Pilot's Gun Goes Off On Flight From Denver

Pilot's Gun Goes Off On Flight From Denver

This is a discussion on Pilot's Gun Goes Off On Flight From Denver within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Pilot's Gun Goes Off On Flight From Denver - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver DENVER -- Federal authorities are investigating how a pilot's gun ...

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    Pilot's Gun Goes Off On Flight From Denver

    Pilot's Gun Goes Off On Flight From Denver - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver

    DENVER -- Federal authorities are investigating how a pilot's gun accidentally discharged in the cockpit on a US Airways flight from Denver to Charlotte, N.C.

    Airline and federal officials said flight 1536 was not in any danger as a result of the incident, which occurred about 9:50 a.m. MDT on Saturday. There were 124 passengers, two pilots and three flight attendants on board the flight at the time. No one was injured.

    Officials say the unnamed pilot was allowed to carry the weapon as part of the Transportation Security Administration's Federal Flight Deck Officer program. It was created after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    The program allows eligible crew members -- including pilots, navigators and flight engineers -- to use a firearm to defend against any act of air piracy or criminal violence.

    "TSA and the Federal Air Marshals Service take this matter seriously and an investigation is underway," the TSA said. "The pilot was authorized to be in possession of the weapon and he completed the appropriate training."

    The pilot in question, who was sitting in the left seat, last re-qualified on Nov. 7, 2007.

    U.S. Airways said it is cooperating with law enforcement authorities investigating the incident.

    The Federal Air Marshal's Service said the flight was on approach to land when an "accidental discharge" occurred. Greg Alter, with the Federal Air Marshal's Service, said this is the first time anything like this has happened.

    Federal Flight Deck Officers use Heckler and Koch universal self-loading 40-caliber pistols and are allowed to carry these weapons ready to use -- like any other law enforcement officer. The Federal Flight Deck Officers need to be re-qualified twice a year.

    A federal aviation security source told ABC the discharged round hit the side of the Airbus A319 and did not hit any sensitive equipment. The round likely exited the bulkhead but did not result in depressurization.

    TSA said passengers were not aware that the weapon was discharged and flight 1536 landed without incident.

    The jet has been taken out of service for inspection.


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