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Faulty rules blamed for gun's firing (airline pilot's accidental discharge)
Washington Times ^ | March 28, 2008 | Audrey Hudson

Posted on 03/28/2008 12:28:59 PM PDT by neverdem

Inadequate handgun rules designed by Department of Homeland Security officials are to blame for last weekend's accidental discharge of a pistol by a commercial pilot during landing preparations, a pilots association said yesterday.

"The pilot has to take his gun off and lock it up before he leaves the cockpit, so he was trying to secure the gun in preparation for landing, while he was trying to fly the airplane, too," said David Mackett, president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance. "In the process of doing that, the padlock that is required to be inserted into the holster pulled the trigger and caused the gun to discharge."

The unnamed US Airways pilot, who was landing at Charlotte/Douglas (N.C.) International Airport, has been placed on leave by the airline since the incident.

This was the first report of a pilot's gun being discharged on a plane.

APSA, an organization of pilots...

--snip--

"We complained to DHS two years ago that this was an unsafe rule," Mr. Mackett said.

Rather than carry the weapon on their person at all times, pilots must lock it up before opening the cockpit door, meaning pilots handle the gun as many as 10 times per flight, the association estimates.

Pilots who have completed training to become federal flight deck officers (FFDOs) and carry weapons must use a holster used primarily as a home child-safety lock. A padlock is inserted through the holster and trigger guard, but, if inserted backward, it can trigger the gun, pilots say.

"It's a completely unsafe system unless it's used in a static environment — in a bedroom with good light. But to try to balance a gun on your lap and padlock it while flying an airplane 300 miles an hour, sometimes in the dark, is not secure," Mr. Mackett said....

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: armedpilots; banglist; dhs; ffdo; usairways
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1 posted on 03/28/2008 12:28:59 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
...The pilot has to take his gun off and lock it up before he leaves the cockpit, so he was trying to secure the gun in preparation for landing, ..

Huh? preparation for landing includes leaving the cockpit..I never knew that.

2 posted on 03/28/2008 12:31:50 PM PDT by SGCOS (Life's a bitch, we don't need to elect one.)
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To: neverdem

They never blame the operator of the firearm. It’s always the firearm or some BS circumstance.


3 posted on 03/28/2008 12:32:53 PM PDT by wastedyears (The US Military is what goes Bump in the night.)
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To: neverdem
"The pilot has to take his gun off and lock it up before he leaves the cockpit, so he was trying to secure the gun in preparation for landing, while he was trying to fly the airplane, too," said David Mackett, president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance.

Pilot error. The pilot has no business "leaving the cockpit" while he's trying to fly the plane

The correct sequence is (1) land the plane, (2) when the plane has taxied and come to a complete stop, secure the firearm, (3) exit the cockpit

4 posted on 03/28/2008 12:32:55 PM PDT by PapaBear3625
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To: neverdem

this was suggested by a few on the original thread as the cause


5 posted on 03/28/2008 12:33:34 PM PDT by RDTF (my worst nightmare is being on jury duty sequestered with 11 liberals)
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To: neverdem
Here's a picture of the holster / lock system they use. (for real) Photobucket
6 posted on 03/28/2008 12:33:48 PM PDT by Hazcat (We won an immigration BATTLE, the WAR is not over. Be ever vigilant.)
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To: neverdem
the padlock that is required to be inserted into the holster pulled the trigger and caused the gun to discharge

What the.....? What kind of cockamamied system is that?

7 posted on 03/28/2008 12:33:49 PM PDT by LouAvul
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To: neverdem
"It's a completely unsafe system unless it's used in a static environment — in a bedroom with good light. But to try to balance a gun on your lap and padlock it while flying an airplane 300 miles an hour, sometimes in the dark, is not secure," Mr. Mackett said....

I'm glad there's an explanation. I was afraid this was a Barney Fife incident. Still, I'm sure the guy is embarrassed

8 posted on 03/28/2008 12:35:07 PM PDT by colorado tanker (Number nine, number nine, number nine . . .)
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To: neverdem

Sorry, boys, but it’s definately “pilot error” (brain fart) here. There shouldn’t have been a round chambered in the first place. If there’s a round chambered, nothing goes inside the trigger guard but your trigger finger.


9 posted on 03/28/2008 12:35:20 PM PDT by PowderMonkey (Will Work for Ammo)
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To: PowderMonkey
Sorry, boys, but it’s definately “pilot error” (brain fart) here. There shouldn’t have been a round chambered in the first place. If there’s a round chambered, nothing goes inside the trigger guard but your trigger finger.

It's the TSA rules.

10 posted on 03/28/2008 12:36:56 PM PDT by Hazcat (We won an immigration BATTLE, the WAR is not over. Be ever vigilant.)
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To: neverdem
Sounds like pretty extreme negligence on the part of the pilot rather than a problem with faulty rules.

He was in too much of a hurry to take the time to handle his gun in a responsible manner appears to be his excuse.

It sounds like he should lose his ability to carry a gun on a plane for a while and go through some basic gun handling classes where simple safety procedures are drilled into him over and over again.

An this should be his only warning. Next time, fire him.

11 posted on 03/28/2008 12:36:59 PM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: Hazcat
The pilot obviously did a major no-no at some point, but that contraption is an ND just waiting to happen.

L

12 posted on 03/28/2008 12:38:13 PM PDT by Lurker (Pimping my blog: http://lurkerslair-lurker.blogspot.com/)
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To: neverdem
Rather than carry the weapon on their person at all times, pilots must lock it up before opening the cockpit door, meaning pilots handle the gun as many as 10 times per flight, the association estimates.

So install a lockbox in the cockpit. The gun stays in the lockbox. The lockbox door gets locked when the pilot leaves the cockpit without the pilot touching the gun

I would be very hesitant to have the pilot walk into the passenger cabin with a sidearm, unless he's been extensively trained in weapons retention and disarming techniques, with periodic refresher training

13 posted on 03/28/2008 12:38:13 PM PDT by PapaBear3625
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To: Hazcat

A chambered round is not a TSA rule


14 posted on 03/28/2008 12:38:43 PM PDT by PowderMonkey (Will Work for Ammo)
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To: LouAvul
What the.....? What kind of cockamamied system is that?

The one that says to storm the cockpit on final approach, evidentially. Seems to me that if a flight crew member is going to open the cockpit door for whatever reason, instead of locking up the gun the remaining crew member should be holding it pointed at the door.

This is the same idiocy that launched TSA in all its glory.

15 posted on 03/28/2008 12:39:24 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Who Would Montgomery Brewster Choose?)
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To: Eaker

ping


16 posted on 03/28/2008 12:39:35 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: PapaBear3625
when the plane has taxied and come to a complete stop, secure the firearm

That sounds right. Unless there are yet more rules preventing it.

The idea of a pilot stowing a handgun while handling a landing is not at all comforting.

17 posted on 03/28/2008 12:40:25 PM PDT by decimon
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To: Hazcat

That is the most insanely badly engineered thing I’ve ever seen. A padlock THROUGH THE TRIGGER GUARD? Yes, if you get the padlock BEHIND the trigger, it will stop it from firing, but it’s far to easy to hit the trigger


18 posted on 03/28/2008 12:40:46 PM PDT by PapaBear3625
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To: PowderMonkey
Figured it was an auto.

Semi-autos require an added level of thought and caution when handling.

People forget that a round was chambered. Especially, if it was chambered a couple of days before, at the range, etc.

Betting that accidents like this one happen a lot — remembering the video of police officer showing his gun to a grade school class when it discharged.

19 posted on 03/28/2008 12:44:27 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: PowderMonkey
A chambered round is not a TSA rule

So you want him fooling around with it even more and thereby INCREASING the likely hood of an ND?

20 posted on 03/28/2008 12:44:42 PM PDT by Hazcat (We won an immigration BATTLE, the WAR is not over. Be ever vigilant.)
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To: Hazcat

Ahem...A ROUND SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN CHAMBERED IN THE FIRST PLACE. Sorry for shouting, but the point is pilot error occurred when he chambered a round, not when he activiated the the trigger lock (bad though the design certainly is).


21 posted on 03/28/2008 12:48:05 PM PDT by PowderMonkey (Will Work for Ammo)
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To: neverdem

Of course whenever there’s an ND, obviously more care should have been exercised. But that said, I’m going to stick up for the pilot in this case. That locking holster is a truly flawed idea. Having to handle the weapon that often and then putting something through across the trigger— when all that has to happen is to get the thing backwards and the weapon can fire in the holster... it is a setup for ND’s.

Bad idea, when a locking box would solve the problem.


22 posted on 03/28/2008 12:48:33 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: neverdem

Read this blog (second one down) it will explain the thinking of firearms experts on this.

http://michaelbane.blogspot.com/


23 posted on 03/28/2008 12:49:26 PM PDT by Hazcat (We won an immigration BATTLE, the WAR is not over. Be ever vigilant.)
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To: PowderMonkey

Ahem....AN UNLOADED GUN IS AN EXPENSIVE ROCK!


24 posted on 03/28/2008 12:50:24 PM PDT by Hazcat (We won an immigration BATTLE, the WAR is not over. Be ever vigilant.)
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To: neverdem

Accidential discharge? Sounds like a faulty prostate.


25 posted on 03/28/2008 12:50:31 PM PDT by MuttTheHoople
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To: Hazcat

Just damn!!!!!

If ya carry, ya carry. The less you have to handle the piece, the less chance of an ND/AD. Then complacency is an evil that must be faced more often than bad guys.

This poor guy is going to have to live down being the first AD because of the bag of snakes equipment he has been saddled with.

See tagline


26 posted on 03/28/2008 12:51:59 PM PDT by petro45acp (NO good endeavor survives an excess of "adult supervision" (read bureaucracy)!)
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To: Hazcat; wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; ...
Thanks for the pic. You can't make this stuff up!

27 posted on 03/28/2008 12:52:03 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: PowderMonkey

There’s nothing inherently wrong with carrying a pistol with a round in the chamber, especially if it has a double-action first shot. It’s still quite common even for single action pistols like the 1911.

Granted, carrying without the round in the chamber makes an ND harder to do, and most times a pilot will probably have a few seconds of warning to chamber a round. And two hands free. Probably. But it should be left up to the individual for how they prefer to carry.


28 posted on 03/28/2008 12:53:41 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: dhs12345
Figured it was an auto.

???

It's a DAO semi-automatic.

29 posted on 03/28/2008 12:54:19 PM PDT by green iguana
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To: MuttTheHoople
Accidential discharge? Sounds like a faulty prostate.

Thats why I always call them ND (Negligent) not accidental.

30 posted on 03/28/2008 12:54:45 PM PDT by Hazcat (We won an immigration BATTLE, the WAR is not over. Be ever vigilant.)
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To: PowderMonkey

“Ahem...A ROUND SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN CHAMBERED IN THE FIRST PLACE. Sorry for shouting, but the point is pilot error occurred when he chambered a round, not when he activiated the the trigger lock (bad though the design certainly is).”

Do we know that by TSA policy a round should not have been chambered? If a chambered round is authorized, and he was performing within policy, it gets turned over to refresher training, strongly worded policy announcement and training requirement throughout the agency.

Gotta love government training.

Don’t sweat the shouting, runnin out of duct tape these days!

Cheers


31 posted on 03/28/2008 12:57:50 PM PDT by petro45acp (NO good endeavor survives an excess of "adult supervision" (read bureaucracy)!)
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To: neverdem

didn’t need to read any further than “...accidental discharge...”


32 posted on 03/28/2008 1:00:46 PM PDT by woollyone (entropy extirpates evolution and conservation confirms the Creator blessed forever.)
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To: Hazcat

You have got to be kidding. How do they get it if they need it in a hurry?


33 posted on 03/28/2008 1:09:26 PM PDT by deuteronlmy232 (He who makes the universe get's to make the rules. He who makes the rules is the ultimate Judge.)
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To: Hazcat

Thanks for the link. Pray for the Republic.


34 posted on 03/28/2008 1:12:25 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: deuteronlmy232

They shouldn’t need it in a hurry. The cockpit doors are strongly reinforced and always closed and locked now during flight.


35 posted on 03/28/2008 1:13:59 PM PDT by green iguana
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To: thackney

A very smart FReeper figured this out on the first thread.

Very impressive!


36 posted on 03/28/2008 1:15:00 PM PDT by Eaker (2 Thessalonians 3:10 ... He that will not work, neither should he eat.)
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To: green iguana
Yup.

Semi-autos require... see my above post.

Haven't tried this yet with my hi-power but I wonder if my hi-power will discharge with a round chambered and the clip removed.

Have shot a lot of rounds with it but never tried this.

37 posted on 03/28/2008 1:18:41 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: Hazcat

Trigger locks on loaded weapons!?

Dumbest. Idea. Ever.

Or at least, right up there in the list.


38 posted on 03/28/2008 1:18:54 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (<===Typical White American)
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To: dhs12345

I gotcha - you saying auto and then semi-auto had me confused...

Mind wanders a bit on Friday afternoons.


39 posted on 03/28/2008 1:20:27 PM PDT by green iguana
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To: green iguana

I wasn’t clear.


40 posted on 03/28/2008 1:24:22 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: PapaBear3625
Gotta agree - this holster and the bureaucratic nonsense that spawned it are a recipe for unpleasantness.

As an amateur holster-maker and firearms enthusiast, if I were going to put a padlock on a holster (and I wouldn't BTW), I'd put it up on the thumbbreak/retention strap. Putting the lock through the triggerguard is unnecessary and evidently dangerous. Let the leatherwork protect the trigger like the Good Lord and John Moses Browning intended.

I see no reason why a pilot who has put himself through the requires red tape and training can't keep a hot gun in the cockpit. Israeli-style draw may work for the IDF, but a round in the pipe is a good thing to have when you really, really need it.

Better idea - lockbox.

41 posted on 03/28/2008 1:36:57 PM PDT by AngryJawa ({IDPA, NRA} All Hail John Moses Browning)
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To: Hazcat
Why not just CARRY the MF'er until the flight is done?

All these rules and regulations are going to bite us in the @55 unless SOMEONE just says ... "phuque U, @55hole" ... and just TAKES control.

(BTW ... TAKEing control is what THEY are doing.) And it is insidious by the WAY they are TAKEing.

42 posted on 03/28/2008 1:43:57 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true.)
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To: Hazcat
Here's a picture of the holster / lock system they use.

You're kidding? That is the most pathetic, convuluted, stooopid setup I've ever seen. Who makes that thing anyhow?

Photobucket

"Hey Osamma Obamma Terrorist, wait 'til I get the combination to unlock this thing before you hi-jack this plane."

43 posted on 03/28/2008 1:44:56 PM PDT by Cobra64 (www.BulletBras.net)
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To: Hazcat
Hazcat said: "Here's a picture of the holster / lock system they use. (for real)"

What part of "don't apply a trigger lock to a loaded gun" does the DHS not understand.

Dellenger in his argument before the Supreme Court in the Heller case was claiming that there exists a trigger lock that can be applied to a loaded gun. Has anybody ever heard of such a thing?

This ridiculous arrangement looks like what was being described. And the negligent discharge was exactly what ought to be expected.

44 posted on 03/28/2008 1:45:24 PM PDT by William Tell (RKBA for California (rkba.members.sonic.net) - Volunteer by contacting Dave at rkba@sonic.net)
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To: neverdem
But to try to balance a gun on your lap and padlock it while flying an airplane 300 miles an hour, sometimes in the dark, is not secure," Mr. Mackett said....

Most airliners have two pilots in the cockpit.

What was the other one doing while all this was going on?

The armed guy couldn't simply say to the other guy, 'Hey, can you take the controls whilst I lock up my pistol?'

Most airliners also have map lights in the cockpit so the pilots can read their maps at night.

45 posted on 03/28/2008 1:46:08 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (After six years of George W. Bush I long for the honesty and sincerity of the Clinton Administration)
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To: dhs12345
Figured it was an auto.

Semi-autos require an added level of thought and caution when handling.

People forget that a round was chambered.

Added level of thought and caution? I hope I never see you on the range. Furthermore, your carry revolver is always empty?

46 posted on 03/28/2008 1:52:52 PM PDT by Cobra64 (www.BulletBras.net)
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To: SGCOS
Huh? preparation for landing includes leaving the cockpit..I never knew that.
,br>Descent and landing can take 20 minutes to an hour or more depending on the airport traffic. Much more time if you have to wait on the ground until a gate opens up (happens a lot). So yeah, getting up to take a pee while you still have time seems like a good idea.
47 posted on 03/28/2008 1:55:42 PM PDT by TalonDJ
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To: PowderMonkey

Having spent a couple of years flying as an armed air courier on commercial air carriers in the 70’s, a fair portion of the time in the cockpit. I can tell you that the TSA rules are beyond stupid. The cockpit is indeed no place to be futzing with a trigger lock and a loaded handgun.

I have to agree with the articles below.
Articles courtesy of www.crimefilenews.com

“TSA Arrogance Threatens Safety Of Air Travelers-Classified Information
Paul Huebl
Friday, December 28, 2007

I’m about to expose “classified information” about some internal workings and policies of the Transportation Security Administration. This is being written with the hope that the Flight Deck Officer (FDO) program will be taken away from the TSA and placed where it belongs, under a real law enforcement agency such as the United States Marshall’s Office.

Classifying government information was intended as a way to safeguard vital information from falling into the hands of our enemies. The TSA seems to only classify information to cover up their own ineptitude, ignorance and incompetence.

As a certified law-enforcement firearms trainer I have more than a passing interest in this type of activity, laws and policies.

The FDOs are airline pilots who have been specially screened and trained so they can carry firearms in order to protect the cockpits of their aircraft. Under TSA rules the FDOs are forbidden to take any action outside of the cockpit to protect passengers and crew. Limiting the FDO’s control over their aircraft enables rather than restrict terrorist attacks. Our Pilots are under absolutely insane micromanaging and regulation while terrorists are free to do whatever is necessary to destroy and kill whatever they wish.

The bureaucrats and political hacks of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the newly formed TSA are not trained as law enforcement officers and are absolutely unqualified to regulate the quasi law-enforcement function of airline security. Despite the serious nature of aviation security these unqualified people have been given absolute control over security by our politicians.

The FAA and TSA bureaucrats have fought tooth & nail any arming of flight crews. They lost that battle but continue to impede the safety of Americans by their obstructionist antics. These schemes included making pilots lug around a 22 pound vault for their side arms. The idea was to make sure the pilots can’t have access to their weapons until they are locked in their cockpits. Only then are the pilots allowed to open the vaults in this very confined space.

The vault requirement was and is bizarre and unworkable. After much criticism the vault requirement was lifted in favor of yet another screwball idea. The padlocked FDO holster was born. That’s right a holster with a combination padlock on it! At this point I have to ask if it’s the right time for mandatory drug testing and psychological examinations of TSA officials.

None of the law enforcement firearms trainers I’ve talked to view this padlock holster as anything more that a hazard to all but terrorists trying to kill and injure Americans. These trainers are baffled to learn of the holster lock and unlock procedures that I won’t disclose here.

The TSA Air Marshalls and the federal law enforcement officers cleared to carry firearms on airliners are trained in the area of weapons retention. The pilots are capable of safely controlling multimillion dollar planes carrying hundreds of passengers, are they incapable of retaining their side arms?

We need to force the TSA and FAA to allow trained FDO’s the ability to carry their side arms in the tried and true manner law enforcement officers have been doing for a very long time. At the same time the obstacles that inhibit pilots from joining the FDO program have to be eliminated. Will we have to wait for yet another senseless tragedy before we fix a problem? One thing for sure, the TSA is the problem here.

Paul Huebl-Chicago, L.A. & Phoenix Licensed Private Detective-Former Chicago policeman-Investigative vlogcaster

Paul Huebl
Monday, March 24, 2008
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—It was only a matter of time before there’d be an accidental, non-negligent discharge of a Federal Flight Deck Officer’s weapon. Saturday a U.S. Airways pilot’s gun discharged 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 thankfully none of the flight’s 124 passengers or five crew members was injured

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. Did the TSA deliberately create this bizarre and unconventional Rube Goldberg firearm retention system hoping for this result? The sordid history of the FAA and TSA’s total resistance to the concept of arming pilots to protect Americans is in itself a scandal.

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. This kind of silliness has never been forced on any law enforcement or security officers anywhere in the world until now. Before this holster padlock procedure pilots with guns were forced to carry them around in a cumbersome 22 pound vault. The vault caused problems in the confined space of most cockpits.

FFDO pilots need to carry their side arms in conventional concealed holsters and there is no reason for the unnecessary handling of their firearms in the cockpits.

Paul Huebl-Chicago, L.A. & Phoenix Licensed Private Detective-Former Chicago policeman-Investigative vlogcaster”


48 posted on 03/28/2008 1:55:51 PM PDT by ghostcat
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To: Cobra64
??

My self-defense revolver is always loaded.

49 posted on 03/28/2008 1:57:30 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
The armed guy couldn't simply say to the other guy, 'Hey, can you take the controls whilst I lock up my pistol?'

Most airliners also have map lights in the cockpit so the pilots can read their maps at night.


Those lights are not all that bright.
There is still stuff going on in the cockpit to distract him even if his hands are not on the controls.

You should never handle a gun if there is not a 'safe direction' you can point it in, regardless of lighting and distractions. In the cockpit of an aircraft there is no safe direction.
50 posted on 03/28/2008 1:58:49 PM PDT by TalonDJ
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