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F-16 pilot was ready to give her life on Sept. 11 (1 Viewer)

Moon

Why so serious?
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WASHINGTON — Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, * Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.


The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.


Except her own plane. So that was the plan.


Because the surprise attacks were unfolding, in that innocent age, faster than they could arm war planes, Penney and her commanding officer went up to fly their jets straight into a Boeing 757.


“We wouldn’t be shooting it down. We’d be ramming the aircraft,” Penney recalls of her charge that day. “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”


https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...8cddbc-d8ce-11e0-9dca-a4d231dfde50_story.html

I had never heard this story before today. As an Air Force vet this really hit home with me. Reminds me of all the incredible people I had the privilege to serve with.
 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...8cddbc-d8ce-11e0-9dca-a4d231dfde50_story.html

I had never heard this story before today. As an Air Force vet this really hit home with me. Reminds me of all the incredible people I had the privilege to serve with.

I think the theory was to use the F-16 to sever the tail of the airliner. Collide the wing of the fighter with the tail of the airliner and if this went according to plan the pilot in the F-16 could eject. I read that somewhere some time ago

It is amazing to think there was a time after the Cold War where fighters on alert only had 20mm shells and no missiles loaded. It was such a perceived peaceful time that no slammers were on alert fighters
 

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