The Tragic Loss of Flight 77 A Traveler’s Guide

American Airlines Flight 77 was a scheduled passenger flight from Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia to Los Angeles International Airport in California. On September 11, 2001, the flight became one of the four airplanes hijacked by terrorists as part of the coordinated terrorist attacks in the United States.

Key Details:

  • Date: September 11, 2001.
  • Aircraft: Boeing 757-223.
  • Route: Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Timeline of Events:

  1. Hijacking:
  2. Change of Course:
    • The hijackers turned off the airplane’s transponder, making it difficult to track on radar. Flight 77 deviated from its westward course, heading back east.
  3. Impact into the Pentagon:
    • At 9:37 AM, Flight 77 crashed into the western side of the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, in Arlington, Virginia. The impact caused significant damage and resulted in a large number of casualties.
  4. Casualties:
    • All 64 people on board the aircraft, including the hijackers, were killed. In addition to the occupants of the plane, the attack on the Pentagon resulted in the deaths of 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building.


  • The events of September 11, 2001, led to significant changes in aviation security, counter-terrorism measures, and U.S. foreign policy.
  • The attacks prompted the establishment of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the implementation of stricter security measures at airports worldwide.
  • The aftermath of 9/11 had a profound impact on global geopolitics and initiated the United States’ involvement in the War on Terror.

The hijacking and subsequent crash of American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon were integral parts of the tragic events of 9/11, a day that had a lasting impact on the world. The memory of the lives lost on that day is commemorated annually, and the events continue to shape discussions on security, counter-terrorism, and international relations.

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