USAirways Pilot's gun discharges in cockpit

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by gregj, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. I wonder if he was playing with it or what? Another case of where a round should not have been in the tube, in my opinion.

    He put the lives of an entire airplane full of people at risk with this stunt.
     

  2. Was probably playing with it or showing it off. Lucky he did not shoot himself, the co pilot or worst the instrument panel (possibly killing all on board).
     
  3. Bandit320

    Bandit320 Member

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    Waltham,

    Can't really get into details, for multiple reasons, but the rules the goverment has set up and that he has operate under are written by lawyers that don't want this program to exist and only want to minimize the liability of the goverment. Anyone familiar with firearms safety would be amazed at the procedures.

    He has had to volunteer, take time off from work without pay for multiple training events, and pay for his own training / ammo.

    As far as risking the entire plane, all pressurized aircrafts are full of bleeds (holes). Otherwise all the oxygen would be consumed and everyone would pass out. A 40 caliber hole wouldn't even be noticed. Another way to think about it is military aircraft get holes shot in them all the time and still come home.

    I have been flying civilian and military for 25 years now. Of all the news stories I've read in the news that I have known the real details of, NONE of them are reported correctly. Lets give the guy a break. He's doing his best to protect those people onboard his aircraft from another 9/11.

    Rant Off

    Mike
     
  4. Point taken Mike, I'm just glad no one was hurt :)
     
  5. Carbin8r

    Carbin8r Member

    I thought ammo used by Air Marshalls and allowed by pilots had to be frangible?
     
  6. Bandit320

    Bandit320 Member

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    When you have to absolutely stop the threat now and decide to use deadly force you need a bullet that can break through clothes, bone, whatever and penetrate deep enough and with enough energy to hit vital organs. A frangible bullet will not do that as well as some other premium rounds out there today. You can Google and find out what they carry.

    Mike
     
  7. DOH!

    As my ccw instructor said. there are two types of gun owners in the world. Those that have had a ND and those that will.
     
  8. Carbin8r

    Carbin8r Member

    Agreed, but civilian planes are unlike military planes (referenced previously) lacking redundant systems, and an unlucky shot that hits the wrong power/oil/hydrolic line could cause the plane to go down. Frangible ammo significantly reduces that risk. It's a trade-off for that specific situation.
     
  9. gregj

    gregj Member

    +1 from me, very good point.
     
  10. I'm sure the media skewed it this way and that, and will continue to do so. But the fact remains he had his sirearm unholstered and in (someone's) hands when there was no need for it while in flight. I don't sit and play with my loaded pistol with a house full of guests, because there is no need for it and why create a potential situation where there is no need for it...especially that high in the air. I admire what this man had to do to put himself in the air marshal program and taking the responsibility to carry onboard a plane, I would much rather have an armed crew then unarmed, but the man did screw up at some point.
     
  11. Bandit320

    Bandit320 Member

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    Taurus,

    Like I said before, I can't really get into program specifics. But in regards to your two "facts" above, neither was the case. Don't know if you've been in the military or worked for the government or not, but if you have you should know how regulations can keep the guys and gals in the field from doing their jobs the way they need to. Since I can't say anymore and you seem to want to judge others without all the facts I'm now going to stop looking at this thread since it's getting my blood pressure up. Go ahead and flame the US Air pilot (and me if you like), we won't try to put up a defense. Doesn't sound like your truly interested anyway.

    Mike
     
  12. Bandit320

    Bandit320 Member

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  13. SharpsShtr

    SharpsShtr Member

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    You are also speaking of things of which you have no personal knowledge. You don't, and shouldn't, know the procedures of the program. You're supposition that he had the firearm out of the holster is as credible as me discussing particle physics. His gun was in the holster. Period. Law enforcement officers across this country have unintentional discharges occasionally. It has to do with people, firearms, ammunition, long hours, inattention and many other things. It's a fact, it happens. The procedures of this program just make it a tad more likely than normal.


     
  14. gregj

    gregj Member

    I'm almost sorry I posted this. I didnt intend it to become an Internet lynching. Personally, there are 2 sides to every story, and we'll only ever know one, the one from the various news agencies (which probably makes the view slightly slanted). I am glad nothing disastrous happened, and hope the pilot comes out of this unscathed.
     
  15. Carbin8r

    Carbin8r Member

    So, I was curious about this and looked up the Airbus. From what I found it is a fly-by-wire control system with a single non-redundant hydrolic control system. I doubt there is much in the cockpit which is not redundant, although absolute redundancy is extremely unlikely. My point being the aircraft in general, and systems just like the hydrolic systems which could cause a catostrophic failure.


    Summary of Situation: Airbus A319, A320 and A321 airplanes. Requires inspection of parking brake operated valve (PBOV) and action necessary to prevent leaking of hydraulic fluid, which could cause loss of parking brake as well as loss of the yellow hydraulic system, which provides all or part of the hydraulics for the elevator, rudder, aileron, flaps, stabilizer, yaw damper, pitch and yaw feel systems and autopilot, and certain spoilers.

    Action Date & Comments: Effective June 2. FAA action follows Airbus SB. Repair or replace all affected PBOVs within 9 months. Potential single-point failure affecting flight controls. Failed PBOV is capable of causing much grief


    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0UBT/is_18_18/ai_n9906611/pg_2
     
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  17. SharpsShtr

    SharpsShtr Member

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    Taurus357,

    Someone did screw up and he will be explaining to the TSA about it. However you stated ". . . the fact remains he had his sirearm unholstered and in (someone's) hands when there was no need for it while in flight. . .". That is unequivocally wrong. It wasn't in his or anyones hands and was in the holster. You can talk about whatever you like, especially since your a Moderator here, but using the word "Fact" when you should be using the words "I surmise" or more appropriately "I'm guessing" is wrong. No other way to say it.

    Carbin8r,

    I don't fly the Airbus, but the flight control system has two independent hand controllers in the cockpit. The system will has five comtputers for controlling and monitoring the fly-by-wire system. I looked at the article you linked to, but didn't find it terribly helpful. A simple Google search came up with this:

    Based on the experience with the electric signaling, Airbus made the decision to fit its new twin with an entire fly-by-wire flight control. FBW in the A320 means, that control inputs are relayed through wires and hydraulic servos to the flight controls. In the A320, not only the secondary flight controls are electrically activated but, also the primary flight controls (ailerons and elevator). Only the rudder and the elevator trim are mechanically controlled, such creating a safety system which allows to fly the A320 in case of an emergency.
    http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRHeft/FRH9709/FR9709a.htm

    and this: The fly-by-wire system is supplied by Thales / SFENA. The digital fly-by-wire system is controlled by five dedicated computers. All the primary and secondary flight controls operate by a combination of electronic signalling and hydraulic jacks. Very high safety standards have been built into the flight control systems, including extensive system redundancy.
    http://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/a320/

    and this: Sidestick roll commands are input into five computers: two Elevator and Aileron Computers (ELACs) and three Spoiler and Elevator Computers (SECs). Each of these boxes is "dual channel", with two processors, one hot and the ther shadowing the first. Each ELAC contains a pair of MC68000 series processors with dissimilar software; each SEC a pair of Intel 80186's with dissimilar software. For roll, the ELACS control the ailerons, and the SECs the spoilers, on the wings, through three different hydraulic systems. Roll is achieved through use of the four outer spoilers (of five, per side) and ailerons (two adjacent, outboard of the spoilers, per side), and actuation of these surfaces is distributed amongst the hydraulic systems to achieve redundancy amongst the hydraulics. Control command redundancy is achieved by distributing the control surfaces amongst the computers, through different hydraulic systems. One can even lose both ELACs and roll is then controlled by the SECs, and vice versa.
    http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/21.96.html

    An airliner that could be lost through a single failure would simply not be certified by any aviation authority. Hell, even a military fighter like that wouldn't be acceptable. The only thing I can think of that were like that were some of the older helicopters.

    Matt
     
  18. Bandit320

    Bandit320 Member

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    Taurus,

    I agree, discussing things like this is important. Since you don't want speculation, here is a link to the police report:

    http://media.charlotteobserver.com/images/pdf/pilotreport.pdf

    Since much of it is blacked out for security purposes, here is another link that I found while googling that might be helpful:

    http://www.crimefilenews.com/2008/03/video-of-dangerous-firearm-policy-of.html

    Gregj originally posted this as an information to the group and then people, yourself included, started rolling in hot on the guy. If you just want to have fun at someones expenses fine, just don't try to take the high ground. Is this pilot perfect? No. Could this have been prevented? Yes. Was he set up for this accident by a stupid policy created by an agency that doesn't want armed pilots? Yes.

    Everyone makes mistakes and his happened to be public. I'm sure we all have a skeleton or two that would look bad if exposed in the same way. When I joined this forum one of the things I like most was the anti-snob outlook. Why don't we keep that in mind before we comment on someone else's flaws.

    Mike
     
  19. Ari

    Ari Guest

    What is the weapon? Is it a S&W M&P? That is really dumb! If it cant leave the cockpit put the weapon in a gun safe in the cockpit. That lock is really one of the dumbest things I think I have every seen! If the lock is going to be used you can not use it with a weapon with no manual safety.

    The M&P and the Kahr would not be the weapons to use in this case.