Above & Beyond: Pushback: Newark Airport, 8:45 a.m.
What 9/11 looked like from one airliner’s cockpit.
- By Anonymous
- Air & Space magazine, January 2002
(Page 3 of 6)
"Was that smoke there when we pushed?" I asked.
"I don't think so."
We spent the next few minutes wondering if we had seen secondary explosions due to an out-of-control fire. Whatever the case, the sight was horrifying.
"I hope they have a way to get those people out of there," I said.
Since our tug driver had already disconnected from his intercom and pulled the tug away from the airplane, I got on the radio and called Operations. Knowing they usually had a TV on somewhere in Ops, I thought they might clue us in on what we were seeing. But they seemed surprised by what we were describing. This was the first they had heard of it.
As we switched over to Newark ground control to start our taxi, it was obvious that everyone on the frequency had witnessed the same thing. In between taxi instructions, a crew member on one of the other aircraft on the frequency asked, "Any idea what's going on across the river?"
"Stand by, we're checking" was the terse response.
As we taxied south toward runway 41, we watched the horror unfolding only miles away. In the few minutes we had been taxing, the smoke had definitely become more intense.