American Airlines Flight 77 appears to turn away from Washington D.C., causing air traffic control to breathe a sigh of relief. The reason? It’s too high to hit its target, the Pentagon. So the pilot makes a large circle while descending rapidly to make another pass.
Tom Burnett, aboard United Airlines Flight 93, makes a second call to his wife Deena. She’s on the phone with the FBI, but switches over to Tom when he calls.
TOM: [The hijackers are] in the cockpit. The guy they knifed is dead…I tried to help him, but I couldn’t get a pulse.
DEENA: Tom, they are hijacking planes all up and down the east coast. They are taking them and hitting designated targets. They’ve already hit both towers of the World Trade Center.
TOM: [They are] talking about crashing this plane. Oh my gosh! It’s a suicide mission.
Tom then repeats what he’s been told to the person next to him.
TOM: [Have commercial airplanes been hijacked? How many? Who is doing this?] We’re turning back toward New York. We’re going back to the World Trade Center. No, wait, we’re turning back the other way. We’re going south. We’re over a rural area. It’s just fields. I’ve gotta go.