United Airlines Flight 175

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United Airlines Flight 175 was United Airlines' morning, daily scheduled transcontinental flight, from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the aircraft flying this route—a Boeing 767-222—was hijacked by five al-Qaeda terrorists, and deliberately crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, as part of the September 11 attacks.

Approximately thirty minutes into the flight, the hijackers forcefully breached the cockpit, and overpowered the pilot and first officer, allowing lead hijacker and trained pilot Marwan al-Shehhi to take over the controls. The aircraft's transponder was turned off and the aircraft deviated from the assigned flight path for four minutes, before air traffic controllers noticed at 08:51. They made several unsuccessful attempts to contact the cockpit. Several passengers and crew aboard made phone calls from the plane and provided information about the hijackers and injuries to passengers and crew.

The Boeing 767 operating as Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 09:03, killing all 65 people aboard, including the hijackers. The Flight 175 hijacking was coordinated with that of American Airlines Flight 11, which had struck the top of the North Tower 17 minutes earlier. The crash of Flight 175 into the South Tower was the only impact seen live on television around the world as it happened. It was upon the loss of Flight 175 that the world realized that the crashes of both aircraft at the World Trade Center were in fact deliberate. The impact and subsequent fire caused the South Tower to collapse, 56 minutes later, resulting in hundreds of additional casualties. During the recovery effort at the World Trade Center site, workers recovered and identified remains from Flight 175 victims (see the Aftermath section below), but many other body fragments could not be identified.

Contents

Background

The team of hijackers on United Airlines Flight 175 was led by Marwan al-Shehhi, from the United Arab Emirates. Shehhi obtained a commercial pilot's license while training in south Florida, training together with Flight 11 hijacker and plot coordinator, Mohamed Atta. The muscle hijackers on Flight 175 included Fayez Banihammad, from the UAE, and three Saudis: Hamza al-Ghamdi, Ahmed al-Ghamdi, and Mohand al-Shehri. On August 13, 2001, Marwan al-Shehhi purchased two four-inch pocket knives from a Sports Authority store in Boynton Beach, Florida, while Banihammad bought a two-piece snap knife set at a Wal-Mart, and Hamza al-Ghamdi bought a Leatherman Wave multi-tool.[1][2]

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