Pilot Refuses Full-Body Scan, Says TSA Doesn’t Make Travel Safer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (CBS/AP) — A Tennessee pilot who says he’s tired of being manhandled by security agents is waiting to see if he will lose his job because he refused a full body scan.

ExpressJet Airlines first officer Michael Roberts was chosen for the X-ray scan Friday at Memphis International Airport. The Houston-based pilot says he also refused a pat-down and went home.

The 35-year-old Roberts told The Commercial Appeal newspaper he wants to go to work and not be “harassed or molested without cause.”

Transportation Security Administration spokesman Jon Allen says a person was turned away after refusing to follow federal security procedures but declined to say if it was Roberts, citing privacy considerations.

Roberts says he has safety concerns, but called TSA a “make-work” program that doesn’t make travel safer.

“I just kind of had to ask myself ‘Where do I stand?’ I’m just not comfortable being physically manhandled by a federal security agent every time I go to work,” he told the Commercial Appeal.

Earlier this week, CBSNewYork reported that full-body scanners have not yet been installed at New York City area airports, despite plans that were in place to have them installed at Newark Liberty International, John F. Kennedy International, and LaGuardia airports by September.

The Transportation Security Administration told The Star-Ledger of Newark the installation is complex and the scanners would arrive “in the coming weeks.”

Passengers who prefer not to be scanned can choose to be patted down and pass through a metal detector.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Levon Putney with Rep. Bill Site Pascrell

TSA spokesman Ann Davis says passengers are no less safe. She says the scanners are designed to be faster and less physically intrusive than metal detectors and pat-downs.

The TSA has installed 259 scanners at 59 airports nationwide.

Comments

One Comment

  1. flyright says:

    Bwahahaha! ooo, I spit out my coffee on that one!! Time to clean my computer screen

  2. George Spelvin says:

    Use “than” when making comparisons and “then” for everything else.

  3. Ted Schkler says:

    Have you see the people the TSA employees?? These idiots couldn’t get a job at 7-11 or McDonald’s so the “gubment” gives them jobs as SECURITY EXPERTS?!!?
    The TSA is a fraud and needs to go. I either drive or take the train whenever possible. But it’s only a matter of time until the TSA takes over the rails and F that up too. The government has no business providing security to PRIVATE airlines!!

  4. OyVay says:

    These scanners are only in place so as to give passengers a false sense of security. They cannot detect plastic explosives placed in baggage, which is where the real danger lies.

  5. W says:

    I don’t blame this pilot at all… I recently used an original song of mine to make people think about all of this.
    Look up “Goodbye, American Freedom?” on Youtube or paste in this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcccojDqD_M

  6. SLIDINGINTOIT says:

    IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHATS REALLY GOING ON….
    TUNE TO http://www.infowars.com

    IF YOU DO NOT , DON’T.

    REMAIN A NOID.

    DO NOT SEE “ZERO INVESTIGATION” on youtube.

    or “FIAT EMPIRE”…

    DO NOT RESEARCH.

    BE A UNINFORMED, IGNORANT AMERICAN……
    FOOTBALL WILL HELP YOU, BE CONCERNED, as your team might get beat, “oh my”

    1. notamuslim210 says:

      Slidingitoit is just a bot posting trollish comments for infowars site

      1. james says:

        2 1 0 – Hopefully you;re not getting info from WALLBANGER or the LEPRECHAUN. I gotta go with INFOWARS. PEACE OUT.

      2. SLIDINGINTOIT says:

        NO. WRONG. I AM A TRUE AMERICAN WHO HAS RESEARCHED THE FACTS.

        TRY IT.

        LEARN TO USE THE SEARCH BAR.

        APATHY AND IGNORANCE , USHERS IN FULL TYRANNY.

        __________WAKE UP, TRY to wake up, Damn_________

  7. joe says:

    Scanners? (^^)

    I don’t see my comment,is this like a little fox news site?

  8. Bob says:

    Each of you could avoid all this unpleasantly by simply taking Greyhound… or AMTRAK. I mean just because busses and trains were attacked in London and Spain… I mean; what are the odds that terrorists would strike twice?

    1. johnk144 says:

      Hey Bob, I DID take AMTRAK on my last trip. Funny, but I wasn’t the least bit “scared.” But unlike weak, shriveled cowards like you, Americans are not happy surrendering their dignity for a little bit of security. On the other hand, maybe this is the only chance you get to be “groped” without paying for it on a street corner. In that case, fly all you like.

  9. John says:

    TSA = Tub Stackers of America

  10. Ornlly Gumfudgen says:

    I completely agree that th majority of what TSA is doin is a complete waste of time an money.

    Wanna get rid of this monkey hangin around th airport? It’s gonna cost ya a little inconvenience fer awhile but it will succeed if ya don’t knuckle under.

    Unless yer travelin fer business purposes an yer employer won’t let ya travel by some other means, simply don’t use th airlines an make shore ya tell th airlines ya are not usin em because of TSA.

    That means that durin th holidays, like Thanksgivin, Christmas an New Years, yer gonna have ta do a little more plannin an travel via some other form of transportation ta visit yer family an friends.

    Three thangs will result frum this an afterwards ya’ll benefit fum it.

    First, ya will get ta actually see parts of this wonderful nation instead of zoomin over it at 35,000 feet.

    Secondly, if yer travelin with other family members an friends, ya’ll bond tagether a little more than ya can when yer stuffed inta th fuselage of a commercial airplane.

    Third, when th airlines see this sudden loss of business caused by TSA they will do somethang about it and poof, TSA will be gone.

    Look, thair are other more important thangs we should be watchin instead of havin TSA look at nude bodies in a scanner or hand pattin down good lookin women with large breasts.

  11. Grimmy says:

    Funny!

  12. Bob says:

    You could leave security up to the airlines; that’s the way it was on 09 September 2001… of course the liability potential plaed on every airline and every airport would make your one way ticket from Chicago to Las Vegas around a grand, but you’re good with that, right?

    1. George Hanshaw says:

      Absolutely incorrect. The 911 hijackings worked BECAUSE the flightcrews followed the FAA-mandated policy of complying with the hijackers.

      Let me ask you a simple question. If you have 150 passengers and five of them are armed with box-cutters with three-quarter inch blades, and the other 145 people are armed with only their fists and feet, who is going to win?

      Me, I’d sure want to be on the side with 145 against the five. Sure, you can’t stop them from killing a few of you, but you all aren’t going to die.

      Were it not for the expense and the violation of your civil liberties, the TSA would be nothing but a joke. As it is, it’s rather less than that. And I’ve been a pilot since 1974 and still fly regularly – twice a week.

      1. SLIDINGINTOIT says:

        pilots for 911 Truth.

        archetects and engineers for 911 Truth.

        BUILDING 7.

        SEE ……..”ZERO INVESTIGATION”

        SEE………”NATIONAL SECURITY ALERT”

        RESEARCH , DAMN, DO THE RESEARCH.

        1. mb7725 says:

          You’re funny…… You’re a loon but funny. And isn’t that the best part about loons?

          1. SLIDINGINTOIT says:

            Wrong.

            As usual.

            Research.
            THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS, ITS THE LIFE OF EVERYONE THAT IS AT RISK.

            YOUR IGNORANCE IS DULL AS IT COMES.

    2. TheTruth says:

      Yeah I’m good with that. Then I won’t have to fly with fat stinky t-shirt guy, or 3 kid two seat welfare mom. I liked it back in the 70’s and early 80’s when it was still expensive enough that dirtbags had to take the bus.

    3. ThatGuy1 says:

      This is simply not true… The US government has been in charge of that protection for many decades now. Your response shows you have about zero insite or education as to the difference in how government and business handle situations.

    4. Kirk Patrick says:

      NOT True! The Feds by 9/11 had already taken away our second Amendment rights on planes. Those events never could have occurred if we had a handful of CCW holders on the planes.

  13. Me says:

    Jim,

    Forced to agree with “sickofit”, If you are a pilot, the only weapon you would need is the airplane itself. And any other staff on the plane would be able to get access to the pilot or could find 100 other ways to do damage. The worst thing you need to worry about with them is that they might spit in your can of coke if you are rude or they are having a bad day. (Or put pee pee in your coke if it’s an Asian airline).. hee hee!

    That said, I of course have more sympathy for the passengers because that is me..🙂

  14. Joshua says:

    That would be true if the government didn’t bail them out and pay millions to victims when they are hijacked. Until the government stops jumping in whenever something bad happens they need to try to mitigate their risk.

  15. SLIDINGINTOIT says:

    DON’T BE A IDIOT.

    JUST BELIEVE THEM. THEY ARE WITH THE GOVERNMENT, THEY ARE HERE , TO , WELL……YOU KNOW.
    whatever you do, DO NOT do not see …”ZERO INVESTIGATION” , “LOOSE CHANGE FINAL CUT ” on
    youtube.
    And do not ever watch “NATIONAL SECURITY ALERT”.
    THIS INFO, IF IT WAS VALID, WOULD BE ON THE MAJOR CONTROLLED MEDIA CHANNELS, AND YOU WOULD KNOW

    ALL ABOUT IT, JUST LIKE YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT BUILDING 7. RIGHT?
    DO NOT TUNE INTO ALEX JONES AT http://WWW.INFOWARS.COM. ITS NOT WHAT THE MAJOR MEDIA TELLS YOU. AND , OF

    COURSE THEY TELL YOU ALL. JUST THINK, YOU KNEW ABOUT BUILDING 7, COMPLETELY, FROM THE THE FOLKS

    AT FOX, AND ABC, AND CBS AND NBC, AND CNN, THOSE GUYS LET YOU KNOW , RIGHT?They told you clearly,

    that The US STATE DEPARTMENT, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES …PUT THE CHRISTMAS DAY

    UNDERWEAR “BOMBER” ONTO THAT AIRPLANE. THE MAJOR MEDIA INFORMED YOU , RIGHT? SO DO NOT QUESTION
    THESE ARTICLES.
    JUST BELIEVE THEM. THEY ARE WITH THE GOVERNMENT, THEY ARE HERE , TO , WELL……YOU KNOW. Infowars is a site with,…. you know.
    JUST YOU KNOW BE A IDIOT, I MEAN….DON’T BE A IDIOT.

  16. mnek says:

    Hell. the terrorists have WON!! Islam doesn’t need a Mosque at Ground Zero as a monument to their “great victory” over the infidel…..Heck NO….the monument already exists in the form of the TSA and a Nanny Federal Government that now inserts itself into all aspects of our private lives and has destroyed the essence of America….an overwhelming victory indeed

  17. james says:

    Sad but true . This guy is good eyes wide poen. peace out.

  18. Vink says:

    AGREED! The TSA is nothing more than a failed Agency that gives jobs to STUPID AMERICANS! It is a disgrace that travelers have to put up with being felt up by a TSA moron, and have a nude photo taken! America is in decline!

  19. Corinne Ston says:

    Want to know what’s worse? How about our military members being scanned and patted down while in full uniform, holding current military IDs, and possessing official military orders. Happened to both of our kids…one in the U.S. Air Force, the other in the U.S. Army.

    1. Jeff Howard says:

      The Muslim psychologist at Fort Hood was a military member in full uniform when he killed 13 and wounded 30 more.

    2. SLIDINGINTOIT says:

      TRY TO WAKE UP. AT LEAST TRY.

      LETS FACE IT…ITS A CON JOB.
      SEPT 11, 2001, WAS A DAY OF ORCHESTRATED …..
      ___________FRAUD____________
      MURDEROUS FRAUD.
      It is nazism.
      BASED ON ORCHESTRATED FRAUD…THAT THE AMERICAN DUPES, CONTINUE TO FALL FOR.
      IT IS AMAZING.

      Christmas Day “Underwear Bombing”? They allowed the passengers to carry off their carry on bags,

      ___WITHOUT SEARCHING THEM___

      GET A CLUE.

      RESEARCH KURT HASKELLS TRUE REPORT.
      http://www.infowars.com

    3. Military Mom says:

      Oh yeah. That’s a slap in the face of our military — “We trust you to go get blown up, shot or captured, but you can’t board a commercial United State aircraft without our approval.” I couldn’t believe it when my son had that happen to him.

      1. notamuslim210 says:

        Here is a link to the last imposter caught trying to enter in uniform. maybe you will see now why they check military too.

        http://www.vamortgagecenter.com/blog/2010/03/01/army-imposter-tries-to-infiltrate-us/

      2. notamuslim210 says:

        Here is the link to the last imposter to get caught. Maybe you can see now why they have to check military in uniform too.

        http://www.vamortgagecenter.com/blog/2010/03/01/army-imposter-tries-to-infiltrate-us/

    4. Yeziam says:

      I guess your short term memory doesn’t recall a certain U.S. Army Major at Fort Hood last year. Surely you realize anyone can purchase a uniform and fake ID, but if you wanna fly on that plane where people who have went un-searched, be my guest to go to the front of the line.

  20. Jake says:

    Mr. Doakes is right on.

  21. candidviews says:

    Please vote November 2. Kick out the people who have figuratively loaded us into boxcars of despair and are sending future generations (and our own) to the poor house. This story is a lesson in the idiocy of big government and give away jobs. Your ballot is your best weapon, now….

  22. Me says:

    I think not. He may in fact be unemployed but you better believe a man of conviction can and will find employment again. Just as you see support from us random Internet strangers, he will find support from another Airline.

  23. davec says:

    “Roberts says he has safety concerns, but called TSA a “make-work” program that doesn’t make travel safer.

    “I just kind of had to ask myself ‘Where do I stand?’ I’m just not comfortable being physically manhandled by a federal security agent every time I go to work,” he told the Commercial Appeal.”

    When will the rest of America stand up for right, instead of protecting their paycheck?

  24. Hajii Baba says:

    TSA is now one of the largest employers in the federal government and someone should take a long hard look at their budget. A typical government solution – no common sense just spend money. TSA screeners are the hamburger flippers of the government – replacing the US Postal Service at the top of the unproductive scale.

  25. Ed says:

    Don’t be an idiot.

    1. SLIDINGINTOIT says:

      EXACTLY, DO NOT BE A IDIOT.

      BE INFORMED.

      RESEARCH.

      FIGURE OUT THAT SEARCH BAR, THEN USE IT

      BUILDING 7.

      ZERO INVESTIGATION.

      http://www.infowars.com

  26. LoveTSA says:

    TSA should have taken a billy club to the pilot for refusing to be scanned. He’s likely one of those same airline employees who cut to the front of the line and make us, the people who pay him, wait.

    Like the TSA or not they are what is in place right now. This guy likely caused a flight delay because he’s better than the rest of us, above the need to be screened.

    Oh wait, he’s an ExpressJet Pilot? Hell he’s probably only 22 years old, no wonder he acted like an immature jerk.

    1. James says:

      You are a paid government employee, RIGHT??? When will you read up on your American history and realize you are just one more bovine who has bowed the knee to Big Brother??? Read George Orwell’s 1984 and wise up.

    2. Mark says:

      I bet you are a progressive who likes to call others Nazis..

  27. gwa.45 says:

    It’s time to end the TSA farce.

    Get a warrant, or get out of my way.

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. “

  28. Rob in Katy says:

    I have a buddy that works for Houston PD. They make him get scanned WHILE he is wearing a gun on his belt. TSA is beyound stupid.

    1. Spuddy says:

      Why is that stupid? Making comments like yours to the entire world without understanding the technology first is what’s stupid. Wear your new badge with pride!

  29. James says:

    How about ALL U.S. citizens just refuse to pay any more taxes and refuse these TSA agents??? Can the Feds put EVERYBODY behind bars??? ALL Islamists need to be checked and nobody else! It isn’t Buddhists or Catholics or Christians that are a threat. But where Islam is concerned, neither MOTHER, CHILD nor FATHER are trustworthy since they ALL want to go to heaven as martyrs!

    1. Chris says:

      What does an Islamist look like????

    2. Mark says:

      Tell you what, it would be far more effective to pull your money out of the big wall street banks and deposit that cash in your local credit union. It’s legal and the crisis that would ensue would be as big as your tax protest. Then we the people apply the Axelrod approach to not letting a good crisis go to waste…

  30. JJ says:

    OMG. This man is a hero!

  31. Guido Sarducci says:

    El Al has shown you don’t need the government to have excellent security.

  32. Robert-Fl says:

    As a retired airline pilot and military officer, I am behind this pilot’s actions 100%. Unfortunately for him, in our PC world run by ineffective bureaucrats and gutless airline managements, I am afraid his career as a pilot is over.I hope I am wrong. I am a conservative, but one of the things I will never forgive George Bush (not a conservative) for doing is his establishment of the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security. It was a purely cowardly political reaction designed to show that Washington was doing something.The country already had redundant intelligence and law enforcement agencies that could have handled the problem had some key people (impediments) been fired, and had they been made to cooperate and play nice. As we all know, Washington bureaucracies are self perpetuating entities that do nothing productive other than to grow. I have often wondered about the mental powers of someone who thinks that pilots, or any other crew member, who have been background checked and vetted more vigorously than the current President of the United States, need to be subjected to an absurd inspection merely to get to work. The answer, of course, is that it is nothing more than a show for a largely gullible public. (There are many airports where crew members can bypass security. Talk about standardization!) May I remind you that in a short time, the pilots will be in a locked flight deck with the aircraft controls at their disposal. We have lost our collective minds by putting up with such lunacy. I could go on and on about the stupidity of the system and the waste of assets which should be better used. I hope this ends well for the young pilot. I am glad I am retired…it only appears to be getting worse for normal Americans.

    1. Bob says:

      Excellent post!

      Bob, active duty Air Force

  33. Gary says:

    Yep, this policy is stupid. He’s going to be put behind the controls of the biggest weapon once he starts working anyway.

    It’s like patting down cops when they walk into the station house, and then handing them their sidearms…

    You either have some people you trust, or you don’t.

  34. DocktaD says:

    I support the pilot. The politically correct approach to airline security is a farce. We know who wants to kill us, but the government will scrutinize pilots, flight attendants, 90 year old grandmothers, 2 year old babies, handicapped in wheel chairs…but god forbid they profile the real threats. TSA is a joke.

  35. Rochestarian says:

    They misrepresent– the scanners are way slower. It takes 30 seconds alone for the person to get inside and be instructed on what to do. They installed one recently in Rochester New York and now it takes forever to get through.

  36. raykenn says:

    Of course he’s right!! Ask yourself, why does the federal government takes Arizona to court over protecting it’s borders and its citizens, refuses to properly use profiling, refuses to erect a border fence, searches passengers, and confiscates ridiculous items from law-abiding citizens, claiming they could be used as weapons , and they wonder why we don’t trust them? If you fly overseas, after your clear TSA and board the flight, the first order of business is a meal. And, with the meal, they provide the passenger with a metal knife, fork, and spoon! If the terrorist are so well trained, they don’t need to bring anything on with them. To hear the government say it, they are lethal weapons! So what is it? Duds or dudes? TSA antics are knee-jerk reactions that spend money we don’t have.

  37. markp says:

    Re-read Patrick’s comments; he’s talking about the uselessness of security checks for pilots (no mention of other airline employees).

    A pilot doesn’t need weapons or bombs to cause a problem. A quick yank and roll here, a sudden nose dive there, a quick diversion into a terminal while on final approach, and on and on and on.

    It wouldn’t take much for a pilot to crash a plane, and there’s nothing the TSA searches can do about that.

  38. boB says:

    So, if he decided he wanted to bring a gun onto the plane, the passengers shouldn’t be protected from him? THis man should be suspended and if he still refuses, fired. He obviously doesn’t get the big picture or has an agenda that he didn’t want revealed that day.

  39. marvinlzinn says:

    Most TSA employees are doing what they are instructed for, but the procedures are totally wrong!

    The right solution is to eliminate all laws and procedures that began 30 years ago. Then allow travelers to carry their own loaded weapons and defend themselves against anyone opposed to our country. Then at any time when someone on board tries to take control of the flight, let the pilot lower to safe altitude, open the door and throw out the terrorist or drunk person who caused the trouble. That will solve the problem!

  40. Vinylcam says:

    I think the pilot hit the nail right on the head. The whole TSA scam is a virtually meaningless exercise. It’s Kabuki theatre simply to impress on the more credulous among us that the government is doing something. Unfortunately the ‘something’ they are doing is stupid and misconceived. There is one model of airline security that is the benchmark standard and that is the system that is employed by Israel’s El Al Airlines. Of course with that, your ideal candidate is a highly educated, scrupulously trained, battle tested counter-terrorism expert and is well paid. But they get the job done and you don’t need even a third of the Charlie Foxtrot motley crew of mouthbreathers that we typically see hanging around in the security area that wouldn’t know a security threat from a drain pipe.

  41. dave says:

    Do TSA workers get scans and pat downs before work?

    1. Ornlly Gumfudgen says:

      No, as a matter of fact they don’t. I have seen em come inta an airport, walk up ta thair stations, releave th person standin thair an start thair work.

      Who is ta say that some of th TSA people are not th problem in security?

      An honestly, ya don’t have ta be on or next ta th plane ta bring it down. Anyone with military combat experience can verify that. Shoot, ya don’t even need ta be on airport property.

      That’s exactly why all this TSA BS is nothin more than a very expensive placebo.

      Guess if we were really worried about TSA we wouldn’t be commentin here cus no doubt thair takin down names. Don’t be surprised if ya turn up on a no fly list.

    2. marylou says:

      Too funny! My laugh for the day!

  42. Brian says:

    Looks like somebody let the nutbags at Flyertalk out.

    The logical holes in these comments are the product of 6 year old intellects applied to the internet.

    Fortunately, they don’t make decisions, just noise.

  43. Irishrose says:

    So they make everybody go through all this nonsense at the airport, and yet our borders are wide open. Huh?

  44. sickofit says:

    You have no idea how the airline works. The crew doesn’t have access when they’re not working. The crew also doesn’t need any weapons to control or destroy the aircraft. Once the crew establishes who they are, the security check has been satisfied. Body searches multiple times per day are invasive and unnecessary.

  45. JMS says:

    I completely agree with this guy. I travel a lot and it’s embarrassing to see travelers go through a ridiculous kabuki dance to get to their plane. It does nothing to make us safer and only creates a job for someone too stupid or unmotivated to get a job in the private sector.

  46. DeMax says:

    I refuse to be manhandled by some TSA ghetto thug. Solution, work hard, learn to fly, and buy a plane.

    1. Spuddy says:

      Dumb, dumber, and dumbest! Nice job!

  47. notamuslim210 says:

    I agree with one thing about this X-ray machines deserve respect and the TSA operators are not trained to identify how much is too much so I would opt for the pat down. for those who point out that a pilot can kill everyone by just pushing the stick forward did you ever think that the TSA screener doesn’t know if the guy in the pilot uniform is the bad guy who got fired yesterday and is out for revenge or the good guy who’s flying the plane today? For those who want to profile and say screen only the 18-47 year old middle eastern looking men, take a look at who did the latest bomb attempts around the world. It is not only the middle eastern looking men who are doing the bombing now. Often those who look western or from other countries have been coerced with threats to their loved ones who will do these evil things.
    The pilot who doesn’t understand this is a fool and should not be allowed to operate a plane. I don’t trust the X-Ray dosage to be harmless and it brings to mind the damage done by the 1950s era x-ray shoe size machine that overradiated people causeing greatly increased cancer to children and shoe salesmen. To recap if this guy wants to be a pilot he needs to accept the pat down.

    1. acelliott says:

      He doesn’t need patting down, because he can bring the plane down without weapons himself. He’s a pilot.

  48. EagleKeeperAZ says:

    Now THAT”s funny, right there. I don’t care who y’ar.

  49. Sensible says:

    Give the pilot a break, he was just having a bad day. Probably out late drinking with his other pilot buddies. Give him his job back and a special exemption similar to our most trusted public servants in congress.

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