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.
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.
I'll bet the cockpit crew knew. I wonder if the pilot brought along a spare pair of shorts?
At least this wasn't a “Clock” situation. Clock = a Cop with a Glock.
Melinda I’ve handled dozens of Glocks and have never found the trigger pull to be excessively light.
The only way it could be extra light is if it was modified unless you are comparing it to handguns with extra heavy trigger pull.
But if you like harder or longer trigger pulls that’s a matter of perference but it’s still a long way off from implying that Glocks have hair triggers.
Too bad we don’t have the name of the pilot. I’d be interested in cross-referencing it against donations to anti-gun groups and politicians.
Yeah, that’s why I wondered if it was in fact an H&K.
I don’t mind being given “the business”. I haven’t lasted in here for 8 years by being timid. :-)
One thing I’ve learned is that a person’s opinion of a firearm is sort of like an opinion of a vehicle. Some like Ford, some like Chevy.
My sister loves her Glock and wouldn’t carry anything else. They are an excellent well made gun. I would not recommend them for somebody just learning to shoot. In almost every incident I’ve heard recently where an officer accidently discharged their weapon, they were carrying a Glock. That’s something you notice. They are just not my personal preference for a carry gun.
If I could afford it I would have a Kimber instead of this Taurus.
My sister carries a Glock and all you have to do is breathe on it to make it go off
If you have Glocks then you know that isn't true even it it was said in jest. In fact they don't have "hair triggers" at all
But Glocks are more prone to AD by untrained operators. No question. To suggest otherwise is to ignore reality.
Ignore reality? Any untrained operator handling any gun is more prone to ND (or AD) than someone with training. It's all
a matter of degree.
I'll agree with you 100% on that Melinda. In fact, dicussing the best firearm is like discussing the best religion :-)
Yeah, I know they don’t have hair triggers. I kind of like the Glock trigger. All I am saying is that if someone IS negligent, or untrained, it is preferable to have a pistol with an external safety decocker.
I sometimes carry a Glock when I do carry. But when I was starting out, I didn’t have the confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Glocks because they always work and I shoot ‘em well (for me).
Maybe I should have said “novice” instead of “untrained operator.”
Is that the USP? I had a comp in .40, and the first DA pull was long and very heavy (as designed, obviously). In SA mode it had a nice smooth trigger.
I sold it for reasons unrelated to the trigger or decocker, and now have a few Glocks.