Pilot's gun discharges on US Airways A319 flight...


US Air Flight 1536 Flight Tracker on Saturday, pilots legal gun was accidently discharged during flight.

WCNC Charlotte News


A statement from TSA said the airplane was never in danger

…ummmmm - EXCEPT for the brief moment when the gun went off :unamused:

I wanna know HOW this one happened. Was the pilot showing the gun to another crew member at the time (or even simply handling it), or did he shift in his seat in some manner to cause the gun to go off. Shouldn’t the safety catch be engaged? :confused:


This is very surprising to me. Can’t imagine what exactly was happening in that cockpit. Does it mean the the gun was chambered? Now, that’s really something. I believed the week long training emphasizes how to handle those weapons and nothing should be in a chamber while carrying gun. Plus, the safety must be on, too. It will be interesting to see the result of this investigation.


Yes the outcome of the investigation will be interesting.

But the whole idea of having the weapon to ward off and prevent the overtaking of the aircraft by an unexpected force, is to have the weapon at the ready. Which means having a round chambered with the weapon ready to fire. Otherwise in the event of a surprise attack…the crew member might as well be throwing a rock at his attacker. Further, when inside the cockpit with the door secured a certified Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO crew member) may have the weapon removed from it’s locked storage and holstered on his/her person, safetied with a round in the chamber.

And I guarantee you that a Federal Air Marshall (FAM) always has their weapon chambered and ready to go to work!


I truly question the need for armed pilots. With the armored cockpit doors, why worry about being involved in a shootout? If some lunatic brings a gun on board a plane, the last thing I want is the pilot to open the door to engage the bad guy. I want him/her SAFE- flying us to the closest appropriate airport.


Hey Dandy! Isn’t that how y’all lost the cold war?

Maybe the gun was properly holstered on the pilot but the flight attendant got her heal got caught on the trigger. OR… Maybe he was packing a Glock. I keep mine chambered too, it gives me fourteen chances.


:laughing: Light em if ya got em wazz… :wink:

  1. Oooops…was she French?.. :open_mouth:

What you should never question is the resourcefulness of someone who is bent on causing physical harm and destruction. There are many items that are allowed onboard an airliner that can be very lethal when used by a skilled attacker.

Opening the door to engage an attacker is a big no-no. And while cockpit doors and bulkheads have been significantly re-inforced from pre-9/11, they aren’t impregnable.


And I guarantee you that a Federal Air Marshall (FAM) always has their weapon chambered and ready to go to work!

No. Well, may be American air marshalls, but that’s just stupid. A well trained person doesn’t need a round in the chamber in order to react swiftly. Israeli air marshalls carry gun with safety on and without one in the chamber. It takes them less then one second to get up, draw and fire the gun. Seen it with my own eyes in their training.


Apparently the gun was discharged by the pilot in the left seat, during the decent/approach phase.

According to ‘Jay Leno’, pilot was using the gun butt, to open his beer…


Glocks are immune from accidental discharge. The trigger must be pulled in order to fire. There are 3 safeties on every Glock pistol that disengage only when the trigger is pulled. Their 60 foot drop tests without discharge are legendary.


Have you also seen how well they do it when one of their hands is occupied?

And WHY is the safety on if there’s no round in the chamber? Some weapons must be cocked to even be put on safe. Why the extra step or two is you’re carrying in condition 3 anyway?

Empty chamber IS used by many military organizations on sentry duty. The Israelis do reportedly teach the draw, crouch, and rack method. You can also learn to draw and rack the slide one-handed. But in the restricted confines of an aircraft, any extra manipulation of a weapon is going to be a potential problem.

Let me guess exactly how much experience you have handling or using firearms. I’m glad you have no problem putting your safety in other peoples hands and letting them take the risks for you. It is fortunate that you can abrogate some of your responsibilities while retaining the ability to voice your opinion about them, isn’t it?



My personal philosophy is that there is no such thing as an “Accidental” discharge of a firearm - only “negligent” discharge. There are many controls on a modern firearm, some for safety (thumb safety on a 1911), some for convenience (magazine releases). The most important safety control is the trigger finger. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL THE SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET! Rule 3 is Rule 3.

Besides, we know that it wasn’t a Glock. If it had been a Glock (well, a .40, anyway), the gun would have Ka-Boomed, ripped the plane to shreds, raised gasoline prices, doubled greenhouse gasses, caused baseball players to become injected with HGH, impregnated several members of the Spears family, triggered an outbreak of male-pattern bladness and launched untold millions of killer manta rays to begin their assault. Because Glocks are the Debbil, and always Ka-Boom. :wink:


And grip safety!

Mine goes snick, snick, snick with its suppressor! :smiling_imp:

As my good friend from AZ pointed out, the FFDO is required to have their weapon holstered on their person with a round chambered while in flight.

Our ElAl friends have one up the spout as well. Well, they did when I trained with them 40 years ago, I sincerely doubt that anything has changed in the interim.

(“My personal philosophy is that there is no such thing as an “Accidental” discharge of a firearm - only “negligent” discharge.” Seems I read those same words yesterday! :wink: )[/quote]


Thank you James… :wink: as I said “may have” when in actuality, per the FFDO program procedures, a FFDO is indeed required to holster the weapon on his/her side when in the cockpit with the door secured.


I live in KS, where we do not have the privilege of paying for a $200 tax stamp for suppressors. We are allowed to “pay for the right” to have SBRs, though, but that’s a severe uphill battle with almost every CLEO.

A few years back on Royal Jordanian, the flight crew was complemented by a nicely-dressed young man who stood with his back to the cockpit door the entire flight with a small, open-bolt machine pistol on a three-point sling. Very pleasant young man. No eye contact was made. 8)

The truth bears repeating. Yeah, that’s it…


TSA Press Release

Federal Flight Deck Officers Program


A method that is taught in a well known (in certain circles) training program for ‘special’ people is to keep the chamber empty, but to draw and rack simultaneously. Once you learn how to do that, it is just as fast as keeping a round chambered. Keeping a round chambered in a plane behind a reinforced door where you should have time to rack the gun makes no sense in my view.



That will not buff right out.


The requirement is, essentially, that the pilot has to lock the gun into the holster. Yup, a trigger lock on a loaded gun.

Blame for this one is squarely on the TSA and the idiotic manual of arms they require.