The Call, the Vision, the Feelings

ALPA Pilots Remember

By Captain Mark Seal, United

The call from the chief pilot that two of our aircraft had been hijacked, the knowledge that the flightcrews on board Flights 175 and 93 were JFK-based pilots, three of them members of [ALPA Local] Council 52, “my guys.”

The vision, which is forever burned in my brain, of driving over the Point Lookout Bridge and seeing the second tower fall down.

Getting to Kennedy Airport and seeing that bright blue sky completely empty of aircraft, except for one. It was a lone F-15 orbiting overhead, flown, as I found out later, by Tim Duffy, one of our B-777 first officers based here at Kennedy.

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The feelings of anger, confusion, and helplessness, which I know we were all filled within those first hours of 9/11/2001.

Let us always remember those families whose lives have been torn apart in so many ways by what happened all those years ago. As time passes, they will more than ever need the support of colleagues, friends, and loved ones. Let us dedicate ourselves to maintaining that support in the months and years ahead.

Never Forget.

This article was originally published in the September 2011 issue of Air Line Pilot.

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