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From the Cap’n Aux Blog: 9/9 and 9/11

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From the Cap’n Aux Blog: 9/9 and 9/11

From the Cap’n Aux Blog: 9/9 and 9/11
September 10
11:00 2016

Well folks, this is a bittersweet week for aviation. While many avgeeks are looking forward to the release of “Sully” on 9/9, close on its heels comes 9/11.

As an airline pilot, I am often asked about my personal 9/11 story.  
While I had many airline friends “on the road” that day, fortunately I was off at home.

Our first indication came when my wife at the time and I were dropping our two kids off at grade school.  They were attending a private Christian school run by their grandma, who came running out to inform us. We went inside to watch CNN and try to make sense of the news.

The second plane had just hit, so we all knew it was a terror attack.  We spent the day riveted to the screen, while the teachers tried valiantly (and in vain) to give the kids a routine day of classes.

Meanwhile, the FAA took the unprecedented step of grounding all U.S. air traffic for the next three days. Airline crews were strewn and stranded across the country, having been diverted inflight to the nearest suitable airports—and then grounded.

Flight crews tried valiantly to make the best of it, miles away from their worried loved ones.  Three days later, they became some of the many unsung heroes of 9/11, being the very first to return to America’s Free Skies.

When I finally flew again, about a week later, passengers and crew alike were still understandably skittish.  In the back of my head I had prepared a pre-departure speech, which I’ll try to recreate here:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking.  Welcome aboard Flight XX, with service to XYZ. I understand that you may feel a tad nervous being onboard today, given the week’s unprecedented events.  Let me personally assure you that we as a flight crew and airline have done our very best to give you the safest and most secure flight possible. I’d like to point out that, from now on, every airline ticket that you purchase is a vote for Freedom, and every flight flown is a victory over terrorism.  So, thank you for your patronage, thank you for your  patriotism, and God bless America!

As you can imagine, I got a rousing round of applause from the cabin for that one…

And, that’s the lesson I’d like us all to take from this. Be bold, be brave, and vote for Freedom over Terrorism by getting out there and experiencing the most liberating endeavor man can undertake: to fly!

During an overnight in NYC, I took the opportunity to visit the Freedom Tower, and Memorial Park. As you can see from this video, the experience is quite impactful:

God bless you all,

Cap’n Aux.

PS — After enjoying your popcorn fare at the local theatre, might I suggest a few ways to commemorate that fateful day. Here are some useful links to explore the stories, as well as honor the fallen.

9/11 Links

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About Author

Eric Auxier

Eric Auxier

Airbus A321 Captain with over 21,000 hours flying in 35 years for a major US airline. Plenty of experience in Alaskan and Caribbean skies, and popular aviation blogger and author of eight books. Scored Amazon’s “Top 100 Breakthrough Novels” for “The Last Bush Pilots.”

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3 Comments

  1. Mike
    Mike September 11, 04:29

    Thanks for your review and comments – it is so important that we all keep our eyes and ears open to any suspicious circumstances, but at the same time are positive towards the future.

    • Eric Auxier
      Eric Auxier Author September 11, 16:41

      Mike,
      So true. We can’t ever drop our guard, but we also must remember to live our lives without fear. Thank you for your comment!
      Eric

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