Thursday, March 31, 2011

ZOMG They're Shooting Down Planes Now!

Stretch sends in the following interesting news item:

Sources: Flight From Philadelphia Struck By Stray Bullet
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Investigators say they now know what caused a small hole in a US Airways plane that traveled from Philadelphia to Charlotte Monday.

Sources say a stray bullet struck the rear of the Boeing 737-400 as it was landing in Charlotte.

Waitaminute. I thought that planes fell out of the sky in dramatic fashion when hit by bullets? Didn't they ban .50 caliber rifles in California because of the danger posed to aircraft? Something about people using them to shoot down airplanes? Surely the media and anti-gun forces (but I repeat myself) haven't been lying out their sphincters to me, have they?

It will be interesting to see what the investigation reveals. It's also interesting to see that they have already ruled out terrorism - pretty quick work considering that we were told over and over again, as early as the mid 1990s, how the eeeevil .50 BMG rifle could be used to take down aircraft and such. Wonder if the plane flew over an alphabet agency's rifle range and someone wasn't observing Rule 4?

In any case, I think we can put to rest the canard of a rifle round taking down an airplane, no?

That is all.


Bob said...

Supposedly the hole is .40, which is the caliber of the pistols issued by Charlotte Police Department, the police academy of which is near the airport. The FBI has already ruled out the police academy, without providing any reason or evidence for doing so. Professional courtesy, I'd guess.

Robert McDonald said...

My guess is stray bullet from a gang fight.

Teke said...

Considering the speed and distance you would have to lead by. I think a random stray from a gang fight is the key.

notDilbert said...

The report I read yesterday said the pilot spotted the hole above the window line near the rear. i.e struck at a downward angle. Considering that even on approach the aircaft is maybe 200 knots and changeing velocity and altitude .......thats one amazing shot.

I'd say metetor. (Sometimes those hoofbeats really are Zebras....)

I'm voting for

Maura said...

I do believe the Mythbusters "busted" the myth of explosive decompression from a gun shot...

Sendarius said...

Mythbusters: The science-free science show.

My wife was a high-school science teacher after the funding for her marine biology research program ran out.
Every time that show comes on TV she leaves the room.

As to the "bullet's" trajectory at impact being downwards - what goes up, comes down (mostly).

Of course, all current conjecture goes out the window if the aircraft toilets are in line wth that hole, and the hole is outwards. In that case, would anyone guess that air marshall gun handling is ummm, in the shitter?

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Um, given that airplane has a, if I remember correctly, roughly 8" exit hole for the cabin air to go out of the aircraft...

exactly how is a .40 caliber supposed to decompress the plane? Make it loud and a bit windy in the seat next to the hole, yeah, but unless you take out a window... huh?

Even that wouldn't make a plane fall out of the sky - the Aloha Airlines that had the pop-top conversion came down rapidly to get to breathable oxygen levels, not because they were unable to fly.

Anonymous said...

Public press reports indicate Air marshals are issued .357 SIG... not quite .40 caliber holes.