HOUSTON, July 10 (UPI) -- A United Airlines pilot is under investigation after he flushed live ammunition down an airplane toilet while en route from Houston to Germany.
The captain, who was not named, was flying to Germany on June 23 when he realized he left 10 bullets in his luggage. He first put them in a trash bin that was accessible to passengers but moved them after a flight attendant raised concerns. United Airlines and the Transportation Security Administration are reviewing the incident.
"He did incorrectly dispose of the ammunition, but it is likely that the pilot is not going to face any criminal charges," said Karen May, a spokeswoman for United Airlines, adding the pilot was still employed by the airline.
Under federal law, pilots are allowed to carry weapons, but only in the United States. The Aviation Herald reported the incident unfolded after a flight attendant found the bullets while searching the trash bin for a lost ring. When she informed the pilot about the bullets, he flushed them down the toilet. He then reported the incident to Germany's Luftfahrt-Bundesamt, the national civil aviation authority, which allowed the flight to continue to Munich.
Once on the ground, the passengers were taken off the plane in a remote part of the airport. Firefighters wearing protective suits emptied the waste tanks and recovered the bullets.