S.F. pilot: Airline security 'a farce'

Dec. 23, 2010 at 9:12 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- An airline pilot based in San Francisco, reproached by the federal government for posting videos exposing security flaws, said airline security is "a farce."

The pilot, 50, who asked to remain anonymous, said he is coming forward with his story for the first time. He says the "fallacy of the system" motivated him to take photos with his cellphone late last month showing that ground crews at San Francisco International Airport are not subject to security checks and easily get through supposedly secure areas, ABC News reported Thursday.

The pilot said he has been employed by his airline for more than 10 years, was a helicopter test pilot in the Army reserve, and was deputized to carry a gun in the cockpit.

"People don't understand that when they walk through the TSA checkpoints … they are getting a groping, but they don't understand that all those people you see outside, the ground personal, all the caterers, all the airline cleaners, they get virtually (no security checks)," the pilot said.

He said he first posted the videos Nov. 28 on YouTube, and three days later, four federal air marshals and two local sheriff's deputies came to his home to question him about the videos.

The pilot's federally-issued gun was confiscated and he received a letter directly from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration telling him, "an administrative review into your deputation status as a federal flight deck officer has been initiated."

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