As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Colonel Mark Tillman, who piloted Air Force One on that fateful day, is revealing shocking details about threats against the president and his aircraft. Hit the jump to read the rest of the story.
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As he was flying President Bush from Sarasota, Florida, Tillman was warned that an unidentified aircraft was bearing down on the plane. Tillman said, “As we got over Gainesville, Florida, we got the word from Jacksonville Center. They said ‘Air Force One, you have traffic behind you, and basically above you, descending into you. We are not in contact with them and they’ve shut their transponder off.’”

In addition, an unidentified man near the runway forced Air Force One to take off in the opposite direction.
Given that officials had no idea what the capabilities of the terrorists were, Tillman didn’t want to take chances and asked for support from fighter jets.
Air Force One and President Bush landed safely, but the attack forced Tillman to scrutinize the security of the aircraft. He said, “We had to make sure that every little hole, chink in our armor, had to be filled so we could protect the president. “