Pilot's gun fires on US Airways Jet

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iMONITOR

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I think a more accurate title would be:
Carless Pilot Fires Gun on US Airways Jet
They try to make it sound like he had nothing to do with it.

Pilot's gun fires on US Airways jet

Incident occurred on flight from Denver to Charlotte; no injuries reported
The Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A gun belonging to the pilot of a US Airways plane went off as the aircraft was on approach to land in North Carolina over the weekend, the first time a weapon issued under a federal program to arm pilots was fired, authorities said.

The "accidental discharge" Saturday aboard Flight 1536 from Denver, Colorado, to Charlotte, North Carolina, did not endanger the aircraft or the 124 passengers, two pilots and three flight attendants aboard, said Greg Alter of the Federal Air Marshal Service.

"We know that there was never any danger to the aircraft or to the occupants on board," Alter said Monday.

It is the first time a pilot's weapon has been fired on a plane under a program created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to allow pilots and others to use a firearm to defend against any act of air piracy or criminal violence, he said.

The Transportation Security Administration is investigating how the gun discharged and is being assisted by the Air Marshal Service, Alter said.

The service declined to release additional details.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus said his agency is also investigating to make sure that the plane is safe. The Airbus A319 has been removed from service, the airline said.

The TSA initially opposed the Flight Deck Officer program to arm and train cockpit personnel. Agency officials worried that introducing a weapon to commercial flights was dangerous and that other security improvements made it unnecessary. Congress and pilots backed the program.

"The TSA has never been real supportive of this program," said Mike Boyd, who runs the Colorado-based aviation consulting firm The Boyd Group. "It's something I think Congress kind of put on them."

Pilots must volunteer, take a psychological test and complete a weeklong firearms training program run by the government to keep a gun in the cockpit.

Boyd said he supports the program to arm pilots, saying, "if somebody who has the ability to fly a 747 across the Pacific wants a gun, you give it to them." But he said Saturday's incident could have been much worse.

"If that bullet had compromised the shell of the airplane, i.e., gone through a window, the airplane could have gone down," he said.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23780390/
 

RC54730

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GreatLakes said:
I think a more accurate title would be:
Carless Pilot Fires Gun on US Airways Jet
They try to make it sound like he had nothing to do with it.

Pilot's gun fires on US Airways jet


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23780390/
I didn't know that Lee Paige had gotten his pilots license! Oh man, first that classroom incident, now this...
 

cpuerror

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"We know that there was never any danger to the aircraft or to the occupants on board," Alter said Monday.
I'm sure having a piece of metal flying around the cockpit at mach 2 is perfectley safe, after all its not like the cockpit is full of bundles of electrical wiring or hydraulic lines or anything like that.
 

Raccon

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GreatLakes said:
"If that bullet had compromised the shell of the airplane, i.e., gone through a window, the airplane could have gone down," he said.
I thought the Mythbusters debunked that?
 

Austin4Wyo

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Raccon said:
I thought the Mythbusters debunked that?
They debunked a catastrophic failure of the airframe, yes, but that's not to say that the pilot could be able to effectively control it in all situations.

At least, that's what I recall them saying.
 

iMONITOR

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Raccon said:
I thought the Mythbusters debunked that?
I think they did too. The real concern would be if the bullet his electrical, or hydraulic lines...or of course the pilot/co-pilot.
 

Taloniilm

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I want to know why he had his weapon out while executing the approach, let alone unholstered at all !!!
 

Zaratsu

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Austin4Wyo said:
They debunked a catastrophic failure of the airframe, yes, but that's not to say that the pilot could be able to effectively control it in all situations.

At least, that's what I recall them saying.

They have tripple redundancy and positive-flow oxegen systems (unlike the passengers:lol:)

The real danger would be fire, but its not likely that the pilot is shooting tracers, but more likely something either very soft, or 100% frangible.

This is nothing to worry about. I feel safer knowing that they are prepared. Pilots in general are pretty competant people with cool heads when things go sour.
 

Zaratsu

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Taloniilm said:
I want to know why he had his weapon out while executing the approach, let alone unholstered at all !!!
He was replacing the "remover before flight" flag like they have on USAF missles:lol:
 

iMONITOR

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DanTSX said:
I feel safer knowing that they are prepared. Pilots in general are pretty competant people with cool heads when things go sour.

Me too, considering we're not getting the Federal Marshals on flights that we were led to believe would be there!

We're paying around $720 million per year for them to be on our flights, yet only about 1% of flights have Federal Marshals on board! The U.S. Government is not only lying to us, they are stealing our tax dollars, and putting our lives in greater danger! :evil:

See my other post:
http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=100796
 

car2back

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I saw some document a couple months ago saying that they were beginning to replace the ID's these armed pilots carry with a police-like badge! I think the whole armed pilot thing is a joke. I am with Greatlakes though on the Air-marshal thing.... Where are they???!!
 
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The airframe would not have failed due to the bullet but if he had hit any wiring, they would have had issues.
 

Raccon

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Austin4Wyo said:
They debunked a catastrophic failure of the airframe, yes, but that's not to say that the pilot could be able to effectively control it in all situations.
Agree, but the statement I quoted refers to a bullet throughthe shell or window scenario.

Then again planes have flown with damage to the fuselage beyond the point where anyone would think it can still be controlled let alone landed safely:

http://www.kn.com.au/photos/uncategorized/aloha.jpg
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/2001/Jan/18/image2/localnews1_b.jpg

Boing 747 cargo door ripped off: http://www.mahk.com/lic34.jpg

Thus I think a bullet through the fuselage or window is rather harmless, there is no indication that the pilots would loose control because of that.
 

JHVH-1

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What kinda guns are they packing? A holstered gun with the safety on doesn't just fire itself. Somethin sounds fishy. Maybe the training didn't sink in enough.
 

kb2vxa

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"We know that there was never any danger to the aircraft..."

Except for what the bullet hit.

"The Airbus A319 has been removed from service, the airline said."

It landed safely but when it got to the hospital it was DOA.

"I thought the Mythbusters debunked that?"

They didn't shatter the windscreen at 550MPH.

"He was replacing the "remover before flight" flag like they have on USAF missiles."

You never worked at an airport, he may have been playing with his missile but forgot about the nose gear pin.

"I want to know why he had his weapon out while executing the approach, let alone unholstered at all !!!"

Because he was never in the Army and never heard the platoon leader explain why soldiers don't carry guns. "This is my weapon and this is my gun. This is for shooting and this is for fun." He just got them confused is all.

"What kinda guns are they packing?"

Didn't I just explain that?
 
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Raccon

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kb2vxa said:
They didn't shatter the windscreen at 550MPH.
Never heard about landing a plane with a shattered windscreen and the pilot hanging out of it, have we?

You can continue to make up more examples but it doesn't change the fact that a bullet through the window does not guarantee a disaster, which is all I have been saying.
 

kb2vxa

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That leaves the question why a padlock instead of the standard trigger lock? Oh never mind, a better question is why was there a round in the chamber and how did the hammer get cocked? Things that make you go hmmm.

"Before you all go off half cocked..."

Here's one for you Jerry, how did that expression originate?
 
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