Pilot Heather Penney is in the news today about her mission to stop the 9/11 hijackers of United Flight 93 ten years ago today. Quoting Heather, “I was prepared to die for my country; it’s something everyone else would have done if they were in my shoes.”
She and her commanding officer were ordered to stop Flight 93 from hitting the intended target – the Nation’s Capitol on September 11, 2001. The remarkable courage of Penny (and her commanding officer So Col. Marc Sasseville) is evidenced by their intention to stop flight 93 without the use of ammunition, missals or rockets – of any kind. They agreed to use their jet aircraft to stop the doomed airliner. Penny was quoted saying, “He planned to strike the plane’s cockpit, I opted for its tail.” What they didn’t know at the time was that sadly the airliner had already crashed in Pennsylvania.
(Read more of AP writer Martin Griffith’s story in the HUFFPOST POLITICS http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/11/heather-lucky-penney-flight-93_n_957326.html)
Penny is indeed an American hero. Her intense personal devotion in her service to the United States of America as a Lieutenant with the Air National Guard’s 121st Fighter Squadron is beyond remarkable – She served two tours in Iraq while being a single mother…. Her family is tight knit and exceptionally dedicated to one another.
Heather will being flying her second year in the Jet Class in the beautiful L-29 Raju Grace, Race #21. She placed second in her jet class last year – not bad for a rookie! We’ll be posting more photos and videos of this remarkable family beginning next week. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, check out our Reno 2010 interviews Heather Penney and her mom Stephanie Penney.
Next week at the Reno National Championship Air Races we’ll follow up with Heather and her mom Stephanie and the other fantastic pilot in the family – John Penney, who is also a former Military Pilot and now Pilot of Rare Bear and four time Unlimited Class winner at the Reno Races.
We look forward to your continued comments about Heather, her family and all the other amazing pilots racing at Reno National Championship Air Races.
Good Luck and God’s Speed to all~
Kimberley West, WarBirdBabe