The American Heritage Museum is proud to announce the debut of a captivating video interview with two F-16 pilots as they attempted to intercept the hijacked flight 93 aircraft on September 11th, 2001. From the remarkable vantage point of these two fighter pilots, Lt. Col. Marc Sasseville and Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney, visitors will access a true moment by moment account of that fateful day. This extraordinary, one-of-a-kind video exhibit at the American Heritage Museum honors all the heroes of 9/11.
On the clear, blue morning of September 11th, 2001, New York’s World Trade towers and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. are attacked using hijacked commercial airliners. The U.S. Capital begins evacuations. A westbound airliner suddenly turns back toward Washington, flying over the Pennsylvania countryside. Time is short. A countdown begins in Washington. Two F-16 pilots are scrambled out of Joint Base Andrews to protect Washington airspace from an unknown threat. The danger came so quickly that their F-16s are forced to takeoff without any live weapons onboard.
In less than an hour and a half, all air traffic is grounded, but inbound planes remained potential threats. Racing out of D.C., Penney and Sasseville laid out a plan. Should they encounter a hostile airliner threatening the city, Sasseville said: “I’ll take the cockpit and you take the tail.” In that moment, Penney knew: “If we were successful, we would not be coming back.”
Minutes later, Flight 93 crashed into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, during an attempt by passengers and crew to regain control of the aircraft. All 44 people were killed, including the four hijackers.