Major_Tom wrote:These dudes from Al Qaida handled the descent and the last second bank as if they were fighter pilots.
Great reaction time, at the very least. The final correction is (to me) quite an astounding feat. Not being a pilot, I have only a useless lay opinion - pretty amazing.
Say you don't really know how to handle a plane like this and you are approaching the building. Wouldn't you just aim at the center of the building?
Absolutely. I doubt I'd hit the center, though. Might well miss it altogether. A maximum (root(2) * 208ft) wide strip would be hard to hit at full speed and level approach, I think. The question is moot because I'd never find NYC in the first place.
I see different issues as being possible, mostly distinct:
1) proximity to zero pitch/yaw impact angle is special or preferred for some reason
2) deviation from reported impact angle makes for inconsistent observations
3) final correction is beyond the capability of the alleged pilot
4) misdirection by faking pilot error then split-second save
Only the first is concerned with the actual values of the impact angle, the others are more general in addressing the existence of any discrepancy. I'm first trying to find out if a zero impact angle is special, or if it's only the discrepancy between report and observation that appears to be raising flags.
There is something else to throw in the mix. A correction like this might make the aircraft simultaneously lose altitude, so the trajectory may still have a downward displacement component; probably would.