Published December 28, 2010
The California airline pilot punished by the Transportation Security Administration for posting videos critical of airport security has revealed his identity.
Chris Liu, who calls himself the "Patriot Pilot," says he was just trying to improve airport security when he released a recorded and posted online footage of San Francisco International Airport in which he criticized a number of procedures.
Liu had been part of a federal security program allowing him to carry a gun in the cockpit. But after he posted the video, federal agents showed up at his house Dec. 2 to confiscate his weapon and suspend his Federal Flight Deck Officer credentials.
Liu originally declined to identify himself in fear of retaliation but says he’s now going public in hopes of changing major security flaws.
One of those flaws, Liu says in the video, is that flight crews are subject to rigorous screening while ground crews can just swipe a card to open the door to the tarmac.
"I just wanted to show the disparity because they added another level of screening upstairs and downstairs they were just using the card swipe," Liu told Fox News.
The airport said in a statement that the video presents "false and misleading information."
"The video shows a door with a card swipe and suggests that access is gained to the airfield area through this door. In fact, the door shown in the video provides access only to an employee lunchroom," the statement read.
Liu and his attorney, Don Werno, would not confirm or deny that the door shown in the video lead to a lunchroom but said that’s not the issue.
"The issue is that there are thousands of doors in airports around the United States that are unsecured and that the ground crew can bypass security to get to the tarmac," Liu’s attorney Don Werno told Fox News.
The TSA said in a statement that it is "confident" in its airport security measures, adding that all pilots who are part of the program authorizing them to carry a weapon are expected to keep "sensitive security information" as a condition of their participation.
Liu has since resigned from his volunteer position as a Federal Flight Deck Officer to avoid an investigation.
He remains employed by the airline which has not yet been identified.