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United Pilot Flushed Live Ammo in Lavatory to Avoid Legal Consequences

United Pilot Flushed Live Ammo in Lavatory to Avoid Legal Consequences
Jeff Edwards

United confirmed that a captain of a transatlantic flight flushed bullets down the toilet while the plane was airborne.

The pilot of a June 23 United Airlines flight from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Munich Airport (MUC) faced a bizarre real-life nightmare scenario at 35,000 feet when, according to the Dallas Morning News, the unidentified pilot realized after takeoff that he had bullets with him in the cockpit.

This would not have presented a problem at all if the flight was on its way to a destination within the U.S. since the pilot is authorized to possess a loaded weapon as a certified armed Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO). Unfortunately, the aviator was on his way to Germany, a European country that has strict gun laws, and those bullets would soon become contraband with serious legal consequences.

Sealed in a pressurized cabin, the panicked pilot’s options for getting rid of the ammo were limited. He initially tossed it in a trash bin before later deciding that flushing the contraband down the toilet was be a better, more permanent solution.

“We are reviewing the incident, and the pilot remains an employee,” the airline said in a statement Thursday.

It is not immediately clear if the incident violated any Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations or posed any danger to the aircraft or ground crews.

[Photo: iStock]

View Comments (3)


  1. pdsales

    July 10, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Seven Things You Should Never Do in an Airplane Bathroom

    Huffington Post, now there are eight things.

  2. c502cid

    July 10, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Your headline makes it seem like “live” ammo could do something. It’s the same as “dead” ammo without the ability to fire it. In fact, that blue stuff probably didnt help it at all. Your article is more sane then your headline. Could have just said ammo.

  3. weero


    July 11, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Germany’s gun laws are not that strict. A tad stricter than the average US State but far from draconic such as the UK or most Asian countries.

    The possession of ammo would hardly constitute a big problem. And if in doubt you can always declare and surrender it. Or leave it on the aircraft which as a US flag carrier’s property remains sovereign during its stay in MUC.

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