The reaction of FAA, New York, to Flight 175

The head of FAA, New York, Mister McCormick, speaks about the time as the observed Flight 175 was heading toward New York ...

"Probably on of the most difficult moments of my life was the 11 Minutes from the point I watched this aircraft, when we first lost communications until the point the aircraft hit the WTC. For those 11 Minutes, I knew, we knew, what was going to happen, and that was difficult."

Who was in charge to get military assistance for Flight 175 according to FAA-controllers?

Mister LaCates: "He believes that the OMIC (Operations Manager in Charge) has the responsibility and operational knowledge to contact the military."

Mister Rosenberg: "It would be OMIC who would have responsibility and operational knowledge on what channels to go through to get military assistance"

Mister McCormick: "McCormick stated that Bruce Barrett was communicating the situation along the appropriate air traffic channels."

Robert Felser, Military Operations specialist "Felser would provide the OMIC with the appropriate numbers, but the OMIC is in charge of actually making the decision to ask for a fighter scramble."

One controller, Ms Dowis, even thought during this time, that OMIC Bruce Barrett had contacted the military: "As UAL 175 turned eastbound towards New York City, Dowis recalled the OMIC said that fighters had been scrambled. At that time, Dowis believed the fighters mentioned by the OMIC had been scrambled for UAL 175. She "heard rumor that OMIC has direct line to call military."

Another controller, Mister Paul Thumser, describes his experience: "His awareness of the UAL 175 hijack began at the beginning of the tum to the Southeast and told Dave LeCates to scramble McGuire*. [His recall] He didn't recall saying "I think this is a hijack." McGuire doesn't have fighters, but was thinking something was going to happen, and he was reaching for any possibility to get military assistance. After Thumser'r original statement was consulted Thumser says he told LaCates to scramble McGuire after the northeast bound tum ofUALI75. While handling the descent of UALI75, he said "tell them [tower] he's coming." He wanted to help stop the plane, somehow."

According to the Norad-tapes, NEADS was not contacted due the Flight 175 until shortly after the crash. ... and even this late notification was not initiated by Bruce Barrett, but by another FAA-controller! In a conference call, Peter Mulligan, manager at the FAA's New York Center, tells the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia: "We have several situations going here. It's escalating big, big time. We need to get the military involved with us. Just get me somebody who has the authority to get military in the air now." Federal Aviation Authority, 10/14/2003, pp. 15 ( )

The question is, why OMIC Bruce Barrett was not going to manage this contact with NEADS.

According to the "air traffic event summary", one reaction of Bruce Barrett (to the incoming, second hijacked plane) was to stop all air traffic flying into New York. "Bruce Barrett directs Pete Mulligan and Marty Rosenburg to stop all traffic into NY ARTCC."

The military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center, Mister Scoggins, confirms, that as Flight 175 was approaching New York, the FAA, New York was not going to take incoming planes, including the Otis-fighters: "When they did launch the first tower had been hit. Relayed to me by third person, when the F-15's first talked to Boston Center the controllers advised them they were to late and cleared them into W-105. Around this time New York had gone ATC Zero for the hijacked aircraft. Boston Center assumed they were talking about AAL11, not UAL175, who Boston Center had no idea it had been hijacked. If we knew we would have persuaded New York to take the fighters. The fighters went into a hold in W-105 because New York was not taking aircraft, ATC Zero is a function where you attempt to sterilize your airspace. All approach controls are shut off and all adjacent Centers as well. They will not take traffic. If we knew UAL175 was hijacked I beleive New York would have worked them. After the second tower had been hit, New York was not going to take any aircraft what so ever."

According to the Norad-Tapes, at 08:55, NEADS complains "They're not going to let them hold over New York." The background is, that NEADS wanted to have their fighters over New York from the beginning on.

Around 09:12 the Otis fighters could finally send their fighters over New York, but not due to a call of FAA, New York, but by a radical overtaking of the civilian airspace by NEADS. NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) declares "AFIO" (Authorization for Interceptor Operations) for New York airspace, which gives the military authority over the FAA for that airspace, and will enable the fighter jets launched from Otis Air National Guard Base in response to Flight 11 (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001) to head toward the city.

The 911-commission interview with Mister Bruce Barrett is not being made public. One rare statement of him, could be read in USA-Today website. As he saw the second fireball in the television, he said: "It can't be a second one."

The 911-commission offers a different version of events:

„To avoid New York area air traffic and uncertain about what to do, the fighters were brought down to military airspace to „hold as needed“. From 09:09 to 09:13, the Otis fighters stayed in this holding pattern (page 20) (..). The FAA cleared the airspace. Radar data show that at 09:13, when the Otis fighters were about 115 miles away from the the city (…). They arrived at 09:25 (…)." (page 24)

... as well as the battle-commander of NEADS, Colonel Marr:

Colonel Robert Marr, the battle commander at NEADS, says that when the Otis fighters took off, his “intent was to scramble [them] to military airspace while we found out what was going on.” He says that, before 9:03 a.m. when the second World Trade Center tower is hit, the fighters are “heading down south toward Whiskey 105 and we don’t really have a mission for them at this point.” Filson, 2003, pp. 56 and 58-59 (Link to 911-historycommons)

It would be interesting, why both the 911-commission and Colonel Marr tried to cover up the history around the failed air protection of New York.