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"Small hole" in US Airways 737 found by pilot"

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"Small hole" in US Airways 737 found by pilot"

Old 29th Mar 2011, 12:31
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"Small hole" in US Airways 737 found by pilot"

A US Airways 737 pilot in Charlotte, North Carolina, discovered a small hole in the exterior of his plane's fuselage Monday, prompting the airline to take the plane out of service and for the FBI to begin an investigation. "During a pre-flight inspection, one of our captains noticed a small hole in the fuselage," said US Airways spokeswoman Valerie Wunder.
"Safety is paramount, so we took that aircraft out of service and our maintenance team is investigating," she said.
Wunder said that she had not seen the aircraft and could not characterize the size or shape of the hole, but said it was towards the rear of the aircraft.
Amy Thorseson, spokeswoman for the FBI in Charlotte, confirmed that the federal agency had an evidence team at the scene, but it was not immediately known what caused the hole in the plane.
The plane -- a 737-400 designated as flight 1161 from Philadelphia -- landed without incident at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport at about 4 p.m. CNN
Bullet hole perhaps?

Not sure what else might make a 'small hole' towards the rear of the aircraft.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 12:42
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I have seen numerous damages made by catering trucks. Usually dents, but sometimes also small holes. Do a very gool external check, since not all collisions are reported.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 12:50
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Why was the captain doing the walk around?
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 13:01
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We do have nice captains that will do the walk around occasionally if it isn't raining.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 13:20
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FBI investigating plane hit by bullet near Charlotte Airport - News14.com
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 14:35
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why is the captain doing the walk around? PNF does walk around while PF preps for the flight? isnt that how most airlines operate?
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 15:34
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Lightning strikes cause small holes too.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 15:38
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F6hellcat:

The article linked to by bizjets101 says a pilot reported a pressure drop while landing. That might have been a reason to take a look around.

Edit update:

The same website has now edited the article to remove reference to the pressure drop, and now says the bullet itself was found in the plane. The article now also says that "officials believed the bullet was fired in Charlotte after passengers had deplaned", so it seems they think the plane was hit while on the ground.

Last edited by Orestes; 30th Mar 2011 at 11:42. Reason: Article update
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 15:44
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isnt that how most airlines operate?
Not the three that I've worked for.....
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 15:49
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Erm, no, im my company it's PF does the walk around whilst PNF loads the box...
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 16:22
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A hole made by a bullet have not the size to let the cabin pressure drop.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 17:42
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If a bullet, there's a faint possibility it jammed the outflow valves open.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 18:24
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Presumably (hopefully) the FBI will be able to tell whether or not it is a bullit hole or other cause.

Whether they will tell the truth about what they find, however.......
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 01:52
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It seem it was a bullet hole
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 05:38
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Question is where did the bullet end up?
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 09:34
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Why was the captain doing the walk around?

Perhaps looking for small holes or perhaps just showing an interest?

Could it have been a bullet meant for the captain for having the audacity to look around the aircraft they were about to fly?

Why was this not found by the Licensed Valve Cap Security Engineer Officer on his preliminary walk round ? Indeed, why wasnt it found in the afterflight inspection by same (or crew)?
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 10:56
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Depends on the bullet...

Our PF does the walk around while PNF preps the flight deck, same in previous company.

A small calibre/pistol round would have had to come from pretty close to the flight path, but a full rifle type round could have been fired acccidentally from miles away.

Unless there is a second hole, then the bullet must be in there somewhere, probably stuck in the insulation....
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 11:22
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Why was this not found by the Licensed Valve Cap Security Engineer Officer on his preliminary walk round ?
Wow.. That's a very professional statement right there. My guess on why it was missed was something to do with it being a small hole.
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 12:10
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Ahbut, while valve caps are quite small, they can & do generate huge discussions which you may have missed.
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 12:53
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Of course, Malcolm you are assuming there was a LVCSEO around - most operators use the HQAVCFDPF to do the inspection away from base.
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