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Charles Frank "Chic" Burlingame III (September 12, 1949 – September 11, 2001) was the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, the aircraft that was crashed by terrorists into the Pentagon during the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Burlingame was born in St. Paul, Minnesota[1] and moved around a lot while growing up as a son of an active duty member of the United States Air Force.[1] He spent parts of his childhood in California and England.[1] Burlingame graduated from Anaheim High School in California.

Charles Burlingame graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971.[2] In the Navy, he flew F-4 Phantom Wikipedia.png jets, rising to the rank of captain.[1] In 1979, Burlingame left active duty with the Navy and joined {{wplink|American Airlines]] though, he remained in the Naval Reserves. He was an honor graduate of the Navy “Top Gun” school NAS Miramar. Burlingame volunteered to be activated during the Gulf War.[1] Burlingame also spent time working in The Pentagon, while in the Naval Reserves.[3]

Burlingame retired as a Navy Reserve Captain in 1996 and worked at American Airlines.[4] Burlingame was married to an American Airlines flight attendant, Sheri Burlingame.[5]

September 11, 2001 attacks[]

File:Charles Frank Burlingame 2007.jpg

Charles Burlingame's gravestone

Burlingame was the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, with First Officer David Charlebois,[6] before it was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon. He would have turned 52 on September 12, 2001.

Burlingame was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery. He was initially deemed ineligible for burial there due to his status as a reservist deceased at an age younger than 60, but Burlingame was given a waiver and his case triggered reform of Arlington's burial criteria.[7]

His daughter, Wendy Burlingame, in late 2006, died in a suspicious apartment fire.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Nelson, Todd, Phillip Pina (September 12, 2001). "Twin Citians Mourn, Await News of Victims". Saint Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota). 
  2. Gottlieb, Sandra (September 12, 2001). "Local doctor's brother piloted ill-fated flight 77". Lancaster New Era. 
  3. King, Larry, Amy S. Rosenberg, Jonathan Gelb (September 13, 2001). "Pilot whose jet hit Pentagon had worked there". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  4. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 28, 2010. 
  5. Levine, Susan (September 13, 2001). "Flight 77: Hope Replaced by Grief; Among the Dead From Jetliner Are Lawyers and Engineers, Couples and Children". The Washington Post. 
  6. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (2004). "Chapter 1". 9/11 Commission Report. Government Printing Office. 
  7. Chris Smith
  8. Feuer, Alan; Schweber, Nate (December 6, 2006). "Daughter of 9/11 Flight Pilot Is Found Dead After a Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010.