The Strange Appearance, Disappearance and Reappearance of N612UA
This article discusses some apparent anomalies regarding the flight history of N612UA prior to its use by United Airlines for Flight 175 that, according to the "official" story, crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, at 9:03.
Several 911 researchers have analysed the Department of Transportation's ("DOT") Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Detailed Statistics ("BTS/DS") logs that show the comings and goings of commercial air carrier domestic, scheduled, non-stop flights. (The DOT's BTS also publishes Summary Statistics, but we are not concerned with the information contained in that database.)
The researchers have culled from the BTS/DS several curious facts that they have used to draw some provocative conclusions. I do not wish to rehash that valuable work here. But, in reviewing it, I came across an apparent gap in the coverage of 911 flights that I would now like to share with you. And, if this turns out to be ground that has already been covered, I can only offer my apologies and will humbly suffer the charge of having unnecessarily reinvented the wheel. As a defense, I can only point out that there is a lot of information posted on the internet related to 911 research and that there are only so many hours in a day.
I reviewed the BTS/DS logs for the scheduled flight history of N612UA, a United Airlines Boeing 767, for the period September 1 through September 11, 2001. N612UA was the aircraft assigned to United Airlines Flight 175 that took off from Boston's Logan International Airport ("BOS") on September 11 at 7:58, "wheels-off," 8:23 - the time the plane actually left the ground - (all subsequent departure times represent wheels-off times) and, according to the "Official Government Story," crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03a.m.
But, before I begin, a word about the BTS/DS logs themselves. Per FAA regulation, 19 major domestic air carriers are required to submit detailed statistics on their scheduled, non-stop, domestic flights to the DOT's BTS on a monthly basis. They show scheduled and actual departure and arrival times, airborne times, cancellations, diversions and a few other categories reagarding these flights.
The BTS/DS logs are generally "accurate" but errors have been found in them and there is a suspicion that some of these errors may in fact be the result of deliberate alterations to the logs. I have no way of checking whether this allegation is true, but I would not automatically rule out the possibility either. Nonetheless, most of the errors I have found are related to N or Tail and Flight number transpositions and a few errors related to one Tail number being assigned to two different flights during the same relative time frame. All errors of these types may simply be due to "fat fingers" or they may, indeed, suggest tampering. Again, at the moment, the resolution of this issue is problematic. With that said, let's follow the movements of N612UA during the time frame I reviewed.
On 9/1/01, N612UA, as Flight 20, leaves San Francisco International Airport ("SFO"), bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport ("JFK"). at 7:10, local time. (All subsequent departures times cited will reflect local times.) It is 10:10 in New York City. The flight arrives there at 14:54, "wheels-on." (All subsequent arrivals represent wheels-on times times.) After a short stay, N612UA leaves for Los Angeles International Airport ("LAX"), now as Flight 11, at 16:48. N612UA finishes the day at LAX, where it lands at 18:55.
Om 9/2/01, N612UA, as Flight 10, leaves LAX at 7:09 and arrives at JFK at 14:48. Then, N612UA is not assigned to a scheduled non-stop flight for twenty-six hours. It apparently was parked somewhere at JFK during this inactive period, although it could have been used for an unscheduled flight, or for a scheduled flight with stops. Keep in mind that the BTS/DS logs only reflect the use of aircraft for scheduled, non-stop, domestic flights. I will address the periods of N612UA's apparent non-use for scheduled, non-stop, domestic flights in more detail later on.
On 9/3/01, N612UA, as Flight 11, takes off from JFK for LAX at 16:48 and arrives there at 18:53. Then, it remains unscheduled, according to BTS/DS criteria, for 7 hours and 26 minutes.
Tuesday, September 4 - one week before the course of history was to irrevocably change for the worse - was a busy day for N612UA. According to the BTS/DS logs, it takes off from LAX to JFK as Flight 10 at 7:13 and arrives in New York at 15:05. It departs JFK as Flight 5, bound for SFO, and lands there at 19:06. It then apparently remains unscheduled at SFO for 13 hours and 18 minutes.
On 9/5/01, N612UA, as Flight 22, leaves SFO for JFK at 8:12 and arrives there at 16:09. (The BTS/DS log for 9/5/01 also shows that United Airlines Flight 18, which left LAX for JFK on 9/4 at 21:59 with Tail number N620UA, is recorded in the BTS/DS log as "N612UA." This is apparently a "mistake" of the type that I briefly mentioned above.) At 17:56, N612UA, as Flight 29, departs for LAX and arrives there at 20:06. Then, at 22:06, N612UA, as Flight 18, leaves LAX for JFK and arrives there on 9/6/01 at 5:57, but the Tail number is recorded in the BTS/DS log as "N605UA," another apparent "mistake."
Thursday, September 6, is a busy day for N612UA. Starting at 10:11, it leaves JFK for LAX, as Flight 17, and arrives there at 12:22, turns around and, as Flight 14, departs for JFK at 14:29. It lands at JFK at 22:11. Then, it is not used for a scheduled flight, according to BTS/DS criteria, for 11 hours and 24 minutes. This aircraft seems to have had a lot of down time, if it wasn't being used for other purposes. But, this is just for starters. The big hiatus in N612UA's usage is yet to come.
On 9/7/01, N612UA, as Flight 845, leaves JFK for SFO at 9:35 and arrives there at 12:01. Then, as Flight 170, N612UA leaves SFO for BOS at 14:18 and arrives there at 22:50.
It is at this point that the future movements and whereabouts of N612UA become muddled and confusing, according to the information that was submitted to the BTS by United Airlines. After N612UA lands at BOS on 9/7/01 at 22:50, there is no further scheduled usage from there until 9/11/01, when it is assigned to Flight 175, scheduled to take off for LAX at 8:00. It goes aloft at 8:23 and flies into history. Apparently, United Airlines had no use for N612UA, at least for a scheduled, domestic, non-stop flight, for 3 days, 9 hours and 33 minutes. The obvious question to ask is what was the Boeing 767 doing all of this time?
There are several possible answers. The most obvious one is that N612UA simply was not used. Or, it was being used for scheduled, domestic, non-stop flights, but the Tail number was not accurately reported to the BTS. Also possible is that it may have been used for scheduled flights with stops. Another possibility is that it was either being serviced, repaired, or a combination of the two. Finally, it may have been used either to make unscheduled non-stop flights or unscheduled flights with stops. The BTS/DS logs can help us somewhat to partially solve this mystery. but, in doing so, it only serves to raise other questions.
Referring to the BTS/DS log for JFK deoartures on 9/11/01, we find recorded there an entry for Flight 845, scheduled to leave for SFO at 9:15. It goes aloft at 9:40. The flight is using N612UA. The only conclusion we can draw, absent the possibility that a recording mistake had been made prior to this departure, is that N612UA took an unscheduled flight from BOS at some point between the time it landed at BOS on 9/7/01 at 22:50 and 9/10/01 at 9:40 when it took off for SFO. But, there is no BTS/DS log entry of it arriving at JFK from BOS prior to the 9/10 flight that took off from JFK at 9:40. In any case, Flight 845 lands at SFO at 12:07. N612UA turns around as Flight 170 and takes off for BOS at 13:44. It arrives there at 21:50. It apparently remains at BOS until 9/11/01 when, at 8:23, it takes off for LAX as Flight 175.
Thus, disregarding the possibility that N612UA took more than one unscheduled flight since arriving at BOS on 9/7/01, it apparently sat idle for almost two and a half days. Again, what was it doing there all of that time? Was it simply a case of equipment overcapacity and United Airlines had no use for it? Or, was it undergoing maintenance, repairs, a combination of both or something else entirely? Only United Airlines can answer these questions.
Adding to the mystery sorrounding N612UA is the fact that its registration is still active in the FAA database for N or Tail numbers, as is N591UA, the Boeing 757 that was used for Flight 93 and apparently crashed in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11/01 at 10:03. By way of comparison, American Airlines cancelled the registrations for N644AA (the Boeing 757 that was used for Flight 77 and apparently crashed into the Pentagon) and N334AA (the Boeing 767 that was used for Flight 11 and apparently crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center). The reason given for both cancelled registrations is "Destroyed." Again, only United Airlines can explain why its two apparently hijacked and destroyed planes still have active registrations.
Further, the answer cannot be due to new replacement planes and the reassignment of the Tail numbers to them since the years of manufacture given for N612UA and N591UA, as recorded in the FAA database, are 1983 and 1996, respectively.
Beyond this conundrum is the apparent fact that N591UA was noted at O'Hare Airport by a United Airlines employee named Dave Friedman and duly recorded in his personal flight log as the equipment used for United Airlines Flight 1111 on 4/10/03, when he flew in it to Las Vegas. (See friedmanfamily.org/ua2003/). Incidentally, in the "guest book" link on Friedman's web page, there are two entries from "Joe" and "GS" asking how he could have possibly flown on N591UA when it no longer exists? As of 12/14/04, Dave Friedman has not responded to these queries. Curious, yes?
In conclusion, I can only say that I have no answers to the questions that this article may raise. Although I have suspicions, they are not supported by any facts that would lend weight to them. Therefore, I will leave it to the readers to take the information contained herein at its face value and let them formulate their own scenarios regarding the mystery of N612UA's appearance, disappearance and reappearance during the period I reviewed.
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