Air traffic controllers who handled two of the hijacked flights on Sept. 11, 2001, recorded their experiences shortly after the planes crashed into the World Trade Center, but a supervisor destroyed the tape, the government said Thursday. A report by Transportation Department Inspector General Kenneth Mead said the manager for the New York air traffic control center asked the controllers to record their experiences a few hours after the crashes, believing they would be important for law enforcement. Sometime between December 2001 and February 2002, an unidentified Federal Aviation Administration quality assurance manager crushed the cassette case in his hand, cut the tape into small pieces and threw them away in multiple trash cans, the report said.
The manager said he destroyed the tape because he felt it violated FAA policy calling for written statements from controllers who have handled a plane involved in an accident or other serious incident. He also said he felt the controllers weren’t in the right frame of mind to have consented to the taping, the report said.
Does that sound as utterly unbelievable to you as it does to me? Pretty thorough work for someone who is just worried about six other people’s frames of mind.