Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More TSA fun: pilot punished for pointing out flaws in airport security

Remember when telling the truth and trying to fix problems was expected - and appreciated?

From a report by George Warren at News 10 in Sacramento, Calif. (complete news report/video at end):

SACRAMENTO, CA - An airline pilot is being disciplined by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for posting video on YouTube pointing out what he believes are serious flaws in airport security. The 50-year-old pilot, who lives outside Sacramento, asked that neither he nor his airline be identified. He has worked for the airline for more than a decade and was deputized by the TSA to carry a gun in the cockpit.

Hard to believe...but then, it is the TSA.

Three days after he posted a series of six video clips recorded with a cell phone camera at San Francisco International Airport, four federal air marshals and two sheriff's deputies arrived at his house to confiscate his federally-issued firearm. The pilot recorded that event as well and provided all the video to News10.

At the same time as the federal marshals took the pilot's gun, a deputy sheriff asked him to surrender his state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon.

A follow-up letter from the sheriff's department said the CCW permit would be reevaluated following the outcome of the federal investigation.

The bottom line - the pilot is punished for pointing out flaws in security that could lead to future incidents.

The YouTube videos, posted Nov. 28, show what the pilot calls the irony of flight crews being forced to go through TSA screening while ground crew who service the aircraft are able to access secure areas simply by swiping a card.

"As you can see, airport security is kind of a farce. It's only smoke and mirrors so you people believe there is actually something going on here," the pilot narrates.

Video shot in the cockpit shows a medieval-looking rescue ax available on the flight deck after the pilots have gone through the metal detectors. "This looks a little more formidable than a box cutter, doesn't it?" the pilot asks rhetorically.

It is a bit of a farce, isn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a retired FAA Air Carrier Aviation Safety Inspector with more than 40 years in professional aviation, I state as my opinion that TSA is run by deliberately ignorant and incapable individuals who are clueless as to the full scope of the aviation industry.

It is truly sad when a professional pilot is maligned, punished, loses his license to personally carry a handgun and faces legal action for identifying the multitude of shortfalls within the TSA security protocols. Everything that he identified, for which he is being chastised, is common knowledge to most, if not all, aviation professionals. This points back to my opening statement that TSA is deliberately ignorant and dumb as a box of rocks.

If we as aviation professionals cannot speak out as to the inadequacies of our protectors, then our Constitutional Rights of Free Speech and Freedom of Expression have been infringed and we must wonder if we are still living in a Free Country, or one exercising Gestapo type tactics to shut us up for fear that we might actually know more than them and are exposing their frivalent spending of our tax dollars on a failed facade of smoke and mirrors security.