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9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:47 am
by ColAvionLover
Hi All,

Regarding the fact that we are in the 11th year from those sad acts, I was looking between some shots from those days here in the database and I found this shot of a lot of planes grounded at YHZ.

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Photo © Halifax International Airport


It came to my mind that it must have been a "head-cracking" day for flight dispatchers, getting all those large amounts of plane grounded and getting them back to the air when the air-space closure ceased.

Knowing that we have a large amount of flight ops workers in the site, I wanted to ask you about your personal experience. How hard was it to manage all those large amounts of planes needing to be grounded immediately?

I'm sure I'm not the only one interested in this and we'll be very thankful with your sharing.

Regards,

Jarib.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:24 am
by SXDFC
I'd like to know if anyone on this site knew anyone who worked any of the hijacked flights? I can only imagine the questioning and the emotions that they went through as the events unfolded.

[Edited 2012-09-10 23:25:07]

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:28 am
by PWMRamper
I met the gentleman who checked in the two hijackers that left PWM.


My two coworkers that both worked in the industry were both off on 9/11. Both worked for UA in DEN. One was in Maine on vacation at the time, she couldn't make it back to DEN for work but it didn't really matter, no planes to take care of.

The other had the day off, but went into work on 9/12. Planes parked just about anywhere they could be fit. He took a drive around the Ramp and was amazed at just how many aircraft there were.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:37 am
by n737aa
Quoting SXDFC (Reply 1):
I'd like to know if anyone on this site knew anyone who worked any of the hijacked flights? I can only imagine the questioning and the emotions that they went through as the events unfolded.

Really....Hardly appropriate.

N737AA

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:45 am
by DL_Mech
Quoting ColAvionLover (Thread starter):
I found this shot of a lot of planes grounded at YHZ.

I was onboard one of those planes at YHZ. We were on the plane for about 12 hours before we were bussed to a local High School. The people of Halifax opened their homes, cooked homemade food for us and drove people to get supplies and clothing (the luggage remained in the cargo holds).


After the first day, I helped assist AC maintenance secure and maintain all of the diverted aircraft. SAS blew a slide that day and SQ wanted some extra maintenance done on their 744 (the 1000th). I recall one aircraft had the following message on the ACARS printer: "US airspace closed. USA under terrorist attack. Please acknowledge."

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:36 pm
by phljjs
Quoting N737AA (Reply 3):
Really....Hardly appropriate.

I understand this is a difficult topic for many, but no one is forcing anyone to share their memories of that horrible day and it's aftermath. It's voluntary. If it's too difficult to think or talk about it, just ignore the topic and don't comment.

How this industry, this country and it's allies came together to safely and rapidly close U.S. airspace and land thousands of airplanes is truly historic and one small bright spot on that dark, dark day.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:47 pm
by 71Zulu
Original thread ...

Airplane Crashed Into The World Trade Center. (by Hustler Sep 11 2001 in Civil Aviation)

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:09 pm
by ghYHZ
Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 4):
I was onboard one of those planes at YHZ. We were on the plane for about 12 hours before we were bussed to a local High School. The people of Halifax opened their homes, cooked homemade food for us and drove people to get supplies and clothing (the luggage remained in the cargo holds).

Halifax received about 10,000 stranded passengers. A little easier to assimilate into a city of about 400,000 than the case in Gander where 8,000 passengers nearly doubled the town population in one afternoon. Lots of stories out there of the generosity displayed in feeding and housing people for three and four days…….one in particular is Tom Brokaw’s story:

http://www.clipsyndicate.com/video/play/1335538/gander_brokaw_piece

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:09 pm
by SXDFC
Quoting N737AA (Reply 3):
Really....Hardly appropriate.

I saw your username, and profile, and figured you work for AA, I know you guys were directly effected that day, but the title is 9-11 airline workers experiences, and when I said worked, I meant if anyone knew the ground crew that worked the flights..If that's inappropriate to you, then what is appropriate for this topic?

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:04 pm
by spiritair97
Quoting N737AA (Reply 3):
Really....Hardly appropriate.

How is that innappropriate? They expressed their interest in a way that seemed to me that they wanted to learn about what the affects were like to those involved. This is not an inappropriate comment. I apologize if it touched a nerve on this painful day, but you shouldn't take it out on somebody who just wished to learn. If you feel this way, just ignore it and don't respond.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:16 pm
by Hannigan
A great read from another 767 pilot who left BOS on that day if you've never seen it...

http://suzyrice.com/2006/09/remember-this-a-pilots-journal-from-911/

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:19 pm
by skyhigh777
Quoting SXDFC (Reply 1):

I was in highschool in the DC area on Sept 11th and one of my classmates's mom was the head purser on American flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon. She was from Chevy Chase, Maryland.

We all went to the funeral and her husband was a pilot for US Airways at the time. All of their colleagues attended the service in full uniform. A very sad day and terrible tragedy that I will never forget.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:06 pm
by Avi8r747
I know several of the the United gate staff that worked the BOS flight. To this day, they refuse to work that gate on this date. I also had family for UAL working in MHT. They were in the middle of their ops when a Northwest employee walked over and told my family member that a plane hit the tower, and they think it was a United aircraft. Almost simultaneously the order was given to put everything on the ground. She said it was quite hectic and very confusing for everyone that morning. At the time MHT didn't have tv monitors in the gate rooms so no one was able to see the news. She said basically all the airlines deplaned so the terminal was very crowded with confused and upset customers. I'm not quite sure when or how they told everyone to leave, but thats not really as important.

The Tom Brokaw report was excellent for those who may not have seen it. As a firefighter, we know that even in the most tragic and horrific events, there is hope and honor. Canada was the silent hero that day. I don't think the citizens who's community's were affected have gotten enough appreciation.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:06 pm
by LONGisland89
My Dad worked for AA at JFK and was working midnights at the time. He was home asleep and was awakened from the phone ringing nonstop from family/friends calling. His drive to the hangar usually takes 40 minutes, but that evening it took nearly three hours because of the countless security checks on the roadways heading into the airport. At AA, most personnel in aircraft maintenance immediately went on 12 hour rotating shifts (12 hours on/ 12 hours off). Between JFK, LGA, and EWR, many planes needed work, and the several days of downtime allowed most of their MELs to be cleared. At one point that evening the FBI came to the hangar to retrieve a FDR and CVR to bring to Manhattan to show first responders what they physically looked like. The attack was undoubtedly personal to many but it was deeply personal for some NY AAers. Neighbors, family members, and colleagues had been murdered by an attack on their city with their aircraft.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:18 pm
by mayor
Quoting ghYHZ (Reply 7):
Halifax received about 10,000 stranded passengers. A little easier to assimilate into a city of about 400,000 than the case in Gander where 8,000 passengers nearly doubled the town population in one afternoon. Lots of stories out there of the generosity displayed in feeding and housing people for three and four days

I wasn't working that day, but I had returned from Ireland the day before. I had two friends that I gave buddy passes to that DID end up in Gander and their stories are much like everyone else's. I returned to work on the 12th, but there wasn't much to do, except wonder if you still had a job. The gov't. was looking at closing down the cargo operations of the legacies, but DL, UA, CO, NW and US, met with them and convinced them to let it stay open.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:48 pm
by BC77008
What I found creepy was this thread from November 2000, Speculating what would happen IF a plane were to crash into the World Trade Center:

If A 707 Hit The World Trade Center?... (by MD-90 Nov 30 2000 in Civil Aviation)?threadid=336291&searchid=336291&s=world+trade+center#ID336291

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:54 pm
by TWA1985
This is a little something in honor of the 11th anniversary of the attacks:

For the flight attendant who bravely tended to her passengers and called her airline's operations center to give the first details of the hijackings before her plane slammed into the first tower ~ For the husband who told his wife. "I love you," one last time before his plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania ~ For the wife who stopped in the stairs of the tower and called her husband to say, "I will love you forever." ~ For the mothers and fathers who kissed their kids goodbye, not knowing that kiss would be their last ~ For the policemen and firemen who rushed in to save lives of strangers, only to die themselves when the towers collapsed ~ For the soldiers who fought back and lost their lives. Today, tomorrow and forever ... WE WILL REMEMBER!

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:16 pm
by cosyr
Quoting Avi8r747 (Reply 12):
I know several of the the United gate staff that worked the BOS flight. To this day, they refuse to work that gate on this date.

Which gate was that?

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:24 pm
by Tomassjc
Quoting ghYHZ (Reply 7):
Halifax received about 10,000 stranded passengers. A little easier to assimilate into a city of about 400,000 than the case in Gander where 8,000 passengers nearly doubled the town population in one afternoon. Lots of stories out there of the generosity displayed in feeding and housing people for three and four days


There's a great book out there: "The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland" by Jim DeFede, filled with great stories about the wonderful citizens of Gander rallying to accomodate the thousands of stranded passengers.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:05 am
by boeing6594
Quoting cosyr (Reply 17):

I believe it's gate C19. I may be wrong though.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:25 am
by PHLapproach
I went to dispatch school with a guy that works in Scheduling/ Crew Coordination at AA. He had off that day but he knew the person(s) that recrewed 11 the night before the flight. That was probably pretty heavy to walk with that.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:16 am
by thegoldenargosy
Quoting boeing6594 (Reply 19):
I believe it's gate C19. I may be wrong though.

You're correct it was gate C19 that UA175 left from. AA11 left from gate B33. UA93 left from gate A17 in EWR. I believe AA77 left from D44 at IAD, AA has since changed gates at IAD. All the gates have American flags hanging over them.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:20 am
by YYZAMS
I was working the bagroom at DFW for Delta that afternoon. Going into work was eerie. It was the little things you notice. When I parked my car in the parking lot I could actually hear the engine still running. When I got out of my car I could actually hear the door close. The employee lot was near the runway so you never heard the simplicities of hearing the little things like closing your car door. Taking the tram in, we were not allowed in the terminal as the FBI was still doing their sweep. Once they were done we were allowed in, but still no passengers. When I went to the bagroom I heard the steps of my steeltoe boots. It was eerily quiet. No bags belts running. No APUs from the ramp, no taxiing airlplanes. The sight of 2 to 2 Delta MD 11s with the jetway not attached is etched in my mind. Staff took turns standing under or behind aircraft in order to watch them.

On another note, a family member also was ATC for YYZ during 9/11. Let's just say a NWA pilot in the area was ordered to land immediately along with everyone else. This NWA pilot refused to land and headed on to DTW. Military was dispatched because he told ATC no, he wanted to go to DTW. Needless to say he landed pretty quick.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:05 am
by dispatchguy
I worked at American Eagle dispatch on 9/11/01, somewhere at home I still have the actual printer messages that put the US on the nationwide ground stop, and then closed US airspace entirely.

The worst day of my airline career.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:07 am
by m1m2
I wasn't working for an airline at the time but I was in college in Gander. It was the final year of maintenance training. I will forever be proud of the actions of the people who helped all of the stranded passengers.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:31 am
by canoecarrier
Quoting cosyr (Reply 17):
Which gate was that?
Quoting boeing6594 (Reply 19):
I believe it's gate C19. I may be wrong though.
Quoting thegoldenargosy (Reply 21):
All the gates have American flags hanging over them.

I was going to say, a pilot friend of mine took a photo of that gate when he was pushing back the other day. Said he'd never seen it before. Pretty sobering.

I think the general public doesn't realize how tramatic it can be for an airline employee to be somewhat involved with an event like this. I met the gate agent a few times that closed the door on TWA 800, she had bells palsy attributed to the stress of the experience and always felt guilty for being anxious to get all those high school students onboard as soon as she could.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:47 am
by AA94
My mom (an ex-AA employee) used to work under Nydia Gonzalez, the AA OPS agent on dutyat RDU who answered Betty Ong's phone call from AA11.

I don't remember much about that day, but I remember her pacing for hours and hours trying to figure out if any of her former colleagues were injured or lost.

A terrible day for anyone involved, and for all of America.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:34 am
by WALmsp
Two part article from USA Today Aug 12/13 2002 about the grounding of all flights.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2002-08-12-clearskies_x.htm#

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:23 pm
by delta2ual
Quoting SXDFC (Reply 1):
I'd like to know if anyone on this site knew anyone who worked any of the hijacked flights? I can only imagine the questioning and the emotions that they went through as the events unfolded.

I was based in Boston at that time and did not know anyone who worked the flights. I did know one of the FC passengers on AA11. She and I worked together at Qantas and she was on her way to a meeting. She had been to my parents' house for dinner and was a sweet and funny person. During the cleanup at the WTC, they were able to locate some remains and her wedding ring in 2005 and the ring was sent to her family. They all took a piece of it and wear it on a chain. That part of the story makes me happy. I'm glad they could have some closure, although I can't imagine how bad they still feel. My heart goes out to all the survivors.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:27 pm
by AF1624
Are there any ATC recordings that we know of from that day ? I'm not creepily looking for ATC recordings of the flights that crashed, but for recordings of when the airspace was shut down, and the confusion ensuing.

My thoughts go to the survivors and the families of the victims. Every year, this time of year, there's always loads of sad thoughts. I wonder if this will ever go away.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:46 pm
by panova98
I'm sure many, many of us, flight crews, airport and ground workers, traffic control people, and importantly, passengers have stories, memories, what have you of that fateful day. Tragic, ironic, feeling so hopeless or lonely in their circumstances.

Where were you that day? What were you doing? What were you thinking? How did you interact with people around you? And, how did the event affect you at the time and days, months, years later?

Unfortunately, with each passing day, details get mis-rembembered, confused, forgotten. Your are sure, but then as is so often pointed out on this forum...no, that did not and could not possibly have happened.

Does anyone know if there is some sort of repository where one is placing, or can place their personal eyewitness stories/memories of that fateful time? Where there could be interaction with readers?. Maybe an A*net book of 9/11 memories. Something to help people understand, and of course, not forget.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:54 pm
by rampart
Quoting BC77008 (Reply 15):
What I found creepy was this thread from November 2000, Speculating what would happen IF a plane were to crash into the World Trade Center:

If A 707 Hit The World Trade Center?... (by MD-90 Nov 30 2000 in Civil Aviation)?threadid=336291&searchid=336291&s=world+trade+center#ID336291

I've never seen that. Eye opening indeed. MD-90 is still a contributing A.net member. I wonder if he was ever "interviewed" by any Federal authorities... my first assumption would be that he is a normal aviation enthusiast like the rest of us, but given the (justified) caution that anything in aviation received following 9-11... well, I would have wanted to ask some questions, just to be thorough.

-Rampart

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:31 pm
by PA101
Quoting ghYHZ (Reply 7):

Wow, that is very, very impressive.
I had never put much thought into what it meant for such a comparibly small community such as Gander to receive about 6.000 stranded passengers. It it so amazing what the people over there did to accommodate their unexpected guests. It is wonderful to see that despite the horrible tragic of the events of 9-11, that true friendships or scholarship funds like the Delta-15-fund have been a result of those events as well!

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:36 pm
by Senchingo
I remember that day very well. I was working as summer job for students at a German airport during preparation for building terminal 2. One of my friends sent me a SMS saying "switch on the TV. Ur not gonna believe it". My shift was just over and when i got home, i turned on the news and from this moment, i just remember sitting there for hours and hours, watching the live pictures with my mum and being stunned, crying, not able to move.

The thing that catched me the most maybe was the fact i was up there, standing on this building that now just perished, 5 days before the attacks. Me and my dad did a road trip all the way from NY to Key West.

Still keeping the punched coin in a frame, which one could get as a tourist gift showing the towers in their best shape.

Getting back to the point of "aviation" related stuff:
While i went back home, i remember seeing everyone, and i mean literally every department, every person, stopping work and gathering in front of TV's trying to realize what was happening.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:25 am
by Maverick623
Quoting rampart (Reply 31):
I wonder if he was ever "interviewed" by any Federal authorities

He was.

Quoting rampart (Reply 31):
my first assumption would be that he is a normal aviation enthusiast like the rest of us, but given the (justified) caution that anything in aviation received following 9-11... well, I would have wanted to ask some questions, just to be thorough.

And that's what happened. I believe he said he understood the visit, and the agents were friendly.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:29 am
by canoecarrier
Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 34):

And that's what happened. I believe he said he understood the visit, and the agents were friendly.

There was a thread post-9/11 about this wasn't there? He told us about his interview.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:37 am
by CONTACREW
I was up in Seattle visiting family for my grandpa's 80th birthday, and i was sleeping in bed and I remember waking up to the 2nd plane hitting the towers, that's a sight I would never forget. I also remember seeing a story about an AA FA who missed Flight 11 due to a glitch in the scheduling I believe. She no longer flies though.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:56 am
by flyingturtle
My experience... I was a high school student then.

I had off at 10 or 11 AM, and spent some time at the computer lab. Answered mails and so. Then I saw on a newspaper website that one of the World Trade Center towers was burning. Just burning. And the internet was slow because everybody wanted to check the news.

Then I went shopping, and told a high school student I knew one of the WTC towers were burning, and that I don't know why.

I went to my mother's apartment where my younger brother was, and then we watched in awe and shock, for hours, the endless repetitions of the 767 colliding and the WTC tower crashing. The next day, all in the high school were sober, and in the French class, we watched and discussed what was shown in the French TV news.

One or two days later, a friend told me that the armed forces recruiting offices were swamped with young people wanting to serve their country. I told him... "There will be war. Soon."


David

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:38 am
by F9Animal
Worked for NW at the time. Was off that day, and had planned flying non rev to BOS to catch a ride on the ARJ. Luckily I fell asleep, and woke up to the banging on my door. I would have been stuck for days. Worst day for sure. 9/12 I went in. SEA was silent. You could hear seagulls, and birds chirp on the tarmac. Everyone was so heavy hearted. I still get knots in my stomach when thinking about it.

RE: 9-11 Airline Workers Experiences

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:52 pm
by Viscount724
Quoting ghYHZ (Reply 7):
Halifax received about 10,000 stranded passengers. A little easier to assimilate into a city of about 400,000 than the case in Gander where 8,000 passengers nearly doubled the town population in one afternoon.

Gander 9/11 photo.



Stephenville, Newfoundland (YJT) also had 8 diversions, mostly widebodies, visible in these photos.

http://www.thegeorgian.ca/media/photos/unis/2011/09/13/photo_1844983_resize_slideshow.jpg

http://www.thegeorgian.ca/media/photos/unis/2011/09/13/photo_1845061_resize_slideshow.jpg

Several other Canadian airports had quite a few diversions including YVR below which had many transpacific and some transatlantic diversions en route to the west coast. 6 NW widebodies visible in this photo (of 8 diverted NW flights in total).


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Rob Rindt - Spot This!



Even Whitehorse, Yukon (YXY), population then about 20,000, had two diverted KE 747-400s (one passenger, one freighter). There was some confusion that one or both aircraft may have been hijacked. Wouldn't be surprised if they're the only 747s ever to have landed at Whitehorse.



Related story:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/...korean-air-flight-911-mystery.html