December 28th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

'Patriot Pilot' reveals identity weeks after video rips security

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - After referring to himself online only as "The Patriot Pilot," a California-based aviator revealed his identity Monday and explained his crusade to expose what he described as the nation's faulty airport security.

Chris Liu, 50, who has worked as a pilot for American Airlines, said he took and broadcast a video online presenting his view of San Francisco International Airport security because he "saw a potential problem," but didn't foresee the resulting uproar.

"Janet Napolitano did state that if you see something, say something," he said Monday night on CNN's "AC 360," referring to the nation's Homeland Security department chief. "I think (the public) already knows (about security issues) personally."

His footage, posted in late November and later removed from the popular video-sharing website YouTube, detailed his view of San Francisco International Airport security. On it, he said, "As you can see airport security is kind of farce."

On Christmas, the airport fired back deriding what it described as the pilot's "misleading" information and like-minded critics who had rallied behind him.

A statement attributed to the airport said it was proud to be "both an innovator and a trendsetter in aviation security."

"SFO meets, and in many cases, exceeds every federal security requirement," the statement said.

Liu said Monday that the videos, which he narrated, aim to show the contrast between the passengers, who were heavily scrutinized, and airport employees who just passed through a single door.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. david23

    TSA should be ashamed of themselves, instead of pointing figers to Liu, as tax payer and traveller, TSA and Homeland Security owe everyone an explanation.

    i had experienced in ATL airport...another passenger ahead of me passing thru the check point, left a camerabag -like luggage on the conveyor for more than 5 min. TSA agents ignored that un-attended luggage.

    December 29, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    An appalling half baked report that did not even mention the very important division of all airport staff between so called land side and air side staff at all airports.
    It also applies to TSA staff many of whom are land side employees including pat down staff and back scatter scanner employees.
    I will not go into detail of "the what/how" but I have a couple of friends who work in customs and immigration, what they have told me over time (last 20 years plus) is done discreetly from way before 9/11 would make the invasion of privacy activists hair stand on end.
    My point is that despite this guys so called whistle blowing he knows absolutely nothing about the whole picture of airport security and is in a fact a molly coddled airport user with loads of special privileges, that allow him and loads of airline staff to bypass many of the average passengers scrutinies that occur for normal passengers (he and his ilk are QED according to him a big risk area??) but those undiscussed secuity measures are never publicly given out, as idiots like this guy start publishing all he sees about what goes on unnecessarily, and worse still gives terrorists more information on how to break the systems.
    My point is what "you see of secuity" is the tip of a security iceberg and mainly for show.
    The reality is it can never be made perfect, thats life.

    December 29, 2010 at 12:32 am |
  3. Kim

    Ask Mr. Toobin what happens next ? TSA hit with law suits as revolt explodes...? How many law suits so far have been heard in court and how many pending against Janet Napolitano's office and Homeland Security ? How many pending against Transportation Security Administration ? How many of these law suits do you think could be avoided if security problems that we ran into were handled differently ? Are they listening to American citizens when security issues for improvement are called to their attention that make the public safe at Airports ? How is TSA and Homeland Security responding to areas of concern that need improvement ? Does Mr.Liu have a case and will he sue ?

    December 28, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
  4. Kim

    Pilot resigns ! ? TSA airport security accepts his resignation and considers the matter closed as reported on Fox News.Maybe Janet Napoltano has an opening for him to help support airport security and no question, he'll let the American citizens know what improvements need to be made.Kinda sad the way this has been handled and think the pilot makes a reasonable complaint with flaws that need improvement with Airport Security.To the point he's resigned and now out of a job over all this. Merry Christams and he got a bum wrap.What's Mr. Liu going to do now that he's turned in his resignation ?

    December 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm |