can only hope the Transportation Security Administration thinks over the consequences, before implementing these changes and will rescind the changes before April 25.

Tiffany Hawk of CNN has filed this article with photos of what is allowed and what isn’t allowed under the new rules.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/07/opinion/hawk-tsa-knives/index.html

 

 

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9/11 Not Mentioned on Front Page of New York Times, New York Post Today,While Today Show Interviews Kris Jenner, Rather Than Show the Moment of Silence Memorializing 9/11

It saddens me that two of the New York City metropolitan papers chose not to mention 9/11. You would think that the New York Times would have mentioned the 11th anniversary, of 9/11,  but they decided it wasn’t important as the other news of the day. However the Times had a scathing article, on their opinion page implying, that President George Bush had foreknowledge or at the least had an idea the country was in danger of a terrorist attack.

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The New York Post front page from today seen above features an article about New Y0rk Jets quarterback and his romance with Eva Longoria. The only other article on the front page is about a sex scandal at a girl’s school. Where are the media’s priorities today? Do they actually think these two articles are more important, than remembering 9/11. It is a sad state of affairs that a major New York newspaper, which covered the 9/11 attacks is now acting like it didn’t happen. How soon they forget.

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The New York Daily News is to be commended on devoting their front page and 11 inside pages to memorializing September 11. Sure there is other news today, but are any of those articles more important than remembering those who met a fiery death, at the hands of terrorists at the site of the World Trade Center and those that died in other planes? One plane hit the Pentagon killing both passengers and Pentagon workers, who were on the wrong side of the building making them easy targets.

Then to top it all off the NBC Today Show showed an interview with Kris Jenner at the same precise moment, that ABC and CBS and the cable news channels were observing a moment of silence. This Daily Mail article includes a lengthy article about the 9/11 snub by NBC.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2201711/Shame-Viewers-outrage-Today-fails-9-11-moment-silence–airs-Kris-Jenner-talking-breast-implants-instead.html?openGraphAuthor=%2Fhome%2Fsearch.html%3Fs%3D%26authornamef%3DJames%2B%2BNye

Today was the height of absurdity with Mark Sanchez, Eva Longoria  and Kris Jenner in the spotlight, while the 11th anniversary was being ignored by some media outlets. Have we no shame? Have we no decency? It is almost like the media thinks, after the tenth anniversary last year, that those who died tortuous deaths on 9/11 no longer matter and have been relegated to the backburner.

I can’t undo the damage caused by the media today, but I can say those that died on 9/11 should be remembered, as long as there is life on this planet.

God bless America!!

 

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National Security After 9/11

Our nation was in a state of shock and disbelief, after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Americans didn’t know if these attacks would be followed by other attacks.

Nobody really knew what to expect at the time. I don’t think anyone expected, that we would be safe from terrorist attack,for the next ten years.

When Osama bin Laden’s computer was seized after he was killed in Pakistan, it was found to mention upcoming terrorists attacks, that were to be carried out on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

So while we were commemorating the attacks, on the tenth anniversary, we were also wary of another attack ten years later, but it never happened.

The American intelligence community deserves praise for keeping our nation safe from terrorist attacks during the last 10 years. I am sure there have been some close calls, that were never revealed to the public, to avoid alarming our citizens.

We can never be complacent though, since the terrorists may strike again, if we revert to our lax security that was in place on 9/11. Airport security since 9/11 has been ratcheted up and has received some criticism, for being too invasive. However, as much as we dislike the stricter measures, taken by airport security, it does make it safer to fly.

It remains a mystery 10 years later to, how 19 hijackers could have boarded planes, in American airports the morning of September 11, 2001. If there had been patdowns, then the boxcutters may have been found, that they used as weapons aboard those flights.

However another mystery is how the box cutters got by airport security. It seems like they would have sounded the buzzer, at the checkpoint causing the boxcutters to be found.

We may be having to wait longer to get through the checkpoints, but it is much better than being on a plane, that has been hijacked and that is being flown into a building. It is questionable whether the passengers on those flights, should have been told by relatives and friends, that planes had already flown into other buildings.

It was bad in that the passengers had to be scared beyond belief, but on the other hand it is probably what saved Flight 93 from hitting the White House or the Capitol Building. We will never know if those were the next targets, but those were likely targets.

Nothing would have been more dramatic, than a plane hitting the White House with almost full tanks of jet fuel, especially if President Bush had been in the White House. If not for cell phones being widely used even back in 2001, the passengers aboard Flight 93 would not have known, that the other planes had already hit the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. That knowledge is what caused the passengers to storm the cockpit, causing the plane to crash in Pennsylvania.

We should have known when the terrorist pilots were attending flight schools, that for them not to be worried about landing the planes was a major red flag.

President Bush and President Obama both have been targets of  criticism during their presidencies, but both presidents have put in place intelligence gathering agencies, that have prevented another 9/11 attack.

We must be ever vigilant though and plan on the terrorists planning future attacks. It may not be the same type of attacks, but we can’t be too careful, since good intelligence saves lives and bad intelligence puts our nation at jeopardy.

 

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9/11 Remembered 10 Years Later

A second plane prepares to hit the south tower of the World Trade Center while the north tower is already in flames from being hit earlier.

Ten years have passed since Americans felt the impact of terrorism in a way never experienced before. Most of us can recall where we were and what we were doing that Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001.

I had called the mechanic about the progress being made on our car, when he told me to turn on the television and it would stay on the rest of the day. Little did I know how many Americans would lose their lives that day at the hand of  terrorists.

Five Hijackers Board  Flight 11 

The day started in Boston with Mohamed Atta and al-Omari boarding American Airlines Flight 11 at 7:35 AM travelling from Boston to Los Angeles. Five minutes later three more hijackers board the plane. The flight leaves Logan International Airport at 7:59 AM. The first evidence of a hijacking being in progress, was when orders to climb to 35,000 feet were ignored.

Betty Ong, a flight attendant on Flight 11 informs American Airlines that a hijacking is in progress at 8:19 AM. At 8:26 Flight 11 makes a 100 degree turn and is now travelling on a path to New York City.

Three More Planes Boarded By Hijackers

While Flight 11 was en route to New York City, hijackers boarded three more planes. United Airlines Flight 175 departs from Boston and is also originally headed for Los Angeles leaving at 8:14 AM with five hijackers aboard the flight.  Six minutes later a third plane, American Airlines Flight 77 would leave Dulles International Airport in Washington for Los Angeles at 8:20 AM with five hijackers aboard.

At 8:42 AM the fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93  would depart from Newark International Airport with a original destination of San Francisco, with four hijackers aboard.

Flight 11 Hits North Tower

Two F-15’s were scrambled from Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts to intercept Flight 11, but seconds later at 8:46 the plane hit the north tower at 446 MPH and loaded with fuel since it was headed to Los Angeles.

The impact of the plane and the burning fuel knocked three stairwells out, leaving those in the floors above hopelessly trapped with no way out.

As many as 250 or as few as 100 people jumped to their deaths, rather than being caught in the fiery inferno inside the burning building.

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CNN is the first national network to break the story on the plane hitting the World Trade Center at 8:49 AM. Carol Lin the CNN anchor made this announcement:

This just in. You are looking at obviously a very disturbing live shot there. That is the World Trade Center, and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. CNN Centerright now is just beginning to work on this story, obviously calling our sources and trying to figure out exactly what happened, but clearly something relatively devastating happening this morning there on the south end of the island of Manhattan. That is once again, a picture of one of the towers of the World Trade Center.

President Bush is appraised of the situation while visiting Emma E. Booker Elementary School, in Sarasota, Florida at 8:55 AM. This was before the second tower had been hit. He was probably told of the other flights still in the air that were being hijacked. However, presidential advisor Karl Rove told the president that the airplane was a small twin engine aircraft.

Calls like this which was made at 9:00 AM would be one of many, made by passengers to their loved ones that day:

9:00: Lee Hanson receives a second call from his son Peter, aboard Flight 175: “It’s getting bad, Dad. A stewardess was stabbed. They seem to have knives and Mace. They said they have a bomb. It’s getting very bad on the plane. Passengers are throwing up and getting sick. The plane is making jerky movements. I don’t think the pilot is flying the plane. I think we are going down. I think they intend to go to Chicago or someplace and fly into a building. Don’t worry, Dad. If it happens, it’ll be very fast. My God, my God.” The call ends abruptly, as Lee Hanson hears a woman scream.[6]

At 9:02 Flight 175 hits the south tower at a speed of 590 miles per hour. The plane’s impact caused parts of the plane to fall to the ground, as many as six blocks away.

The president enters a classroom to read The Pet Goat, when Chief of Staff, Andrew Card informs him of a second building being hit at 9:05.

Osama bin Laden is mentioned as a probable suspect in a CBS News report at 9:17 AM. At 9:26 AM all civilian planes are forbidden to take off by the FAA.

Hijackers Take Over Flight 93

Flight controllers in Cleveland hear the Flight 93 cockpit being taken over by hijackers at 9:28. The tower supervisor at Reagan International Airport discloses to the Secret Service at the White House that a plane is heading their way and is not talking to the tower at 9:33 AM. A minute later the tower would call the Secret Service again, to inform them that the plane was now headed to the airport.

At 9:37 AM Flight 77 crashes into the western side of the Pentagon building killing 64 passengers and 125 Pentagon personnel.

Three of the hijacked planes had hit their targets from 8:46 when the first plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center to the Pentagon building being hit at 9:37.

Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers fought with hijackers.

Attention Focuses On Flight 93

With Flight 93 being the only one of the hijacked planes still in the air, its flight path was being watched closely. The gravity of the situation is shown by the White House and Capitol building being evacuated at 9:43 AM.

The following intelligence was gathered that made it almost a certainty that Osama bin Laden was behind the attacks:

9:52: The National Security Agency intercepts a phone call between a known associate of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and someone in the Republic of Georgia, announcing that he had heard “good news”, and that another target was still to be hit.[17]

President Boards Air Force One

President George Bush leaves Sarasota-Bradenton Airport for an undisclosed location. With the uncertainty of not knowing what other attacks may be planned, it may have been best for the president to be in the air when his plane took off at 9:57 AM. Two minutes later at 9:59 AM the south tower collapses in New York City.

Meanwhile, the passenger revolt began on Flight 93 at 9:59 AM. The passengers now knew that their plane was going to be the next plane used to hit a building, so decided to rush the cockpit and gain control of the plane.

Flight 93 would crash at 10:03 apparently because of the fighting in the cockpit, between the passengers and hijackers. The flight crashed 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

We may never know for sure, what the target of Flight 93 was but it probably would have been either the Capitol building or the White House.

People fleeing from the collapse of one of the Twin Towers in New York City.

The north Tower collapsed at 10:28 AM 29 minutes after the south tower collapsed, even though the north tower had been hit 18 minutes, before the south tower had been hit.

The president arrives at Barksdale Air Force in Shreveport, Louisiana at 1:04 PM. He says in a statement, that the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for the attacks.

President Bush lands at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska at 2:50 PM  and departs at 4:36 PM.

At 5:30 PM a third building the 7 World Trade Center would collapse. It was a 47 story structure.

The president lands at the White House at 6:54 PM.

The aftermath of 9/11

United States citizens were in a state of shock after the events of September 9, 2011. Churches noticed a surge in attendance immediately. Senior Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas has this to say about the increased attendance:

“After 9/11 we had 20-some odd thousand people show up,” said Senior Pastor Ed Young. “The largest crowd in the history of Fellowship Church and when I walked on stage I looked around and said, ‘Where have you guys been? It takes something like this for you to show up to church?'”

But the pews were soon a bit roomier.

“I was disappointed somewhat that more didn’t stick because we dropped to 16 or 17 thousand the next weekend and then the weekend after that to about 14,500,” he said.

Young goes on further to say:

Young attributes the initial attendance spike to human nature. “I think when we are riddled with fear, when things fall apart around us especially when we are struck at the heart of who we are, people suddenly respond and they’re turning to God and asking those deep questions in an even deeper way,” he said.

“When things are going bad we want to turn to God and want to get right with him and we want to attend to church,” Young said. “When things level out we tend to forget the most important things and drift away.”

Survivors covered with dust walk away from the scene of 9/11 destruction.

Many Heroes on 9/11

There are no words to express thanks to the New York Fire Department and Police Department sufficiently for those that gave their lives that day trying to save others.

While others were rushing to safety down the stairs of the Twin Tower buildings, they were rushing up the stairs facing almost certain death. They may not have known it at the time, since the buildings were not expected to collapse.

Still they climbed up stairwell after stairwell to do what they could to save lives. Many personnel in the FDNY and NYPD died on 9/11 putting others ahead of their own personal safety, while jeopardizing their own lives.

Then after the buildings fell, the fire personnel began the slow agonizing process, of trying to find survivors, under the rubble of the World Trade Center.

Flight 93 Heroes

The passengers on Flight 93 who fought with the hijackers will always be regarded as heroes, since they may have died, but succeeded in preventing the plane from hitting the Capitol or White House, which were likely the next target of the hijackers.

They already knew what had happened with the other hijacked planes hitting buildings in New York City and Washington, D.C. They gave their lives knowing the odds were against them, but still made a charge at the cockpit to force the hijackers to lose control of the plane and crash.

Casualties of 9/11

2,606 died in World Trade Center connected deaths and 125 more died at the Pentagon crash site. 246 passengers died on the hijacked planes for a total of 2,977 deaths on 9/11. This is not an accurate count since we may never know how many died at the World Trade Center.

The New York Fire Department lost 341 personnel and 2 paramedics. The New York Police Department lost 23 officers on 9/11.

Thoughts on 9/11

When I think of 9/11 I think of those people jumping to a certain death, the families and friends that knew their loved ones were in the building and wondering if they would ever see them again. I think of fire personnel running up the stairs with many pounds of equipment as they saw those fleeing to safety coming down the stairs.

I think of the friends and families talking to their loved ones on the ill-fated flights that would lead to their deaths. The ones in the buildings and planes telling their loved ones that they loved them one last time.

I think of the ones that called in sick or were late to work that day at the World Trade Center and the ones who might have been called in to work on their day off.

I think of how many more lives would have been lost if the planes had hit in the middle of the buildings instead of toward the top, which would have sealed off 40 or 50 floors, preventing any chance to escape.

I think of those fleeing the scene when the buildings begin to collapse, looking back at huge clouds of billowing smoke. I think of the eerie scene after the buildings collapsed turning that part of downtown to into a dusty scene one thinks of in a disaster movie.

I think of those who suddenly turned to God in fear of what might be next, then think of those who returned back to their lives of making God second place in their hearts, once they thought they were safe again.

Osama bin Laden Won’t Be Around For 10th Memorial of 9/11

Thankfully, Osama bin Laden won’t be around to gloat 10 years after 9/11. He is the main reason 9/11 happened so I had no sympathy for him when he met a violent death himself, but even that can’t bring back the fathers, mothers, daughters and sons who were killed on September 11, 2001.

God bless America!!!

 

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Hindenberg Disaster

The Hindenburg airship explodes before landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey on May 6, 1937 taking the lives of 36 including passengers, crew and ground personnel.

May 6, 1937 was one of the most horrific days in United States aviation history. The airship Hindenburg exploded in mid-air shortly before landing at Lakehurst Naval Station in New Jersey.

The airship had been named for Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg (1847–1934), President of Germany  (1925–1934). He appointed Adolf Hitler as chancellor of Germany, which enabled Hitler to seize power when Hindenburg died in 1934.

Fourteen months after the first flight of the Hindenburg in March of 1936, the airship would make its final disastrous flight in May of 1937.

It was amazing that smoking was allowed, in the smoking room of the airship. Passengers weren’t permitted to leave the smoking room with a lighted cigarette.

Aboard the plane the fateful day of the explosion were 36 passengers and 61 crew members. 36 people died from the fire including 13 passengers, 22 crew members and one ground crew member.

Looking at photos of the fire, once it hit the ground, it is remarkable that 23 passengers and 39 crew members survived, of the  97 that originally boarded the Hindenburg.

This horrific photo shows the Hindenburg in flames on the ground at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey.

 

Herbert Morrison, a reporter for radio station WLS in Chicago was given instructions to cover the Hindenburg landing at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. Morrison went from describing a routine flight, before it exploded, to a hysterical report of it exploding in mid-air.

You could sense the disbelief of Morrison in his voice that he was witnessing one of the most tragic events in aviation history. He is still famous today for his “Oh, the humanity” line he uttered during the broadcast.

Morrison was 31 when he covered the event in 1937 and would live to the age of 83, dying in January of 1989.

 

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