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Plane Coming in For Landing is Shot At; One Passenger Injured

January 1, 1987

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ A United Airlines jet coming in for a landing at Raleigh-Durham Airport apparently was shot at Wednesday, and a passenger aboard the aircraft was injured, airline officials said.

Flight 1502, a Boeing 737 carrying 16 passengers, was able to land safely about 5:25 p.m. despite the incident, said Matt Gonring, director of media relations for United in Chicago.

Barry Rollins, 30, of New York City, was injured in the right thigh and jaw, and was listed in stable condition at Rex Hospital.

As the plane approached the airport from about one or two miles away, a small object believed to be a bullet pierced the underside of the airplane and hit the passenger, Gonring said.

At the the point where it was reported hit, aircraft are usually 500 to 1,000 feet off the ground, said Don Paschall, chief of airport police.

The plane was flying into Raleigh from Wilmington and was to continue on to Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., said Kay Lund, a United spokeswoman.

Paschall said it was not known what hit the aircraft.

The jet’s fuselage was pierced behind the wing on the right-hand side, he said.

The FBI has been asked to investigate, and the aircraft will remain at the airport for an inspection, Gonring said. The passengers were put on another flight to Washington.

Roger Myers, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the agency was informed of the shooting but is not investigating.

Update hourly