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'He just made it look easy': Remembering United Flight 93 pilot from Colorado

In part two of "Remember the Sky: 20 Years After 9/11," we remember United Airlines Capt. Jason Dahl, of Ken Caryl Ranch, who was the pilot of Flight 93.

KEN CARYL, Colo. — The story of United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, is well-known. It's been a book, a movie, the subject of TV shows and school lessons.

The four hijackers who took over the plane planned to crash it into the U.S. Capitol. The passengers and crew made sure that didn't happen.

The flight crew and passengers famously fought off the hijackers, and the plane crashed in a field in southwest Pennsylvania, a mere 18 minutes away by air from the U.S. Capitol.

All 40 people on board were killed, along with the hijackers.

The pilot of the plane was Jason Dahl, of Colorado. His friends said they know he did everything he could to stop the hijacking.

"When they broke into the cockpit, you know, it was just Jason and the co-pilot," said Tom Bush, Dahl's friend and an airline pilot. "I know they put up a fight, I know they did. But they were overwhelmed."

Another of Dahl's friends, Jeff Cramer, who is also a United pilot, said that when it came to flying, Dahl made it look easy.

"It isn't easy," Bush said. "And he just made it look easy, and he did it with a smile and a twinkle in his eye."

Credit: KUSA
A marker in Ken Caryl Ranch honors United Flight 93 Capt. Jason Dahl.

The Flight 93 National Memorial stands near Shanksville, Pa., to honor the heroes of that flight. Closer to home, in the Ken Caryl Ranch neighborhood where Dahl lived, there's a marker to honor its famous resident. It's a soaring eagle atop a pedestal.

Bush and Cramer drive by it every day and remember their friend.

"In all of us, we know people, have friends, they're just better than us," Cramer said. "And to know someone like that and still have it resonate 20 years later, I think that speaks to why we all love him so much."

EDITOR'S NOTE: The video at the top of this story incorrectly states that Jason Dahl grew up on a dairy farm in California. Jason actually grew up in San Jose, and Jason's father owned a dairy delivery service.

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