Huddled in the back of the plane, the passengers and crew of Flight 93 made a series of calls on their cell phones and the in-flight Airfones, informing family members and officials on the ground of the plane’s hijacking. When they learned the fate of the three other hijacked flights in New York City and Washington, D.C., the passengers realized that their plane was involved in a larger terrorist plot and would likely be used to carry out further attacks on U.S. soil. After a brief discussion, a vote was taken and the passengers decided to fight back against their hijackers, informing several people on the ground of their plans. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett Jr., told his wife over the phone, “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger, Todd Beamer, was heard over an open line saying, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.” Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were: “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.”
At 9:57 the passengers and crew aboard Flight 93 began their counterattack, as recorded by the cockpit voice recorder. In response, the hijacker piloting the plane began to roll the aircraft, pitching it up and down to throw the charging passengers off balance. Worried that the passengers would soon break through to the cockpit, the hijackers made the decision to crash the plane before reaching their final destination. At 10:02 a voice was recorded saying, “Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.” Several other voices chanted “Allah is great” as the plane’s controls were turned hard to the right. The airplane then rolled onto its back and plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour. Flight 93’s intended target is not known, but it is belived that the hijackers were targeting the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland or several nuclear power plants along the Eastern seaboard.