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Author Topic: Gun fired aboard plane...  (Read 6398 times)
mhawke
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« on: March 24, 2008, 09:38:42 PM »

I realize this is not really on topic, but is intersting conversation for the commercial pilots and those of us who fly frequently in commercial planes as revenue.

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

Summary, "  Pilot who was license to carry a weapon on a US Air flight from Denver to Charlotte, accidentaly discharged his weapon.  Plane landed without incident"

Raises the question again, should commercial pilots on a plane be armed?  I have my opinion but would like to hear others first.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2008, 09:52:02 PM »

I would need more of the facts surrounding this incident before solidifying my opinion, like what the heck caused this gun with a safety feature to "accidentally" discharge.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
Gecko1
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2008, 09:54:52 PM »

Well, I think that an accidental discharge is much more desirable than a hijacking. The pilots should have the capacity to defend themselves if someone does breach security, and an isolated accident where the pilot remains in control of the plane is better than a loss of control. As long as they are licensed, I would prefer that they have guns.

[Edit] Here's the Homeland Security report. http://www.nationalterroralert.com/updates/2008/03/24/pilots-gun-discharges-on-us-airways-flight/
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 09:56:52 PM by Gecko1 » Logged
KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2008, 09:26:53 AM »

Well, I think that an accidental discharge is much more desirable than a hijacking.

With neither being the only preferred outcome.   Pilots shooting up cockpits (a gross overstatement for effect only) doesn't give the concept of pilots packing a lot of credibility in the public's mind.

Avweb just reported that the pilot has been placed on leave while the investigation takes place:

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/PilotOnLeaveAfterGunMishap_197440-1.html?CMP=OTC-RSS
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
laylow
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2008, 09:36:52 AM »

I'm a gun owner.  Guns, modern ones, don't "accidentally fire."  You can fling just about any modern hand gun down on the hard ground, and it will not fire.  People negligently fire them, though.
There are four rules to gun safety:

1. All guns are always loaded (until you establish whether they are or not).
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. Keep your gun pointed in a safe direction at all times: on the range, at home, loading, or unloading.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target (and you are ready to shoot).
4. Be sure of your target. Know what it is, what is in line with it and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you haven't positively identified.

I'm betting the pilot in question violated rule three.  Violate the rules, someone or something is going to get shot.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2008, 04:42:39 PM »

Associated Press/Rocky Mountain News has two pictures of what appears to be the bullet hole in this aircraft.  Click here for the pictures (long URL purposely put behind the text).

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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
mhawke
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2008, 10:54:23 PM »

I am an avid believer in gun owner rights, a gun owner myself, and former military.

I however disagree with a pilot on the plane having a gun.  They are in to tight of a spot, to be able to functionaly defend themselves well enough with a gun even.  If a couple terrorists with enough drive want to get the gun, they will, sacarficing one in the process.  It would not be that difficult to work out a scenario to make it happen.

I think that hardening of the cockpit doors is still the key.  I also believe the flight crew not opening the door or coming out of the cockpit on other then long international flights is key to that also.  I still regularly see the pilot or copilot come out of the cockpit to use the restroom and it is too predictable.  Granted a determine person would have to go on a few flights to time it right.  The sequence is almost the same everytime and fairly recognizable to anyone who flies a lot.  Granted now, those same people would probably attack anyone running towards the cockpit before they could get there, I know I always keep a wary eye when I see the cockpit door open.  Partly military training, partly having been in the air on September 11th.


Again, just my opinions.....
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moto400ex
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2008, 01:01:39 AM »

Perhaps these were the pilots... cheesy

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Biff
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2008, 11:06:25 AM »

Well, here ya go.

Quote
A report compiled by Charlotte-Douglas Airport police said the 40-caliber H&K pistol fired as the pilot was returning the gun to its holster.

Flight deck officers are required to secure the weapon with a padlock, placed in a hole through the holster near the gun’s trigger, according to Paul Huebl, a firearms instructor who is familiar with the federal program.

“It’s insane,” Heubl said. “I don’t think that there’s a firearms instructor anywhere that would accept this as a safety device.”

The holster can become misaligned with the gun, allowing for the lock to be placed over the trigger, he said.
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Fryy
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2008, 03:59:42 PM »

Well, here ya go.

Quote
A report compiled by Charlotte-Douglas Airport police said the 40-caliber H&K pistol fired as the pilot was returning the gun to its holster.

Flight deck officers are required to secure the weapon with a padlock, placed in a hole through the holster near the gun’s trigger, according to Paul Huebl, a firearms instructor who is familiar with the federal program.

“It’s insane,” Heubl said. “I don’t think that there’s a firearms instructor anywhere that would accept this as a safety device.”

The holster can become misaligned with the gun, allowing for the lock to be placed over the trigger, he said.

That pretty much sums up my theory. I was shown how the gun goes into the holster and the lock placement can easily be put in front of the trigger rather than behind it..
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oreotsi
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2008, 10:54:54 PM »

why was there a round in the chamber anyway?
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KASWspotter
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2008, 12:38:55 AM »

I can probably answer the question about a round being in the chamber. It takes a precious second or 2 to unholster handgun and chamber a round if its an automatic. I was a military police officer for 8 years and carried various semi automatic handguns usually with a round in the chamber. If you have to draw and use your weapon then there is another movement you have to make in chambering a round. Now picture yourself doing this while you have someone sprinting at you from 15 feet away with a knife or other deadly weapon. Imagine youre in an aisle with nowhere to go. Another scenario that is just as plausible would be someone accessing the cockpit. Now you are struggling with them and they have a hold of one of your arms. You'll just pull your pistol right? How will you chamber that round in the midst of a life and death struggle. Hope that gives you a little insight there.

My concern isnt there was a round in the chamber. Why was he putting it in the holster? What was it doing out of the holster? Thats what I have a problem with. Ive long since left the military but have a concealed carry permit. I carry pretty much everywhere I go and usually nobody even notices. There is a round always in the chamber as well. However the chances of me getting struck by lightning or hitting the powerball are better than having an accidental discharge. Reason being my handgun doesnt leave the holster unless im unloading it and putting it away. My guess is that there are people smart enough to go through the course but arent smart enough for the responsibility.

Im not trying to pass judgement on this pilot but the gun goes in the holster. The lock goes on the trigger. You verify everything is the way it should be and then you go about your business until its time to do it all in reverse. Theres no reason to mess with it if you dont have to use it.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2008, 12:41:50 AM by KASWspotter » Logged
laylow
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2008, 12:53:02 AM »

A padlock through the trigger guard??! Who came up with that idiotic idea?  That just about guarantees a negligent discharge!
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2008, 10:33:41 PM »

AvWeb just posted some more information about this incident here:

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/APSA_Gun_Cockpit_197479-1.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

A partial quote from the article:

Quote
Some Pilots Blame TSA For Cockpit Gunfire     

By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor

The Airline Pilot Security Alliance (APSA) Thursday released a statement saying that TSA weapons-handling rules are to blame for the accidental discharge of a pilot's firearm while in the cockpit of a flying US Airways jet last weekend. The APSA pointed specifically to the TSA's requirement for pilots to remove the guns from their person, lock them and carry them "off-body" when off the flight deck. The group quotes an unidentified federal flight deck officer who said the pilot involved was preparing for landing and was trying to remove his gun and secure it when "the padlock depressed the trigger."
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
laylow
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2008, 12:52:49 AM »

Unbelievably stupid policy. 
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