Pilot shares story of seat not taken on Sept. 11, 2001

by Carla Hinton Published: April 12, 2012
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An American Airlines pilot, preacher and businessman said someone died in his place — not once but twice.

Steve Scheibner told an audience of about 1,400 people Wednesday that he was originally set to co-pilot the first hijacked plane to hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, but another pilot requested the flight instead.

Scheibner, of Maine, was the keynote speaker for the 29th annual Christian Business Men's Connection Metro Prayer Breakfast in the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.

Scheibner said the man who co-piloted the ill-fated American Airlines Flight 11 was Tom McGuinness Jr. Scheibner said the other man who saved his life was Christ, when He died on the cross for the sins of mankind.

“I saw where I should have died but I didn't,” Scheibner said.

“What I know is that someone died in my place, not once but twice. Jesus was the one who died for my sins. He hung and He bled and He died on the cross.”

Scheibner's remarks were preceded by prayers and presentations led by several city, state and national leaders.

U.S. Rep James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, said a prayer for national leaders and specifically “peace” for Congress. Dr. Joe Broome said a prayer for city and state leaders.

“We pray that the righteous would be in leadership forever so that the people would rejoice,” Broome said.

Oklahoma City Councilman Larry McAtee spoke on behalf of Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. “When you build a city on the rock of faith, as it has in the past, our city will stand,” he said.

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb spoke on behalf of Gov. Mary Fallin.


by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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