The US Airways pilot whose gun discharged in the cockpit of a plane landing in Charlotte 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,” said Kip Hawley, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration and assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, after testifying at a House aviation subcommittee hearing.
“US Airways fired the individual and one of the requirements of being involved is that you be employed with an air carrier. And since he's not, he can't be in the program anymore,” said Nelson Minerly, a spokesman for the Federal Air Marshal Service.
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 cockpit wall and fuselage. Nobody was injured on the March 22 flight from Denver..
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.
US Airways referred inquiries about the case to its pilots union. The union and Langenhahn did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.