Inadequate handgun rules designed by Department of Homeland Security officials are to blame for last weekend's accidental discharge of a pistol by a commercial pilot during landing preparations, a pilots association said yesterday.In other news of TSA stupidity:
"The pilot has to take his gun off and lock it up before he leaves the cockpit, so he was trying to secure the gun in preparation for landing, while he was trying to fly the airplane, too," said David Mackett, president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance. "In the process of doing that, the padlock that is required to be inserted into the holster pulled the trigger and caused the gun to discharge." ...
Pilots who have completed training to become federal flight deck officers (FFDOs) and carry weapons must use a holster used primarily as a home child-safety lock. A padlock is inserted through the holster and trigger guard, but, if inserted backward, it can trigger the gun, pilots say.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today stood by its decision to require a Texas airline passenger to remove a nipple ring with pliers before boarding a flight, but says more discreet screening procedures may allow the sensitively placed piercings to be worn in the future.The pilots should not be using trigger locks, and TSA should ignore the nipple rings.
"TSA acknowledges that our procedures caused difficulty for the passenger involved and regrets her discomfort with the situation," said TSA spokesman Christopher White.
"In the future, TSA's procedures will meet the security need while giving additional flexibility for this kind of screening situation," Mr. White said. "This could include a visual inspection without removal."