American Airlines Flight 11
|September 11, 2001 attacks|
|Planning and execution|
|September 11, 2001|
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On September 11, 2001, the aircraft on this route was one of four airplanes used in the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack; it was crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.
This American Airlines morning flight from Logan Airport near Boston, Massachusetts to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, (LAX) was hijacked soon after take-off at 8:02 EDT on September 11 2001.
At 8:46 AM EDT the Boeing 767-223ER, N334AA, was deliberately crashed into the north side of the north tower of the World Trade Center approximately between the 94 and 98 floors. The plane was carrying 81 passengers (including the 5 hijackers) and 11 crew. All on board along with many hundreds in the building were killed and the tower later collapsed.
There were five hijackers believed to have participated in this. Mohammed Atta, the ringleader, was in seat 8D. The hijacker who crashed the plane into the building is believed to be Atta.
Satam al-Suqami, who had paid in cash that day, sat in seat 10B. Waleed Alshehri sat in seat 2B. Wail Alshehri sat in seat 2A. Abdulaziz Al-Omari also was on this flight. Al-Omari has earlier flown with Atta to Logan Airport from Portland.
Some information about what had happened on board was sent by stewardesses on the plane. According to stewardesses Madeline Amy Sweeney and Betty Ong, three people, two stewardesses and a first class passenger, were stabbed or had their throats slashed by the hijackers. The first class area had been sequestered by the surviving crew and the rest of the passengers had been led to believe that a medical emergency was taking place in the first class area. The hijackers also used some kind of unpleasant air spray to discourage entry into the first class area and the cockpit. Betty Ong reported that her eyes were burning and that she was having trouble breathing.
Although the impact itself caused extensive structural damage, it was the long-lasting fire, starting with burning jet fuel, which is blamed for the structural failure of the north tower. Many have speculated that this is why the hijackers choose to use this fully fueled trans-continental flight. The centralized-support design (in the center core and exterior walls, instead of through-out) of the towers also contributed to the collapse (see WTC-The Twin Towers).
The flight route designation, or flight number, for future flights on the same route at the same takeoff time, was later changed from Flight 11 to Flight 25 to disassociate other planes with the one used in the attack and out of respect for those who had died in the attack.