Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, Air Force Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney received a shocking order for the day.
The orders? To fly her plane from Andrews Air Force Base and into United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 plane that had been hijacked by terrorists and was hurtling towards Washington, D.C.“We wouldn’t be shooting it down. I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot,” she said of the orders.
Her crew had just finished several weeks of air combat training that morning, meaning the planes at Andrews Air Force Base were still equipped with dummy bullets. Furthermore, back then, there was no active system in place for spontaneous armed scramble.
“We had to protect the airspace any way we could.”
Her superiors had ordered them to commit suicide.
Without hesitation, Penney scrambled her unarmed jet and followed her commanding officer, Col. Marc Sasseville into the sky. What the pilots were unaware of at that point in time was that Flight 93 had already gone down due to the heroic actions of its passengers, who gave their lives to keep the plane from reaching the terrorists’ intended target.
“The real heroes are the passengers on Flight 93 who were willing to sacrifice themselves. I was just an accidental witness to history.”
She and her commanding officer spent the rest of that day clearing the airspace and escorting former President George W. Bush.
H/T [Conservative Tribune]