A TWA pilot is being remembered as an unsung 9/11 hero for narrowly avoiding two hijacked planes headed to attack sites.
The little-known incidents occurred aboard TWA Flight 3 that morning. The crew took “evasive action” twice to avert collisions, a flight attendant recounted.
First, the pilot maneuvered to dodge United Flight 175, which struck the World Trade Center. Later, he swerved away from Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.
To passengers, the quick-thinking pilot saved many lives. But his actions went unrecognized in the 9/11 Commission Report.
After the South Tower was hit, attendants barricaded the cockpit to prevent a potential hijacking. The pilot said he’d defend it with an axe.
The plane landed safely in Ohio after initial plans to reach Indianapolis. But the drama continued.
Proximity alarms warned the pilot to steer clear of Flight 93, also hijacked. His skillful maneuvers kept all on board TWA 3 out of harm’s way.
The crew deserves acclaim for their valor that harrowing day. While avoiding catastrophe, they likely prevented even greater tragedy.