I’m certainly prone to leaving mobile phones and passports behind on airplanes, but handguns? One Delta pilot went home but forgot the handgun, leaving it sitting in the cockpit for cleaning crews to find later.
We don’t have the details about who the pilot is or what aircraft s/he flew. All we know is that the incident happened in Atlanta on February 18th.
While Delta is usually quick to comment on matters of interest and controversy, it is not offering much insight here.
Delta ground crews followed procedures and turned over to law enforcement an item that was found in the flight deck after the flight’s arrival. Delta is working with relevant authorities in their handling of this case and will conduct its own review.
Asked by the Associated Press if the pilot would face any disciplinary matters, Delta declined to comment, calling the issue an internal matter.
For its part, the TSA confirmed the incident occurred and offered two additional clues.
TSA is aware of an incident at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport involving agency-issued equipment. Although we are not at liberty to discuss specific details, we can say that the public was never in harm’s way. TSA takes all allegations of policy and procedure violations seriously and when substantiated, appropriate action is taken.
A couple of thoughts on this. This statement indicates the pilot must have been part of the TSA Federal Flight Deck Officer program. This post 9/11 program arms specially-trained pilots to prevent against “attack and piracy.” Second, if the public was never in harm’s way, I trust that means the gun was not loaded and in some sort of locked or secure box. But that’s just speculation…
Here, even if passengers were never in danger, let us be thankful that the gun did not fall into the wrong hands. Can you imagine little Joey entering the cockpit, finding the gun, and picking it up?