Airports, Airlines and Flight Schools

Airports, Airlines and Flight Schools

March 18, 2004

Airport Administrators
Logan Airport, Boston, MA; Newark, NJ Airport; Dulles Airport, Washington, DC

  1. Do you have security camera film of the hijackers? If not, why not?
  2. Specifically, what information/warnings/ alerts did you receive regarding the possibility of hijackings between March 1, 2001 and September 11th, 2001? What precautionary actions were taken as a result?
  3. Why weren’t FAA guidelines followed regarding banned items?


Air traffic Controllers

Questions for Commercial Air Traffic Controllers for all ground and air space through which the hijackers passed on September 11th:

  1. Please give a specific time and event sequence for the hijacking of the flight you were responsible for.
  2. Please describe protocol when air piracy is suspected. Was protocol followed when the aircraft went off course and its transponder turned off? If not, why not?
  3. At what point and time did you contact the FAA?
  4. Is it true that flight 77 was seen “looping” around D.C.’s restricted airspace prior to crashing into the Pentagon?
  5. Why wasn’t Andrews’ Air Force Base, contacted to intercept the hijacked plane?


INS personnel on duty September 11th at Logan, Newark and Dulles Airports

  1. Was Mohammed Atta or any other hijacker on any watch list you had access to?
  2. Nine of the hijackers received secondary screening before passing through security. Why were they allowed to go through?


Airport Security personnel on duty September 11th
at Logan, Newark and Dulles Airports

  1. Why were the hijackers able to pass through security with box cutters and mace or pepper spray which were specifically banned under FAA rules?


American Airlines and United Airlines Personnel

Questions for both airline presidents:

  1. Specifically, what information/warnings/ alerts did you receive regarding the possibility of hijackings between March 1, 2001 and September 11th, 2001? What precautionary actions were taken as a result?
  2. What precautionary actions were taken in response to FAA warnings beginning in April, 2001:

“APRIL 18, 2001 The FAA sends another warning to U.S. airlines that Middle Eastern terrorists could try to hijack or blow up a U.S. plane and that carriers should ‘demonstrate a high degree of alertness.’ The warning stemmed from the April 6, 2001, conviction of Ahmed Ressam over a failed plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport during the millennium celebrations.”
[See sidebar—EXTRA INFORMATION, Timeline: Who Knew What and When? Using yellow arrow, navigate to “April 18, 2001”]

  1. In the days leading up to the attacks, unusual stock trades in the form of “put options” were noted on both American and United Airlines. • Did either Airline note the changes and think that something untoward might be transpiring? • Wouldn’t such transactions cause the airlines to be concerned about their financial/safety well-being or vulnerabilities?
  2. Why weren’t FAA guidelines followed regarding banned items, such as box cutter and mace or pepper spray?
  3. Have the passenger manifests been released? If not, why not?
  4. Were there any discrepancies in the manifests? • Did the names and number of passengers match?
    • Were each of the hijackers listed on the manifest and assigned to a seat?
    • Have all passengers been identified by DNA?
  5. Have all the black boxes and voice recorders been recovered? If so, where are they? What information about the hijacking do they provide?
  6. What communication did the crew have with the airline and/or the control tower or other aircraft prior to/during the hijacking?
  7. Please explain the unusually light passenger load of the four hijacked planes. Were there seats purchased for whom no one showed up? If so, please be specific about the number on each flight, who purchased the seats and the purchase point.


Michael Woodward, American Airlines flight service manager

  1. Was flight attendant Amy Sweeney’s call to you tape recorded? If so, where is the tape?
  2. Do you have the notes you took during her call? If not, where are they?
  3. Please recount the conversation you had with flight attendant Amy Sweeney while she was onboard the hijacked plane, American Airlines Flight 11.
    • Did she say that a passenger had been shot?
    • Did she indicate that the hijackers had a bomb with yellow wires attached?


Suggestions for other airline personnel to be interviewed:

Ticket Counter Personnel
Airport boarding gate personnel
Check-in personnel at plane
Contact personnel on the ground
Airplane cleaning crews

Flight schools

Each flight school should provide an official evaluation and detailed assessment of the piloting skills of each hijacker who attended that school, as well as the starting and ending dates of their participation in the training. In addition, it is recommendeded that the following individuals be interviewed regarding protocol for admitting foreign students, verifying their immigration status, system-wide evaluation standards and their recommendations for improving the security of the private flight schools.

Arne Kruithof, Florida Flight Training, Venice, Fl

Terrell W. Harrison, Spartan School of Aeronautics, Norman, Oklahoma

Flight instructors, Pan Am International Flight Academy, Phoenix Arizona, who called the FAA about Hani Hanjour ; Pan Am International Flight Academy, Eagan, Minnesota who called in the tip on Moussaoui.

Owner and Flight instructors, Airman Flight School, Norman, Oklahoma

Rudi Dekkers, Huffman Aviation, Venice, Florida

  1. Did you actively recruit Mohammed Atta and Marwan Alshehri, the “terrorists” believed to have piloted a plane into the World Trade Center Towers?
  2. Please explain the discrepancy between your Congressional testimony and that of eyewitnesses who dispute your relationship with Atta and the time when Atta left Venice, Florida.

Question for all flight school owners: Are flight schools responsible for knowing where students get their finances for pilot training? If so, did your school check the financial background of the terrorist pilots before allowing them to train?


Secure Military Bases

“U.S. military sources have given the FBI information that suggests five of the alleged hijackers of the planes that were used in Tuesday’s terror attacks received training at secure U.S. military installations in the 1990s. Another of the alleged hijackers may have been trained in strategy and tactics at the Air War College in Montgomery, Ala., said another high-ranking Pentagon official. The fifth man may have received language instruction at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex….

Knight Ridder news service provided more specific details of the findings. Mohamed Atta had attended International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama; Abdulaziz Alomari had attended Aerospace Medical School at Brooks Air Force base in Texas; and Saeed Alghamdi had been to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.” p.12


  1. Were any of these bases involved in “exercises” on the morning of 9/11? If so, were or could have any of your pilots been diverted to intercept the hijacked planes?
  2. Given the events unfolding in NY, DC, and PA, did any of your bases or pilots inquire about flying to intercept the hijacked planes or give military cover to any of the cities involved?
  3. If so, were any of these bases or individuals told to stand down? • Pensacola Naval Station, Pensacola, FL
    • Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX
    • Air War College, Montgomery, AL
    • Maxwell Air Force Base, International Officers School, Montgomery, AL
    [re: Mohammed Atta]
    • The Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA [re: Saeed Alghamdi]
    • Brooks Air Force Base, TX, Brooks Medical School, [re: Abdulaziz Alomari]