The September 11, 2001 is one of the most painfully memorable dates in the American history. What happened was a group of terrorists abducted four commercial airplanes with the horrific purpose to crash them in the twin towers of the World Trade Center in NYC, the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. The hijackers were able to succeed in only 3 of their attempts since the fourth plane that was heading for the Capitol building was brought down by heroic passengers. All in all, there were nearly 4,000 commercial jets in the air that day. All of them were in great risk of terrorist attacks in that morning.
Luckily Ben Sliney, who was that day on shift as an FAA National Operations Manager, made one of the boldest decisions in his career. Without any hesitation and instructions from his superior chain of command, including the President of the US himself, Ben decided to land all 4,000 commercial aircrafts immediately to the nearest possible airfields. What makes this unprecedented move even more amazing is the fact that it was Ben’s first day on that particular position. By landing all the planes in the air that day Ben Sliney prevented the possibility of more planes being hijacked, hence potentially saving the lives of thousands. What a true hero!