Podcasts & Press

Mitchell Institute’s Heather Penney Keynotes Oklahoma Celebration of Women in Aviation and Aerospace
Heather Penney (right), senior fellow at AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, and Col....
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Fighter pilots recall 9/11 attacks and mission to take down Flight 93
Two fighter pilots who were scrambled on 9/11 to take down Flight 93 were prepared to make the ultimate...
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Flight 93 heroes remembered 22 years later
Names of the 40 passengers and crew members were read at the Flight 93 memorial, with the ringing of...
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US fighter pilots went on 9/11 kamikaze mission to crash into hijacked plane
As the September 11 attacks unfolded, Lieutenant Colonel Marc Sasseville and Lieutenant Heather Penney...
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Fighter pilot directed to stop Flight 93 reflects on 9/11
Former fighter pilot Heather Penney discusses the orders she received from former VP Cheney and how the...
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ANG F-16 pilots who were tasked to ram United Airlines Flight 93 recall being ready to Sacrifice their Lives on 9/11
“Sass would ram his aircraft into the cockpit where the terrorists were, to destroy the flight controls,...
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The F-16 Kamikaze Mission That Almost Happened on 9/11
I publish this post each year on September 11. It’s an amazing story about two Air National Guard pilots “Lucky” On...
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Purdue alumna shares untold stories of 9/11
Two decades have passed since Sept. 11, 2001, and more people are still discovering the acts of bravery...
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Purdue alumna recalls preparing to sacrifice her life as pilot during 9/11
A Purdue alumna continues to share her story after nearly sacrificing her life to save others during...
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‘Kill Chain’ Fails Without More 5th, 6th-Gen Platforms, Experts Warn
The Air Force—along with the entire Pentagon—must make all the links of its “kill chain” more robust...
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Policy Paper Release: Scale, Scope, Speed, and Survivability: Winning the Kill Chain Competition
The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies invites you to watch the rollout of our newest policy paper:...
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Which fighter jet is best for Ukraine as it fights off Russia?
When Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, the Kremlin had an air force that could draw on hundreds of MiG...
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Fighter pilot Heather Penney on Purdue journey and 9/11 mission
 In this special episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re talking to Boilermaker and former D.C. Air National...
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F-16 Fighter Pilot Heather Penney Presents at Museum Speaker Series
Maj. Heather “Lucky” Penney, known for her involvement in attempting to stop Flight 93 on 9/11, spoke...
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Air Force must build trust to add drone wingmen, report says
WASHINGTON — The Air Force is all-in on the concept of drone wingmen teamed up with human piloted fighters...
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More real world input required for loyal wingman development: think tank
A US airpower think tank has listed a set of priorities for the US Air Force (USAF) to consider as it...
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Former Air Force pilot recounts nearly fatal mission on 9/11
A former United States Air Force pilot visited the EAA Aviation Museum to tell the story of how she was...
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Fighter pilot recalls ‘suicide mission’ to protect the nation on 9/11
A former Washington D.C. Air National Guard F-16 Fighter Pilot ordered to take down Flight 93 to save...
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9/11 fighter pilot recounts her experience, 21 years after the attacks
 On the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Major Heather Penney recounted her experiences...
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'I was sent on a suicide mission': Pilot Heather Penney was ready to give her life for country on 9/11
She understands the fascination with her story. “I was sent on a suicide mission,” said pilot Heather...
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Fighter Pilot Was Prepared to Sacrifice Her Life on 9/11
Heather Penney was sent on potential suicide mission 21 years ago A former F-16 fighter pilot who was...
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Former fighter pilot Heather Penney recalls Vice President Cheney’s orders on 9/11 to stop Flight 93
Heather Penney talks to ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ about the 9/11 mission she took on while...
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F-16 pilot in sky over DC on 9/11 to speak at EAA
An F-16 fighter jet scrambled on September 11, 2001 flies over the burning Pentagon in Washington, D.C....
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Expert Panel Talks CHIPS Act & Quantum Tech Innovation in US Government
The field of quantum science holds great promise for advanced quantum technologies in the future. With...
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Stop calling Switchblades ‘drones’ — it’s causing policy confusion
Lance Cpl. Isiah Enriquez, a rifleman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, launches...
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Pentagon seeks sale of armed UAVs to Ukraine, approval remains murky
The US Department of Defense (DoD) intends to sell four General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-1C Gray...
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As Drones Grow More Sophisticated, Export Rules Still Stuck in 1980s, Experts Say
As the Air Force moves forward with plans to use unmanned aircraft systems in new and increasingly powerful...
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Restrictions on drone exports hamper American foreign policy: Mitchell Institute
America’s aircraft export policy is flawed, inconsistent and hampering the country’s foreign policy. That...
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Ukraine shows the need to change US export rules on unmanned systems
“How does it make sense that American troops would die on the behalf of NATO nations, but Washington...
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Beyond Pixie Dust
A framework for understanding and developing autonomy in unmanned aircraft. Nearly every vision, strategy,...
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Here’s why a no-fly zone over Ukraine is out of the question for the US and NATO
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West responded with devastating sanctions and a swift...
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Here’s why a no-fly zone over Ukraine is off the table
WASHINGTON — In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West has responded with devastating sanctions...
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What Is Autonomy? This Framework Aims to Help Warfighters and Engineers Figure It Out
To successfully develop autonomous teaming aircraft like Boeing’s Loyal Wingman drone, warfighters...
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Unclear Definitions Risk to Success in Fielding Autonomous Aircraft
Successfully introducing new, unmanned aircraft in the Air Force, with varying degrees of autonomy, is...
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Crisis in the Fighter Force
USAF is ill-prepared to absorb combat losses in a peer fight. The U.S. Air Force fighter force is in...
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Skies’ Top 10 stories of 2021
It’s that time of year again. As 2021 wraps up, we’ve rounded up the 10 most popular articles on skiesmag.com...
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Smart Idea: Dump the F-15EX for More F-35 Stealth Fighters
The Mitchell Institute report reaffirms the mounting bipartisan consensus of top military experts: to...
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Veteran F-16 Fighter Pilot Lambasts USAF F-15EX Air Superiority Jets; Calls It Obsolete, Outdated & Near ‘Dead End’
The F-15EX is an upgraded version of the F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter jet. The US Air Force received...
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Alternate Fighter Plan: Cut F-15EX, Extend F-22, Buy New Stealth Jets, More F-35s
The Air Force’s “4+1” fighter plan for the 2020s, unveiled in recent months, will leave the service with...
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Mitchell Institute: Ditch F-15EX for more F-35s, new stealth fighters
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force should abandon its plans to revive fourth-generation fighters under the...
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Military Hero Visits Campus
Maj. Heather Penney told the story of her Sept. 11, 2001 experience as part of her role as the Beideman...
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Air Force Fighter Pilot Heather Penney Shares Story Of 9/11 Mission That Nearly Cost Her Life
She spoke to an audience at the Heinz History Center and urged people to remember the heroism of the...
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Fighter pilot reflects on would-be 9/11 suicide mission
Heather Penney was asked to stop hijacked flight 93 before it reached D.C. As the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks...
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The F-16 pilot who was ready sacrifice her life to bring down Flight 93 on September 11
On the morning of September 11, 2001, as Americans everywhere were shocked by the terror attack that...
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The 9/11 Mission was to Take Down Any Unresponsive Aircraft. The Only Option: ‘Fly Into It’
The first day back at work wasn’t supposed to go like this. The 121st Fighter Squadron had returned on...
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The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg - Heather Penney: Lucky
Heather “Lucky” Penney – one of the first women to fly an F-16 – has a riveting tale of a mission she...
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