Airplane 'Photo Op' Angers 9/11 Witnesses

  • Thread starter LowlyPion
  • Start date
  • #1
LowlyPion
Homework Helper
3,097
6
Airplane 'Photo Op' Angers 9/11 Witnesses

A Boeing airplane escorted by a military jet flew low over lower Manhattan on Monday, frightening office workers and spurring evacuations in what turned out to be a U.S. government-approved publicity operation.

The maneuvering of the 747, which circled around some skyscrapers, recalled memories of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which resulted in the deaths of thousands after two hijacked commercial airplanes rammed into the World Trade Center. Onlookers and evacuated workers said they were incredulous that government agencies didn't issue an advisory to alert a public still scarred from 9/11.
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090427-714247.html [Broken]

OK, I get that they might have some recollection of 9/11, but I didn't hear any of this about the US Air flight that landed unplanned in the Hudson.

They issued a notice. What's the big deal? Yet Bloomberg was furious? Schumer was irate?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,237
40
The plane that landed in the Hudson probably DID scare a number of people, but there was nothing else that could have been done. The pilot saved many lives by doing what he did.

The 747 photo-op was planned in advance, was not done to save anyone's life, and was entirely unnecessary. Do you really not see the difference?

- Warren
 
  • #3
3,003
6
I have to agree with chroot here. I am not sure how you can't see the difference.

In any case, what was the purpose of this flight? I cannot seem to obtain full access to the article. Why was it hovering around Manhattan now?
 
  • #4
berkeman
Mentor
62,288
13,050
Here's a better link:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=7439287&page=1

It shouldn't have been done in the first place, IMO. Besides being a waste of money, the planners just *had* to have realized that even if their notifications had made it out to many people (which apparently did not happen), the low fly-around stuff would bother people a lot. And anybody who did not get notified would be scared to see it happening. Dumb.

It's just lucky that nobody got hurt on the ground in the evacuations that occurred.
 
  • #5
Chi Meson
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1,807
10
What was the intended point of the flyby? Who could hve possibly thought it was a good idea?
 
  • #6
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,237
40
Chi Meson,

They wanted to take a picture of the presidential 747 in front of the Statue of Liberty (or some other NYC landmark).

- Warren
 
  • #7
berkeman
Mentor
62,288
13,050
Photoshop would have been cheaper, eh? :tongue2:
 
  • #8
3,042
16
I think people who get worked up over an airplane that looks like Air Force One and even has in big block letters: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" need to grow up.

Give me a break. People are paranoid out of their minds.

It's Barack Obama, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!! He's dropping bail out money from the back!! AHH!!
 
  • #9
3,003
6
I think people who get worked up over an airplane that looks like Air Force One and even has in big block letters: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" need to grow up.

Give me a break. People are paranoid out of their minds.

It's Barack Obama, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!! He's dropping bail out money from the back!! AHH!!

Right. As opposed to those planes that hit the towers that said

"OSAMA BIN TERRORISTS...WE ARE GOING TO CRASH INTO YOU AIRLINES"

You are sooo right. New Yorkers are TOTALLLLYYYY immature.
 
  • #10
1,167
9
The people who saw chunks of flesh littering the sidewalks of Manhattan, are paranoid out of their minds. The rest of NYC is just in the normal state paranoid that follows the aftermath of a terrorist attack on there city. Which we can guess will last many more years to come.
 
  • #11
3,042
16
Right. As opposed to those planes that hit the towers that said

"OSAMA BIN TERRORISTS...WE ARE GOING TO CRASH INTO YOU AIRLINES"

You are sooo right. New Yorkers are TOTALLLLYYYY immature.

You do understand that 747s that say "United States of America" either have the VP or President, right............and that a hijacked 747 with an F-16 escort would have been shot down long, long before it got that close to NYC. A little bit of thought goes a long way.

I was in Washington DC when the pentagon got hit. I don't run around ducking and covering when low flying airplanes on the approach path to National Airport fly over constantly. Neither does anyone else. :rolleyes:

PS: "We are going to crash into you airlines" doesnt make any sense.....
 
Last edited:
  • #12
3,003
6
You do understand that 747s that say "United States of America" either have the VP or President, right............and that a hijacked 747 with an F-16 escort would have been shot down long, long before it got that close to NYC. A little bit of thought goes a long way.

I was in Washington DC when the pentagon got hit. I don't run around ducking and covering when low flying airplanes on the approach path to National Airport fly over constantly. Neither does anyone else. :rolleyes:

Sorry, I did not realize that they were in an approach path. Nor did I realize that we shoot down hijacked 747s these days. I must have missed that memo.

And you are right, it's too bad that the millions of people in NY don't think just like you.
 
  • #13
561
1
They issued a notice. What's the big deal? Yet Bloomberg was furious? Schumer was irate?

The problem seems to be that people were not adequately warned the flyby was going to be taking place. For example some people at the police department knew but Bloomberg himself was apparently totally unaware. Buildings were evacuated as a "precaution" without the nature of the plane flyby being explained to the people actually in the buildings (possibly because the people ordering the evacuations didn't know either). Someone somewhere seems to have messed up pretty bad in getting out the word to the entire NYC government as to exactly what was happening and why.
 
  • #14
3,042
16
Sorry, I did not realize that they were in an approach path. Nor did I realize that we shoot down hijacked 747s these days. I must have missed that memo..

12-dc-alert-inside.jpg


1797439.jpg

You did miss that memo. The DC area is full of missile installations on rooftops exactly for that reason. A little bit of education would curb irrational fears. If you don't think they would shoot it down....I have bad news for you.

And you are right, it's too bad that the millions of people in NY don't think just like you

O....kay........?
 
Last edited:
  • #15
3,003
6
PS: "We are going to crash into you airlines" doesnt make any sense.....

Actually, it does. Think about it for awhile and if it still doesn't come to you, http://www.hookedonphonics.com/" [Broken].

You did miss that memo. The DC area is full of missile installations on rooftops exactly for that reason. A little bit of education would curb irrational fears. If you don't think they would shoot it down....I have bad news for you.

Did not realize that Manhattan was in D.C. Missed that memo too.

A little bit of thought goes a long way

O....kay........?

O....kay.......? :smile:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #16
russ_watters
Mentor
21,473
8,497
The plane that landed in the Hudson probably DID scare a number of people, but there was nothing else that could have been done. The pilot saved many lives by doing what he did.

The 747 photo-op was planned in advance, was not done to save anyone's life, and was entirely unnecessary. Do you really not see the difference?

- Warren
There's another important difference: the ditching in the Hudson didn't last long enough for people to evacuate any buildings, even if they did panic.
 
  • #17
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,237
40
Cyrus,

People see a 747 flying extremely low and doing weird things, essentially right over the site of the worst terrorist attack to have ever occurred on American soil, and...

...you demean them for not having such cold, hard reasoning skills to connect a few circumstantial pieces of evidence together to determine that it was not actually a threat.

Shut the hell up, dude. Really.

If you worked in the Nymex building and had your head buried in your workstation when someone yelled "Oh my god there's a 747 flying 100 feet off the ground outside, and there's an F-16 chasing it!" you would have panicked like a little schoolgirl, just like everyone else.

You sit there in your armchair, reading an ex post facto report that includes all kinds of details that were not available to the people who panicked, and then declare that yourself better than them, because you would not have panicked. Your arrogance is astounding.

The fear of an airliner striking a building in NYC is not "irrational," for God's sake -- it happened just a few years ago. Your rooftop missile installations did nothing then, did they?

- Warren
 
  • #18
russ_watters
Mentor
21,473
8,497
Did not realize that Manhattan was in D.C. Missed that memo too.
Those fighter planes that were scrambled on 911 weren't there to take photos, Salad.
 
  • #19
russ_watters
Mentor
21,473
8,497
The fear of an airliner striking a building in NYC is not "irrational," for God's sake -- it happened just a few years ago. Your rooftop missile installations did nothing then, did they?
Not from their storage garages, no...

Don't get me wrong, I'm ok with people panicking over this and I'd prefer the photoshop suggestion, but it doesn't take all that much reasoning to figure out that it isn't a terrorist attack. If it were, what I said a few posts up applies again: people wouldn't have had time to spread their panick, as the terrorists wouldn't be flying in circles.

Postmortem analysis or not, people are dumb when it comes to such things that are so far outside their everyday experiences.
 
  • #20
3,042
16
Cyrus,

People see a 747 flying extremely low and doing weird things, essentially right over the site of the worst terrorist attack to have ever occurred on American soil, and...

...you demean them for not having such cold, hard reasoning skills to connect a few circumstantial pieces of evidence together to determine that it was not actually a threat.

Shut the hell up, dude. Really.

Do you really think a hijacked 747 would be allowed to fly over NYC with an F-16 flying next to it? I can understand some people being uneasy about it, sure. But if one takes the time to stop and think, you'd probably realize it wasn't a big deal.

If you worked in the Nymex building and had your head buried in your workstation when someone yelled "Oh my god there's a 747 flying 100 feet off the ground outside, and there's an F-16 chasing it!" you would have panicked like a little schoolgirl, just like everyone else.

That's a fair enough statement if you are in an office building.

You sit there in your armchair, reading an ex post facto report that includes all kinds of details that were not available to the people who panicked, and then declare that yourself better than them, because you would not have panicked. Your arrogance is astounding.

I never said I was better than anyone else....?


The fear of an airliner striking a building in NYC is not "irrational," for God's sake -- it happened just a few years ago. Your rooftop missile installations did nothing then, did they?

- Warren

......right, because they were put there after the fact. Please tone down. All I'm saying is when you see a big airplane painted in the livery of "Air Force One", probably one of the most famous aircraft in the world, escourted by an F-16 your first inclination shouldn't be "its hijacked".

I'm not going to post anymore, because it's really not worth the argument this will turn into.


FYI:

http://www.bakersfield.net/photography/wallpapers/air_force_one/airForceOne_800x600.jpg [Broken]

is not a terrorist airplane.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #21
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,237
40
Do you really think a hijacked 747 would be allowed to fly over NYC with an F-16 flying next to it? I can understand some people being uneasy about it, sure. But if one takes the top to stop and think, you'd probably realize it wasn't a big deal.

I think it's pretty much impossible for a person on the ground to know whether or not that 747 is there legitimately. Given that the people on the ground had only seconds to "stop and think," I don't think it's unreasonable at all for them to have panicked. The F-16 could be seen as either a good or bad sign, depending upon perspective. The F-16 pilot could have been looking for an opportunity to shoot it down as soon as it flew over water, or could have been waiting for authorization to fire. I'm sure that shooting down a 747 over lower Manhattan would do even more damage than letting it hit a single building anyway.

Also, I doubt that people on the ground were really able to see the plane clearly enough -- from underneath -- to know that it was a presidential aircraft. And, as has been said, the 9/11 airliners did not look unusual or threatening at all, until they actually hit a building and killed a few thousand people.

I never said I was better than anyone else....?

You are faulting these people for panicking, and claiming that you would not have panicked.

I'm not going to post anymore, because it's really not worth the argument this will turn into.

Excellent -- your greatest displays of sensitivity are usually made by closing your mouth.

- Warren
 
Last edited:
  • #22
LowlyPion
Homework Helper
3,097
6
The plane that landed in the Hudson probably DID scare a number of people, but there was nothing else that could have been done. The pilot saved many lives by doing what he did.

The 747 photo-op was planned in advance, was not done to save anyone's life, and was entirely unnecessary. Do you really not see the difference?

- Warren

Of course I see the difference. I also don't recall a single connection reported at the time to 9/11 with regard to that landing in the Hudson either. And to the average observer they must have had just as much warning in either case, though I suppose that the US Air flight was maybe farther away and less immediate to flying overhead in mid-town.

The City of New York was given notice. Though I suspect that public notice would have been a better choice, than not. (Perhaps it's standard policy not to make announcements about Air Force One flight plans, so I suppose it was a pretty natural oversight on their part.) But basically, I really don't see why they all got so worked up to the point of anger over something that was so inconsequential. No one was trying to scare New Yorkers. In fact I pretty sure they likely didn't anticipate New York's reaction. (I surely wouldn't.)

So Jeez. It was a photo op. It was a training mission. I won't begrudge New Yorkers their being reminded, but maybe they could deal with their momentary concerns a little less like divas?
 
  • #23
3,042
16
And, as has been said, the 9/11 airliners did not look unusual or threatening at all, until they actually hit a building and killed a few thousand people.
- Warren

I just want to factually correct you (again). People all said the planes that hit the WTC were coming in low, and with their engines full throttle. They were literally "roaring" down NYC at low altitude. You are simply wrong in this statement.
 
  • #24
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,237
40
You seriously don't think that flying 747's (any of them!) at low altitudes over lower Manhattan, without prior notice, is a little insensitive?

- Warren
 
  • #25
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,819
15
The DC area is full of missile installations on rooftops exactly for that reason
12-dc-alert-inside.jpg


I wonder who did the risk assesment? There comes a point when for such a low risk event having all those people and weapons around becomes more dangerous.

But at least those are presumably surface-air missiles. After the show bomber scare the army put Challenger tanks in the car park at heathrow - not exactly sure what they were supposed to do to someone on a plane threatening to blow it up.
 
  • #26
3,042
16
12-dc-alert-inside.jpg


I wonder who did the risk assesment? There comes a point when for such a low risk event having all those people and weapons around becomes more dangerous.

That picture is from right after 9/11. You won't see these truck around DC anymore, but that doesn't mean there not there. There just not visible.

BTW: I have seen aircraft in the DC area (mostly small general aviation) that have bust the ADIZ and one that lost coms from lightning strike. When those F-16's come to get them, THEY COME TO GET THEM. They don't play around and do circles. They swarm the airplane like a pissed off bee's hive circling it non stop and making a hell of a lot of noise. Trust me, when somethings wrong, it looks NOTHING like the video of NYC photo op.

When I ride my bike in the summer in downtown DC, I enjoy watching the US customs blackhawk fly over me at 500AGL with guys in all black suits with MP5 guns hanging out the doors. It's an impressive sight to see. They do it all the time, no one thinks twice.
 
  • #27
LowlyPion
Homework Helper
3,097
6
You seriously don't think that flying 747's (any of them!) at low altitudes over lower Manhattan, without prior notice, is a little insensitive?

- Warren

By all accounts that I've seen it was with prior notice to the local authorities involved, but with a no public announcement about it.

Was it insensitive? Sure. At least a bit.

Are the people in New York acting like divas? That's what I think about it all. I think they have over-reacted. I think within the days events that their concerns over the potential loss of European tourists, because of the swine flu outbreak in the city and the European Union recommendation against travel to the US, already made them ouchie, and this just set them off.
 
  • #28
Evo
Mentor
23,551
3,243
I can't blame people for panicking. If I saw this happening, even over a corn field in Kansas, I would be alarmed. It's not exactly "normal" is it?

I actually know the group that are the first responders for intruders into our flight space and were in the group that went up after 9/11. It wasn't who you would think it was. And they don't have the planes you think they do. And even knowing what I know (they're going to kill me now) I would still be frightened.
 
  • #29
mheslep
Gold Member
317
728
FYI:

http://www.bakersfield.net/photography/wallpapers/air_force_one/airForceOne_800x600.jpg [Broken]

is not a terrorist airplane.
Not so fast, it was in the 1997 Air Force One flick. :biggrin: That could be evil Ivan Korshunov flying up there with President Marshal, which was being tailed by USAF fighters by the way.
http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0041809/
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #30
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,955
620
From the pictures I've seen, it looks like a hazy day. No way you'd be able to see "United States of America" on the plane, unless you were very close.

I don't blame people for freaking out a bit over this...traumatic events (such as 9/11) really don't fade in memory, in my experience. It always seems as if they happened just yesterday.
 

Related Threads on Airplane 'Photo Op' Angers 9/11 Witnesses

  • Last Post
4
Replies
94
Views
11K
Replies
35
Views
5K
Replies
34
Views
2K
Replies
19
Views
6K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
39
Views
5K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
68
Views
45K
Top