9-11/timeline

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9/11: timeline

Overview

This is a summary of the events of the 2001-09-11 attacks, with an emphasis on readability and sequence. For a more complete listing with more details, see Reference.

Reference

Timeline

  • 07:59: AA11 departs late from Logan (Boston)
  • 08:13: "Last" radio communication ("Nobody move...") from AA11 (though there is another at 8:24)
  • 08:14: UA175 departs from Logan
  • 08:19: AA11 flight attendant Betty Ong reports hijacking via airphone
  • 08:20: FAA's Boston Center decides AA11 has been hijacked
  • 08:20: AA77 departs from Dulles (Washington, DC)
  • 08:21*: AA11's transponder is turned off, but the plane remains on radar screens (*earlier reported as 08:13, perhaps due to confusion with "last radio transmission"; Wikipedia article on Mohamed Atta gives the time as 8:28, sourced here; it seems likely that the timestamp was not meant to apply to the transponder shutdown but to the change of course)
  • 08:24: AA11 veers toward NYC and there is another radio message ("We have some planes. Just stay quiet...") (this article gives the time as 8:28, but is probably inaccurate)
  • 08:25: FAA's Boston Center alerts other flight controllers (but not NORAD) regarding AA11
  • 08:34: FAA's Boston Center alerts Otis Air National Guard Base at Cape Cod regarding AA11
  • 08:37: UA175 sights AA11 and informs flight controllers
  • 08:37:52: FAA's Boston Center control notifies northeast sector of NORAD regarding AA11, and requests military assist (first notification of military)
  • 08:42: UA93 takes off 40 minutes late from Newark
  • 08:42~: UA175 is hijacked and changes course
  • 08:44: AA11 flight attendant Amy Sweeney reports by airphone ("...Oh my God we are way too low"); call ends abruptly
  • 08:46: Otis Air Force Base scrambles two F-11 fighters to intercept AA11
  • 08:46:30*: AA11 hits WTC1 at roughly 490 mph (*time also given as 08:46:40)
  • 08:51: FAA's New York Center notices that UA175 had changed its transponder code twice four minutes earlier; tries to contact the flight.
  • 08:54: AA77 changes course
  • 08:55~: Announcements are made in WTC2 that "the building is secure" and everyone should return to work
  • 08:55: Karl Rove advises George W. Bush that a small, twin-engine plane had crashed into the WTC; Bush calls Condoleezza Rice, who corrects this
  • 08:56~: AA77's transponder is turned off
  • 09:01~: FAA's New York Center begins to be seriously alarmed, and asks for more military help
  • 09:02:59*: UA175 hits WTC2 at roughly 590 mph (*time also given as 09:03:11)
  • 09:03: FAA's New York Center notifies NORAD that UA175 has been hijacked
  • 09:04~: FAA's Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center stops all departures from airports in its jurisdiction (New England and eastern New York State)
  • 09:06: FAA initiates First Tier Groundstop (no takeoffs within airspace of New York, Boston, Cleveland, and Washington Centers)
  • 09:06: George W. Bush is informed of the second impact, and that "America's being attacked". Bush continues reading to the classroom.
  • 09:08: FAA bans takeoffs nationwide for all flights going through New York Center airspace
  • 09:23: UA93 receives warning about other two hijacked planes
  • 09:24: FAA notifies NORAD about suspected hijacking of AA77
  • 09:26: FAA imposes national groundstop (for the first time ever)
  • 09:28: UA93's cockpit is stormed by hijackers and taken over; the takeover is caught on open mic and overheard by ground controllers
  • 09:33: Tower supervisor at Reagan airport informs White House that a plane (AA77) is "coming at you and not talking with us", though it soon changes course and seems to be heading for Reagan airport for a few minutes
  • 09:35: UA93 reverses course over Ohio
  • 09:37: Dick Cheney is evacuated from the White House to an underground bunker
  • 09:37:46: AA77 hits the Pentagon
  • 09:45: United States airspace is shutdown; incoming international flights are redirected to Canada
  • 09:57: UA93 passenger revolt begins
  • 09:59:04: WTC2 collapses (0:55:51 after impact)
  • 10:02: Cheney's advisors begin hearing reports about UA93 (not yet identified) heading towards Washington
  • 10:03*: UA93 crashes in Pennsylvania
    • *there is some disagreement about the impact time:
      • 10:03 – 9/11 Commission, citing "very accurate combination of FDR, CVR, ATC, radar, and impact site data sets"
      • 10:03:11 – black box recordings, radar analysis, satellite data[1] and at least one telephone call
      • 10:06:05 – seismographic data by Won-Young Kim and Gerald R. Baum [2]
  • 10:10: part of the Pentagon collapses
  • 10:10: NEADS (NORAD) emphatically tells fighter pilots over Washington, "negative clearance to shoot."
  • 10:10 to 10:15~: Cheney, unaware that UA93 has crashed, authorizes fighter aircraft to engage the inbound plane
  • 10:28:25: WTC1 collapses (1:41:51 after impact)
  • 17:20: WTC7 abruptly collapses, neatly and completely, having suffered fires but no significant impacts

Notes

  • Some of the times given here, in an article posted only 3 days after the attacks, give rather different times for some of the events, but this may be because the evidence had not yet been put together accurately.