More guns, please!

Gun Goes Off Midflight:

A US Airways pilot accidentally discharged his gun in the cockpit during a flight from Denver to Charlotte, N.C., according to the Transportation Safety Administration.

The round was discharged by the pilot in the left seat and did not result in depressurization, according to government aviation sources.

The Airbus A319 landed safely after the incident Saturday and without any injuries to the 124 passengers on board, a spokesperson for the TSA told today.

The pilot was a member of TSA’s Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which trains and licenses pilots to carry a gun on the flight deck.

As the Supreme Court considers whether there’s a constitutional right to bear arms, I hope we all, pilots, legislators, judges, hunters and survivalist gun-nuts remember that mistakes happen, and there are places where the cost of an error is pretty high. A cockpit is one such place. Pilots have a job that’s tough enough. They don’t need to be messing around with guns, shooting out windows, or trying to depressurize the cabin.


  1. #1 Ken Shabby
    March 25, 2008

    He was playing with the gun.

    When this happens at home, there is always cleaning equipment around to back up the old story “I was cleaning it when it went off”.

    In the cockpit, no. I’d like to see the final revision of his story. It ought to be a howler.

  2. #2 Dunc
    March 25, 2008

    I’ve never understood the “I was cleaning it” excuse – surely if you’re cleaning a gun, the first thing you do is open the chamber. And if there’s a round in there, you’re going to have to remove it to get the brushes in.

  3. #3 PhysioProf
    March 25, 2008

    Guns don’t accidentally shoot out the windows of airplanes at 35,000 feet; people accidentally shoot out the windows of airplanes at 35,000 feel.

  4. #4 Chris P
    March 30, 2008

    Whether or not the plane depressurised is academic because there was a hole through the skin. I guess it wasn’t a massive problem because the plane wasn’t that high.

    Chris P

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