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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Quotes about the 9/11 exercises

From Vanity Fair 9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes
Boston's request for fighter jets is not as prescient as it might seem. Standard hijack protocol calls for fighters to be launched-"scrambled"-merely to establish a presence in the air. The pilots are trained to trail the hijacked plane at a distance of about five miles, out of sight, following it until, presumably, it lands. If necessary, they can show themselves, flying up close to establish visual contact, and, if the situation demands, maneuver to force the plane to land.
"When they told me there was a hijack, my first reaction was 'Somebody started the exercise early,'" Nasypany later told me. The day's exercise was designed to run a range of scenarios, including a "traditional" simulated hijack in which politically motivated perpetrators commandeer an aircraft, land on a Cuba-like island, and seek asylum. "I actually said out loud, 'The hijack's not supposed to be for another hour,'" Nasypany recalled.

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