Wednesday, April 12, 2006

USATODAY.com - Government rests after Moussaoui jurors hear Flight 93 cockpit tape

USATODAY.com - Government rests after Moussaoui jurors hear Flight 93 cockpit tape:

"ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — In the final minutes of doomed United Air Lines Flight 93, on Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers try to shake off passengers clamoring for control of the plane over Pennsylvania. Amid groans and sounds of a struggle, a voice says, 'I am injured.' A hijacker asks, 'Shall we finish it off?'"

[...]

Hamilton Peterson, whose parents were on Flight 93, earlier heard an enhanced audio version that was played for family members only. He believes the recording provides evidence that passengers attacked and killed a hijacker guarding the cockpit door.

The audio played in the courtroom made it impossible to confirm that interpretation. The Sept. 11 Commission concluded there was a struggle for control but reached no conclusion about whether passengers killed a hijacker.

Much of the what was heard was open to interpretation. In the last minute, voices could be heard in English saying "push up" and "pull down," as flight data showed the steering yoke moving wildly. Some interpreted that as a struggle for control in the cockpit between passengers and hijackers.

The hijackers for more than four minutes before that been swinging the plane wildly in an effort to throw the rebelling passengers off balance.

At 10 a.m. a hijacker asks in Arabic "Shall we finish it off?" The response come back: "No, not yet."

Then a voice is heard in English: "In the cockpit! If we don't, we die!"

At 10:01 a.m., a hijacker asks again: "Shall we put it down? The response: "Yes, put it down."

At 10:02 a.m., a hijacker says, "Give it to me. Give it to me." At 10:03 a.m., the recording ends, and the simulation shows the plane flying nose down, then rolling over belly up and hitting the ground nose first.

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