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Are Shooting Ranges Near Airports Dangerous?

by John M. White |  | 1 comment

I'm coming from Switzerland, where all men have a riffle like the one shown is this video ( at home, together with a full box of bullets. When I was living there, I had to go to the shooting range each and every year for exercises like the one seen in this video. The target is at 300 meters and is one meter wide. Except that this makes me a dangerous man, it related to aviation via the news. A new shooting range project is discussed in Denver, CO, very close to the airport.A Shooting Range Photo by rocknroll_guitar

Guns and aircraft are a cool mix for news. But is this really a bad idea to build a shooting range 2 miles from an airport? Imagine someone wants to shoot at an aircraft. At 2 m! iles, the aircraft are 500 feet above ground, which is probably in range of a riffle. But if someone in a shooting stand starts pointing his gun towards the sky, I'm very sure that people around won't let him do. And they have guns to. So if someone really wants to shoot at aircraft, it's much easier and safer to do it from a hidden place, possibly much closer to the runway.

This leaves the question of a lost bullet accidentally hitting an aircraft. This is theoretically possible but the shooter has to be really bad or unlucky to send a bullet that much away from the target. But let's imagine this happens. At these altitudes, there is no pressure difference between the aircraft's cabin and the outside air, so there's no risk of decompression.

A lost bullet can certainly damage an aircraft but it is very unlikely that this damage would lead to an accident. Aircraft are extremely resistant and all systems are doubled is not tripled. Few years ago, a DHL Airbus takin! g-off from Bagdad got hit by a rocket shortly after take-off. Not a bullet, but a real rocket. The crew did an awesome job and landed back safely. They certainly had some luck, but they did it.

One last factor must be considered, even if it has nothing to do with safety. Airports and shooting ranges have one common point: no one wants to live nearby, because of the noise. From this point of view, it's many be not a bad idea to have them collocated. Let's see what will happen in Denver.

Note: This is a Guest Post by Vincent Lambercy from the PlasticPilot blog.

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


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Comments (1)

  • admin on June 24, 2019


    Shooting ranges are normally enclosed, much like a building, so the danger of strays really doesn’t exist.

    However, there is a lot of noise associated with a shooting range, so placing one near an airport where there is already a lot of noise makes a lot of sense to me.


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