77 IVV









n /)






[Classification] MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD Event: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) New York Air Route Center Type of event: Interview Date: Tuesday, September Special Access Issues: None Prepared by: Geoffrey Brown Team Number: 8 Location: FAA New York Air Route Center, Rokonkomo, New York Participants - Non-Commission: Alfred , FAA General Consul Participants - Commission: John Azzarello, Miles Kara, Geoffrey Brown NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, the following paraphrases the response and opinion of the interviewee. Please refer to the interview transcript for a complete account. Mark Merced 1345EDT Merced was very hesitant to meet with commission staff. We received his statement through a request. We became aware that we did not receive it originally because his directly involved AA11, and new York center only provided us with documents involving UAL 175. Merced did not have time prior to interview to review his statement. Began in 1991 at ZNY. Certified controller for eight years. ATC Area B all time. Was working sector 56, Kennedy sector on 9/11. Shift started at 6:30. R56 by self. Wasn't very busy. ZBOS Kingston Sector points out their primary target. Controller told primary target at f!290, possible hijack could be AA11. Calls aircraft radar contact. Made physical point out to Dave Bittiglia. Started to follow the track. Don't remember if actually got marked. Got an eagle flight headed towards Boston. Descended him to 31, flew over hoping AA11 still at f!290. But eagle flight didn't see anything. Put eagle back on course. Tried to do same thing with fed ex out of Bradley at f!270. Then target disappeared. Watching it the whole time, doing what they could to find something on the target. Told Ivonna (CIC) to call NY Tracon to try and get an altitude. Was working with Bittiglia, but don't remember going with "AA1 la" tag. Bittiglia received an "h" position once AA11 disappeared. Chris tucker working departures. Set scope to see floor to ceiling to check. Very infrequently done that in the past, especially for commercial aircraft. Training teaches that partially but learned much on own. , 2003

Once AA11 disappeared, someone called Washington center (ZDC) to let them know what was happening. Assumed he kept on flying and had gone under radar, at a lower altitude, and continued south. No clues. Could see distance between lines for speed but did do a slight turn to the southwest. That was all the knowledge of its movement. First heard of WTC impacts after UAL 175 went down. Very aware of what Bittiglia was doing. When UAL 175 hit south tower, no real doubt in mind that UAL 175 went down. Dave Bittiglia had told him a plane said the WTC was on fire, but had no idea it was the American. Didn't know until after went home 5 o'clock. When they said the trade center was hit he left. Tried to get in touch with friend. Were sequestered upstairs in a room after the event. Gave a written and a taped statement. Prior 9/11: there would have been a hijack transponder code or a verbal code. Lost communications: quite often, no reason to think hijack. Lost transponder: happens, but would probably be something electrical. Deviates from course: would have thought emergency and pilot headed for nearest airport. Aware of threatening cockpit communications? Dave heard from UAL 175 of threatening com on AA11. And since ZBW had said possible hijack took it seriously enough. Never handled a hijack. Training to deal with such be a verification of code used and not to let on, and notify supervisor and other sectors. Scope level no authority to notify military or Herndon. That is the supervisor's position. Prior 9/11 no experience with military scramble exercise, but had worked military exercises in the past through a small piece of airspace 14k and below. No problems or lack of coordination. Sometimes they spill out. But no practice with military on hijacking exercise. But feel prepared to vector a military aircraft to a target. Annual refresher training with hijack scenarios with DynSim. DynSim is simulated traffic. Involved one aircraft, and pilot as participant in communication through code use. Post 9/11 only single aircraft situations as well. Recommendations: Post 9/11 NORDO - do whatever can be done to get that airplane back. Prior to 9/11: no standard on how or when to get the airplane. Not as diligent there as now. Ask another airplane to get in touch with company, or can do that through supervisor.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful