The horrific September 11, 2001 attacks remain deeply ingrained in our minds. The fateful day witnessed four coordinated attacks in which four commercial planes were hijacked by terrorists, who crashed them on American soil. While two airplanes hit the World Trade Center in New York City, the third collided with the Pentagon, and the fourth crashed on a field in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania. TMZ’s ‘9/11: The Fifth Plane’ dives deep into the tragedy and explores the theory that terrorists were targeting a fifth plane that day. The show also went on to talk about Carol Timmons, who was the designated co-pilot of the fifth plane. Well, let’s discover more about Carol’s life and learn how she died, shall we?
Who Was Carol Timmons?
A native of New Castle, Delaware, Carol Timmons was just five when she discovered her passion for flying. Although she did not have much interaction with airplanes or helicopters in her growing years, her parents encouraged her to follow her dreams. Hence, Carol joined the Delaware Air National Guard after graduation and learned to fly a C-130. In 1980, she became a part of the Army National Guard, and reports claim that she even attended Wilmington College, where she pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management.
Additionally, Carol later joined the Air Force Reserves, where she was initially allowed to fly non-combative missions. Still, she eventually flew as a Combat Pilot in the Middle East during Desert Storm in the early 1990s. Various sources insist that the Al-Qaeda terrorists had plans to hijack a fifth airplane on September 11, 2001. The flight in question was United Airlines Flight 23, which was supposed to take off from the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City. Carol, assigned as a co-pilot on Flight 23, claimed they were preparing for take-off when an announcement called for every single flight to be canceled.
The crew were asked to return to the gate and would later learn that all planes were canceled after the two passenger airliners crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Interestingly, some sources mention that once Flight 23 was cleared of all passengers, authorities found Al-Qaeda documents and box cutters in the carry-on luggage of three Arabs spotted exiting the plane. Following the tragedy, Carol returned to her role as a combat fighter and was a part of several major operations, including Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Inherent Resolve, among others.
Furthermore, Carol piloted numerous commercial airlines, and reports mention that by 2004, she had about 5,000 military hours and 9,000 civilian hours of flying under her belt. These incredible achievements led to her being inducted into the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame in 2004. Besides, Carol was inducted into the Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame in 2007 and, in the following year, received a Bronze Star for leading a combat deployment mission in Afghanistan. Moreover, readers will be glad to know that she has even received the Legion of Merit for her service to the nation.
How Did Carol Timmons Die?
In 2017, Carol Timmons became the Adjutant General for the Delaware National Guard. This made her the first woman ever to lead the unit, and she held the position from 2017 to 2019. During this time, Carol also worked as a Flight Engineer for Pan Am and flew transcontinental flights for United Airlines. Eventually, in 2019, she decided to retire from the life she had gotten familiar with and looked forward to a leisurely time.
Carol was pretty excited to spend time with her wife, Lynn, and wanted to lead a quiet life in her home in Delaware. However, the nation received tragic news on August 2, 2020, as she passed away at 62. Although the reason behind Carol Timmons’ death hasn’t been revealed, sources mention that her passing was peaceful, and her loved ones surrounded her in the last moments of her life.
Read More: Tom Mannello: Where is Flight 23 Pilot Now?