US Airways firing pilot

The pilot who experienced the accidental discharge when attempting to stow his firearm in the TSA mandated holster is being terminated by US Airways. You know, it’s not often that I saw that a firearm going off is a true accidental discharge and not caused by negligence, but in this case I definitely believe it, especially after seeing this video.

The airline has begun the termination process for Capt. James Langenhahn, said Mike Karn, vice president of the Federal Flight Deck Officers Association.

Karn said his group, which represents pilots who are federally trained and allowed to carry firearms on flights, will fight the termination.

“This was accidental not intentional,” Karn said. “This is not the way to treat a long-term pilot.”

Once again, I’m stuck on an issue on which I’m torn. On the one hand, I think that US Airways has every right to fire this guy – provided that he violated one of their policies. If he didn’t, then this is wrong, but I’m assuming for the moment that having an AD on a plane does violate company policy. But that being said, I don’t think he should be fired – if anything his situation should spark some kind of policy change at TSA to ensure that they’re not issuing these goofy-assed holsters to people any longer.

I love the FFDO program, and I think it’s unfortunate the TSA saddles their pilots with this ridiculous and dangerous holsters. The equipment and regulations create a safety hazard, because they mandate excessive handling of the firearm, and every time you handle your firearm you increase the odds of something bad happening. I want the FFDO program to continue, but someone at DHS needs to take a long, hard look at some of the dumb rules.


  1. It seems pretty clear to me that the airlines like the FFDO program about as much as the TSA does, and this is a message to the rest of the pilots that are armed that they need to decide just how much they want to keep their jobs. If the airline felt any differently, they would be spear heading the fight to fix that stupid TSA policy instead of using the consequences of that policy to fire the pilot.

  2. In paragraph 3 you state “TSA saddles their pilots” which implies the pilots work for the TSA, not correct TSA only provides the training. As someone with decades of weapons handling experience I would like to remind you of the 2 ad’s I have experience while clearing a weapon. Manulipating a weapon in and out of a holster with a round chambered and the safety OFF in a bucket seat is not the best of ideas. US Air will probably win the termination.

  3. Yeah, I should have been more clear – when I aid “their”, I meant the guys in the FFDO program, which is administered by TSA.

    And I don’t diagree for even a second that having to handle a weapon in a bucket seat is a bad idea, which is why it boggles the mind that TSA regs require FFDO to handle their weapons during the flight. Couple that with the fact that the issue FFDO firearm is a DAO HK with no external safety, and it’s a wonder that this hasn’t happened before.

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