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Originally posted by loam
Also, does anyone know if it was normal for commercial airliners to fly at that altitude directly over the city?
Normal holding patterns for these airports do not intersect the borough of Manhattan at any point. Lower Manhattan is, and was on the morning of 9/11/01, a low-altitude flight-restricted (no fly) zone for commercial jets, as designated by the FAA, for the obvious reason that heavy, fast-moving aircraft and tall buildings pose mutual hazards. Air traffic near the WTC towers was doubly restricted, with a minimum ceiling extending two thousand feet above the towers (3,300 feet) within a radius of one nautical mile, excepting only police aviation without special permit.
Originally posted by Zaphod58
And from that picture we can certainly tell that it was over lower Manhattan, and not farther back away from the city.