United Airlines analyst remembers working in control center on 9/11
Firefighters memorializing the anniversary of 9/11 in New York City. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
ELK GROVE, IL- A man who worked in the operations control center at United Airlines on 9/11 shared his story of that tragic day with Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure."
Dave Kleckner, who was a Senior Automation Analyst/Meteorologist at United Airlines, told the "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure" that he knew something wasn't right on September 11, 2001 when driving his daughter to school he heard a report of a plane striking the World Trade Center in New York.
Kleckner said he heard reports about a second plane striking the World Trade Center a little after 9 a.m., then headed into work in Elk Grove, IL as soon as possible.
"It was very surreal," said Kleckner. "I was just amazed...at the attention to detail on duty that everyone exhibited that day."
Around 9:06 a.m. on 9/11, the FAA started shutting down all takeoffs in and around New York City -- just minutes after the second plane struck the World Trade Center.
Less than two hours later, some international flights heading to the United States were directed to land in Canadian airports.
"Incredible amount of professionalism at all levels," said Kleckner.
He also said that some flights were directed to land in Alaska, which United Airlines was responsible for making sure they landed safely.
"There was a lot of negotiations in order to get clearance to land there (Alaska)," said Kleckner. "(There were) concerns until you got established who was really in control of these airplanes."