BOWIE — Small planes buzz low over Route 50 towards the landing strip of Freeway Airport, where a decade ago a hijacker sharpened his flying skills before piloting American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
The visits by Hani Hanjour brought notoriety to this small airport — one of several locations frequented by the hijackers in Maryland.
Hanjour was only interested in learning how to steer the plane, not takeoff or land, said Joe Gauvreau, a flight instructor at the airport.
“His attitude was so bad that one of the instructors who flew with him said he wouldn’t fly with anymore,” he said.
The government banned flights from the airport for six months following the attacks. Life has since returned to normal for pilots at the airport. Tighter restrictions governing airspace around Washington, D.C., limited where pilots who use this airport can fly.