Inexperienced Pilot Recreating 9/11 Flight 77's Descending Turn into the Pentagon

In aviation, any pilot's formost concern is maintaining control of the aircraft. The descending circle let the pilot do just that; it was a necessity no matter whether the pilot believed he might be intercepted/"shot down" or not.
This is a completely unsupported claim.
 
Descending at 7000 fpm is just not common and might be impossible in a 757-200 at low altitude in controlled flight.
As I've already pointed out, Flight 175 did so from a higher altitude, for a longer period of time and a greater speed. The descent rate was about 6000 ft/min -- again Hanjour switched the autopilot off 25 miles out.
 
Well, simply getting to the ground isn't difficult. What's difficult is getting there in a controlled way so you hit the Pentagon.
Let me get this straight.

Easy for a novice pilot who'd never flown a jumbo jet before:
* A 300º descending circle covering 7000ft
* Hitting a target the size of a movie screen going 570 mph and 5 feet off the ground

Difficult if not impossible
* Pointing the nose down and hitting a target the size of 28 football fields in area, descending at approximately the same speed and direction as a similar plane had done 30 minutes earlier
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Then adding another 5 minutes in the air versus the most sophisticated military in the world in the most protected airspace in the world is not the way to go about doing so.
Clearly they did it, it worked? Why wouldn't it be the way? How exactly is this airspace protected?

This is a completely unsupported claim.
I supported this claim by giving you the typical descent rate of a 757 at 290 knots, which is a third of what would have been needed to get down from that approach without the circle.
If you need support for the foremost priority of maintaining control of the aircraft, ask any pilot.
Article:
1. AVIATE, NAVIGATE, COMMUNICATE

As I've already pointed out, Flight 175 did so from a higher altitude, for a longer period of time and a greater speed. The descent rate was about 6000 ft/min -- again Hanjour switched the autopilot off 25 miles out.
That aircraft was lined up with the WTC from about 4 minutes before it actually hit. Obviously, the greater distance plays a major role here as well. After the WTC crashes, "aiming" for the Pentagon from a distance would not seem wise ("most protected airspace in the world" and all that).

I could not find speed data. 6000 fpm would be an emergency descent; I couldn't find a record of a 767 or similar aircraft descending faster than that.
There is nothing about doing a ~300º that can confirm or deny this so if that's the point of the discussion, then both sides win/lose.
The burden of proof is on the conspiracy theorists.
But yeah, that's enough reason to close the case.
Easy for a novice pilot who'd never flown a jumbo jet before:
* A 300º descending circle covering 7000ft
* Hitting a target the size of a movie screen going 570 mph and 5 feet off the ground

Difficult if not impossible
* Pointing the nose down and hitting a target the size of 28 football fields in area, descending at approximately the same speed and direction as a similar plane had done 30 minutes earlier
Showing that this is "easy for a novice" was the point of Mick's flight simulator experiment. I have argued that circles like that are covered in early flight instruction, which the hijacker received; and I would invite you to argue why this is more difficult to achieve in an airliner than in a small plane. You're just claiming that with no support, arguing from incredulity.

A side of the pentagon is 71 feet tall and 921 feet wide. A standard cinema screen is about 30 feet tall and 45 to 65 feet wide, which puts the Pentagon profile at "40 movie screens". And if you overshoot or undershoot the height slightly, you're still going to hit the building.

The WTC was 1360ft tall and 200ft wide. To hit a 1360ft high target, you have much more room for error in your descent than if you're trying to hit a 71ft high target. Nobody claimed that was difficult.

The Pentagon has a sideways rectangle profile, therefore controlling the altitude was very important; the WTC had an upright rectangle profile, therefore controlling the direction was very important.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
This is the claim that has not been proven, and cannot be.
Borrowing Mick's image from his original post:
From the "too high here" point, circling was necessary to maintain controlled flight and hit the Pentagon. That can be proven, ask any airline pilot as expert.

And I'd bet that hitting the Pentagon with an "emergency descent" maneuvre in a simulator is difficult for a novice.
 
Borrowing Mick's image from his original post:
From the "too high here" point, circling was necessary to maintain controlled flight and hit the Pentagon. That can be proven, ask any airline pilot as expert.
Can you explain why he was "too high"?

Flight 175 descended as rapidly at a higher speed for a greater distance. Why would shorter and slower make it less likely? Flight 75 was lined up for 4 miles? Flight 77 was lined up for 29.

I am not trying to prove a different conspiracy to the one that the government has laid out in this particular example, just that doing a 300º turn and hitting the side of the pentagon lowers the total amount of damage and lives lost, as well as putting the plane in the air longer. If you can't admit that 3 extra minutes is a LONG time to give fighter jets and military personnel monitoring situation to adjust, then we simply have a different view of our military. As for the total damage, it is unquestionable that hitting the top side of the pentagon would be far more destructive and easier to hit.

Your movie screen analogy is a bit flawed as the relative target area is much smaller considering the ratio of vertical to horizontal. You also forgot to include how difficult it would be to fly a plane - for any pilot - that close to the ground in that size plane at that speed for that amount of time. I could play the ask any pilot expert game here myself, but I'm sure I could find many more pilot-experts to support the idea that HH's flight experience makes it unlikely to fly the plane like he did than you could find those who support the idea that flying a 757 that close to the ground would be simple for a novice pilot. I'm sure you are aware of the PilotsforTruth organization (which I'm sure I'll be told is a terrible organization full of flaws in reasoning and logic filled only with conspiracy theorists)

I guess it's one thing to not believe that the area which includes the seats of the three branches government, the White House, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court inside the Nation's Capital and the Pentagon just on the outskirts is not the most protected in the world - but to mock the idea that it is seems to be taking it a bit too far. The White House itself has surface-to-air missles unless the secret service was lying on 9/11.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Descending at 7000 fpm is just not common and might be impossible in a 757-200 at low altitude in controlled flight.
Indeed. You hear people say things like 5,000 to 10,000 fpm descent is possible, but they are talking about things like an emergency descent from 30,000 to 10,000 in a cabin depressurization situation. Even then, that's an unusually high rate. QF30 descended at around 3,000 fpm.

It's really a moot point, as Oystein notes. The suspicions around the maneuver rely on it A) being difficult, and B) changing which wall it hit. It was neither.

Can you explain why he was "too high"? Flight 175 descended as rapidly at a higher speed for a greater distance. Why would shorter and slower make it less likely?

Pilots are trained to descend simply by reducing power to idle, which only gives you the rate of descent seen in the circle. This would have been the method of descent most familiar to HH.

Attempting to nose down into the Pentagon would have involved something he was utterly unfamiliar with. The increased airspeed in denser would force the nose up, which would make it both hard to keep on target, and might even make it impossible. The turn was the most straightforward option.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Your movie screen analogy is a bit flawed
That was your analogy, I just looked up the actual measurements and corrected your comparison.
Why would shorter and slower make it less likely?
If you're flying more slowly, you're also worsening the rate at which energy is shed; there's an optimum glide speed for an air liner that's quite a bit below cruise speed. Traveling more slowly doesn't necessarily get you to ground at a shorter distance or sooner. A quicker descent almost always implies a faster aircraft; look up the table I posted earlier. (Of course if you go too slow, the aircraft stalls, and then you get down really quickly, but you can no longer control where.) So a shorter descent is a faster descent, not a slower descent! And if you speed up while flying down, you get more lift, and then you don't end up where you intended to end up, it's just not that easy to hit a target on the ground without aids -- the aircraft isn't flying to where you're pointing it at! That's what pilots need to do when landing, and it's the most difficult part of flying by day. So gliding down an unfamiliar aircraft for the first time to a spot only a few hundred feet in length is not that easy; it's easier coming in low and at a stable altitude and then just fly the aircraft a little down when you arrive at the building.

I'm not invoking pilot expertise as to the state of mind of the hijacker, or what he could or couldn't do -- maybe an experienced flight instructor could talk about that, but an airline pilot wouldn't know. I'm saying it's physically impossible to get from A to B directly because A is too high up, which is a hard fact about flight physics.

I'm not mocking any idea, the fact is that this aircraft was not shot down doing the approach that it did, so arguing that it shouldn't have done that seems a bit silly when that strategy actually worked. And I notice you keep to vague assumptions of what you hope to be true instead of looking for what the defenses actually are, what the doctrine for them is, and how long it would take to invoke them (e.g. to scramble some fighters for interception). And you've conveniently ignored my factual point about the defense not necessarily crippling the plane. As long as you merely keep proposing what you feel to be the truth, instead of producing facts, we won't have a discussion.
 

Keith Beachy

Senior Member
All of those risks pale in comparison to the risk of being shot down during the turn that took over three minutes. But they'd been off course for 45 minutes, of course it wasn't going to be intercepted.
Arriving high near the destination, two common options: 1. do a 360 to let down, and/or let down in holding. 2. An emergency option, throttles idle, gear down, at gear down speed if appropriate, full speed brakes, dump the nose 10 to 15 degrees to max speed for the gear down, or overspeed the gear if the emergency dictates (Emergency Descent).. some aircraft can get 15,000 feet per minute doing an emergency descent. (in small aircraft you can slip, if appropriate)

Unlikely the terrorist pilots would know how to do an Emergency Decent in a large aircraft. The terrorists were trained to fly, and most likely would use a 360 decent after failing to plan a decent to the target area. Terrorist pilot could see they were unable to get down, as the target disappears below the nose, and use a 360 to get down.

The Boeing jet at Idle can maintain 300 knots on a ~3 degree glide slope. At 6 degrees nose down, a clean 757 will exceed speed limits and want to climb as you exchange potential energy for speed, the aircraft "wants" to climb as it speeds up in a steep decent.

Who would intercept 77, no one knew 77 headed back to DC? For Pre-9/11 intercepts of aircraft off course and not talking to ATC, Research Payne Stewart's aircraft accident, and pay attention to the time zones. There was no aircraft near 77 to shoot it down.

The terrorist pilot failed to plan the descent in time to get the aircraft down, and was stuck with a 360 to get down. There is nothing odd about it, conspiracy claims the 360 was a maneuver only experienced pilots could manage were false, not based on facts and evidence, as you agree.

There is no skill required to shove up the throttles in the last seconds and hit a 70 foot high building that is 900 feet wide, crashing is easy, can be done at any speed, any course, any attitude, any configuration. The speed to crash is stall speed to overspeed of 1.2Vd or more. Landing is hard, it has to be on speed, on course, at a specific attitude, and specific configuration. Landing requires good flying skills, crashing is much easier than landing. On 9/11 we had 4 terrorist pilots crash, it requires no skill, and the terrorists were FAA qualified pilots... and all of them crashed on their first flight flying jets. The FDR of 77 and 93 show pilots who could not hold a bank angle, an airspeed, and 77 was in a PIO before impact. There is no denying the terrorist pilots were bad pilots, but it takes no significant flying skills to do what they did, a kid off the street could do the same thing first time without flight training. I have had kids in a KC-135 simulator land their first time - I landed a KC-135 my first flight, a heavy jet, on speed, on centerline, on a flight where I was in the seat for just my first landing, first time - first time in a large jet after learning in small aircraft... thus I was a novice pilot, first time in a jet, first landing. How can a novice pilot do it? During pilot training in the USAF, some pilots washed out, it was not because they could not hit the runway, or get to the runway. They washed out because they could not do it on speed, at the proper attitude, not on the proper course to land safely... they could essentially crash on the runway, or land and run off the runway if the Instructor had not intervened. Even pilots who washout of pilot training could do what the terrorist did. The flying done on 9/11 did not require experienced flying skills.

We might suspect Hani was given the largest target, because he was the weakest pilot. As seen on the FDR, Hani was not a good pilot, already pointed out in this thread. Be sure to read the entire thread.

I was a first time in a Heavy Jet "novice" pilot, the 757 is not a Jumbo jet... my first time with minutes of flying time in the KC-135, perfect landing... You realize the terrorists studied the aircraft? Flying done on 9/11 is what anyone who can chew gum and walk at the same time could do.
 
Indeed. You hear people say things like 5,000 to 10,000 fpm descent is possible, but they are talking about things like an emergency descent from 30,000 to 10,000 in a cabin depressurization situation. Even then, that's an unusually high rate.
It was an unusual event but simply being unusual isn't evidence for or against the possibility of it being done.
As I've already pointed out elsewhere, flight 175 performed at an even higher rate of speed (over 500 knots) - and descent rate (4000-8000ft/min) as well as for a longer amount of time (~90 seconds) than AA97
https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB196/doc03.pdf
http://pilotsfor911truth.org/p4t/Radar_Data_Impact_Speed_Study--AA11,_UA175.pdf
QF30 descended at around 3,000 fpm.
Yes, and AA77's descent rate was higher than that over the last 30" when HH pushed forward on the throttle.

Pilots are trained to descend simply by reducing power to idle, which only gives you the rate of descent seen in the circle. This would have been the method of descent most familiar to HH.

Attempting to nose down into the Pentagon would have involved something he was utterly unfamiliar with. The increased airspeed in denser would force the nose up, which would make it both hard to keep on target, and might even make it impossible. The turn was the most straightforward option.
This still does not prove that the turn was "too high", just that was difficult.

According to the official story, F77 came out of it's turn at 2200 feet, so let's use that and look at Warren Stutt's (who supports the government's flight path) FDR analysis (from this point I will use times that correspond to the FDR data not the official story by matching up the 2200' altitude stated in the CR with the 2200 radio height. At this point his airspeed was 318 knots (360mph) (38.83924 -77.13192) and then he started to accelerate. What most people don't realize is that he didn't actually start increasing that throttle until this point. At this point

Distance from : Pentagon 4.47 miles from the Pentagon
Time: 9h37'18"(34" from impact)
Speed: 312 Knots (360 MPH)
Altitude (radio height): 2200
Impact: 9h37'52"
Speed at impact: 488 (561 mph)
Acceleration: 8.67 feet per second (a little less than twice that of a plane takeoff)

Rate of descent[\b]
during last minute: ~3000 ft/min
last 30" 4000 ft/min
last 20" 5000 ft/min constant through impact

I might say that this applies to the route HH took in reality.

The increased airspeed in denser would force the nose up, which would make it both hard to keep on target, and might even make it impossible.
 

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Who would intercept 77, no one knew 77 headed back to DC?
Do you believe this?
For Pre-9/11 intercepts of aircraft off course and not talking to ATC, Research Payne Stewart's aircraft accident, and pay attention to the time zones. There was no aircraft near 77 to shoot it down.
Irrelevant. Hani Hanjour would've had no idea one way or another.

The terrorist pilot failed to plan the descent in time to get the aircraft down, and was stuck with a 360 to get down. There is nothing odd about it, conspiracy claims the 360 was a maneuver only experienced pilots could manage were false, not based on facts and evidence, as you agree.
Not the turn, no. The final 4.5 miles are the hard part.

There is no skill required to shove up the throttles in the last seconds and hit a 70 foot high building that is 900 feet wide, crashing is easy, can be done at any speed, any course, any attitude, any configuration.
Even at a descent rate of 4000-5000ft per minute?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This still does not prove that the turn was "too high", just that was difficult.
I think you are beating a dead horse here.

What exactly do you think the benefit of the turn would be, from a conspiracy theory point of view? If it was NOT an ordinary way of descending, do you think there was some nefarious purpose?
 

Keith Beachy

Senior Member
Can you explain why he was "too high"?

Flight 175 descended as rapidly at a higher speed for a greater distance. Why would shorter and slower make it less likely? Flight 75 was lined up for 4 miles? Flight 77 was lined up for 29.

I am not trying to prove a different conspiracy to the one that the government has laid out in this particular example, just that doing a 300º turn and hitting the side of the pentagon lowers the total amount of damage and lives lost, as well as putting the plane in the air longer. If you can't admit that 3 extra minutes is a LONG time to give fighter jets and military personnel monitoring situation to adjust, then we simply have a different view of our military. As for the total damage, it is unquestionable that hitting the top side of the pentagon would be far more destructive and easier to hit.

Your movie screen analogy is a bit flawed as the relative target area is much smaller considering the ratio of vertical to horizontal. You also forgot to include how difficult it would be to fly a plane - for any pilot - that close to the ground in that size plane at that speed for that amount of time. I could play the ask any pilot expert game here myself, but I'm sure I could find many more pilot-experts to support the idea that HH's flight experience makes it unlikely to fly the plane like he did than you could find those who support the idea that flying a 757 that close to the ground would be simple for a novice pilot. I'm sure you are aware of the PilotsforTruth organization (which I'm sure I'll be told is a terrible organization full of flaws in reasoning and logic filled only with conspiracy theorists)

I guess it's one thing to not believe that the area which includes the seats of the three branches government, the White House, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court inside the Nation's Capital and the Pentagon just on the outskirts is not the most protected in the world - but to mock the idea that it is seems to be taking it a bit too far. The White House itself has surface-to-air missles unless the secret service was lying on 9/11.
He was too high because he did not plan his decent. When you are too high, you can't get down in a clean heavy jet. What exactly would the decent angle be if Hani flew straight in? Hani was too close to the Pentagon, and as he lowered the nose the aircraft would go faster, and climb, and not descend at first. Hani failed to retard the throttle until too close... If he aimed at the Pentagon, he would have traveled to the Pentagon in 0.75 minute, and had to exceed 10,000 fpm if he did not exceed 500 knots.

The turn was easy to do, what is the problem?

What was the decent rate of 175? Did the terrorist pilot use speed brakes? It is easier to see the WTC towers than the Pentagon. Flight 175 made a mistake, and could not slow down and risked going too fast and losing control. When 175 first started down, 175 also climbed back up, as if the pilot failed to go to idle, and the aircraft going faster climbed back up. There is noting about 9/11 terrorist flying that is special, or skilled.

Hitting the Pentagon at a higher angle would not result in greater damage, that is an opinion, until you show the physics and engineering evidence. That is a claim based on opinion. Please prove it with physics.

What aircraft flew low? Flight 77 last four seconds above the ground, 183 feet, 89 feet, 57 feet, and at impact 4 feet. This would be from the bottom of the landing gear, if it was down... thus, 77 was not that close to the ground. I did not forgot to include how difficult it would be to fly a plane - for any pilot close to the ground in that size plane at that speed for that amount of time. Because it is not hard, the aircraft is more stable going fast. Just how close exactly to the ground does it become "how difficult". Why the Gish gallop? You keep bringing up claims and statements with no supporting evidence. Flight 77 almost hit the ground, if you look at the g-force for the final seconds, it was not pretty, proving the pilot was not an expert - proof it was a terrorist.

--- proof it was easy and stable to fly low and fast - this is close to the ground, closer than 77 even at impact
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZT4BdI7STE

In "my plane", the KC-135, albeit they have new engines. Do you have evidence it is difficult to fly low and fast? No, because it is called flying, the claim it is difficult is an opinion, not based on evidence and facts. Who did you get this false claim from?

Most protected airspace? There is an airport right next to the Pentagon, and you think it is wise to have armed missiles ready to shoot down airliners? The USAF did not patrol the skies over the USA, the USAF/NORAD would launch for threats outside the USA, not over the USA. After 9/11 the FAA and NORAD had to come up with procedures to respond to threats after 9/11.

As for pilots for truth, the only pilots on earth who brag about not being able to hit the WTC towers or the Pentagon...
 

econ41

Senior Member
I think you are beating a dead horse here.
Yes. And hasn't even made clear which horse it is. i.e. what he is trying to claim.

The core aeronautical facts are simple. Approach was too high and too fast. Stated in the alternative he did not reduce altitude early enough. So took the simplest, safest maneuver for a novice pilot to lose height. He could not simply put the nose down and "dive" as a lay person may expect. And Kieth Beachy who is an experienced heavy jet pilot has explained that in detail.
 
I think you are beating a dead horse here.
Well the horse is getting beaten because you keep ignoring the simple point - and you have once again done so here in this reply.

You have collectively stated that the reason for a turn was because it had to be done because the descent would be too hard. I have shown you that a plane on that exact same day did the same thing and hit a smaller target. You referenced QF and I showed you that AA77 exceeded that descent rate. If you can't acknowledge that a bigger target is easier to hit than a smaller target, then I see why you're ignoring my points.


What exactly do you think the benefit of the turn would be, from a conspiracy theory point of view? [/quote]"

lol Mick wtf "from a conspiracy point of view" mean? Do you think there were no conspiracies on 9/11? Of course you know there were at least among 19 hijackers, you're just using the word as a pejorative aka ad hominem. You should know better.

I don't think there was a benefit to the turn and I do think it was not an ordinary way of descending. I think I've made this point sufficiently clear, as well as showing that descending from 7000 feet in one minute when you have no intention of saving the plane is absolutely no more difficult than the descending turn followed by the tremendous acceleration at low altitude and increases the risk of being intercepted.

As for nefarious purposes, there is no evidence that supports that notion by simply trying to understand why HH tried to make his mission less likely to succeed.
 
The turn was easy to do, what is the problem?
never said it was, next.

Do you have evidence it is difficult to fly low and fast? No, because it is called flying, the claim it is difficult is an opinion, not based on evidence and facts. Who did you get this false claim from?
Little know fact: airplanes can handle higher speeds at higher altitudes.
[...]
 
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Oystein

Senior Member
Maircas_olfanahbra, operating under your assumptions - that the pilot of AA77 knew the plane would not get shot down, how do YOU explain the 330° turn?

Or is your endgame to DENY there was a 330° turn at all?

Then your question to answer is: Why would the evil conspiracy that faked the AA77 flight path fake it with a 330° turn?
 
Maircas_olfanahbra, operating under your assumptions - that the pilot of AA77 knew the plane would not get shot down, how do YOU explain the 330° turn?
One reason would be to hit the part of the Pentagon that they wanted to, because I'll answer honestly. The real answer is I don't know, of courese.
Or is your endgame to DENY there was a 330° turn at all?

Then your question to answer is: Why would the evil conspiracy that faked the AA77 flight path fake it with a 330° turn?
Will this be a continual tactic of assigning my theories to me and then asking me to defend them?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
You have collectively stated that the reason for a turn was because it had to be done because the descent would be too hard. I have shown you that a plane on that exact same day did the same thing and hit a smaller target. You referenced QF and I showed you that AA77 exceeded that descent rate. If you can't acknowledge that a bigger target is easier to hit than a smaller target, then I see why you're ignoring my points.
The WTC Towers are a much taller target. The steepness of the descent does not affect left/right as much as it does up-down.

When a novice pilot lands, they aim for a spot on the runway, they often miss that point (up/down) by hundreds of feet, but they generally don't miss the runway (left right).

It's not the same thing at all.
 

Oystein

Senior Member
One reason would be to hit the part of the Pentagon that they wanted to, because I'll answer honestly.
But the part of the Pentagon they hit was full in sight coming in before the 330°, or wasn't it? It's not like they went around the Pentagon to pick a different side to slam into. This explanation, quite frankly, makes no sense.

The real answer is I don't know, of courese.
Will this be a continual tactic of assigning my theories to me and then asking me to defend them?
In rational, scientific discourse, the aim is to guide reasoning along theories, with a view to trying to falsify them and come up with better theories, that explain more of the extant evidence.

If your theory (e.g. "HH was in cahoots with the USAF and knew they would not shoot him down") fails to explain the 330° turn, then it is not a better theory than ours ("HH had to cook off height to have a better aim, and that had a higher priority than hitting 3 minutes sooner to avoid shoot-down") - it is a worse theory, it explains less.

If you don't even have a theory at all, well, that's even worse!
 

econ41

Senior Member
Oh, really? How did 175 do it then?
I note your evasion by false analogy. The pilot of 175 did not do "it" - not the same "it" as HH with flight 77 - AKA choose one of the options available for crashing into the Pentaagon. Hence false analogy. He chose a different option for a different target and for reasons that members have clearly explained. The topic under discussion is HH's choice of course for hitting Pentagon given that he was too high and as a consequence too fast.
 

econ41

Senior Member
Will this be a continual tactic of assigning my theories to me and then asking me to defend them?
I for one will be insisting that you define your claim - or as I stated in metaphor you "[haven't] even made clear which horse it is. i.e. what [you are] trying to claim."
 

Keith Beachy

Senior Member
Oh, really? How did 175 do it then?
77 would have to do 10,000 fpm, not 6,000 to 7,000 fpm like 175. 175 failed to get down in time, exceeding Vmo and 1.2Vd, putting 175 at risk for flutter or control problems. 175 hit ~515 knots, with 1.2Vd being 504 knots, over 1.2Vd for ~5 sec.

At one time Hani was at 7200 feet, 3.77 nm from the Pentagon, he would have to go >12,000 fpm.

77 can't maintain 300 knots and descend at 10,000 to 12,000 fpm, 77 would quickly exceed 1.2Vd, and putting the aircraft at risk.

The turn to get down is what pilots do, when they fail to plan. 77 was at 8,000 feet 5 nautical miles from the Pentagon, and 77 would accelerate in the descent and reach over 515 knots, and do this in less than 0.75 minutes... ~10,000 fpm minimum.

The straight in descent is not too hard, it would force Hani to miss the Pentagon, and have to fly over the Pentagon at over 500 knots because he can't get 10,000 feet per minute in a clean jet! This is physics of flight. This was Hani's first Jet descent, and he failed to understand how clean a jet is, there is no prop to slow you down. He would have exceeded test flight speeds and speeds that are flutter free. He was clueless, and now that I am looking at the data again, I would not be surprised if Hani did not know how to trim the aircraft.

The thread claim is valid, not sure your claims or points are on topic. It would help if you could state your point/claim.
The OP is valid, and Mick is not the first pilot to show hitting the Pentagon in a heavy jet is possible with no experience flying a heavy jet.

What is your point/claims relative to this thread?

If Hani was on a check flight, as an Evaluator I would let him mess up (as long as ATC did not intervene, yet they would start to bug us because we are too high based on typical traffic, if the Pentagon was an airport), and he would Flunk the check ride for many reasons. His airspeed control was UnSat, his bank angle control was UnSat, his descent control was UnSat, his judgement was UnSat... he also would flunk for exceeding 250 knots below 10,000 feet, a FAA limit. Arriving too high would required a fly off, and a 360 turn would get the aircraft down, and essentially back to course... it is that simple - we would flunk our check ride for poor planning. But Hani did not Care. Hani was flying to murder, he had no motivation to obey rules, or fly to the standards he was taught, he was free of nagging Instructors, and his motivation was to murder Americans for UBL.

The other pilots had simulator training, Hani might have had sim training. If Hani flew the computer simulator, and tried to dive into a target, the simulator would have crashed when he exceeded Vmo, and if he had that experience, he might be hesitant to dive into the Pentagon, not knowing if it was possible. I see no reason to dive clean at 10,000 to 12,000 fpm, and coming in at a common glide slope of 2.5 to 3 degrees would be preferred - if I want speed I can use the throttles, like Hani did, to hit the Pentagon at high speed.

There is nothing difficult flying fast and low, except hitting stuff you don't see. Where do people come up with the false claim about flying low and fast? Why did you bring it up, it is false.

In pilot training, doing touch and goes, some of us would fly low and fast (having no clue how "hard" and "impossible" it was, because it is not) down the runway, gain speed, and pull up to a closed pattern, if cleared by the tower... with all the extra speed (smash), we would pull up hard, and bank over past 100 to 110 degrees to stop our climb pulling hard to pattern altitude, and rolling out at the exact altitude...
1607574539083.png
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The point of this discussion is the question, does the flight path indicate that the pilot knew he was acting as part of a government conspiracy or not?
There is nothing about doing a ~300º that can confirm or deny this so if that's the point of the discussion, then both sides win/
Just a reminder that we're all agreed that the descent circle isn't evidence of anything: it doesn't help decide the question whether there was a government conspiracy or not.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I have shown you that a plane on that exact same day did the same thing and hit a smaller target.
Dude. I gave you the dimensions. The Pentagon was the smaller target.

You can't go by what you see on Google Earth as you're not firing an orbital weapon, you're piloting an aircraft and have to consider what the pilot would see and recognize.

And I told you that distance matters, your WTC pilot had miles and minutes more to get down.

The basic fact of flight physics is that an aircraft has no brakes. If you roll a marble down an incline, it gets faster: it "trades" height for speed; and it can use that speed to roll up another incline, trading speed for height. In a physics analysis, you'd look at potential energy (from height) getting converted to kinetic energy (from speed). If you have problems understanding that intuitively, get a minigolf game and play some obstacles that involve inclines or bumps.

A car can decelerate because the brakes convert kinetic energy to heat (as the rubber on the pavement may do); it's the same thing aircraft do on the runway when they land. But in the air, the only way to get rid of the energy is air resistance: like the marble or the golf ball, there are no brakes in the air. So the amount of energy an aircraft can lose determines how fast it can descend while still being controllable. (If you think it's easy hitting a target from uncontrolled flight, I invite you to hit a waste paper basket with a paper ball from 15 feet. Or with a paper airplane.)
And how controllable it is depends on how fast it is going: above a certain speed, spoilers and gears can not be deployed safely as the airflow would rip them off; an experienced pilot would use these to shed energy on landing if they were too high. Above a certain speed, the aircraft behaves unpredictably, and when it reaches the speed of sound ("little-known fact": this is lower at lower altitudes), an aircraft not designed for it will certainly break apart. (The M=0.84 you saw in the table I posted refers to 84% of the speed of sound.)

So there is a physical hard upper limit on the speed an aircraft can attain and be controllable, which means there is a physical limit on the kinetic energy it can have. If the aircraft wants to descend from a specific height, it needs to dissipate the potential energy that can't be converted into kinetic energy, or it won't get down; and the rate of that is limited by air resistance.

As you can see from the flight data, the descent circle achived the loss of height with little change in speed: it is a maneouvre designed to lose potential energy while staying at the same distance from the destination. It's a basic flying skill. These skills are taught to every novice pilot. The first lesson involve "circuits" around an airfield: overflying the runway, then flying a precise semicircle (or two quarter turns) to line up parallel to the runway for the downwind leg of the racetrack-shaped circuit that all aircraft waiting around a small airfield maintain; and after the downwind leg, turning back to line up over the runway again, completing the circuit, and repeating it. (The same circuits exist near major airports, but they're not located above the runway, but further off.) The hijackers received this kind of training and would be able to fly these turns in a jet aircraft using the same basic controls and instruments available in all fixed-wing aircraft.

The hijackers would have learned about energy management and descent rates. So to them, using a circle to get down while keeping the distance would be something they'd have learned in flight school as a necessity of controlled flight. I have no doubt that if the WTC pilot had found his rate of descent insufficient to hit the WTC, he'd have circled as well.

To you, who did not attend flight school, it seems strange: driving a car, if you wanted to get somewhere fast while possible being threatened, driving in circles makes no sense. But the third dimension, height, and the absence of brakes changes matters: it's absolutely necessary to make a different choice as a pilot than as a car driver if you want to reach your target in the three-dimensional airspace.
 
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I for one will be insisting that you define your claim - or as I stated in metaphor you "[haven't] even made clear which horse it is. i.e. what [you are] trying to claim."
My claim(s) is in this thread and I've restated it at least twice, and defended it. But I'll do it again for you.

a) Doing a 330º turn instead of pointing the nose down made the mission both less likely to succeed and inflict to inflict the most possible carnage.
b) Pointing the nose down from his altitude and distance from the Pentagon was completely completely possible.
[...]
 
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77 would have to do 10,000 fpm, not 6,000 to 7,000 fpm like 175.
I've already pointed this out as being incorrect, with data. I don't think you are reading my posts.

At 9:33:33", just seconds prior to beginning its turn, AA77 was at 38°51'29.9"N 77°13'33.6"W, or 9.13 miles from the Pentagon, at an altitude of 8081ft. This means that even if it didn't reduce his speed one single bit, that a rate of descent of 5700 ft/min would be required as that speed would have the plane impacting the Pentagon 1'25" later - clearly increasing that just to 7000ft/min (1000ft min less than flight175) makes it entirely possible. No one can say with any certainty whatsoever whether or not it was within HH's capability as a pilot.

Whether or not there was some dastardly plan in place has nothing to do with whether or not a descent from that height and distance were possible, which is the only thing that I have pushed back on. I did mention "he knew he wouldn't get shot down" and I withdraw that claim because in truth, I don't actually believe that for the reasons implied by the statement as well as the fact that it is off-topic.
---

Due to my experience in another skeptics forum, and the warm welcome I've received here, I do not think that anyone has assumed that I've come here to find answers, as you should with everyone regardless of who came before. I have not come with the answers, with the intention of only finding the facts which support my hypothesis. There are numerous inconsistencies for which I find the official 9/11 conspiracy theory to be sorely lacking and I am only looking for answers and with the goal of having intellectual honesty, I adjust my theories and hypotheses accordingly as more information comes in.

For example, I used to have issues with corkscrew turn because I believed that it was completed at over 500mph and once I discovered that not to be the case and in fact it was at a greatly reduced speed, I no longer have issues with it.

I will also add that this has happened again following my participation in this thread. While I have always been completely puzzled as to why the pilot did not simply nose down into the Pentagon, I no longer find it to be so unexplainable. In fact, I find it completely within the realm of possibility that the pilot did not think it was possible (though I have demonstrated that it was) and and thus chose the corkscrew approach. There's a part of me that still doesn't think it makes sense, which could be the remnants of my long held belief refusing to exit peacefully, but I certainly do now think that the scenario that actually played out in the final minutes of AA77 - with regards to the choice of flight path - can be explained logically.
 
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But the part of the Pentagon they hit was full in sight coming in before the 330°, or wasn't it? It's not like they went around the Pentagon to pick a different side to slam into. This explanation, quite frankly, makes no sense.
The goal would not have been to hit the "side" of the Pentagon but the top/interior because that would cause more damage and loss of life. Does that make more sense? Sorry if I explained poorly.
If you don't even have a theory at all, well, that's even worse!
Setting aside the fact that I don't know is a perfectly acceptable answer in science, I do have a theory but have been warned already about being off-topic in this thread. If I've permission to share from a moderator, I certainly will.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
At 9:33:33", just seconds prior to beginning its turn, AA77 was at 38°51'29.9"N 77°13'33.6"W, or 9.13 miles from the Pentagon, at an altitude of 8081ft. This means that even if it didn't reduce his speed one single bit, that a rate of descent of 5700 ft/min would be required as that speed would have the plane impacting the Pentagon 1'25" later - clearly increasing that just to 7000ft/min (1000ft min less than flight175) makes it entirely possible. No one can say with any certainty whatsoever whether or not it was within HH's capability as a pilot.
Have you considered the effect of the speed increase from the steep dive? Diving at 6000 fpm would likely make the aircraft overshoot the target.
 

econ41

Senior Member
My claim(s) is in this thread and I've restated it at least twice, and defended it. But I'll do it again for you.

a) Doing a 330º turn instead of pointing the nose down made the mission both less likely to succeed and inflict to inflict the most possible carnage.
b) Pointing the nose down from his altitude and distance from the Pentagon was completely completely possible.
[...]
Thank you. That makes it clear and easy to respond. In reverse order:
"b)" Yes it was possible for an experienced pilot but a complicated manoeuvre. The pilot on the day did NOT choose that path so debate is moot.

"a)" Your point also moot. Both your claimed outcomes "less likely to succeed" and "inflict the most possible carnage" have been addressed.

In summary - you are claiming that in your opinion the pilot made less than optimal choices. He chose to do what he could achieve.
 
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Keith Beachy

Senior Member
...
Little know fact: airplanes can handle higher speeds at higher altitudes.
Not exactly true... At 31,000 feet .82 MACH, my true airspeed is 481 knots.
At 25,000 feet .82 MACH, my true airspeed is 493 knots.
At 45,000 feet .82 MACH, my true airspeed is 470 knots.
Thus if you are racing me in a 757/767 at maximum MACH .82, and you pick the higher 45,000 feet and "higher airspeed", and I picked 25,000 feet, I win with the higher true airspeed, my true airspeed will be 493, your true airspeed is 470. Your indicated airspeed at 45k will be near 220 knots, my indicated airspeed at 25k is near 350 knots. (and if we are going from Maine to California, after bringing the last SR-71 home from UK to retire the SR, you could be in a 200 knot headwind at 45,000 feet, and at 25,000 feet, I am in a 75 knot headwind, you will be afraid you can't get to CA with the proper winter reserves, failing to use judgement because there is great weather in CA, and you pick Michigan base to get fuel, but I know the weather in CA is perfect so winter fuel reserves are not a factor, and I can arrive with enough fuel to make it and have a few alternate CA based to land at... you are hours late... BTW, we just turned (aka got fuel to return to CA after refueling the SR-71 returning to retire from the UK, in Maine we had a wind-chill of -20, and you picked the UP of Michigan, also very cold to stop and get gas, you choose poorly... flying is about judgement, and what you have in your bag of tricks... Hani did not have experience, just like you picking the massive headwind, and having no clue the fuel reserves for winter is a guideline, and you could use judgement, and knowledge to make a better decision. Knowing the winter fuel requirements are guidance, I picked to fly to CA even though my fuel reserve did not meet winter requirements, and the fact weather was great, and even if my base was broke, there were many bases I could land before I ran out of gas, and my crew and I can refuel our jet as long as the base sends out a fuel truck... something we were trained to do. )
Have you done many ICE-T problems? Why do bring up airspeed? Flight 77 was at 483.5 knots at impact, and was controllable. If a pilot accidentally goes over Vmo, 350 knots, the pilot is able to slow and recover with full controls not impacted by flutter, or adverse control issues.

What is the beef about higher speeds? Flight 77 was controllable at 483.5 knots because it was designed to be, and be safe in an overspeed.

Judgement and knowledge, and experience, something Hani did not have when he picked a 360 to let down, since he could not get the nose down to hit the Pentagon. If you understood flying, you might suspect Hani had no clue how to trim the 757 to a faster speed, and could not get the nose to stay on the Pentagon, when he failed to plan a straight in approach, which requires simple math. I wish he had picked to hold the nose down, and hit the Pentagon in the courtyard, instead of the crashing into multiple sections of the Pentagon, or entirely missing the Pentagon and hitting the cemetery ... Judgement and Knowledge, what pilots for truth traded for conspiracy theories they claim they don't make, as their slogan is, "offer no theory"... which is true, they can't, they have no evidence.

What higher speed are you wanting to discuss? IAS, CAS, EAS, TAS, MACH, or what?

The aircraft used on 9/11 were designed to be flutter free to 1.2Vd, which would be ~504 knots. The aircraft are designed to go over their Vmo limits so they can recover from upset, like in a massive thunderstorm, or a pilot mistake, and if over speed in a dive, the pilots will have no issues with correcting the overspeed, and recover the aircraft.

Only one aircraft on 9/11 was risking losing control due to aircraft/airframe limitation, it was Flight 175, at ~515 knots, just before it impacted the WTC tower and murdered the souls on board, and contributed to the WTC fires, and the murder of thousands.

NOTE: you seemed surprised Flight 77 was able to accelerate fast, you said acceleration twice that of takeoff. 757 Pilots don't use full throttle for takeoff, they use a calculated EPR, which is less than full throttle. One of 77's engine was about to exceed the EGT limit, as I recall. Why was the acceleration impressive, 77 was clean, no flaps, full throttle, and in a descent. Take off the aircraft is dirty, gear down, flaps set for takeoff, and throttles set to the takeoff EPR.

Thank you for helping me think about flying, a major part of my life, along with engineering, and building state of the art computers with my grandkids, and for my grandkids ... if you are skeptical of 9/11 events, I am skeptical of 9/11 truth, and pilot for truth conspiracy theories (which P4T claim they offer not theory, ironically), I understand flying, engineering, and can't find one truth to the conspiracy theories.
 

Nada Truther

Active Member
The goal would not have been to hit the "side" of the Pentagon but the top/interior because that would cause more damage and loss of life.

How do you figure this?
In order for HH to hit the inside of the Pentagon and contact A-ring and do damage outward, He would need to thread the needle into the courtyard "Hole". I couldn't find exact dimensions from a quick search, but the overall dimensions of the courtyard are listed as 5 acres. A 5 Acre rectangle is 660 feet x 330 Feet, so we can assume that the Pentagon's interior dimension from A-ring to A-ring is a little smaller that that. Do you think that HH thought that he had a better chance to hit lower floors, which meant dropping 71 feet in less that 660 feet? And that is assuming that he could skim the roof in the process. What if he hits too high? Would he skim off the top floor, only causing damage to that floor and less loss of life, What if he came in too hard and nose-dives into the courtyard?

Doesn't it make more sense to aim for the ground floor, when you have a nice long course to aim your way in? So, therefore, the choice for impact that was made would probably be the way to go?

Maybe he figured that he would penetrate all the way through both a-e wings and go through the whole building?
Can you accurately speak to what HH thought was best that day? Did you get some insider information as to his thought process, as he approached?
 

Oystein

Senior Member
...
Can you accurately speak to what HH thought was best that day? Did you get some insider information as to his thought process, as he approached?
This is the whole crux of the matter here.

No one can argue that an event observed and recorded in many ways in the real world is somehow not what the record shows because we can imagine that the intentions and thoughts of a now dead person who never spoke about it would result in a different course of events.
 

Inti

Senior Member.
So the question is,
a) would a person worried about getting shot down still circle?
I just saw this documentary by Dan Snow about the Dam Busters raid of 1943

Here is Max Hastings describing the American RAF pilot Joe McCarthy and his crew attacking the Sorpe dam.After nearly crashing on the first run, they go round again, and again - ten times in all.

"Here you are in the middle of Germany. You've got everybody in the local village on the telephone asking "Where are the nightfighters, where is the Luftwaffe""
And yet they went round 10 times. Other attacking crews went round repeatedly in other attacks, because they felt they had to in order to acheive their objective.

No, I am not comparing the attackers in 9/11 to these crews, but I see no reason to think that they would not risk cicling once if they felt it was necessary.
 
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