"THIS is the cockpit of the light aircraft in which hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi learned to fly," the Mirror’s American correspondent told British viewers.
"Under the guidance of instructor Mark Mickart I went through the same pre-flight checks and maneuvers on the white single-engine Cessna 172, terrorists Atta and Al-Shehhi had done on July 9."
"The same preflight checklists!"
Wow. Kitsch history. What is of interest is the flight instructor, Mark Mikarts, busily showing the audience How the Terrorists Checked Off.
Mark Mikarts used to be somebody else.
His given name is Mark Wierdak. The only relative of his we were able to locate is a half-sister. She works in the British consulate in Venezuela. When we got in touch with her to ask about her 'flight instructor' brother's new name all she would say was, "We use to share the same father."
Pilot Mikarts also flies out of the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport for a Christian missionary group called Agape Flights, which describe themselves as an independent ministry fighting disease, poverty and illiteracy by serving missionaries in the Western hemisphere and beyond. They have been running a weekly flight down and back to the Dominican Republic for over twenty years.
How many guys using aliases fly American missionary flights servicing the Caribbean Basin? Mikarts is a perfect example of why things seem a little out of skew, at the the flight schools at the Venice Florida Airport.