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.
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.
“Just watch how this all comes out with calls to remove guns from the cockpits because pilots arent responsible enough to handle them.”
I wonder how many police officers have had an accidental discharge of their weapon? It must be the inherint evil in guns themselves that cause such things. ; )
I will Skyman!
I probably should have posted a disclaimer when I made my comments about Glock. It was not my intention to disrespect Glock at all. I have never personally fired one. My information came directly from a few people that do own them, my sister being one. The stories I've heard make me nervous about having one as a carry gun and I am an experienced firearm person. I'm 53 and have been shooting since I was 12. I've had a carry license for 8 years and I passed my written exam and shooting exam at the top of the class. When I took my exam I was the only woman in a class of 24 men. I shot better than almost all the men in the class. One of the "good old boys" even got so nervous he threw up all over the place. LOL I'm not a novice by any means. I probably should shoot my sister's Glock someday to see for myself. :-) I was repeating what I had been told by people that I figure should know.
Even though I've been shooting all kinds of firearms for over 40 years, handguns are not my preference in firearms. My only interest in handguns is to have a gun that is small enough to carry and powerful enough to do the job if, heaven forbid, I should ever need it. My first love in firearms is, and has always been, a short double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun.
Probably wing shooting the passing jet blue jet !
TSA should suspend the flight officer’s firearm authority until he satisfactorily submits to training and certification at his expense that he can competently handle the designated handgun. This is the kind of news that the gun grabbers pounce upon as examples of gun nuts gone berserk, etc...
“typical flight attendant”
You sound like Osama Obama!
Non event in my book..........:o)
When I first went into the service Uncle sugar issued a Mod 15 SW revolver. SP’s controllers and anyone else not allowed a 1911A1 wore an issue jordan style holster . As they sat down in chairs with arms on em the arm would un-snap the holster the first time. The next time they sat down the arm of the evil chairs would catch the hammer spur just enough to draw it back but not cock it. As the hammer cleared the arm on the chair it dropped just enough to fire !
Lots of pucker factor boomage till that line of “office chairs” was tossed to DRMO for salvage sales !!!
Lots of factors. Sad to say that carrying a gun is not unlike driving a car, your bound to get a dent in that perfect shine at times. Trick is not let it be a fatal accident. The the age old rule of never point it at anything ya do not want too destroy !.....the gun not the car !
Stay safe Ya’ll !!!
The dumbest idea going is “Mexican carry” with a Glock. They are great guns for what they are, but the gotta live in a holster!!!
Keep it in a holster designed to hold it, and no problems!
That’s great Melinda.
We need more women in shooting. Your husband is lucky to have a wife who shoots.
You must be really good if you make the guys throw up in fear :-)
No..... I carry that way all the time !
Empty chamber, full magazine of course.......:)
“””IF””””.....Ya stuff one down the tube ya have to have a holster !!!
I can’t keep track of which ones are or are not chambered, this night or that day or whatever. So mine are all chambered all the time, and Mex carry is a thing of the past.
Not a duplicate, but a related thread here from yesterday:
couldnt be as bad as a .357 mag in an enclosed 77 t-bird... 8^O ...ears rang for daaaaaays...lololo
Removing or reinstalling the padlock on the holster?
That's apparently required every time the cockpit door is opened in flight, such as when one of pilots needs to answer a call of nature, or get a cup of coffee or a soft drink from one of the cabin crew.Info here
The Holster, (with H&K USP-40 and required padlock)
The insane procedures required by the TSA demands that our pilots to lock and then un-lock their .40 side arms was and is a solid recipe for disaster.
Putting a gun into a holster and then threading a padlock through the trigger and trigger-guard is required every time the pilots enter or leave the cockpit.
Nope, not a Glock, in either picture. Appears to be a variant of the 1911A1, designed by John Moses Browning, but manufactured by Colt originally, but by many now.
Or he was listening when they said you have to put a padlock through the trigger and holster before leaving the cockpit, such as to answer a call of nature. Then you have to take the padlock out when you return to the cockpit.
A padlock, through the trigger guard of a loaded gun. All required by TSA. Smart those bureaucrats...NOT.
Disagree , holsters have their place. Not in all cases as I stated above.
Lanyards are often a necessay evil. (Better than dropping your weapon into a river or down a ravine.) But the down side is they turn you into a giant human sized piece of velcro. You snag everything, including your vehicle, buddies, etc. Best are the types that coil like phone cords, to minimize catching on everything.
Please see #45. Can that scenario play out with an H&K?
I wasn't sure if she had the Glock when those pictures were taken or not. She shoots competively but I was thinking that the Glock came after those pictures were taken. I lose track of time. She has always preferred a large size gun where I prefer a big gun in a small package for carrying.
I think they were not as brave as they thought they were. I was one of the first to arrive for class. Our country type good old boys are good boys, they are just full of swagger, etc. Most are farm boys. They smirked at me when they came in but I didn't let them get to me. They were all carrying cannons because they thought bigger gun meant bigger hole in the target. I carried a .380 semi-auto for the test that I bought two weeks before the test. I was in the first group to test in the firing range and when we came out the instructor hung our targets up in front of the class, one at a time, to count the holes and grade the position of the holes. When the big country boys saw that they would be graded in front of the class they turned a little pale. I scored a 95 and as I was walking back to my seat with my graded target one of them looked up at me as I passed by and said "you shot it up didn't you lady?" He was the one that barfed shortly after I passed. One of them was so nervous when his time came that he dropped his .45 revolver on the floor. Thankfully it wasn't loaded. :-) Sure, I was scared too but this was one of the accomplishments in my life that I am the most proud of. I never let the boys know that I was shooting before they were even born. :-)
I carried the .380 for six years before I bought the .357 Magnum because my husband was worried that if I needed it the .380 might not be adequate.
What did he shoot?
I’ll admit...for years I carried with it tucked in just behind my right hip, with the grip sticking off to the right (I’m right handed). ...and practiced retrieval often enough to know how long it was going to take to bring to bear. But it’s UNCOMFORTABLE for me to carry this way, especially in hot weather. I still do this once in awhile if I’m in a hurry to get out the door, but as you said...NOT with a round in the pipe! :-)
Yes, it is the USP model and yes, I find the initial DA trigger pull very easy.
Do the new Glocks actaully have that warning printed on them? how ugly is that?
LOL!...No just some creative photoshop. ;>)
yeah you just knew there HAD to be alcohol involved didnt ya ???
lfod...do what???...I said LFOD...
He probably put his finger on the trigger out of habit, doubt he hit it. The Glock has a safety built into the trigger. The trigger is split, with a very "small finger" between the split. When you place your finger on the trigger the "small finger" is naturally depressed releasing the safety.
From the Glock website, http://www.glock.com/english/index_options.htm look under "connector". They offer 3 different trigger pulls, 4.5, 5.5 and 8.0 LBS. My G23 / 40 Cal has the 5.5 pound pull, if owners feel the 5.5 too light, then take it a gunsmith and have the connector replaced with the 8.0.
From the pix your sister shoots competition, the handgun is a 1911 or variant, cal could be 9mm, 38 super, 40 or 45. Comp guns have very light trigger pulls.
She told me that the trigger pull on her Glock is the lightest they make but she didn’t give me a number. The trigger pull on my .380 was an 8. Hers was probably about half that according to your numbers.
The Glock my husband had for a few days had the split trigger you were talking about. He bought it from the retired LEO that shot the TV because he wanted to try one and the LEO wanted rid of it. I didn’t shoot it but he said the trigger pull on it was lighter than any gun he had ever fired. I wanted to shoot it but he felt like it was dangerous. I guess I’ll never know. LOL He is not very adaptable to change and the Glock was too different from anything he was used to. My .380 had a decocker and he didn’t like it at all even though I felt that it made it safer. He didn’t have any trouble re-selling the Glock. I thought it was a beautiful gun but it was only here for two days.
It all come down to personal preference. As a cop I carried Sig de-cocker, and hated it. When off duty I carried my Glock most of the time. Anything we carried off duty we had to qualify with it same as the duty weapon. Today I carry, a Springfield Armory 1911, ulta compact, 45, or the following, Taurus Ul 38 Spl, Kel-Tec [very small and light 7.7oz 380 semi auto, Taurus PT745 45 cal, Semi Auto, all depending on th event, the weather, winter, summer and how concealed it has to be.
Thanks for posting that. Its the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. Imagine fumbling with the lock while the stuff is hitting the fan.