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Pilot fired for holster design failure

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  • zaraster

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    Mar 19, 2008
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    Pilot fired for holster design failure ( Holster Designer gets promotion?)zr

    July 24, 2008, 10:49PM
    US Airways pilot dismissed over firing gun in jet cockpit


    WASHINGTON — The US Airways captain whose gun discharged in the cockpit of a plane landing in Charlotte , N.C., was fired by the airline and removed from the program that allows pilots to be armed, federal safety officials said Thursday.

    "The individual is no longer a federal flight deck officer," Kip Hawley, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration and assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said after testifying at a House aviation subcommittee hearing.

    Hawley wouldn't say if investigators had decided the March incident was caused by pilot error.

    Some industry activists have suggested that the design of the gun's trigger lock and holster makes an accidental discharge possible. But Hawley said Thursday that wasn't a contributing factor.
    According to a Charlotte airport police report, the US Airways captain, James Langenhahn, was stowing his .40-caliber pistol when it discharged a bullet through the jet's cockpit wall and fuselage.

    Nobody was injured on the March 22 flight from Denver carrying 124 passengers and five crew members when the gun discharged about eight minutes before landing at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

    TSA said that the discharge was the first since pilots were allowed to be armed in an effort to protect flights from the same fate of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Langenhahn and spokesmen for US Airways and its pilots union did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

    Texas SOT


    Active Member
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    Feb 29, 2008
    I've see that holster design and it's one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. There is literally a padlock that goes through the holster and trigger guard. You have to insert the weapon fully then blindly thread the lock shackle through holster and trigger guard. Of course, the pistols are carried in condition zero and if you don't get the lock shackle directly behind the trigger, you're a prime candidate for a ND. Some sort of lockbox would be a much better solution for transporting the weapon to and from the cockpit.

    EDIT: Found an image

    I expect that the FAA revoked the guy's pilot license because they don't like the idea of armed pilots and bureaucratic inertia in general (approved holster design, failure to follow some asinine procedure, etc). I'm not sure that armed flight crew are really a good thing in an otherwise controlled and densely-packed environment like an airliner anyway...


    TGT Addict
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    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    If they are using the USP they can de-cock it and the gun will require rather significant force to fire. That may be where the pilot error came into play. He could very well have been wrestling it on when it went off.

    This is a story that could be taken many ways.

    Armed flight crew is better than no armed crew. If you shot half the passengers they'd still have better odds than flying the jetliner into the side of a building, or crashing it.


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    Mar 4, 2008
    It takes one accident to ruin it for the rest of the pilots.Was it a Glock or HK?


    Active Member
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    Jun 27, 2008
    Since no one was hurt, maybe they shouldn't have fired him. They should have suspended him for a while a while and made him take gun training again.


    TGT Addict
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    Mar 28, 2008
    Stupidest thing ever referring to the holster. Was the guy a pilot or "a professional"? <-- anyone get that reference? While I don't condone the pilot NDing into the floor of the cockpit, they shouldn't be given asinine designed pieces of junk to use as equipment. Might as well give them baseball bats.
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