9-11: Langley Scramble; CAP point confusion, explained

The purpose of this brief article, an addition to the Langley Scramble story, is to document why the Langley fighters made a turn to the south on approaching the Washington area.  It is a simple explanation.  The controller transposed two digits in the initial transmission to the flight lead, Quit 25.  The coordinates initially provided  at 0946 EDT were 3825N 07702W. Here is the audio clip from NEADS tape DRM 2, Channel 13, cut 131828.

0911131828 Quit wrong CAP point

In order to vector to those coordinates on approach to Washington the Quit flight had to turn south to a heading the pilots recognized as wrong.  In a subsequent exchange with the controller at 0952 EDT, the accurate coordinates, 3852N 07702W, were provided.  The CAP point was based on the faded track for what was ultimately determined to be AA77, B032, as captured in the audio record.  Here is the later audio clip from the same NEADS tape/channel.

0911131828 Quit correct CAP point

There was nothing mysterious or nefarious about the turn south and then back north by the Langley fighters.  The diversion was an error made in the heat of battle, nothing more.