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.

A pilot making a pre-flight inspection during a lay-over discovered the hole towards the rear of the aircraft.

“He noticed a small hole in the exterior of the fuselage towards the rear of the aircraft,” said US Airways spokeswoman Liz Landau.

Landau said the Boeing 737 arrived at Charlotte from Philadelphia. She said there were no apparent problems during the flight.

“We took the aircraft out of service to do a maintenance check with our maintenance team, and we’re working with the appropriate authorities, including the FBI in the investigation,” Landau said.

Officials say the hole was visible on the outside of the plane, but it did not go through into the cabin.

Sources say the plane was not the target of terrorism, and investigators have reviewed security footage.

Reported by Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio 1060

Top Content On CBSPhilly

More from Jim Melwert
  • SpfldJimbo

    Government officials have labeled it as a “Kinetic Anti-noise Pollution Action”.

  • Phil

    Uh-oh… another excuse to attack another country.

  • RoyBeans

    Yup they looked at that bullet hole and made the only possible conclusion “the plane was not the target of terrorism”

    I believe this is just a standard tag line added to every story about any kind of attack or disaster. Shooting, bomb, plane crash, car runs into crowd, etc, place tag line here

    • p3orion

      And whatever the shooter was, they’re SURE he wasn’t a Muslim.

      • roughman


  • Luke

    How do they know it was shot at on landing? Really? Planes sit a lot longer to take off than they do once landed. I think it’s too quick to say it happened on landing. Especially if the choices are between Philly and Charlotte.

    • Yazhol

      The hole would have enlarged during flight, if not ripped wide open, had the plane been shot on takeoff.

  • Red Aviator

    #1 Pilots make quite good money…
    #2 US domestic carriers can not and do not maintain their aircraft in third world countries. It makes no sense for a carrier to undergo the expense of flying aircraft out of the country to do maintenance on them.
    #3 Commercial airliners fly faster than 400 mph…
    #4 Even at approach speed (100+ Kts) an airliner is a daunting target to hit with a bullet fired from a gun or rifle unless you are really close or a trained shooter. We don’t yet know but this could be anything between a serious attempt at doing harm to an accident. I highly doubt the latter however.

    • ethancase

      You were clearing answering a different post, but:

      #1 Pilots make awful money, don’t know why you think they do well.
      #4 Wouldn’t the fact that a plane in flight is nearly impossible to shoot make it MORE likely that it was an accident. I highly doubt anyone aiming at this thing got it. Just like the only person in Jersey whose NCAA Bracket is perfect never watched college ball ever, I have a feeling the guy firing that bullet was shooting at something else. Crazy stuff happening by accident happens all the time, and then when you try to replicate it, you never can.

      • Willis

        100k might not be very good money to Nathan Case so perhaps he is not the fool that someone else has opened their mouth and called him. Many things are relative and money is one of them. So are open mouths that attempt to name others with false titles.

      • PCH


        You’re selectively reading. Notice I said they do well comparatively speaking. I put that in there because their average salary ($106,240) is 2.4x the national average ($43,460). $106k/yr may not make them rich, but it’s one hell of a stretch to say “Pilots make awful money…”. But if you feel that those of us making less than that are downtrodden and destitute, feel free to wire me some $$$ out of your trust fund.

      • PCH


        RedAaviator thinks they do well, because they do (comparatively speaking). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers in 2009 was $106,240. As the old saying goes Ethan, “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt…”

    • Willis

      Sorry Red A—,
      but if I were you I woulldn’t bet that I, Willis, couldn’t hit a jet liner at approach speeds with a bullet shot from a gun or rifle —

  • Gary Whitman

    I watch CSI…they could figure this out!!

  • amerikan_frontier

    Cool. It’s about time Amerika became a frontier again. I once found a bullet hole in my care, and I don’t even own a registered piece.

  • Plane Fired On While Landing at CLT Airport? | The Meck Deck

    […] addthis_options = "facebook,twitter,email,print,favorites,"That is what the CBS outpost in Philly is suggesting: Investigators say they now know what caused a small hole in a US Airways […]

  • Jim Busse

    Knowing it was US Air I can only think most of the passengers were hoping the bullet struck and killed them. I’d rather be dead than fly US Air.

  • william bonney

    @ Bernard mc kernan: that all sounds pretty scary. Fortunately, almost everything that you wrote is a lie — at least as to the US airlines.

  • Ralph Cramden

    There is no way to tell exactly when this might have happened. The pilot just happened to see it on this trip. And just what ‘security footage’ are they referring to?

    • U.S. Common Sense

      I caught that too. Are there special cameras all over the exterior of the craft to watch for people trying to shoot at a high-speed moving target like a plane with just a gun?

    • Alex

      Good points. Maybe something they just said. “We’ll look in to it.”

    • Herf

      Your name should be, “Ralph two-times Cramden.”

  • Ralph Cramden

    There is no way to tell exactly when this happened. The pilot just happened to see it on this trip. And just what ‘security footage’ are they referring to?

    • Harry

      They’re probably referring to ground security tapes of the tarmac area; they haven’t ruled out the possibility that the plain was struck while on the ground.

      • Chicago Nick

        Harry not to be a total jerk, it’s PLANE dude… ;) We know you just mistyped it right ;) Like in “Zee Plane Zee Plane!!” lol

  • skyguy

    If the bullet didn’t reach the cabin and break the pressurization, it could have occurred months ago. Just not noticed.

  • Superior Smirking Intellect

    Oh oh oh oh!!! Ban all guns! Ban all guns!!! Every gun owner is a violent cowboy who worships Bush and Cheney and shoot at airplanes.

    • Russ

      I know you mean well but stop using ‘cowboy’ in a negative way. Try ‘gang banger’ or something if you want to create a bad connotation.

  • 5mike5

    If they don’t know who fired on the a/c, then how can they say it was not terrorist?

    Same line every time.


  • Ryan

    makes me feel good knowing that the actual pilot was making inspections. these guys (gals included in the guys term) get paid little to nothing and still manage to do a great job and even when their flights are done they still go and persoanlly inspect the planes.

    • pilot_liker

      I wouldn’t call a quarter mil on the average, nothing; but I still respect pilotos. I don’t agree with Sully’s nationalizing of pilots. That’s Communism.

  • Betty B

    Your right Tiffany, its gives them a good shooting advantage over us down on the corners. If we get our ban on Roof decks, planes will be safer since they can’t shoot planes from 3 story roof decks. How can we shoot back from down here if they be shooting us and at planes from roof decks?


  • Tiffany Green

    It was from all the 3 story buildings and roof decks the yuppies had to shoot from in Point Breeze. This was is the clear reason next to strokes and heart attacks on why we need to BAN all roof decks!

  • Someone

    Stray bullet my butt. Some moron out there deliberately shot at the plane.

  • william Kelly

    Hilarious! Jeff must have very limited travel needs and infinite amounts of time and money if he thinks that point A to B train travel is the way to go. I take Amtrak whenever I can (mostly on the Washington-Boston corridor), but let’s be realistic here. It is absolutely impossible to travel by train to many cities in the United States, as they do not even have passenger train service! Oftentimes, Amtrak will get you to some city 3 to 4 hours distant (or even longer), then transfer you to a bus! As for an enjoyable experience, maybe Jeff enjoys two or three transfers, hours of down time, weird arrival hours between midnight and 5 a.m..

    • The other William Kelly

      I think I’ll drive now :)

  • anon513

    @ anonymous: Sounds like they just flew over the wrong ‘hood’.

  • Anonymous

    Could the plane have been involved in a ‘fly-by shooting’?

  • jenny

    That’s quite a funny graphic accompanying this story. Did a graphics intern mistake the story for suggesting there was a wormhole through which the plane fell? Pretty trippy.

  • Ted

    It could be metal fatigue. This happened in the spring of 1988 over Hawaii. Aloha Airlines flight 243

    • p3orion

      Metal fatigue manifests itself in cracks and tearing. It doesn’t make a neat round hole.

  • bernard Mc Kernan

    If the American public knew the condition & the amount of nonsense going on in the care & maintenance of these planes, they wouldn’t set foot on one. In an attempt to further enhance the bottom line, Airlines are having these planes maintained in third world countries & many times the parts are counterfeit that are used in replacement & of inferior grades. India, for one. Flying @ 400mpf in an Aluminum tube with a few hundred people also gives cause for one to know that there are how many people with communicable diseases onboard & that is B.S. plain & simple about filters in planes. They change them every so often. I get sick everytime I travel with the sniffles.

    • Yup dats me

      Leave your sniffles at home.

    • TMFBCF

      Hang your head out the window when you are flying – this will prevent sniffles. Bet you wear pantie liners too?….

blog comments powered by Disqus
Taz Goes Big!
Download Now!

Listen Live