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THE STORY ON 14th]
News (6:30 PM ET) - CBS
September 14, 2001 Friday
recorders recovered from two of the hijacked planes"
ANCHOR: DAN RATHER
REPORTERS: BOB ORR
Mixed news today about the three flight recorders
recovered from two of the hijacked jets. Data recorders
from the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and the one
that hit the Pentagon contain some information about the
plane's movements, but the cockpit voice recorder from
the Pentagon plane is so badly damaged, it may be useless
to investigators. And late today, Pentagon sources told
CBS' Bob Orr that contrary to early reports, US Air Force
jets did get into the air on Tuesday while the attacks
were under way. Bob, what can you tell us about that? BOB
Well, Dan, we do now know tonight as the terrorist attack
was unfolding on Tuesday, the US military scrambled
fighter jets in a desperate attempt to intervene.
CBS News has learned the FAA
alerted US Air defense units of a possible hijacking at 8:38
Tuesday morning, and six minutes later, at 8:44, two F-15s
received a scramble order at Otis Air Force Base on Cape
Cod. But two minutes later, at 8:46, American Airlines
Flight 11, the first hijacked jet, slammed into the World
Trade Center. Six minutes later, at 8:52, the F-15s were
airborne and began racing towards New York City, but the
fighters were still 70 miles away when the second
hijacked jet, United Airlines Flight 175, hit the second
Trade Center tower. Shortly after that blast, the F-15s
reached Manhattan and began flying air cover missions
over the city.
But to the south, a new danger and a new response. At 9:30,
three F-16s were launched out of Langley Air Force base
in Virginia, 150 miles south of Washington. But just
seven minutes later, at 9:37, American Airlines Flight 77
hit the Pentagon. The F-16s arrived in
Washington just before 10:00 and began flying cover over
the nation's capital.
Now the last hijacked jet, that would be United Airlines
Flight 93, was still in the air at that time but crashed
minutes later in a Pennsylvania field. The jet, we're
told, was on a course for Washington, DC, and may have
gone down instead after passengers tried to overpower the
hijackers. In any case, Pentagon officials say they can
find no evidence at all in their records that the
military asked them to militarily intervene in that. And
since Tuesday, the Department of Defense has repeatedly
denied persistent rumors that that flight was shot down.
RATHER: Bob Orr in Washington.
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