From today’s New York Times:
Of the 33 passengers on the plane who were not hijackers, at least 10, and two crew members, spoke to people on the ground. At least five of the calls included discussion of the World Trade Center. At 9:57, about seven minutes before the end, one of the passengers ended her conversation saying: “Everyone’s running up to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.”
The report indicates that Mr. Jarrah, at the controls of United 93, did what many airline pilots have fantasized about since the hijackings: tried to maneuver the plane sharply, rolling and pitching, to keep control of the cockpit. It apparently did not work; the plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania.
The report does not clarify whether the hijackers’ goal for Flight 93 was the White House or the Capitol, but indicates that the hijackers tuned a cockpit radio to the frequency of a navigation beacon at National Airport, just across the Potomac River from the capital, erasing any doubt about the region of their intended destination.
At three seconds after 10 a.m., Mr. Jarrah is heard on the cockpit voice recorder saying: “Is that it? Shall we finish it off?”
But another hijacker responds: “No. Not yet. When they all come, we finish it off.”
The voice recorder captured sounds of continued fighting, and Mr. Jarrah pitched the plane up and then down. A passenger is heard to say, “In the cockpit. If we don’t we’ll die!”
Then a passenger yelled “Roll it!” Some aviation experts have speculated that this was a reference to a food cart, being used as a battering ram.
Mr. Jarrah “stopped the violent maneuvers” at 10:01:00, according to the report, and said, “Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!”
“He then asked another hijacker in the cockpit, `Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?’ to which the other replied, `Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.’ ”
Eighty seconds later, a hijacker is heard to say, “Pull it down! Pull it down!”
“The hijackers remained at the controls but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them,” according to the report, which seems to indicate that the hijackers themselves crashed the plane. “With the sounds of the passenger counterattack continuing, the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour, about 20 minutes’ flying time from Washington, D.C,” according to the report.