It's 3:18:27 at Point Mugu as the Admiral conferences the F-18 pilot in with the Not Camp David Situation Room. The pilot reports that he's got radar contact with the passenger plane, which is currently in a "steep descent." Logan and Novick wait. They're both nervous, but for different reasons.
At CTU, Chloe's managed to hack into the ATC servers and pull up a radar screen showing Kiefer's plane, as well as the plane that's on its way to shoot it down. They see that the fighter jet is fifteen miles away, which Chloe is instantly able to calculate puts them in missile range within two minutes. She did that in her head? By the time I figured that out, I'd have wasted a whole sheet of notebook paper and Kiefer would be retracing the route of President Keeler's nuclear football. Kiefer complains to Evans that they're not dropping fast enough, but Evans says he's worried about not being able to pull out of a faster dive in time. Kiefer basically points out that they won't be able to pull out of any kind of dive at all if they're in pieces due to an air-to-air missile. Evans takes the point, and drops the nose, hard. From the back of the cockpit behind Kiefer and Evans, we're treated to the eerie spectacle of the lights on the ground filling the entire windscreen. In the cabin, the oxygen masks come down. From her jump seat in the back, Sue yells at everyone to put them on. She looks like she's wishing she'd worn the uniform with the pants on this flight, of you know what I mean.
The F-18 pilot reports that he's a minute away from being in missile range, and Buchanan tells Kiefer the same. "I have to pull up," Evans tells Kiefer in the rattling cockpit. "Not yet," Kiefer insists. A few seconds later, he looks out the port window and announces, "I can see the freeway." What, he doesn't "have a visual?" He must be terrified. He tells Evans to start leveling off, but Evans can't do it and the plane keeps dropping. He tells Kiefer to help him by pulling back on the pilot's control yoke. Kiefer combines his strength with Evans's as an alarm starts going off in the cockpit. "Ground proximity alert," Evans says, which I believe is aviator-speak for "Kiss your ass goodbye."
The F-18 pilot has 20 seconds to missile lock. He reports that the target is at a thousand feet and leveling. "Leveling?" the Admiral repeats in surprise. The F-18 pilot responds that the airliner seems to be preparing to land on the 118. Novick starts to look hopeful. Logan looks the opposite of that.