9/11: AA77; NEADS located in 34 seconds, when cued

The purpose of this brief article is to document the NEADS successful search for AA77 when cued with accurate, timely information.

The primary source documentation is found on Ch 5 ID TK, in the first NEADS delivery of audio files to the Commission.  The Channel recorded as an open mike and the stream of audio conversations is chaotic, intermingled, and largely in the background.  Here is a 39 second segment of that file.  The time is approximately 0936 EDT.

There he is Ch 5 ID TK

From the moment MSGT Dooley announced the first results of a Colin Scoggins alert call to the Sector floor it took 34 seconds for the aircraft to be found.  Here is a partial transcript of what can be made out on the file

Watson:  OK, copy

Dooley:  We have an aircraft 6 miles southeast of the White House

Dooley:  Southwest

Dooley:  He’s deviating

Watson:  OK, sir, it’s six miles

Male Voice:  Here it is

For comparison, here is the clear call between Scoggins and Watson.  Dooley began here floor announcements as soon as Watson said, “OK, copy.”

093536 AA77 Scoggins VFR 6 Miles

This establishes the metric by which to measure the NEADS response time when provided timely, accurate information.  Note that in this case, they did not have specific information–a mode 3, a lat long, or a range and bearing from a known navigation point.  The general point out, “six miles from the White House” was sufficient.  NEADS was then able to establish a track, B032, which faded [Pentagon impact] before the track could be forward told to CONR and NORAD.

Some researchers speculate that NEADS was unable to locate targets on 9/11, based on the fact that AA11 was not found.  Those who so speculate overlook the fact that NEADS did not have timely, accurate information concerning AA11.  NEADS established a “last known” Z point to the north of where AA11 actually was.  Further, New York TRACON, when given a general reference was also unable to spot AA 11, as can be heard on this third audio file.

NY TRACON difficulty finding AA11