In my 2004 book, Turbulent Skies, I wrote, “Maybe someday someone will write about the incredible actions of the flight crews on the morning of September 11, 2001.” This wish began to manifest in the 10th year after 9/11 when I had an overwhelming sensation that I should undertake this quest myself.
In my first year of writing, as I researched and wrote, my body would chill, and I would cry. Once an article was finished, I could hardly get up out of my chair. I truly felt like I was on the planes with the crews. I knew if I was to continue, I had to control all that emotion.
The book’s focus initially was on the flight crews. But as I wrote, it became so much more. The reader will learn how the air traffic controllers cleared the skies, how Canada responded by handling all the incoming international flights, and how the failures of the FAA, the FBI, the CIA, and the airlines allowed this attack to take place.
I realized that September 11th could have been even more disastrous had it not been for the actions of those brave crew members and little miracles that occurred that day. I also realized how it might have been prevented if the crews had been properly trained and informed about the threat they were facing.
The book further examines how political forces changed the priorities for counter terrorism, and also impeded the examination of how the attacks could happen. These political forces were challenged by four New Jersey widows who got the 9/11 hearings approved.
Finally, this book examines the aftermath of the attack, and how it forever changed the airline profession and added significant restrictions on traveling public.