MidasMulligan: “(We didn't know what had happened after the first one, but after the second I knew immediately is not accidental - you know that distinct noise jet engines make when they open the throttle? That motherfucker actually opened it wide - in essence, floored it - in the last couple of seconds before it hit. Sorry about my language - still hard to even think about this).”
Just a quote that I remembered about, earlier today, upon finishing William Langewiesche's part 1 on the collapse of the WTC towers in The Atlantic Monthly's July/August issue. Apparently all three parts (excerpt of part two) will be made into a book, and if the two remaining parts are even half as good as the first, Langewiesche deserves a Pulitzer.
Quote that made me remember the above link, from the Langewiesche piece (part one): “[The plane that struck the South Tower] was minimally loaded that morning for the Boston-To-Los Angeles run, with only sixty-five people aboard and about half of the maximum fuel, and as it approached the building it weighed about 137 tons. It was flying at about 586 mph, which was 150 mph above the airplane's designed limit at low altitude. In the cockpit the overspeed warning must have been warbling loudly.”
Not that the pilots were paying much attention.
Langewiesche has written a lot about airplane accidents, and his piece on the ValuJet crash is especially good, and argues that “"in complex systems some accidents may be 'normal' -- and trying to prevent them all could even make operations more dangerous”.
Maybe it's about time I start a "Favourite Authors List", complete with pronunciation guide for the hard-to-pronounce ones, like Langewiesche.