Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hanjour "Could Not Fly at All"

The pilot who supposedly crashed the huge Boeing 757 into the Pentagon on 9/11, Hani Hanjour, had terrible piloting skills:

Flight instructors from a flying school Hanjour attended 7 months before 9/11 "considered him a very bad pilot." 'I'm still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon,' the former employee said. 'He could not fly at all.'" (free registration lets you view the article). (See also this article)

When flight instructors took Hanjour on test runs LESS THAN A MONTH before 9/11, they found he had trouble controlling and landing even a small, single-engine airplane with simple flight controls

As one newspaper put it: His limited flying abilities do afford an insight into one feature of the attacks: The conspiracy apparently did not include a surplus of skilled pilots.

And yet Hanjour supposedly executed an exceedingly difficult maneuver on 9/11:

The Washington Post states, "The unidentified pilot executed a pivot so tight that it reminded observers of a fighter jet maneuver . . . . Aviation sources said the plane was flown with extraordinary skill."

CBS news reported, "The hijacker-pilots were then forced to execute a difficult high-speed descending turn. Radar shows Flight 77 did a down-ward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes."

And ABC news wrote, "The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane . . . ."

"In the room, it was almost a sense of relief. This must be a fighter. This must be one of our guys sent in, scrambled to patrol our capital . . . . But the plane continued to turn right until it had made a 360-degree maneuver."

In addition to these fighter jet pilot like maneuvers, Hanjour supposedly flew the 757 a few feet off of the ground for several hundred feet before plowing into the West Wing of the Pentagon, a very difficult feat even for the world's most experienced pilots.

Could a guy who "could not fly at all" have pulled off top gun fighter-ace style piloting?

As retired Naval aviator and commercial airline pilot Ted Muga says:
"The maneuver at the Pentagon was just a tight spiral coming down out of 7,000 feet. And a commercial aircraft, while they can in fact structurally somewhat handle that maneuver, they are very, very, very difficult. And it would take considerable training. In other words, commercial aircraft are designed for a particular purpose and that is for comfort and for passengers and it's not for military maneuvers. And while they are structurally capable of doing them, it takes some very, very talented pilots to do that. ...

When a commercial airplane gets that high, it get very, very close to getting into what you refer to as a speed high-speed stall. And a high-speed stall can be very, very violent on a commercial-type aircraft and you never want to get into that situation. I just can't imagine an amateur even being able to come close to performing a maneuver of that nature.


Commercial airplanes are very, very complex pieces of machines. And they're designed for two pilots up there, not just two amateur pilots, but two qualified commercial pilots up there. And to think that you're going to get an amateur up into the cockpit and fly, much less navigate, it to a designated target, the probability is so low, that it's bordering on impossible."


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