Pilot who dodged two 9/11 hijacked planes hailed as 'unsung hero'

Pilot who dodged two 9/11 hijacked planes hailed as 'unsung hero'
LA County remembers 9/11 victims
Fox - LA / VideoElephant

A pilot who narrowly dodged a 9/11 hijacked plane has been hailed an "unsung hero" 22 years on from the devastating attacks.

The man, referred to only as "George" by witnesses, was the pilot on TWA (now American Airlines) Flight 3 who took "evasive action" twice before landing, avoiding Flight 175 which struck the World Trade Center and Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania.

"There were two near-misses," a New York flight attendant told The Post.

The flight left JFK for St. Louis at 8:47am – almost the same time the plane hit the North Tower a minute prior.

Staff onboard acted quickly when they confronted United 175, with one passenger telling ABC in a resurfaced clip that the plane was "shaking," adding: "And then, you can just see, like the plane just bypassed us really close."

The crew then pushed food trolleys against the cockpit door in case hijackers were on board. Pilot George warned staff "he’d be standing behind the door with an axe."

The flight attendant recalled hearing a chilling warning on the speaker when collecting the pilot's food trays. It reportedly said: "This is a national emergency. By order of the federal government, any plane still in the sky in 20 minutes will be shot down by friendly fire."

The first emergency landing was planned for Indianapolis, but they were diverted to Dayton, Ohio.

Flight 175 near mid-air collision before WTC impact w/TWA Flight 3, pilot & passengers

Once safely landed, the pilot told ABC News: "Well, he was up there when we were coming from New York. So what we had to do was — they (flight control) were not talking to him, and he was changing his heading and his altitude, so they cleared us to deviate however we had to stay away from him."

He continued: "We had him in sight — it was a nice day in New York. We were out of the clouds, which helped a lot. We just, you know, dodged him."

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