Bullet pierces jetliner, but it’s not the first time

US Airways 737-400

As strange as it sounds that a stay bullet managed to pierce the fuselage of a US Airways Boeing 737-400 from Philadelphia to Charlotte and create a nickel-sized hole, it is not the first time such an incident has occurred.

Granted, the last time a bullet struck a commercial jetliner in a civil environment it was not stray but still equally weird. Last year in the French overseas territory of Reunion, police ended a counter-hijacking exercise by shooting a brand new Air Austral Boeing 777-300ER. Normally blank ammunition is used but a live round found its way into a gun, and subsequently a bullet found its way into a window.

The US Airways bullet has a different story, according to Associated Press who says it understands the bullet pierced the fuselage from above and not below. That rules out the chance someone shot it (laser pointers getting too boring? strip clubs, too?), although it is not clear if the accident happened in the air or not. A pilot discovered the hole during a pre-flight safety inspection. US Airways says the hole in the aircraft is now being repaired.

Per standard procedure, the FBI was called in to investigate the US Airways incident. But after hearing about Air Austral, an airline may want to think twice about calling in the cops.

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