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20 Years Since 9/11: A Reflection

For many, it is hard to reckon that it has been 20 years since the fateful Tuesday when the world changed. The attacks of September 11th, 2001, still burn in hearts and minds, with the burden of loss and the abundance of memories was all that was left for many. Post-attacks, the world of aviation came together with a promise never to forget the staggering destruction that day brought. Now, 20 years later, the industry finds itself in the face of a different kind of crisis, but the lessons of 9/11 still ring true.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://simpleflying.com/9-11-20-years/

This is a sensitive topic and we believe it is important to share our reflections in a respectful way please think about the impact of what your saying may have on another community member before sending.

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Personally this whole thing hits extremely close to home, despite me not being alive when it happened. I learned at a very young age.

My dad and mom were on different planes flying Spain to NY, when it happened my mom got diverted back to Spain but my dad got sent to Newfoundland (like in the broadway show if anyone saw) he was in a 747 and his plane tipped the wing and did a full rudder turn at like 60-70 kts ast they were about to overshoot the runway. They ended up sitting on the tarmac for 19.5 hours with only water and small fruits being passed around, no one said anything there was military all in and around the aircraft and the hardest part for my dad was he couldn’t call my mom or my grandparents to tell them he was alive.

Meanwhile my Uncle (dads brother) was on the 62nd floor of the South Tower in a meeting. He told me “I felt what I thought was an earthquake” but it was actually the other plane hitting the north tower, he was frightened so he left the meeting immediately and his co workers stayed he rushed down the 62 floors nearing the exit just as the plane hit the south tower, he escaped safely but his friends and co workers perished.
I am most grateful to have all my family here with me today.

Luckily now we have a greater police and military force in airports now combined with TSA. We shouldn’t need all that but sadly we do.
Thoughts and prayers out to everyone else affected or not.




While I may have been a wee lad on 9/11, it is a day I strive to never forget. I have no personal memories of that day, but as I like history, I love learning more about that day. In my ATC class this semester I recently heard of what it was like in the TRACON of the Detroit Metro Airport. My professor was the supervisor at the TRACON there and his source of news was the controllers coming back from break. One controller comes back, says a plane has hit the World Trade Center, another controller comes and informs him of another airplane hitting the other tower. It was not long after that a message comes through, and it’s a tier one ground stop for the entirety of New York center(issued by someone who happens to be a professor here at ERAU as well, I want to get his story). Now that wasn’t normal, normally it’s only for a singular airport, or maybe a couple, never an entire ARTCC. The controllers he was supervising all did a fantastic job when the word was given that the entirety of US airspace was being closed, and got everyone on the ground. When my professor left that afternoon, he described it as eerily quiet, no cars driving through the airport, no airplanes taking off and landing. When he showed up for his next shift, he described it as being even more quiet, and there were only ever 4 airplanes at the most in the sky around DTW, those were two fighters, occasionally a tanker came up and refueled the fighters in mid air, then landed. Then later two more fighters would launch, and relieve the original two fighters who would then go and land. That was just the story at the DTW TRACON, and it would seem I have access to talk to someone who worked in the upper ranks of ZNY when it happened who watched it unfold in real time. When and if I get his story, I think I’ll share it here, but for now, you get this story out of Detroit.


Wow thank you for sharing. Yea I can’t imagine being a controller in that situation, major respect to those who were there during that time and who are there now. Yea if you ever get that other guys story please do share I think it’s very interesting to hear their pov too.


Good news, I’ll be getting the professor’s story today