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8:41 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA, Unusually, Does Not Contact United Airlines about Communications from Flight 175

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Senior United Airlines personnel are, unusually, not informed about air traffic control communications with Flight 175.

At 8:41, the pilots of United Airlines 175 report to air traffic controllers that they heard “a suspicious transmission” from another aircraft on their departure out of Boston [see 1]. Yet this information is not passed on to personnel at the United Airlines System Operations Control (SOC) center, just outside Chicago.

Rich Miles, the manager there, will later tell the 9/11 Commission that,

"though he normally received relevant information about United flights from FAA air traffic control, on September 11, 2001, he did not recall receiving information about any air traffic control communications with or from Flight 175, including the 8:41 a.m. report.”

None of the other senior United Airlines officials at the SOC on this morning are told of the 8:41 communication, although they will tell the 9/11 Commission that air traffic controllers will “first and foremost” communicate directly with pilots. Furthermore, these officials will recall, “they never received any communication… from the FAA or the air traffic control system advising United to contact its aircraft about the hijackings.” The 9/11 Commission will not offer any explanation for this lack of communication between the FAA and United Airlines.[1][2]

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