American Airlines Flight 77

2001 hijacking of an airliner and subsequent deliberate crash into The Pentagon in Virginia, USA

American Airlines Flight 77 was American Airlines' transcontinental flight from Washington Dulles International Airport, in Dulles, Virginia to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California. The flight flew every day in the morning on this route. On September 11, 2001, the aircraft flying this route—a Boeing 757-223—was hijacked by five al-Qaeda terrorists. The hijackers crashed the plane into the Pentagon on purpose. The crash was part of the September 11 attacks.

American Airlines Flight 77
Two still images from a Pentagon security camera video immediately before and after the crash highlighting Flight 77 prior to impact
DateTuesday, September 11, 2001 (2001-09-11)
SummarySuicide hijacking
SiteWest wall of Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia
Aircraft typeBoeing 757-223
OperatorAmerican Airlines
Flight originWashington Dulles Int'l Airport
DestinationLos Angeles Int'l Airport
Passengers53 (plus 5 hijackers)
Fatalities59, plus 5 hijackers, in aircraft
125 in Pentagon
Injuries106 (on ground)
Survivorsnone from aircraft

The hijackers went into the cockpit and made the passengers move to the back of the plane less than 35 minutes into the flight. Hani Hanjour, one of the hijackers who was trained as a pilot, took over the flight. Passengers on the plane were able to make telephone calls to loved ones. They also called people to tell them what was happening on the plane. The hijackers did not know that passengers were doing this.

Barbara Olson, wife of U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson, was one of the passengers.

The aircraft crashed into the western side of the Pentagon at 09:37 EDT. All 64 people on board the aircraft, including the hijackers, died. 125 people in the building died as well. Dozens of people saw the crash. News sources began reporting on the incident within minutes. The impact damaged an area of the Pentagon and started a large fire. Part of the Pentagon collapsed. Firefighters spent days trying to stop the fire. The damaged areas of the Pentagon were rebuilt in 2002. The fixed areas were able to be used again starting on August 15, 2002.

The 184 victims of the attack are honored in the Pentagon Memorial next to the Pentagon. The 1.93-acre (7,800 m2) park contains a bench for each of the victims. The benches are put in order of the victim's years of birth. These years range from 1930 (aged 71) to 1998 (aged 3).

Hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77


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