…Operational Mayhem


The report also slams the agency for its handling of the crisis itself. It describes the FAA’s communications as being in disarray as the planes started crashing into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. It also suggests that a fourth aircraft, Flight 93, would have reached its intended target of either the White House or Capitol building had it not been for passengers battling to seize control of the plane from the hijackers. The plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. FAA spokesperson Laura Brown told the Globe that some of the problems were linked to failures by other agencies and that many of the contributing circumstances have now been addressed. A lot of the commission’s findings benefit from hindsight. For instance, it criticizes the FAA for not requiring hardened doors to prevent access to the cockpit. Brown noted that suicide hijackers weren’t contemplated before 9/11 and FAA strategy called for negotiation with hijackers. The report also points out that it had been 15 years since any U.S. aircraft had been hijacked.