Airline manager linked to 9/11 pleads not guilty in sex case

An American Airlines operations manager who learned of the first 9/11 hijacking before the jet struck the World Trade Center has pleaded not guilty to a federal interstate child-sex charge in Pittsburgh.

Fifty-five-year-old Ray Wickliffe Howland, of Arlington, Texas, waived his appearance before a federal magistrate Monday and pleaded not guilty through his attorney.

Howland was arrested in June on charges he used the Internet to arrange a sexual encounter with a woman and a 10-year-old girl. Federal authorities took over the case and an indictment returned last month was unsealed Monday.

Howland received some of the first panicked calls from employees at Logan International Airport in Boston reporting the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11 on Sept. 11, 2001.