HyperMike
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 1999 7:03 am

Gun Goes Off On Alaska Airlines Jet

Wed Apr 26, 2000 9:58 am

April 25, 2000 | PORTLAND, Ore. -- A gun went off in the cargo hold of an Alaska Airlines jet awaiting takeoff, firing a bullet up through the cabin floor, where it lodged in a diaper bag. No one was injured.

The .357-caliber pistol was in a suitcase and discharged Monday night when a baggage handler threw the bag onto the Boeing 737, which was about to leave for Anchorage, Alaska, airport police officer Michael Brant said.

The bullet tore through a diaper bag stowed under a seat and lodged in a baby's changing pad, Brant said.
"It was right under our feet," said Grant Johnson, who had placed the bag under the seat and notified a flight attendant after hearing a loud noise near his feet. "It was just a few inches away and it could have hurt somebody."

Passenger Betty Jean Smith, 66, of Eagle River, Alaska, was charged with reckless endangerment and concealing a weapon without a permit. She had two loaded guns in her bag.

"She didn't know anything about firearms," Brant said. "She brought them here for her son. He didn't want them so she was bringing them home."

Regulations require that passengers declare guns packed in luggage and that those guns be unloaded.

The crew and the 85 passengers were transferred to another plane so maintenance workers could check the jet for damage.

Alaska Airlines has been under scrutiny since a jet crashed Jan. 31 off the California coast, killing all 88 people aboard.


 
b744
Posts: 477
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 5:48 pm

RE: Gun Goes Off On Alaska Airlines Jet

Wed Apr 26, 2000 1:24 pm

Same thing happened in New Zealand during the APEC conference. A police officer on board a flight that was carrying a head of state accidently discharged his weapon during flight. Fortunately, the bullet became lodged in a bulk head.
 
BigO
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 11:22 am

RE: Gun Goes Off On Alaska Airlines Jet

Wed Apr 26, 2000 2:04 pm

How does one "accidently" discharge a weapon? With the Alaska Air incident, I can understand a little bit how the weapon could have been left cocked or maybe it was SA and it didn't have a hammer at all and the safety was off. A little jitter and some poorly made guns can go off. But the guy that was protecting a VIP must have been armed with something other than a Yugo equivalent of guns. These things are made to be dropped on concrete and not go off, let alone sit nicely holstered. There has to be more to the story. Most modern guns do not just go off by themselves and have all kinds of safety features against those kind of discharges.
 
HyperMike
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 1999 7:03 am

RE: Gun Goes Off On Alaska Airlines Jet

Wed Apr 26, 2000 3:18 pm

I still want to know how she made it through security.

I have a very common notebook computer, and I get searched weekly.
 
WorldTraveller
Posts: 594
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 1999 3:47 am

Hypermike

Wed Apr 26, 2000 6:41 pm

Hi Hypermike,

the bag with the guns made it through security because there is almost no security for checked baggage!
Only a small percentage of the baggage gets screened randomly.

As far as I know, only the Israeli airports/airlines check every piece that gets on the plane.

Regards,
the WorldTraveller
 
Guest

Checked-in Luggage Screening

Wed Apr 26, 2000 7:40 pm

What do you mean by "screening"? Surely every piece of luggage is x-rayed, right? I know that in Munich, where I fly quite often, almost every piece of luggage going on Lufthansa flights is x-rayed, even before the luggage is checked in. It then gets a sticker saying "already x-rayed" or something, and can be checked in. (If the queue is too long, and it is not x-rayed, it gets a different sticker). So what exactly do you mean by screening?

To Hypermike: Weapons are only forbidden in Handluggage. In checked-in luggage, they are not usable for hijackings, so they don't care about guns. They are looking for bombs on checked-in luggage. At least, that's what I think.
 
HyperMike
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 1999 7:03 am

RE: Checked-in Luggage Screening

Wed Apr 26, 2000 7:55 pm

DOH! I didn't catch the part where it said it was checked. I thought it was carried on.
 
BigO
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 11:22 am

RE: Gun Goes Off On Alaska Airlines Jet

Wed Apr 26, 2000 9:25 pm

Aparently, I just learned also that checked in baggage on domestic flights in the US is almost never x-rayed. The carry-on is always checked offcourse but not the checked stuff.
It is legal to transport a firearm aboard a plane in the US, however it must be first of all declared with the baggage, then unloaded and they also like them to be stripped as well and placed in a separate lockable container. Only peace officers traveling on official police business may carry a loaded firearm on their person on board a plane.
 
Guest

RE: Gun Goes Off On Alaska Airlines Jet

Wed Apr 26, 2000 10:58 pm

I should say that all checked-baggaes & carry-ons should be checked by airlines professional securities at all airports including all domestic & international flights.... All Baggages should be checked by hands & screening too..... just like mines were checked by Hands at Israel TLV Ben Gurion Int'l. Airport when I was at custom securities before departure to London Gatwick boarding on British Airways heading back home to DFW[Dallas/Ft Worth]  



Bassim
 
WorldTraveller
Posts: 594
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 1999 3:47 am

RE: Gun Goes Off On Alaska Airlines Jet

Thu Apr 27, 2000 2:35 am

Well, it's sad but the fact is that CHECKED baggage is only X-rayed randomly.
So it's possible to put a bomb in your baggage and do a suicide attack inflight... 

On some international flights (to the US lately) all your baggage gets X-rayed prior to check-in, but that is not common.

Hope safety get's improved, though.
Apparently, it's a problem who would pay for it, though!

Regards

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