GUN Pilot has ND midflight

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by TL1000RSquid, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Pilot's gun discharges on US Airways flight 5:39 PM

    05:32 PM EDT on Sunday, March 23, 2008
    http://www.wcnc.com/news/topstories/stories/wcnc-032308-sjf-gunonplane.1c4cabd1.html
    By DIANA RUGG / WCNC
    E-mail Diana: [email protected]

    CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- A US Airways pilot’s gun accidentally discharged during a flight from Denver to Charlotte Saturday, according to as statement released by the airline. The statement said the discharge happened on Flight 1536, which left Denver at approximately 6:45am and arrived in Charlotte at approximately 11:51am. The Airbus A319 plane landed safely and none of the flight’s 124 passengers or five crew members was injured, according to the statement. It was a full flight. And airline spokeswoman said the plane has been taken out of service to make sure it is safe to return to flight. A Transportation Safety Administration spokeswoman reached by WCNC Sunday said the pilot is part of TSA’s Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program, which trains pilots to carry guns on flights. Andrea McCauley said the gun discharged in the cockpit, but she could not release how the gun was being transported at the time. She did not release the pilot’s name, but said he was authorized to carry the weapon and was last requalified in the FFDO program last November. A statement from TSA said the airplane was never in danger, and the TSA and the Federal Air Marshals Service are investigating the incident. WCNC reporter Diana Rugg is following up on this story. If you or someone you know were on that flight, please e-mail her at [email protected].
     
  2. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    Interesting. Why was it even out of its holster to begin with?
     
  3. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    Probably poking him in the love handles.
     
  4. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    Flights are boring, you need something to play with if the movie sucks.
     
  5. jeepilot

    jeepilot Banned

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    I've come to the understanding that the pistol resides in a box during the flight. Sucks that it was an ND to give the FFDO some bad publicity. You NEVER hear of a Federal Air Marshall NDing on an airplane, but then again they don't play with it during the middle of the flight like the pilots probably were.
     
  6. bigboostdsm

    bigboostdsm New Member

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    Sad thing is, I bet this is a pretty good guess as to why he didn't have it on him.

    Unless it was on him and he got it caught on something? I'd like to see what they say happened :o
     
  7. JaimeZX

    JaimeZX Formerly of :Sep 2001: fame - Also: Sprout Crew OT Supporter

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    Mustabeen playing with it. :hs:
     
  8. skeletor25rs

    skeletor25rs Yetis & Deer

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    If you or someone you know were on that flight, please e-mail her at [email protected].:mamoru:
     
  9. thedude11

    thedude11 New Member

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    Wait! The gun went off during flight and the plane didn't implode?! I don't believe it!! Hollywood tells me that if a gun goes off inside a plane in flight that it will lose the entire tail section in spectacular fashion!



    :squint: to Hollywood for lying to me...
     
  10. skeletor25rs

    skeletor25rs Yetis & Deer

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    Mythbusters FTW
     
  11. smartypants

    smartypants New Member

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    I'm just glad it wasn't a cop.
     
  12. bigboostdsm

    bigboostdsm New Member

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    Just like in US Marshalls :eek3: :coold:
     
  13. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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    i bet thats how the plane crashed in Lost :run:
     
  14. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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  15. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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  16. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    :dunno: I thought they were suppose to keep it in a lock box.
     
  17. jeepilot

    jeepilot Banned

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    The pilot is second only to GOD himself on that aircraft. He is ruler of all he commands, and the FAA will back him up.

    That said, some pilots are probably stupid when it comes to guns and thought it would be fun to go to the 3 week school and become an FFDO. IIRC, they get issued a Glock something.
     
  18. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    They get a .40 but not a Glock, its a HK or a Sig.
     
  19. vwpilot

    vwpilot New Member

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    I've never liked this idea. Pilots should be doing nothing else other than flying a plane in an emergency, not trying to fight it out with the hijackers. That is why we have air marshals.

    Beyond that, we all know there is no way that they just go off, so he must have been playing with it and that is a very dangerous situation to have.

    While nothing happened here, he may have shot himself, the other pilot, a vital instrument or even puncture the windshield or fuselage, which while it wont cause a catastrophic explosion, it would still cause decompression which would require an emergency landing and can always lead to other issues.

    This was just plain stupid and I hope they deal with him very seriously and take away his rights to carry and possibly his job, sending a very strong message to the rest of the pilots that carry.

    It pisses me off that lawmakers keep coming up with rules for those they deem "qualified" to carry and protect the rest of us "irresponsible" civilians, when most of us are far more qualified and take the possession of a firearm far more seriously than some of these other jobs that get to carry, including cops in many cases.

    The whole pilots packing is just a bad idea imo.
     
  20. jeepilot

    jeepilot Banned

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    I disagree. It is a good program, but needs better training. Having a month long course is not going to take someone with zero firearms training, into someone proficient in handgunning. You just can't do it. You also can't get some people to stop playing with the damn thing when they shouldn't.
    When someone gets through that door, every other safety measure has failed. It is the last line of defense. You can bet your ass that if I were a pilot of a 121 carrier, and someone is coming after me trying to end my life and wage war with the aircraft I'm assigned, I'm going to want the best tool to defeat them. We all know a gun is the best tool for that job. Course I'd have no problem with popping valve to decompress, quick-don my mask and let everyone pass out, but that's usually not an option.

    Same flawed logic can be argued with the use of Federal Air Marshalls. They could hit a window, or hit a passenger, pilot, or vital equipment. They don't, and at the time that the weapon needs to be used, hitting a by-stander, equipment, or a window is going to be the least of your worries.

    I'm willing to bet that he's probably already lost his job, or is getting some serious reprimand. I'd bet that he's also probably not an FFDO anymore, and that it's going through the ranks of FFDOs out there. I've got a Captain in one of my classes that flies A320s who is an FFDO, and I'll ask him if he's heard about it, and if they issue frangible ammo.



    I'd like to hear more on your argument of why pilots carrying is a bad idea. While I do think they should take more training, and have more recurrent training, it's not a bad idea. The need for more training is true in all jobs that carry firearms. I'd bet that most people who shoot IDPA/USPSA are better with firearms and handgunning in general than most cops on a police force.

    It's not possible, nor practical to have a FAM on every flight. The FFDO program covers that gap. The pilot is ruler of all actions of that aircraft, and is responsible for all operations of the aircraft, and the lives of all those onboard. What post 9/11 has also taught us, is that the aircraft they fly also have the power to become the most powerful weapons of war. They need every chance they can get to prevent that from happening if it again ever comes to that. The program isn't in place to police the passengers in the back, it's to defend the lives of the pilots should their last line of defense, a "fortified" cockpit door, fail.


    I can see the negative aspects of giving the pilot a gun though. Super-high stress environment and probable insufficient training can lead to errors when it's critical they perform as expected. I'd be ok with the use of arming the pilots with tasers or other forms of less-than-lethal, that still provide the means of incapacitation. That was my idea behind the idea of rapid-decompress, with use of quick-don mask to make everyone go to sleep. If you're asleep, then there's no problem. I've met some pilots that will eventually become airline captains, and it's amazing that some of them can even become pilots anyway. There is a need to ensure that the pilots are training to the same standards and ideas as Federal Air Marshal's. While not making them FAMs, they should be gonging through the same steps that FAMs go through. That said, I've also known pilots that have went through our flight training, who are now serving as Captains on Regionals that are FFDOs and have went trough the training. I have confidence that they would be able to handle a weapon sufficiently.


    I know that if I ever go the airline route, I'll be going through the FFDO program.
     
  21. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    Two I know both have 229's. Don't know if they were given a choice. :dunno:


    The idea behind pilots carrying is not to "fight it out with hijackers." It's to change their minds via high velocity relocation about breaking into the cockpit to crash the plane. If someone is in back chopping up passengers with a chainsaw, the cockpit door stays locked and the plane lands.

    Don't imagine we'll be hearing any more about this one, don't imagine they want to cast any doubt on the program.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
  22. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    Whats with all the anti's on OT lately?
     
  23. vwpilot

    vwpilot New Member

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    See, that is the point, its a better option to not let them get through the door to begin with. In the case of airliners, the doors are already bulletproof and reinforced. It would take a hell of a lot of effort to get through a door, if at all. I think the better solution is to continue to make them stronger so that nothing short of a bomb would get them through that door and in that case, getting through the door is not going to be an issue.

    Not really. This was an AD because a pilot without the experience or knowledge was playing with his weapon when he shouldnt have been. If he shot a whole in the windshield while killing a terrorist, that is one thing and an acceptable risk. But doing it while playing with his weapon while bored is not a good thing. FAMs do not take their weapons out and show the passengers next to them while in flight.

    As it should be and I hope that it does send a message.

    I'd like to hear more on your argument of why pilots carrying is a bad idea. While I do think they should take more training, and have more recurrent training, it's not a bad idea. The need for more training is true in all jobs that carry firearms. I'd bet that most people who shoot IDPA/USPSA are better with firearms and handgunning in general than most cops on a police force. [/quote]

    I dont think they should have them because I think there are better solutions out there, like making sure the cockpit is not able to be breached at all. If someone is coming through with enough power to get through a reinforced bullet proof door, then a simple pistol is not likely going to do the job anyway.

    Pilots are first and foremost pilots. As you said, they do not get enough training and since they are doing their primary jobs, they are extremely unlikely to ever be able to train consistently and regularly to be in the position to actually be effective. Unlike even a regular LEO, facing an attacker on a plane is a very specific thing, that is why SWAT and other specialized units are constantly training to face these specific problems such as hostage situations and the like.

    A person carrying a weapon on a plane to deal with a specific problem of terrorism needs similar training and a pilot will NEVER get that level of training.

    That leaves the more likely scenario of them having guns on board the plane to CAUSE problems rather than deal with them. That old saying by the antis of "having a gun in the house is more likely to be used on your family than an attacker" actually, imo, applies to this situation. The chances of ADs or the weapon falling into the wrong hands, or simply the pilot not being prepared for a situation due to lack of training, I think are much more likely scenarios than them successfully taking down a terrorist that has breached the cockpit door.

    IMO, pilots should do what they can from the cockpit, keep their mind on getting the plane landed and not worry about whether the guy is coming through the door and they need to have their weapon ready.

    As you said, decompress the cabin, go into wild maneuvers to keep the attackers off balance and simply get into an emergency descent and put the plane on the ground asap should be on their mind first and foremost.

    Additionally, I just see it as what makes the pilot more qualified to carry a weapon to protect us than anyone else on board? If they are going to give a pilot a couple weeks training and say they are "ready," then they should allow any competent citizen that can pass their standards and tests to also carry a weapon on board an aircraft. After all, if terrorist knew that there might be 40+ weapons on board a plane, they will think twice and are much less likely to reach that cockpit in that case.

    Pilots are not somehow more qualified and they also have their own mental issues to deal with. Not too long ago a Air Canada pilot went nuts out over the Atlantic on a flight and had to be removed from the cockpit and restrained cause he wanted to "talk to God."

    What if he had a gun on him? What could he have possibly done to 300 people on that plane? Shoot the other pilot and plunge it into the ocean or whatever.

    Just like in the civi world, screening and history are not 100% and when you have a gun in the cockpit, you have a lot more possibility of dissaster than some kid and a school shooting.

    I just do not think its a well thought out solution to the problem.

    And therein lies the rub and my problem with it. Why should we place all that on the pilot and why is he the qualified one to deal with it. Work on the solution of policing the people in the back. Find the budget for FAMs on virtually all flights...I'll pay the extra tax on a flight if that is what it takes. Work on securing the cockpits so that no matter what happens in the back the pilot can protect the plane and keep it from coming into hostile control.

    Deal with the real issues, dont put a band aid on the larger issue by making them a last line of defense when there isnt a quality first, second or third line of defense already in place.

    I'm sure there are some pilots that can handle it, but I'd bet its not the largest majority of them. Of course if I were a pilot I'd want to go through it as well, why not if they'll let me.

    But the whole idea of how this came about was silly from the start. 9/11 happened, pilots complain about not being safe and they should be able to defend themselves, and the govt finds a way to allow it.

    What gives them the right? Why cant we all just say we "dont feel safe and should be able to defend ourselves?" It doesnt work that way in the every day world, we've all seen that as some states still do not allow CCW.

    Again, its just not a well thought out solution to the problem imo. Its nothing more than something to try to give all travelers the illusion of safety, just like taking off our shoes at the security line and only being able to carry three ounces of liquid in a baggie. Its an illusion. Like most of the security measures around flying, its a poor thought out and executed idea to keep us safe.

    To me, it will just lead to more of these issues and I wouldnt be surprised if one day someone does find a way into the cockpit and disarms a pilot, now placing a weapon in the hands of someone we've worked so hard to prevent from having one. If you say that isnt possible, then they shouldnt need them in the first place, if you admit getting through a door is possible, then I give it a 50/50 chance at BEST that a pilot would ever make a difference and not make the situation actually worse.

    Hopefully we never find out though.
     
  24. vwpilot

    vwpilot New Member

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    I'm no where near an anti and I've got 6 handguns and 5 long guns that would suggest otherwise. I'm 100% for gun rights. I write my representatives regularly on issues regarding gun laws in the state of MD. You cant even start to call me an anti.

    However, I can, and DO believe that there are times and places for weapons and I do not believe that in a high risk place such as on an airline that someone that goes through a simple course and shoots paper every year to re-qualify should be carrying a weapon.

    Simply putting a gun in the hands of someone the govt deems "qualified" is not the answer. And if you think that fuck ups like this do not give the real antis more arguments against guns then you're extremely misguided.

    Guns are a very good thing in the hands of responsible and well trained people. But when someone is trained to actually fly a plane, I dont think they are the ones that should also be defending that plane. Do what you do best, get it on the ground safely and let someone that goes through monthly training and testing be the ones defending it.
     
  25. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    What I see you posting is the same old thing I see and try to beat people over the head about all the time. "Well what if a pilot shoots an important gauge, well what if there's a decompression problem, there's a time and a place, I'm the only one in this room professional enough..." The more good guys with guns the better. The guy clearly fucked up, take his permit from him and call it a day. People with permits and training seem to be generally responsible with guns, even when they make a mistake. Its an ND and thats not good but the guy wasn't playing william tell. It seems like an accident where no one got hurt isn't a good reason to strip pilots of guns. If I'm flying, I want my pilot packing. When someone forces their way into the cockpit I want the pilot to have a chance of fending them off and keeping control of the plane. Just looking at the numbers it seems like the high risk is having defenseless pilots.
     

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