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Hani Hanjour, aerobatic jet pilot?

Alleged flight 77 (Pentagon) pilot Hani Hanjour had a  history of great difficulties in his efforts to learn to fly. As late as Aug. 2001, he was unable to demonstrate enough piloting skills to rent a Cessna 172.

See for example this article from Newsday

http://www.newsday.com/ny-usflight232380680sep23.story

At Freeway Airport in Bowie, Md., 20 miles west of Washington, flight instructor Sheri Baxter instantly recognized the name of alleged hijacker Hani Hanjour when the FBI released a list of 19 suspects in the four hijackings. Hanjour, the only suspect on Flight 77 the FBI listed as a pilot, had come to the airport one month earlier seeking to rent a small plane.

However, when Baxter and fellow instructor Ben Conner took the slender, soft-spoken Hanjour on three test runs during the second week of August, they found he had trouble controlling and landing the single-engine Cessna 172. Even though Hanjour showed a federal pilot's license and a log book cataloging 600 hours of flying experience, chief flight instructor Marcel Bernard declined to rent him a plane without more lessons.

Certainly there is no evidence that Hanjour ever had any sort of practice flying commercial jetliners or any jet-propelled aircraft.

However, air traffic controller Danielle O'Brien, who tracked the radar signal from Flight 77, stated that it was flown like a fighter jet.

http://september11.natca.org/NewsArticles/DaniellOBrien.htm

"The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane," says O'Brien. "You don't fly a 757 in that manner. It's unsafe."

The plane was between 12 and 14 miles away, says O'Brien, "and it was just a countdown. Ten miles west. Nine miles west Our supervisor picked up our line to the White House and started relaying to them the information, [that] we have an unidentified very fast-moving aircraft inbound toward your vicinity, 8 miles west."

Vice President Cheney was rushed to a special basement bunker. White House staff members were told to run away from the building.

"And it went six, five, four. And I had it in my mouth to say, three, and all of a sudden the plane turned away. In the room, it was almost a sense of relief. This must be a fighter. This must be one of our guys sent in, scrambled to patrol our capital, and to protect our president, and we sat back in our chairs and breathed for just a second," says O'Brien.

But the plane continued to turn right until it had made a 360-degree maneuver.

"We lost radar contact with that aircraft. And we waited. And we waited. And your heart is just beating out of your chest waiting to hear what's happened," says O'Brien. "And then the Washington National [Airport] controllers came over our speakers in our room and said, 'Dulles, hold all of our inbound traffic. The Pentagon's been hit.'"

When I wrote my earlier articles on remote control, I was inclined to discount the issues surrounding pilot capabilities.  I was concerned that readers would give the benefit of the doubt to the "terrorists" and believe that they somehow managed to carry off the mission in spite of their lack of training.  However, I received the following mail from a reader, who convinced me that this is a serious problem indeed for those who believe the official story.

While in the Air Force I worked on heat-seeking, video, electro-optical, and laser-guided air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and bombs. As a profession today I work in computer network engineering. As a hobby I am an avid fisherman very familiar with the concepts of GPS. From my perspective it would be a piece of cake to build a back door access into an aircraft's avionics and sieze control of the vessel.

We do it all the time with computers. It uses the Telnet protocol and programs such as LanDesk, which are widely available. With it we take control of a remote computer (remote control) and fix it while the end-user sits there and watches their mouse cursor move all over the screen, windows opening and closing, and their computer will not respond to any input they give it. And now we can do it in a wireless setting using hubs and switches that work with IR light to transmit digital signals. This is really ancient technology in the computer industry. The need to control computers half way around the world started as soon as Al Gore invented the internet. lol GPS technology is nothing more that electro-optical technology taken to a much higher degree. E/O and laser guided weapons rely on an energy source to "paint" the target. The weapon uses the reflection as a homing beacon which guides it directly, and with the nth degree of precision, to the target. Using GPS fish locating equipment I can return to a spot in the middle of a 10,000 acre lake exactly. Not close, exactly. To guide a plane to a target the size of the WTC would be no sweat.

All that said, as unbelievable as people would like that scenario to seem, it violates me much less than the one that is being peddled. Imagine a 25-30 year old man that has never driven anything bigger than a family sedan, and never driven over 55 MPH. Then take this man and put him in an 18 wheeler in a city he does not know. Tell him he must drive that truck across town at 80 MPH to an address he does not have a map to find. Just tell him it is southwest from where you are. Make him do this at the rush hour. Then if he does arrive at the correct address, he must back that truck up to the loading dock and do it perfectly the first time. And he must do all this without incident of any sort. Then realize the pilots were flying an aircraft 2000 times larger than anything they had ever flown before. And they were not flying 50% faster than they had ever flown, but 400% faster. Then factor in that these young men knew they would be going to meet Allah. Imagine how their hearts would be racing and their hands shaking. And we get three direct, dead-center hits. That is what stretches my imagination, not the remote control part.

Visual Aids

One is the cockpit of a Cessna single engine aircraft, the other is a 767. The guy that says it is no sweat to jump from one to the other is the same guy that played a little high school ball then watches the pros and figures with some workouts he could do that. A complete lack of respect for what the other guy can do.

I played a little football in juco, we took 2nd in the nation. Four guys on my team ended up in the NFL. I was not one of them. I found out the difference between 6', 220#, and a 4.9 forty and 6'6", 265#, and a 4.7 forty. If it was that easy we would all be doing it and it would pay six bucks an hour.

Posted 9/28/2002, Jerry Russell

[Update 2/14/2003:

An alternative explanation of the events at the Pentagon is the "missile theory", which  is probably  the Number One Most Contentious issue amongst 911-skeptics. The arguments have been very heated. 

Early news releases included three photographs that seemed to show aircraft debris at the Pentagon, but missile theory advocates disagree that the fragments came from a jetliner. Very recently more photos have been located, but some of them have no context to prove they were from the Pentagon. (See http://www.rense.com/general32/phot.htm)

Everyone agrees that if the plane didn't crash at the Pentagon, it must have gone somewhere else -- but no trace has been found. David McGowan mentioned that a reader wrote him to say that there were media reports of a plane crash in Colorado that day, which were quickly squelched and never heard from again.

Personally I am inclined to accept the photographs showing that an airliner struck the Pentagon, even though there are many troubling inconsistencies in this version of events. However, I have no reason to doubt the sincerity or the sanity of anyone who has taken the other side in this issue.]