ZDC INTERVIEWS 12/3/03 - Washington D.C. Enroute Center Issue of recording interviews comes up.

Raised by David Weigand and Kenneth (ZDC Union Rep). End result, interviewee has right to object to recording, though will not be coached by either FAA GC or Union Rep. Carl Finkbeiner (R05, air traffic controller in Bay 3 "Linden" on duty 9/11) Objects to recording interview. - Controller for 20+ years (May 83) - ZDC whole 20+yrs Area A originally (ABCDE), now working in Area 3 and was 3 on 9/11 (A was switched to Areas 3 +4) HJ training: attended refresher courses on what to do in response to a HJ. Included table-top type discussions about what to do, what not to do. Normally you do whatever the pilot says. Did some computer simulations of HJ, but done in conjunction with other training, not HJ-only training. Did train for identifying a HJ beyond transponder 7500, ie if Pilot says "Trip" - Real world ac transponder turned off, tried to contact pilot, no primary... ended up being a crash. Only time in 20 yrs that has happened. "Losing transponders happens all the time" due to bad transponders or bad areas (gear or geographic). What do you do? Contact ac notify to reset and check the transponder. Losing comms happens often, sometimes once a day. Go to previous controller for that ac to see if he/she had comms. Keep going back to last successful comm. controller. - Deviation from ac course (flight plan) How often? Not as often as other previous 2 (transponder, comm. loss), depends on the season. Not an irregular thing, always coordinated and worked out via radio comms. - SCATANA (all ac grounding): never heard of a plan on how to do that. Never before expererienced it or trained for it. Awareness of NORAD? Yes, but what they exactly do I don't know. No interaction with them, but with "Huntress" who track POTUS (pre-9/11). Assumed they were part of NORAD. 9/11: FLT 77 outbound Dulles a normal exchange. Linden sector, first ZDC sector to control (owns up to 27,000ft). Normal check in. Normal higher altitude hand off. I came in on the 7-3pm shift (arrived 6:30am). Was verbally told on a break, by someone enroute to cafeteria that WTC had been hit. Assumed it was an accident. Arrived cafeteria, watching TV, saw 2nd ac hit. Call went out after 2nd hit for everyone to return to Control Room. Don't remember exactly what transpired, but observed order to get all ac grounded "now." Heard of other HJ ac morning of 9/11? Yes, but later in the process of getting everyone down. Got word of an ac in Cleveland center and not talking to anyone. Made aware need to track a "fast moving" target. We watched him - the ac come down, (this was UA93)


Did not have primary on (high altitude MDMs usually don't). Turned on when he heard of the unfolding situation. Did not hear supervisor ordering Primary turned on. I think the supervisor said the ac's transponder was turned off, or not functioning. Saw a fast moving target coming out of the Pittsburgh area. Headed not for CF's sector, but his sector was close. He increased his range and was able to "see" it. Any sector near it should have been able to "see" it. Confusion over if it was the ac of interest? No, they were pretty sure. It was pretty obvious that it was the ac of interest. Didn't need to officially "tag" it. Did not find out it about FLT 77 until much later after the fact. In discussion once it was made public on news, and then discussion with other ZDC personnel that he controlled it outbound. Rumors: ZDC bombed, ac shot-down over Fairmont (?) VA. Not aware of other Bay (areas) supervisors ordering Primary turned on. What worked well? AC grounding worked "unbelievably well" - ac pilots, controllers, airports - all worked very smoothly. "Amazingly so." Worked D37 when he came back after his 9/11 morning break (when he returned to the Center floor) Recall controlling "Sword 31"? No. "Gopher 6"? No. "Bobcat 17"? No. Job different today? Many rules changes regarding airspace since 9/11, change sometimes on a daily basis. Biggest difference is if I was controlling a high altitude, and he lost a transponder, I'd communicate it to him, but would today not only look ahead of him but also behind him to find his track. Always felt that part of the controllers job is "defense" in terms of being a part of the overall nations defense. More training about NORAD, or interaction with them? Same interactions with Huntress as pre-9/11. No changes in training.

ZDC INTERVIEW 12/4/03 BARTON GARY (ZDC, worked Quit 25 on 9/11) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ZDC experience 17 1A years. Area 8 at ZDC (Northeast departures and arrivals) R19 (Washington Low-and high altitude departure and arrivals) initially on 9/11. Switched to R17 after AA11 hits WTC. Virginia Hicks (his supervisor) notified us of the first WTC hit. Told to look for Primary targets possibly south bound - in relation to the first HJ. Was on break for second WTC hit and AA77 crash. HJ training pre-9/11: regular and refresher training. SOPs for comms (what to say or not say) and all directed to actions where the pilots were in control. Langley Scramble: Recall a call from Rl 1 asking if he had flight strips data on the formation - he did not, didn't have any info at the time. Didn't work any of the flight strips that Miles has. We play tape for Barton: He's picked up the ac and told that they're squawking 7777. Did understand that it was an emergency denotation. Doesn't know what AFIO is. 7777's denote high priority, other than that doesn't know what else that means. Lat/Long point to CAP was relayed by Quit 25 to BG, he didn't plot it out (could have but did not). Hadn't had any prior experience with military CAPs. Did not stand in the way of anything the CAP ac wanted to do - they had priority. Only comms with Quit 25. No contact with Huntress? No. Quit 25 askes BG for a "block altitude" - done this before? Yes, often. UA93 "What-ifs": Had it kept tracking to DC, what would have happened? There would have been coordination btw Area 4 (Sector 4) and me. If I had been advised that the flight was inbound, I would have told Quit 25 where the target was in relation to where the fighter was (we have that capability). Basically provide a vector to the pilot given him a "bra" (bearing, range, altitude). Would have been using the data block entered on UA93. But also would hope that Huntress would be involved with those actions. Play example of a notice BG gave to Quit 25 about a track of interest (target over WH 6mi from Quit 25). No one told me to do that, just due to the fact that most ac around that area had landed, and it was suspicious. Turned out to be 5426, Quit 26. First time BG had ever worked military ac in such a manner.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.