posted on Nov, 6 2004 @ 07:02 AM
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Can I point out a couple of possibilities.
Why do you think they probably scheduled this, and no doubt thousands of past training sorties like it after school hours....to minimise the risks of
a stuff up perhaps...planning around community concerns? I assume military personnel and thier families are part of the communities in the area too?
Or are they treated as unwanted aliens in the USA today?
So the target on the range is 3 1/2 miles from the school? So did a USAF officer state this, or did a journalist interpret it as this? Could it be
that the school was 3 1/2 miles from the boundary of the range, and if so how many miles inside the range was the actual target.
You dont fire 20mm rounds out of a vulcan cannon at a range target from 7,000 feet up for a strafing run. Its way outside the effective parameters of
the gun itself, and a greater distance than the range of some of the missiles these aircraft are designed to fire. There are safeties on the gun
including (at least in my references) a honking big guard cover that has to be flicked off before you can press the fire button.
There was no reason for the pilot to want to fire that gun at that time at that altitude.The only way to fire that gun other than deliberately, is if
it was a malfunction that set it off (if it was the pilot then he deserves to be made latrine officer for the sort remainder of his ANG career) then
it is unfair to cruxify the pilot. He might even deserve a commendation. Only 25 rounds fired. What if it was his swift actions dealing with the
malfunction that stopped a hundred more rounds being fired?
I was talking to some mates who are former RAN. One fellow used to maintain skyhawks on our carrier when we had one. They had an older form of 20mm
gun and while it never happened to us he said it was possible. Another remembered being on a visit to Pearl ten or so years ago when a USN warship's
20mm Phalanx defense gun fired a brief burst across the port into Pearl city, a result of a malfunction during a test drill. Another remembered a
.50cal MG on his ship firing during a safety check of all things due to a faulty safety. I myself had several experiences of witnessing what are
called runaway guns. They all involved elderly M-60s which continued to fire after the trigger was released. The drill was to twist the belt feed of
ammo until it broke off or jammed the gun.
My guess is its a bit harder with a 20mm chain gun at 7,000 feet.
Give the guy the benefit of the doubt and await the hearings findings (because folks, the USAF doesnt want screw ups either....why do you think they
didnt give Bush a hard time for bailing?
) for the facts.
Unless of course all your about is beating up on military folks for kicks.
[edit on 6-11-2004 by craigandrew]