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you knew it was only a matter of time

Discussion in 'Bluegrass Glockers' started by Berretta9, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Berretta9


    Feb 22, 2005
    Louisville, Ky.
    With the damage they do to the range we shoot at, it was only a matter of time. The big joke going around is they cover the windows at the range so the flying public won't be horrified at how bad they shoot. Now one of them has shot his own airplane. In fairness we know a few who can shoot and a few who can outshoot us all but... well you be the judge.

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The pilot of a US Airways plane may have mishandled a firearm that went off in flight, piercing a hole in the cockpit wall, a federal air marshal said Tuesday.

    "This is an extremely safe and reliable weapon," said Greg Alter of the Federal Air Marshal Service. "It's not going to discharge on its own, is the bottom line."

    The pistol - a .40-caliber semiautomatic H&K USP - discharged shortly before noon Saturday aboard Flight 1536 from Denver to Charlotte, as the plane was at about 8,000 feet and was approaching to land. Photos obtained by The Associated Press show a small entry hole in the lower side of the cockpit wall and a small exit hole on the exterior below the cockpit window.

    The AP described the photos and the bullet hole in the Airbus A319 to US Airways spokesman Phil Gee, who said "they sound authentic."

    Airline officials have said the accidental discharge Saturday did not endanger the 124 passengers and five crew members on board, although air safety experts said Tuesday the shot could have caused the plane to rapidly depressurize had it hit a window at a higher altitude.

    "There are two issues: would they (the crew) have enough oxygen to remain alert," said Earl Dowell, an aeronautical engineering professor at Duke University. "If the crew could no longer control the airplane, that would be a big deal. And the rapid loss of pressure might damage the structure itself."

    But both Dowell and Fu-Kuo Chang, a professor of aeronautical engineering at Stanford University, said that airplane design emphasizes safety and that such a blast - even if it knocked out a window in mid-flight, isn't likely to cause the kind of damage that would lead immediately to a crash.

    "If not repaired, it may cause a problem. It could get bigger. For a single bullet, it would not be a factor for the safety of the airplane," Chang said. "If it hit the window, it may be a problem for depressurization. I still don't think it would cause a crash."

    Dowell pointed to a 1988 Aloha Airlines flight in Hawaii in which the roof of the jet ripped off after an explosive decompression at 24,000 feet. A flight attendant was blown out of the plane, but the passengers - many of whom were injured - remained strapped in their seats, and the pilot safely landed the aircraft.

    "If they lost a window, the people near that window would have been substantially uncomfortable," Dowell said. "You probably wouldn't have crashed the airplane. But there could have been some frightened people."

    The gunshot marked the first time a pilot's weapon has been fired on a plane since the flight deck officer program was created following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Alter said. The Transportation Security Administration is investigating how the gun discharged, and Gee says the unidentified pilot has been taken off duty during the probe.

    Pilots in the program undergo 50 hours of training at the federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, N.M. Alter said it appears the pilot of the US Airways flight wasn't following "proper procedures. ... We just don't know exactly what procedure wasn't being followed."

    Since April 2003, about 5,000 flight deck officers - captains or first officers - have gone through the training program and received permission to carry weapons in the cockpit, said Capt. Bob Hesselbein, chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association's National Security Committee. The union represents more than 61,000 pilots at 43 airlines.

    Gee declined to say how many US Airways pilots have graduated from the program and carry guns while on duty, citing security concerns.

    But they all carry the same gun, the high-priced and high-quality H&K USP, which Alter said was specially selected for the program. Gun safety expert Ronald Scott, a ballistics expert who served for 25 years with the Massachusetts State Police, said the gun wouldn't discharge accidentally if dropped or jarred in some way.

    "It's a top-of-the-line model," Scott said. "They're accurate and highly reliable. This is not something that you would just walk into a gun store and buy. And it's also not something that goes off by itself. ... Someone would have to squeeze the trigger."

    The jet will be grounded at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport for several more days as repairs are made. The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it won't be involved in looking at why the gun went off but will investigate to make sure the plane is safe before it returns to service.

    "We want to make sure there was no structural damage and no systems on board were damaged by the bullet," said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. "We want to take a look at the aircraft to make sure it's in an air-worthy condition."


    Associated Press writer Estes Thompson in Raleigh contributed to this report.

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  2. What I don't understand is why the pilot had a round chambered. The cockpit door is closed and barricaded, so a hijacker getting into the cockpit would be a slow occurring thing, leaving sufficient time to draw the weapon & cock it.

    Anybody know anything about those H&K USP pistols? Built-in safety as a 1911, or a decocker as the Walther P99 or Beretta 92?

  3. 45gunner


    Jun 30, 2005
    Most people carry a round chambered.

    I'm pretty sure the H&K is a double action pistol. The only ways its going to fire is if the pilot pulled the trigger. The only quesiton I have is what was he doing playing with it.
  4. B+Shooter

    B+Shooter Last Man Out!

    Aug 13, 2006
    The USP is a pretty cool setup, the safety either operates cocked and locked like a 1911 or hammer down like most DA/SA pistols. They have 7 variations for how the pistol can be set up. You can put the safety on in the hammer down/hammer up position- however you choose to carry it. An AD in an airplane is about unfortunate for gun enthusiasts as the Bosnian war stories are for Hillary supporters.
  5. Bladerunner747


    May 6, 2007
    They are required to carry a holster with a lock. The hasp goes through the trigger guard, an accident waiting to happen.
    Another bean counter idea!
    The more you have to handle the weapon, the more the chances of an AD are increased. The facts are not in yet.
    Messing with the trigger guard by putting anything through it is a bad idea!
  6. Berretta9


    Feb 22, 2005
    Louisville, Ky.
    Bet it woke the other guy up from his nap and required a visit to his dry cleaners for his pants.
  7. Gunner,
    I don't carry, nor do I want to, but if I did with any of my autoloaders, I would not keep a round chambered unless I thought I would be in a position that I would need to pull and fire on very short notice. Police officers I can see needing to do that, but a pilot in the cockpit behind a barricaded door isn't going to need that short a reaction timeline. What I'm saying is I don't see the need for the pilot to keep a round chambered. No round in chamber = very safe.

    BTW, we don't know that the pilot actually pulled the trigger or that he was playing with it.
  8. 45gunner


    Jun 30, 2005
    Wheter he is behind a locked door or not should not make any difference. This person still can't handle the gun.

    You don't play with a loaded gun. Whether he pulled the trigger, dropped it or what ever once a loaded gun is in the holster you don't bother it unless you can unloaded it in a safe area or to fire it in self defense.

    If you don't feel confident enough to control your gun with our without a bullet in the chamber maybe you should be carrying one at all. I don't think there is anthing wrong with this BTW.

    Most people fire with the gun in the condition they practice with and thats with a chambered round . In a tense sitution I think a lot of people would forget the rack the gun and most people don't evern remember to take the safety off unless they practice a lot.

    I bet if you take a poll about how many people carry a gun with a round chambered you may be shocked at the results.

    Just for giggles lets take a poll. Heck I may be shocked.
    I'm not a law enforcement guy and have not been involved any any gun
    battles. I only shoot in a lot of competition. I bet most people would rather have a gun ready to fire then to rack it in.

    How may GTers carry a pistol with a round chambered??
  9. Agreed - one should not play with a loaded gun. What I was getting at is that neither you nor I "know" if he was playing with it or how the discharge occurred. Though I have two Glocks (G17 & G19), I really prefer the safety features built into the 1911A1 and the M9 pistols.

    Had it been me, I would prefer to carry a revolver. Safer, you know.

    You may have to start a new thread on your poll. I've never started a poll thread, have you?

  10. Berretta9


    Feb 22, 2005
    Louisville, Ky.
    Carry a Beretta. Round in chamber, safty on. Sometimes in the summer I carry a smith airweight, round in chamber.
  11. 45gunner


    Jun 30, 2005
    I have never started one either.
  12. spork

    spork Caffeinator

    Dec 7, 2003
  13. Keep on bring the poll results, folks! At least I know whom to stay clear of so I don't get accidental discharged shot!:supergrin:
  14. Bladerunner747


    May 6, 2007
    H&K LEM trigger sucks. Glock has the best trigger, that is why all others try to imitate it.
    One in the chamber. If not all you have is a bullet storage device!!!!
  15. Berretta9


    Feb 22, 2005
    Louisville, Ky.
    What part of San Bernadino Bladerunner ?? Lived in Covina and Fountain Valley for 9 years ??
  16. glockguy609

    glockguy609 A self portrait

    Aug 18, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    I carried a G-17 with one in the chamber on and off duty for 4 years in everything from retention duty holster, shoulder holster , IWB holster and Galco gunny sack, and never had any problems.
  17. Clyde

    Clyde Lost in KY Millennium Member

    Jan 28, 1999
    Mags full - Chamber loaded

    Round Gun
    All Cylinders loaded

  18. 45gunner


    Jun 30, 2005
    From the looks of it you had better stay away from everyone.
  19. You've got to be kidding. So far, there are what, six who carry with round in chamber that I need to stay clear of. That doesn't make much of a scientific poll.

    Why don't you start a real poll for all of the 160,000 or so KY CCDW holders. I can't get over the apparent paranoia of "I gotta be able to pop the BG real fast".

    Wonder if there are any regrets with that ex J-town cop or the recipient of all those .40 rounds that found the target. There is a down-side to CCDW, you know. There is also a good side - you never really know who's carrying and who isn't, so overall, crime dudes have to think about that before commission of a felony. CCDW is a good thing as long as there aren't a bunch of brandishers, as was the case of one in the Kroger parking lot.

    Behind a barricaded cockpit door? Probably don't need to have a round chambered.