Skip to comments.Faulty rules blamed for gun's firing (airline pilot's accidental discharge)
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...
"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 ...
Huh? preparation for landing includes leaving the cockpit..I never knew that.
They never blame the operator of the firearm. It’s always the firearm or some BS circumstance.
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
this was suggested by a few on the original thread as the cause
What the.....? What kind of cockamamied system is that?
I'm glad there's an explanation. I was afraid this was a Barney Fife incident. Still, I'm sure the guy is embarrassed
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.
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.
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
A chambered round is not a TSA rule
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.
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.
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
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.
So you want him fooling around with it even more and thereby INCREASING the likely hood of an ND?