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TWA pilot who ‘dodged’ 2 hijacked planes on 9/11 called unsung hero


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A TWA pilot who narrowly averted collisions with hijacked planes headed to attack the World Trade Center and the US Capitol on Sept. 11, 2001, is being remembered 22 years later as an unsung hero.

The little-known incidents are buried in the history of 9/11 when 2,977 people were killed at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and on the four planes commandeered by Islamic terrorists.

The pilot on TWA Flight 3 took “evasive action” twice before safely landing — first to avoid colliding with United Flight 175, which struck the World Trade Center, and then Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, according to a New York-based flight attendant who was on the crew.

“There were two near-misses,” she told The Post.

The unflappable pilot was never memorialized, or even publicly identified, in the 9/11 Commission Report or other accounts.

Yet to the passengers on that fateful flight, he is unforgettable.

“He saved our lives, without a doubt,” said retired FDNY Lt. Charlie Hubbard, who was one of them.

TWA’s Boeing 767 took off from JFK for St. Louis at 8:47 a.m. – almost exactly when hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. — the first to strike the World Trade Center.

Commanding the cockpit was “George,” said the flight attendant, who could recall only his first name.

As the TWA jet ascended in the clear, blue sky, passengers spotted a shocking sight – the World Trade Center on fire.

Commanding the cockpit was “George,” said the flight attendant, who could recall only his first name.

Minutes later, the jet confronted United 175 as it headed toward NYC from Boston, the flight attendant said. “We were scissoring up and down,” she recalled, referring to a defensive maneuver.

“I thought we were going to crash,” one of the terrified TWA passengers told ABC News in a resurfaced video clip.

The plane was “shaking” as it “went down and came back up,” he said. “And then, you can just see, like the plane just bypassed us really close.”

After learning that United 175 struck the South Tower at 9:03 a.m., the TWA flight attendants pushed food carts up against the cockpit door to guard against a possible hijacking.

The pilot warned the crew “he’d be standing behind the door with an ax,” the New York attendant recalled.

Let into the cockpit to remove the pilots’ food trays, she recalled a chilling warning on the speaker: “This is a national emergency. By order of the federal government, any plane still in the sky in 20 minutes will be shot down by friendly fire.”

The pilot first planned to make an emergency landing in Indianapolis but was diverted to Dayton, Ohio.

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