United Airlines Flight 93 was United Airlines' scheduled morning transcontinental flight across the United States from Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco International Airport in California. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the Boeing 757–222 aircraft operating the route was hijacked by four al-Qaeda terrorists as part of the September 11 attacks. It subsequently crashed into a field near Shanksville in Stonycreek Township in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, during an attempt by some of the passengers to regain control.
The hijackers breached the aircraft's cockpit and overpowered the flight crew approximately 46 minutes after takeoff. Ziad Jarrah, a trained pilot, then took control of the aircraft and diverted it back toward the east coast of the United States, presumably toward the United States capital of Washington, D.C. (The specific target there – whether the United States Capitol, the White House, or possibly some other building – is not known.)
After the hijackers took control of the plane, several passengers and flight attendants were able to make telephone calls and learn that attacks had been made on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Virginia. Some of the passengers then made an attempt to regain control of the aircraft. During the attempt, however, the plane crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township, near Shanksville in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, about 80 miles (130 km) southeast of Pittsburgh and 150 miles (240 km) northwest of Washington, D.C. All on board, including the four hijackers, were killed. A few witnessed the impact from the ground and news agencies began reporting the event within an hour.
Subsequent analysis of the flight recorders recovered from the crash site revealed how the actions taken by the passengers prevented the aircraft from reaching the hijackers' intended target. Of the four aircraft hijacked on September 11 – the others were American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 175 – United Airlines Flight 93 was the only one that failed to reach its hijackers' intended target.
A temporary memorial has stood on the site since the attacks; construction of the first phase of a permanent memorial at the crash site was dedicated on September 10, 2011.
The 757-200 is the definitive version and comprises the majority of 757s sold. It has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 255,000 lb (116,000 kg), a length of 155.25 ft (47.32 m), and a maximum range of 4,100 nautical miles (7,600 km; 4,700 mi). According to manufacturer specifications, the –200 can carry up to 228 passengers in a typical single class configuration. The maximum FAA certified capacity is 239 passengers, provided that emergency exits are configured to regulatory specifications. The 757-200 was available in two different door configurations; the baseline version had three standard size doors per side with a smaller emergency exit aft of the wing on each side, while the alternate version had three standard doors per side and two plug-type over-the-wing exits.
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