United Airlines Flight 93 Crashes in Pennsylvania Field
United Airlines Flight 93 was a United States domestic passenger flight from Newark International Airport in Newark, NJ, to San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, CA, that was hijacked on September 11, 2001.
Approximately 40 minutes into the flight, the hijackers breached the cockpit, overpowered the pilots and took control of the aircraft, diverting it toward Washington, D.C. Several passengers and crew members made telephone calls aboard the flight and learned about the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. As a result of this knowledge, the passengers decided to mount an assault against the hijackers in an attempt to regain control of the aircraft.
The plane crashed in a field in Stonycreek Township, near Shanksville, in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, about 80 miles (130 km) southeast of Pittsburgh and 150 miles (240 km) northwest of Washington, D.C., killing all on board including the four hijackers. Many witnessed the impact from the ground and news agencies began reporting on the event within an hour. The plane fragmented upon impact, leaving a crater, and some debris was blown miles from the crash site. The remains of everyone on board the aircraft were later identified. Subsequent analysis of the flight recorders revealed how the actions taken by the passengers prevented the aircraft from reaching the hijackers' intended target, thought to be either the White House or the United States Capitol. A permanent memorial is planned for construction on the crash site, with dedication scheduled for 2011, though it has been the subject of criticism.
Of the four aircraft hijacked on September 11 (the others were American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 175), United Airlines Flight 93 was the only one that failed to reach its intended target.