A 52-year-old Piedmont Airlines pilot has been charged with unlawful possession of a concealed firearm after a security check of his bag Friday found a .357 Magnum revolver loaded with five rounds of ammunition. Prosecutors now allege that the pilot, Brett Dieter, had been traveling with the gun since at least May 16, when he skipped an X-ray screening at Charlottesville airport. Dieter is reportedly not a member of the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program. Authorities allege Deiter traveled with the gun in his bag over the course of two days and seven flights. And that may have harsh consequences.
Deiter now faces up to 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine, if found guilty. He will make his case in court next week. Questions remain about what security measures were in place and how those measures were applied to Deiter during the two days he allegedly traveled with the weapon. TSA officials are reportedly reviewing the case with the U.S. Attorney's Office, local police and the FBI. While pilots trained through the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program are authorized to carry firearms, they are subject to strict protocols. All other pilots and flight crew are prohibited from carrying firearms on aircraft.