Tags: 'Black | Boxes' | Found

'Black Boxes' Found

Friday, 14 September 2001 12:00 AM

When they found it, officials said the flight data and cockpit voice recorder from American Airlines Flight 77 showed signs of external damage, but they though the information on it was secure. It now appears that no information can be recovered from it.

Damage to the Pentagon is estimeated to be between $100 and $200 miliion dollars. Approximately 2/5 of the Pentagon has been destroyed by either wreckage, fire or water.

The family of the American Airlines pilot of Flight 77, Capt. Charles F. Burlingame III, said they wanted people to know the Navy veteran would have fought to prevent the takeover and crash.

"I don't know what happened in that cockpit, but I'm sure that they would have had to incapacitate him or kill him because he would have done anything to prevent the kind of tragedy that befell that airplane," Burlingame's brother, Mark, told the Washington Post.

"If he couldn't save that plane, nobody could," his younger sister, Debra, said. "We want to tell his story so that people who had loved ones on that flight will know that he would have sacrificed himself to save them."

Flight 77, a Boeing 757, was one of four aircraft commandeered on Tuesday. Two of the planes were flown into the 110-story towers of the World Trade Center and a third crashed in rural Western Pennsylvania. A total of 266 people on the planes died in the crashes. New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Thursday 4,763 people were listed as missing at the World Trade Center. At the Pentagon, 126 were feared dead.

The flight data recorder was recovered from the crater formed when the airplane crash in Pennsylvania. The data device from the New York crashes have not been found, but reports say workers have found the cockpit of one of the planes that crashed into one of the world trade centers, and they have recovered bodies. No identifications have been forthcoming.

Several people have been detained as a result of the investigation into the attacks and subsequent increased security measures. Federal authorities, notably Secretary of State Colin Powell, have said dissident Saudi Osama bin Laden is a prime suspect in the terror attacks, in which the FBI said 18 terrorists took control of the jets on Tuesday.

President Bush ordered a national Day of Remembrance for Friday, which dawned very gloomy in Washington and with heavy rain in New York. The downpours made the dust that has coated nearly everything in southern Manhattan slippery, making the building collapse site even more treacherous as workers work through the removal of a mountain of rubble one bucket at a time.

In Britain, some 2,400 people, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair, participated in a memorial in St. Paul's Cathedral that included three minutes of silence and the singing of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." That service was ahead of rites planned across the United States. Bush, who also planned a trip Friday to the scene of New York's devastation, was to be among those at the National Cathedral for a prayer service.

Getting to the service in Washington could be problematic, as security was especially tight in the nation's capital. A wide area around the White House was sealed off from regular traffic. Federal workers at agencies near the White House were herded into narrow checkpoints as they reported to work Friday. No one, however, seemed to mind the added security measures.

Despite attempts to make things look as though it was "business as usual," it was far from it. The stock markets based in Manhattan were again closed, but may open Monday, and air travel was spotty at best across the country. Sporting events were canceled or postponed through the weekend. While Broadway reopened, the usual curtain calls for the award winning "The Producers" were replaced with the cast singing "God Bless America."

Bush on Thursday vowed to make the war against terror the focus of his administration. At the same time, Vice President Dick Cheney was moved to Camp David, Md., and the U.S. Secret Service closed streets and sidewalks surrounding the White House in what officials termed "ongoing security concerns."

The fresh alerts were a grim counterpoint to the determination expressed by Bush and his officials, who pledged a long and sustained military, political and economic campaign, beyond any single strike of retaliation, against terrorist groups found to be responsible and countries deemed to be supporting them, senior Bush administration officials said.

"Now that war has been declared on us, we will lead the world to victory," said Bush.

"You don't do it with just a single military strike, no matter how dramatic," said Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, in a Pentagon briefing. "We're going to keep after these people and the people who support them until this stops.''

A senior White House official cautioned against focusing solely on one suspect, despite Powell's comments listing bin Laden as a prime suspect.

"There might have been not just one but multiple organizations," the official said Thursday, stressing that the U.S. and international inquiries were still ranging beyond bin Laden's al Qaida movement, to include not just other terror groups but the countries that harbored them as potential targets in a sustained anti-terror campaign.

Bush said, however, that through the sadness of the tremendous tragedy he saw an opportunity.

"Make no mistake about it, this nation is sad," he said. "But we're also tough and resolute. And now is an opportunity to do generations a favor, by coming together and whipping terrorism, hunting it down, finding it and holding them accountable. This nation must understand, this is now the focus of my administration.

"We will very much engage in domestic policy, of course," the president continued. "But now that war has been declared on us, we will lead the world to victory, to victory."

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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When they found it, officials said the flight data and cockpit voice recorder from American Airlines Flight 77 showed signs of external damage, but they though the information on it was secure. It now appears that no information can be recovered from it. Damage to the...
Friday, 14 September 2001 12:00 AM
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