“I flew my tribute flight on March 20th while taking troops of the 7th Cavalry from their base in Georgia to Ft. Irwin in California for desert warfare training before they were to be rotated back to Iraq. I figured that there was no better flight to do this on than on one carrying those who are putting their lives on the line on foreign soil so that we do not have to endure another 9/11 here in the United States.
The other crewmembers asked about the wristband so I explained the tribute flight program and the first officer took my second wristband and the info so he could do his own tribute flight on a later trip.
I was also able to pass along a couple "shields of strength" (http://federalist.com/) I had left to the unit chaplain so he could pass them on to soldiers that wanted them.
Thank you APSA for giving me the opportunity to pay tribute to fallen comrades and for leading the fight for aircraft security! Blue Skies
----- Kevin Brewster NWA 747 SO
Pilot: Jason Dahl
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sunday, October 28, 2001)
Jason Dahl learned how to fly before he learned how to drive a car. Relatives say from the time Dahl could talk, all he wanted to do was fly.
Captain, United Airlines, 43, Denver, Colo.
Wife, Sandy; son, Matthew, 15
He was the captain of the crew of Flight 93 and had moved up his schedule in order to celebrate his wedding anniversary
At 13, the San Jose, Calif., native joined the Civil Air Patrol and earned a scholarship for flying lessons. He was flying solo before he was 16, and while working at the municipal airport he did his best to wrangle flight time, including flying photographers over the area.
Immediately following his graduation from San Jose State University in 1980 with a degree in aeronautical engineering, he became a corporate pilot. By 1984, he was a pilot with United Airlines.
Popular with his fellow pilots, Dahl endured good-natured teasing about his height -- he stood a shade under 5 feet, 6 inches. He and another pilot used to stand on tiptoe for photos to make themselves appear taller.
Flying was Dahl's love but family was his life. He rose rapidly through United's pilot ranks, and in 1993 became a "standards" pilot for training and testing other pilots. The job allowed him to spend more time at home with his wife, Sandy, and son, Matthew, 15.
Dahl spent nearly three years remodeling the family home in Denver, doing the wiring, plumbing and dry wall with help from a brother-in-law. He found time to take his family snorkeling and scuba diving, and they vacationed in Australia and New Zealand.
He would trade flights to be home for his son's band activities, to help at his Cub and Boy Scout meetings and to coach his Little League team.
When Matt was in sixth grade and taking a class trip to Washington, D.C., Dahl arranged to be the pilot because he felt there was no one in the world who could fly a plane as safely as he could, especially one carrying his son.
He was particularly proud that Matt was 6 feet tall, bursting through what his father called "the Dahl barrier."
Dahl's fifth wedding anniversary was Friday, Sept. 14. To surprise his wife he planned to buy her a baby grand piano, a manicure and pedicure, and fix dinner for her and eight couples. On Sunday, the couple would leave for a three-day trip to London.
In order to get that time off, Dahl and his wife agreed he would fly on Sept. 11-13.*
----- By Rob Quillen
[Mr. Quillen was a passenger who sat next to Jason in an airline cabin the night before he was killed.]
“My chance encounter with Capt. Jason Dahl started on September 10th in Denver, Colorado. Jason and I sat next to each other on a flight out to Newark, New Jersey. Through the 4-hour flight Jason and I spoke about several things-- life, hope, dreams, family, and our love of NASCAR racing.
Jason told me that his 15-year-old son recently discovered that he has epilepsy. Jason asked his son, Matt, if there was one thing that he wanted to do in life, what would it be. Matt told his Dad that he wanted to go to a NASCAR race, and get a chance to meet Jeff Gordon someday. Oddly enough, I was hosting a customer appreciation event at the new Kansas Speedway on September 29th and 30th. I had a couple of extra tickets, and offered them to Jason and Matt. They accepted the invitation; we agreed to talk the next week about details of when they were coming out, where they would stay, etc.
The next day, the attacks on America changed everybody, forever. On a personal note, I was very afraid for my own life, for I was 4 miles from the trade centers. The panic and fear of not being able to reach out and call home to let everyone know that you are ok is a feeling I will never forget. I wanted to hold my wife and 2 kids so bad. I cried thinking that I would never get to kiss any of them good night again.
Once I worked past those fears and made contact, my thoughts quickly turned to my new pilot friend, and how I know I lost my new friend, I cried again- at first out of my own self pity- but then for his family, and his 15-year-old son Matt. It was not until 2 days later that I received official notification that Capt. Jason Dahl was the pilot of United Airlines Flight 93 that was hijacked and crashed into the field in Pennsylvania. Although it was 2 days later I heard the news, I knew in my heart the first time I heard the flight schedule that my new friend was now in heaven.
Not getting any flights out of New York, I rented a car and drove 27 hours back to Lincoln, Nebraska. During those 27 hours, the only question on my mind was why? Why was I there? Why did I meet Jason that night? Why did I elect to have a 4-hour conversation with this stranger on the plane- something I never do?
Almost home, I came to the realization that God put me on that flight that night to have Jason tell me his dreams for Matt. I was put there to hear those dreams, and to make then a reality.
I contacted a friend of mine, Marty Smith. He interviewed me, and Matt Dahl and his Grandfather were guests of Jeff [Gordon] for the race weekend. Matt was treated very well by our wonderful NASCAR family, so many people touched him and made him forget the pain that he must still be in, even if for a couple of days.”