HolyCoast: Flying Into a Fight With No Ammunition

Friday, September 09, 2011

Flying Into a Fight With No Ammunition

Look at this exchange between two Air National Guard F-16 pilots:
“Lucky, you’re coming with me,” barked Col. Marc Sasseville.

They were gearing up in the pre-flight life-support area when Sasseville, struggling into his flight suit, met her eye.

“I’m going to go for the cockpit,” Sasseville said.

She replied without hesitating.

“I’ll take the tail.”

It was a plan. And a pact.
"Lucky" is Heather "Lucky" Penney and the date was September 11, 2001. She and Col. Sasseville were being tasked with bringing down United Flight 93 before it got to Washington D.C. and their aircraft were unarmed with no time to wait for weapons to be loaded. The whole story is here.

I saw an interview with Sasseville in which he had decided if he had to he's approach the jet with one hand on the stick and one on the ejection handle in the hopes he could saw the wing off and eject before his plane exploded.

And they did it without hesitation.

Fortunately, they didn't have to use their skills because the passengers of Flight 93 ended the flight before it threatened DC.

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