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U.S. DOT "On-Time" Records Of Final Flights Performed By 9/11 Aircraft Apparently Unavailable

The following is correspondence received from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the Office of Airline Information regarding requested information of the final flights of the 4 aircraft reportedly involved in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Of particular interest is the final "on-time" information for American Airlines flight 77 (N644AA) and United Airlines flight 93 (N591UA). Final "on-time" information for each aircraft could eventually be compared with similar information contained by the Flight Data Recorders (FDRs) for each aircraft in order to better determine the authenticity of the information attributed to each FDR. The NTSB refuses to provide unencrypted information from these FDRs, which would also include final "on-time" information for each aircraft for flights performed before September 11, 2001.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 12:13 PM
Subject: RE: FOIA Request

I received the following response from our Office of Airline Information stating that the agency records indicate that:

“There were no flights in 2001 (August 26 to September 11, 2001) with tail numbers N591UA or N644AA.”

Robert A. Monniere


RITA's Office of the Chief Counsel

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 6:40 AM
Subject: RE: Clarification of FOIA Response

Dear Mr. Monaghan:

A BTS programmer conducted a search of the entire on-time data base (the only data base which captures flight information by tail number) for the tail numbers referenced in your request.

We sent you the results of the data search. Please be advised that only domestic scheduled passenger flights are reported in this data base. Charter flights and international flights are not reported. Generally, the major airlines utilize their larger aircraft on the longer international flight segments.

Also, the air carriers capture the times needed for reporting purposes by on board computers. If these planes and computers were destroyed in the events of 9-11, I am not sure if the airlines had the capability to capture the necessary data.

Bernie Stankus


From: Aidan Monaghan []
Sent: Fri 6/6/2008 9:31 AM
To: Monniere, Robert
Subject: FOIA Request

Bob Monniere
Attorney Advisor
Research and Innovative Technology Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
E35-330, RTC
Washington, DC 20590

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request

Dear Mr. Monniere:

I respectfully request copies of the following records:

The final 14 days of flight history for the following commercial aircraft that were federally registered as of 9/11/2001, including dates and times of all departures and arrivals:

- American Airlines flight 77 (N644AA) and United Airlines flight 93 (N591UA)

Disclosure of the requested information to me is not in my commercial interest.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.


Aidan Monaghan


The National Transportation Safety Board refuses to provide unencrypted information generated by the FDRs contained by American Airlines flight 77 (N644AA) and United Airlines flight 93 (N591UA).

Dear Mr. Monaghan:

I write in response to your letter dated May 15, 2008, in which you appealed the response ofthe National Transportation Safety Board's FOIA Officer to your FOrA request for "copies of documentation ... which reveal specific data contained within the Solid State Flight Data Recorders (SSFDR's) recovered from ... American Airlines flight 77 and United Airlines flight 93." The Safety Board's FOIA Officer responded to your request on May 9,2008, and provided all FDR records that the Safety Board has with regard to American Airlines flight 77 and United Airlines flight 93.

Your appeal asserts that the Safety Board is obligated to convert numerous hours of raw FDR data, which the Safety Board provided to you in its response to your request, into tabular files and plots. Your appeal cites 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(3)(B), which states that agencies should provide requested records "in any form or format requested by the person if the record is readily reproducible by the agency in that form or format." I have determined that the Safety Board must deny your appeal, to the extent that you seek tabular files and plots that include dates and times within the FDR recordings for flights 77 and 93. Providing you with these files would require the Safety Board to create new records in response to your request. In addition, as explained below, to the extent that you seek these records pursuant to § 552(a)(3)(B), please note that these records are not readily reproducible in the format in which you seek them.

First, please note that the FOIA does not require agencies to create records in response to a request or query. See, e.g., Krohn v. Dep't of Iustice, 628 F.2d 195, 197-98 (D.C. Cir. 1980); Sakamoto v. EPA, 443 F. Supp. 2d 1182, 1189 (N.D. Cal. 2006); Hudgins v. IRS, 620 F. Supp. 19,21 (D.D.C. 1985). Furthermore, courts have also held that FOIA requesters may not utilize the FOIA has a means of forcing an agency to complete certain work. See Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. v. U.S. Dep't of Energy, No. 95-0952, transcript at 10 (D.D.C. Feb. 23, 1996) (bench order), vacated & remanded on other grounds, 169 F.3d 16 (D.C. Cir. 1999). If you seek tabular data and plots containing various parameters from the hours of the FDR recordings that precede the accident flights, you must import the raw data that the Safety Board has given you into a tabular data file using specialized software. For your reference, the Safety Board has previously used a software program entitled "Readout and Playback Software (RAPS)," from Flightscape, Inc. This program uses algorithms and equations to convert the data from the recorder's binary format to the text format files that you received in Excel spreadsheets.

Flightscape offers such FDR software programs commercially, under a licensing agreement; under the Safety Board's own licensing agreement with Flightscape, we are not at liberty to distribute a copy of our software to you. You may contact Flightscape at:

Flightscape, Inc.
36 Antares Drive Suite 850
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2E 7W5
Tel: +011 (613) 225-0070

In addition, while the FOIA does require that agencies"provide me requested [record] in any form or format requested by the person if the record is readily reproducible in that form or format," 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(3)(B), courts have held that this provision does not require agencies to engage in extraordinary efforts or procure costly resources in order to reproduce a record in a specific format. Landmark Legal Found. V. EPA, 272 F. Supp. 2d 59, 63 (D.D.C. 2003) (concluding that the agency had not violated the FOIA's "readily reproducible" provision by failing to retain electronic copies of e-mail records that the agency had retained in paper form only, because "the agency may keep its files in a manner that best suits its needs"); see also Chamberlain v. Dep't of Justice, 957 F. Supp. 292, 296 (D.D.C. 1997) (holding that the agency had complied with the FOIA by offering to make visicorder charts, as well as all other original and releasable material that might be damaged by photocopying, available for review, rather than providing copies of the charts); Martin & Merrell, Inc. v. U.S. Customs Serv., 657 F. Supp. 733, 734 (S.D. Fla. 1986) (stating that the FOIA "in no way contemplates that agencies, in providing information to the public, should invest in the most sophisticated and expensive form of technology"). My staff has corresponded with the Vehicle Recorders Division within the Safety Board's Office of Research and Engineering, and confirmed that converting the existing raw FDR data from the numerous hours that preceded flights 77 and 93 would be extremely timeconsuming. In addition, isolating the times and providing the data in tabular files and plots would essentially involve creating a new record, as producing the records in the format that you suggest would require an exercise of a vehicle recorders specialist's expertise and judgment. Overall, I have carefully reviewed your appeal and determined that the FOIA does not require the Safety Board to convert the raw data from these FDR recordings into another format.

Based on the foregoing, I have determined that your appeal must be denied, to the extent that it seeks tabular data files and plots. This response constitutes the final action from the National Transportation Safety Board on your appeal. The Freedom of Information Act, 5

U.S.C. § 552, provides for judicial review ofthis determination.


Joseph G. Osterman

Managing Director

“There were no flights in

“There were no flights in 2001 (August 26 to September 11, 2001) with tail numbers N591UA or N644AA.”


“There were no flights in 2001" FALSE claim

“There were no flights in 2001 (August 26 to September 11, 2001) with tail numbers N591UA or N644AA.”

Is this verified? Is there any documentation to show that these planes were used shortly before 9/11? Well, a 1 minute search answers my own question. This is a FALSE statement.

"United Airlines
Boeing 757-222
Newark - Liberty International (EWR / KEWR)
USA - New Jersey, September 8, 2001

N591UA (cn 28142/718) Photograph of the ill-fated UA757 as it waits to depart on an early evening flight from EWR. Eerily it made its last flight from the same airport as UA flight 93 less than 4 days later (delivered 1996)."

With this large version, you can confirm that the tail # is correct for "flight 93":

"American Airlines
Boeing 757-223
Boston - General Edward Lawrence Logan International (BOS / KBOS)
USA - Massachusetts, August 7, 2001

Remark Photographer
N644AA (cn 24602/365) This was the plane used to deliberately crash into the Pentagon - September 11, 2001"

Note that you can read the tail # in the image above of "flight 77".
A 9/11/2008 Resolution: Start Your Own 9/11 Blog

White vertical stabilizer..

What stuck out to me in this photo of AA77 [on 9/11] is that the vertical stabilizer is white.

It just seems to me that this huge white "sail", per se, would be very visible on the fab five frames.

But it is not there...perhaps its in between the frames...

Does anyone know if AAL B737s have the same white vertical stabilizers in 2001?

Has any eye witness stated anything about seeing the huge white tail.

This huge white "sail" is certainly designed to be distinguishable...and should have been.

Love, Peace and Progress...

Robin Hordon

Dark Stabilizer Within Pentagon Frame

The dark object (quite unlike the very light colored AA stabilizers) is often alleged to be the vertical stabilizer of AA 77. This object is not present in any of the other 4 Pentagon frames.

UA 93 On September 8, 2001

According to the image information:

"N591UA (cn 28142/718) Photograph of the ill-fated UA757 as it waits to depart on an early evening flight from EWR. Eerily it made its last flight from the same airport as UA flight 93 less than 4 days later (delivered 1996)."

The November, 2007 BTS FOIA reply seems to list the following for UA 93 on September 8, 2001:

"UA 93 EWR SFO 20010908 ... N544a1" (or N544UA)

BTS Previously Listed 9/11 Info For UA 175 & UA 93

Open the below links to view prior BTS FOIA information for UA 175 and UA 93. According to the reply, American Airlines did not provide "on-time" information for AA 11 and AA 77 for 9/11. How the BTS obtained take-off times for UA 175 and UA 93 is unknown. And why the BTS doesn't seem to have information for these UA planes as of today is also unknown.

I suspect a DOT search for flight numbers as opposed to tail numbers would explain the difference.

I tried to obtain hard-copy replies for the e-mailed information but the parties listed didn't respond. This will explain why this information was not posted immediately. Anyone interested in PDFs or forwarded copies of the e-mails cited may contact me.

I encourage anyone reading this to make their own similar inquiries via the DOT contacts listed within the original post.

One year ago I requested "on-time" information for all 4 9/11 planes for the 2 years prior to 9/11 and received a stack of pages about 2 inches thick. I never bothered to actually view them until last spring and realized that the final "on-time" information for each aircraft ended in late 2000 and very early 2001. That is why a second request was made.

As DOT's Mr. Stankus explains, the reason for the absence of information may be that the on-board computers that held the information were destroyed on 9/11. However, one would think that on-time information would be made more immediately available. Based on the FOIA records, such information would be collected barely once annually.

Take-off times

The take-off times belong to the ASQP (Airline Service Quality Performance) data. Major airlines, as UA and AA, are required to report these data to the BTS monthly:


§ 234.4 Reporting of on-time performance.

(a) Each reporting carrier shall file BTS Form 234 “On-Time Flight Performance Report” with the Office of Airline Information on a monthly basis, setting forth the information for each of its reportable flights held out in the Official Airline Guide (OAG), in the computer reservations systems (CRS), or in other schedule publications. The reportable flights include, but are not limited to, cancelled flights, mechanically cancelled flights, diverted flights, new flights and wet-leased flights. The report shall be made in the form and manner set forth in accounting and reporting directives issued by the Director, Office of Airline Statistics, and shall contain the following information:

(1) Carrier and flight number.

(2) Aircraft tail number. (sic!!)

(3) Origin and Destination airport codes.

(4) Published OAG departure and arrival times for each scheduled operation of the flight.

(5) CRS scheduled arrival and departure time for each scheduled operation of the flight.

(6) Actual departure and arrival time for each operation of the flight.

(7) Difference in minutes between OAG and CRS scheduled arrival times.

(8) Difference in minutes between OAG and CRS scheduled departure times.

(9) Actual wheels-off and wheels-on times for each operation of the flight.

(10) Date and day of week of scheduled flight operation.

(11) Scheduled elapsed time, according to CRS schedule.

(12) Actual elapsed time.

(13) Amount of departure delay, if any.

(14) Amount of arrival delay, if any.

(15) Amount of elapsed time difference, if any.

(16) Causal code for cancellation, if any.

(17) Minutes of delay attributed to the air carrier, if any.

(18) Minutes of delay attributed to extreme weather, if any.

(19) Minutes of delay attributed to the national aviation system, if any.

(20) Minutes of delay attributed to security, if any.

(21) Minutes of delay attributed to a previous late arriving aircraft, if any.


The take-off (or wheels-off) times are triggered automatically via ACARS when the plane lifts off the ground.

On 9/11, N612UA (Flight 175)'s wheels-off time is reported as 8:23, which is not in accordance with the official story (8:14);

Similarly, N591UA (Flight 93)'s wheels-off time is reported as 8:28, which is also not in accordance with the official story (8:42).

Operation Northwoods, anyone?

Very Interesting

My general understanding is that the ACARS system regularly exchanges information with the airlines controlling an aircraft. Based on DOT replies, on-time information for an aircraft is obtained on a very infrequent basis.

I will try to learn from the DOT how often such information is collected.


In my understanding ACARS is the basic non-oral communication tool between an aircraft and its airline. Remember that Melody Homer sent a message to her husband (LeRoy Homer - first officer on UA 93) via ACARS. But apart from these personal messages, there are messages triggered by mechanical switchers. "Gate departure time" f.i. is triggered by releasing the brakes, "Wheels-off time" - as I said -triggered by lifting off the ground.

AA 77 & UA 93 FDR Data Possibly Decoded

A decoding program created with Microsoft Visual C# 2005 Express Edition by the following person has generated limited output information from the FDR files of AA 77 and UA 77, including dates and times for the final flights performed by each aircraft.

It is not known if all of the information generated by these decoders is accurate but based on what I was able to obtain from the NTSB FDR files decoded, the date and times for the 9/11 flights are correct.

It would have been extremely interesting to compare the complete date and time information obtained from these decoders with any that would have been provided by the BTS for each 9/11 aircraft.

Each FDR records the final 25 hours or more of flight information for each aircraft.

First responders nedd our help

I've set up a group here: the fealgoodfoundation is there and here I'm using Mammoth List as a tool to raise funds here: I thought that instead of just giving donations if people went to the trouble to do a little more it could be a huge windfall for these men and women. the gift that keeps giving so to speak. Either way please help these 1st rresponders they are us and we are them.

another image, radar data, witnesses

Here's another image

Pentagon Video Is Giant Psy-Op

You can read many eyewitness descriptions including descriptions of the tail here:

9/11 and the Pentagon Attack: What Eyewitnesses Described

There are many who described the plane in great detail.

Here's a radar compilation by John Farmer of five different sets of radar data.

...light poles, generator damage, plane parts and other data, etc.
A 9/11/2008 Resolution: Start Your Own 9/11 Blog