Skip to comments.Trigger-Happy Pilot? Gun Discharged Midflight
Posted on 03/24/2008 12:39:21 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd
A US Airways pilot accidentally discharged his gun in the cockpit during a flight from Denver to Charlotte, N.C., according to the Transportation Safety Administration.
The Airbus A319 landed safely after the incident Saturday and without any injuries to the 124 passengers on board, a spokesperson for the TSA told ABCNEWS.com today.
The TSA said the passengers were unaware that a gun had been fired in the cockpit.
The pilot, who both the TSA and US Airways declined to identify, was a member of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, an initiative put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The initiative allows authorized members of cockpit crews to carry weapons on board.
"There are thousands of federal flight deck officers and this has never happened before," said the spokesperson. "This was probably a bit of a fluke."
The Federal Flight Deck Officer program provides training to eligible crew members on the use of firearms, use of force, legal issues, defensive tactics, the psychology of survival and program standard operating procedures, according to TSA's Web site.
Flight deck officers must requalify for the program twice a year; the pilot involved in Saturday's incident requalified in November 2007.
The gun went off in the plane's cockpit but spokespeople for both US Airways and TSA declined to comment on the position of the weapon when it was discharged, citing an ongoing investigation. The TSA also declined to say what the bullet struck.
"Federal flight deck officers are authorized and trained to carry their firearms on their person inside the flight deck of an aircraft," said the TSA spokesperson.
The weapon used by the officers are H&K 40-caliber semiautomatics.
As for the pilot's future employment with US Airways, the spokesperson for the airline told ABCNEWS.com that it's against company policy to divulge any information about the employee.
The US Airways aircraft has been grounded since the incident, pending the investigation.
No bias it that headline is there? Nope....none whatsoever.
He was just testing the MythBuster’s story...
H&K .40 — I assume a USP, which has a manual safety/decocker and a heavy first trigger pull in DA.
How the hell do you have an AD with that? I immediately thought Glock when I read the story....
I said I wanted BLACK coffee!!! BLAM!
Another desperate attempt by Liberals in anticipation of the SCOTUS ruling that gun-bearing is a personal right.
I thought Glock, too. I used to own a Glock but I had to sell it because it kept crawling out the front door and firing rounds off at random.
I bet that was really noisy!
They were just board in the cockpit and wanted to have some fun. :-)
Seriously though this does reflect badly on all pilots with guns.
Just watch how this all comes out with calls to remove guns from the cockpits because pilots aren’t responsible enough to handle them.
But they are responsible enough to pilot the planes.
Or just an attempt to show that US Airways employs idiots as pilots.
None of mine do that. You should call the factory.
What an idiot.
Aside from why the heck was he playing with it but What did the bullet hit and why didn’t anyone on the plane hear it?
I would say he was playing with it to impress one of the stewardesses but then the image of the typical flight attendant came to mind.
It was probably the result of a deep philosophical question: If a gun goes off at 36,00 feet, does anyone hear it?
I’m assuming he notified Range Control about the negligent discharge and that his platoon sergeant took appropriate action with regards to remedial PT and an eardrum stress test.
“As for the pilot’s future employment with US Airways, the spokesperson for the airline told ABCNEWS.com that it’s against company policy to divulge any information about the employee.”
Reminds me of the stories about US naval vessels running aground. You’re pretty much finished, if you’re the Admiral in charge.
I don't know, but if he had shot out the front glass, I'll bet people on the plane would suspect something wasn't right. ;-)
This isn’t possible. We all know that when a gun is fired in an airplane, it will blow a hole that opens up and sucks everybody out.
Mythbusters debunked that one a while back.
The pilot is supposed to keep the gun in the holster at all times. Then, it won’t go BOOM.
Playing “show and tell” in the cockpit is dangerous.
Yeah, I think that was proven in one of the Lethal Weapon movies.
Too bad we’ll never hear the “rest of the story”. I wonder if the co-pilot was in the cockpit at the time. And there are a number of critical things in the cockpit that might not withstand a direct hit. There’s redundancy all over the electronics of these planes, but what about things like the throttle?
My sister carries a Glock and all you have to do is breathe on it to make it go off. A neighbor of ours and retired police officer shot his television with his. He said all he did was pick it up. My husband traded for one and was afraid to sell it so he eventually sold it to a police officer as a personal gun, very cheap. I’m afraid of them.
Did you see this yet? I’m betting he was overcome by the urge to “show and tell”. :-) Even so, there’s NO EXCUSE for an AD...especially in a cockpit! Sheesh...I’ll bet that was loud!
Your sister carries a glock?
Wow. I bet no moose ever tried to bite her!
Yep those Glocks just go off by themselves all the time..
BANG..there goes one now. Must be the neighbor next store.
BANG..there goes another one, must be the guy across the street. I heard he had a cold he must have sneezed on his.
BANG..there goes mine. Must be those darn sunspots. I hate it when that happens.
Your neighbor forgot to tell you he pulled the trigger.
I have owned several Glocks in my life, I have accidentally dropped my loaded Glock 23 twice in the last 20 years, it never discharged.
There is only one way a Glock discharges by pulling the trigger, unless is in need of repair, send it to Glock for repairs.
Yep. I don't know if she has her Glock in this picture or not because I can't tell. Nobody messes with her. I carry a .357 Magnum revolver with a 2" barrel but it's not a Glock.
I have several Glocks, and I like them.
But Glocks are more prone to AD by untrained operators. No question. To suggest otherwise is to ignore reality.
An external safety decocker helps if one commits the mortal sin of pulling the trigger without being on target. I know some experienced shooters who hate Glocks for this reason.
It just amazes me that people accidentally discharge a firearm. Short of a mechanical malfunction of course.
I bet tiger-one and skyman are sorry now they “gave you the business”!
Actually that's not true. Friends don't let friends use Fobus.
:-). That could be I suppose. He didn’t say he dropped it. He said he picked it up and it went off. He probably hit the trigger by mistake. I’ve only personally been around two, my sister’s and the one my husband traded for. He said the trigger pull on his was so light that it made him very nervous so he got rid of it. He prefers his 9mm Ruger. My sister does OK with hers because she practices with it all the time but she will be the first to tell you that the trigger is too light for most people. I prefer a stronger trigger pull myself.
Must...resist...off color comment. :-)
Your sister is cool. Carries a Glock, and firing the shotgun with a 1911 strapped to her side.
No wonder no one messes with her. ;-)
Must...resist...off color comment. :-)
Good for you Larry. In using restraint. We wouldn’t want you to go off
now would we.
I didn’t say anything about them going off on their own. All cases were an accidental discharge caused by human error. I was being flippant about breathing on them. The point was that they seem to be easier to accidently discharge than some other brands of gun.
Must have slept through the part where they said, "Don't play with your gun on the plane."
For sure was this pistol an H&K?
I think they are supposed to use a holster with a hole for a padlock. The padlock passes throught the trigger guard, BEHIND the trigger. You can’t push the pistol in any further, so the lock should not touch the trigger. You can’t pull the pistol out, the lock is in front of the grip.
BUT (just supposing here) what if you goofed up, and slid the lock through the holster, with the pistol NOT all the way forward? Then, the lock would be in FRONT of the trigger.
And if you then went and pushed the pistol the rest of the way in......would that give enough trigger travel to cause a discharge?
but you repeat yourself...
Some Glock owners get a bit touchy when you use the “AD” word. It happens every time.
Theres a first time for everything.
I must be a Glock.
Perhaps on a Glock, but an H&K USP would not fire under that scenario, assuming the safety/decocker was engaged and functioning, if I understand your scenario correctly.