Gunshot aboard plane tied to problems with holster

The pilot who accidentally fired a pistol while his US Airways flight was landing last weekend in Charlotte has been identified as a 55-year-old former Air Force pilot who lives in Pittsburgh, Pa. The pilot, James Langenhahn, declined to discuss the shooting Thursday night. "As much as I'd like to talk about it," he said. "I can't right now."

Other details released Thursday indicate that the gun's holster is being investigated in the shooting. Some pilots have criticized the locking holster system for the Heckler & Koch USP pistol as inappropriate for the program that arms pilots. Transportation Security Administration procedures require a pilot to transfer the gun and holster from his flight bag to his belt multiple times during a flight, pilots said in interviews.

The holster system is designed with a lock that goes behind the trigger, preventing the gun from firing. But some pilots say that when the gun isn't snapped tightly into the holster, or becomes loose during transfers, the lock can end up in front of the trigger.

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