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F-16 Pilots Prepared to Give Their Lives to Stop Planes on 9/11

Two unarmed F-16s scrambled to stop any other hijacked airliners and the pilots were prepared to give their lives to stop them.
With scant detail of what was happening and no time to do pre-flight checklists, two DC Air National Guard pilots quickly scrambled to intercept United 93 after two other planes had hit the World Trade Center.
 
Except there was a twist: They were unarmed.
 
 
“In the days before Sept. 11, there were no armed aircraft standing guard in Washington, D.C., ready to scramble at the first sign of trouble.”
 
“And with a Boeing 757 aircraft speeding in the direction of Washington, D.C., Penney and her commanding officer, Col. Marc Sasseville, couldn’t wait the dozens of minutes it was going to take to properly arm their respective jets.”
 
“I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.” Maj. Heather Penney.
 
“We had to protect the airspace any way we could,” Maj. Heather Penney recalled to The Washington Post in 2011. “We wouldn’t be shooting it down. We’d be ramming the aircraft. I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.” Before they took off, Penney and Sasseville both planned to ram the aircraft with their F-16s.
 
Instead, the passengers on United 93 made the intercept unnecessary, ultimately fighting back against the hijackers and downing the aircraft into a Pennsylvania field 20 minutes outside of Washington.
Sources: Business Insider: 7 stories of heroism on 9/11

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