SJSU honors Sept. 11 Flight 93 pilot

April 22, 2011 8:47:29 PM PDT
The wife of one of the Sept. 11, 2001 heroes was in San Jose Friday to honor her husband, Captain Jason Dahl and help San Jose State University launch a new era for its aviation program.

Sandy Dahl returned Friday to the place where her husband made his first solo flight when he was 15.

"He did not have his drivers license so his father had to drive him out there to this very airfield and watch his son take off all by himself," Dahl said.

That once confident teenager became a graduate of San Jose State's aviation program and a hero pilot on Sept. 11, 2001.

Captain Jason Dahl was at the helm of United Flight 93 when it crashed into a field in Shakesville, Pennsylvania.

"When he came into prominence thought he disaster of September 11th, he became a figure head of many pilots of bravery and service," SJSU Aviation Chair Seth Bates said.

Friday, Sandy Dahl was an honored guest as San Jose State cut the ribbon on its new aviation facility at Reid-Hillview Airport. In addition to the hanger, the university has a new state of the art aviation lab on campus that includes a full motion simulator. There is a bronze plaque in the lab honoring Captain Dahl. Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, his wife set up a scholarship fund in his honor.

Colton Thomas is one of the students who has applied.

"It's not a small thing to become a pilot, it's work over a lot of years so you need diligence and passion," Thomas said.

For Sandy Dahl, the scholarship brings her husband's life and sacrifice full circle.

"We will go forward and will fly and we will have good pilots and we will have the freedom to do so," she said.

The latest round of scholarship recipients will be announced next month.


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