Wednesday, May 21, 2008
FlightGlobal news website is reporting a firearm was ‘accidently’ discharged in the cockpit of a Binter Canarias ATR-72. At the time of the ‘incident’ the aircraft was on the ground at Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. The bullet pierced the ATR’s cockpit, then “Ricocheted from a nearby empth TUIfly Boeing 737-800, although there was no damage to this aircraft.” No one was injured.
While no official Binter spokesman could be reached for a comment, a source at the Spanish regional airline confirms the incident occured during the boarding process of flight NT221 from Fuerteventura to Gran Canaria on May 19 aboard ATR-72 EC-JRP.
A customs official flying on duty, following the established security procedures, handed over his firearm to the captain during the normal passenger boarding process.
For reasons which are “still under investigation”, the arm was apparently discharged by the captain while he was storing the gun, which was loaded and unsecured.
Binter intends to repair the ATR and return it to service.