Charles "Chick" Burlingame III, 51, the captain of Flight 77, was a veteran pilot and former Navy officer.
A graduate of Anaheim High School, he went on to the Naval Academy and flew for the Navy.
He lived in Virginia and once worked in the Pentagon.
But he retained a fondness for the home teams, the Angels and Lakers. Indeed, he'd hoped that his wife, Sheri, would accompany him to Los Angeles so they could attend a baseball game, but he couldn't get seats that were worth the trouble.
He wanted to watch the Angels while celebrating his 52nd birthday, which was Wednesday.
Danger was a constant, if highly unlikely, part of the job, said his sister, Debra Burlingame.
"He was aware that when he went to work there was always a possibility of some kind of catastrophe, but it was very, very remote," she said. "I don't think he thought about hijacking."
He is also survived by a daughter. Burial is planned at Arlington National Cemetery, where Burlingame's father, a Navy and Air Force veteran, is buried.