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.

  • John Gault

    God Bless this pilot. I am a former TSA screener, he is 100% correct. It is an expensive show that is crippled by PC and former airline clerks in charge. Patronage solo. In Louisville, you had to belong to the correct church to get promoted – or have sex with the old retired FBI agents in charge.

  • notamuslim210

    to: james – P.S. your caps lock seems to be stuck in ALL CAPS (For most people that equates to screaming when posting on the internet). So why would you be screaming anything here?

  • Publius

    Less intrusive than a metal detector? Please.

  • Tapol

    Threads like this are a good argument why most of you should not be allowed to vote, let alone procreate.

  • gphx

    No one need take the liberties of men who surrender them willingly, piece by piece.

  • lester

    Geo Williams, here is the Atlanta TSA recruiting website,


  • resist

    how about you all grow some balls out there Resist and Revolt!


    The first thing you got to do is get mad! I’m a person! I’m a human being! I am not a terrorist! The borders are wide open! We are being invaded by illegal aliens! Their killing Americans by decapitation! They are the terrorist, not us! Resist tyranny!!

  • Yephora

    IF the TSA is looking for bombs then screen, pat down, manhandle, radiate the consistent perpetrators, Muslims, and leave the rest of us the hell alone.

  • Andrew

    Good For the pilot. These cancer causing machines and the overall TSA program is a costly big-brother government disaster. The shoe bomber last year was escorted onto the plane by government operatives as admitted by our state department (google it). Why is the government creating these false flag operations…to create fear so they can CONTROL us. Their creation of problem, reaction, solution situations so they can introduce more taxes, currency debasement, and police state tactics must end now. Let’s get back to the american values this country was founded on and that made us great! Stop this divisive politics, useless spending, invasive government, and non-stop destruction of the american way. A couple guys in caves did this too us…come on.

  • Jesse Kantstopolis

    I wish I could get a naked body radiation bath from the feds. Maybe the feds can give us depleted uranium injections too.

  • blaine

    this must be a make-work project for obama supporters. I heartily concur with the pilot on this one.

  • jerrylundegard

    Looks like the tinfoil hat crowd is present and accounted for…Did anyone consider that the pilot may have done this for a stunt? Airport security is a necessity,don’t you want to know if the guy in line behind you has a gun or a knife in his carry on or on his person? Whose side are you on? Since the vigilance has been increased,there have been no more 9/11 type incidents.But hey,go ahead and refuse those security scans,”power to the people,right on!”. By the way,Abbie Hoffman,you cant on the plane ,you”ll be going the same place as the pilot…back home.Less wait time in line for the rest of us.

    • Chestr

      Jerrylundergard – when was the last time someone made it onto an airplane with a knife or gun hidden on their person after going through a magnetometer? I put the onus on you to find a case where the scanner would have made a difference. It wouldn’t have stopped the underwear bomber – the stash was hidden where the scanner can’t see well. It wouldn’t have stopped the shoe bomber – the scanner doesn’t see the soles of your shoes (even if you could wear them through the line), and the scanner wouldn’t have stopped the 911 attackers because they had the box cutters in their carry on luggage. As a frequent flyer I don’t see any way on earth how these scanners help anyone to actually be safer.

    • mark

      I’m sorry, you accuse folks of engaging in conspiracy behavior yet you recite the most basic conspiracy theory that ever existed that everyone you don’t know is conspiring to get you or the rest of us. Based on your own very extreme conspirator theory, you approve of the usurpation of our 4th and 5th amendment rights.

      You incorrectly attribute the lack of 911 incidents to the screening process when actually since the twin towers every single in-flight incident has been thwarted by passengers and crew. This includes United Airlines flight 93 on 9/11. No laws had to change to change the behavior of those of us who fly with terrorists. It’s clear detain/kill or be killed.

  • John

    What does TSA think a pilot’s gonna do?…..pull out a weapon and hijack his own plane? If a pilot wanted to do harm, he could….even a cleared one.
    A little common sense on TSA’s part would go a long way, but then again, using common sense isn’t part of their job description

  • Brian

    Like the very first post says, this whole thing is a pathetic joke!!! The ‘war on terror’ IS ACTUALLY a war on your civil liberties. That is the long and the short of it. Most Americans are still asleep on this matter and need to wake up. The founding fathers ARE rolling over in their graves. Lady Liberty is being raped.

  • drmaxh

    MUSLIM APPEASEMENT – SHARIA Compliance is what the TSA does.

    We know who the terrorists are. 9//11 and all attempts since then could be easily and cheaply prevented by reducing airport screening to Muslims — the people who believe in Jihad, practice, and perpetrate terrorism.

    Post 9/11 we should have rounded them all up and required renunciation of the moronic totalitarian so-called religion Islam, Closure of all Mosques, and exportation of all Islamics.

    –That’s what we would do if we were sane.
    Instead, we allow the media to perpetrate the greatest fraud in world history and get all of the morons to elect Imam OBAMA to the highest office in the USA.

  • tj

    Good for the pilot. Good. Next,,, what we need to do is get rid of about 95% of the bumbling fools dressed up in TSA uniforms..(man are they a joke…an essentially worthless clot of morons) and keep the best ones to do full time, right down to the money, RACIAL PROFILING.
    It’s just too damn bad if you even look like an Arab…you’re not getting on the plane. If you don’t like being rejected because you’re associated with terrorist cretins because of how you look,,,, well,,, too bad. Go to some other country and hop a plane.

  • Joerocker

    9/11 was a inside job, Check for yourself on youtube. No aircraft hit Building 7 but yet it emploded too.

  • Yezim

    Hey there Kirk,

    I spent 32 years defending our country and as I said, I challenge authority. The difference between me and you is, I don’t whine every-time I perceive someone is messing with the sanctity of my freedom unless it’s worthwhile.

    I once sat on a runway with a Dip Pouch refusing an AK-47 armed guard, access to the material – because it was worthwhile. I have been shot at in Iraq and Southeast Asia, but didn’t stop to tell the people shooting that they weren’t supposed to infringe on my American rights. So, contrary to your point, I have served my country, honorably and with recognition.

    My comments relate to the many Americans I’ve experienced whining about their importance when checking in at airports – even before the wicked inconvenience of security checks. Try France, try Africa, try many legal systems that don’t believe in “innocent until proven guilty” and by the way, it is legal if it’s sanctioned by the USG.

    And, since you’ve had the internet courage to call me out, I’m currently serving our country in Israel, where are you.

    • jane

      Our rights do not derive from the government. This is the biggest mistake people make. The government doesn’t define what is legal and illegal. This government operates at the consent of the governed. Every human being has natural rights that are derived from their Creator. Governments are a necessary evil to enforce those rights. But don’t think for a minute that I’m only free because this government allows me to be free. If enough people stand up and say that they do not want to be scanned, then that “law” will magically go away. Whatever is sanctioned by the USG is not necessarily legal. We could go on and on with the illegal things the U.S. government has done.

      By the way, I graduated from the Air Force Academy and served as an AF officer.

  • ChrisH

    I get angry every time I do it and I do it often. How anyone can go through this and not think of 9-11 is beyond me. TSA is a make work job and they are led by idiots. I went through the body scanner at BWI and got patted down as well, everyone there did the same thing. STOP IT NOW. and Chris above needs to stop his bleeding heart.

  • john


  • Jim

    I know he did not originate this comment but I heard G. Gordon Liddy say once:
    Americans who are willing to give up freedoms for security deserve neither.

  • frequent flyer

    BoBs 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.”

    Pilots already have the option of being armed–and there has never been an issue with an armed pilot.

  • Jim

    My son is an active duty US MARINE who traveled recntly in full uniform after returning from Afghanistan. He was forced to remove his shoes, jacket, belt and throw away 2 containers of shower gel in his carry on because it may be a bomb. TSA is filled with corruption and idiots. He founght in Afghanistan and defended their rights to treat him like a muslim terrorist and they did just that. He took it all like a true MARINE. As long as we allow TSA, Homeland Secvurity and Barack Osama Obama to ruin this country, we deserve just what we get. Turn the screening on those who are the actual terrorists, the muslims, not pilots, nuns, grandmothers and servicemen and women in uniform.

    • Spuddy

      What about the US Marines that are muslim? Should they be singled out from your son, or should they simply not be allowed to serve? How is the TSA corrupt and why? Why are the TSA agents idiots for following orders? Ignorance like yours weakens this country. Think before you open your mouth to the world. Thank your son for his service for me, please.

    • james

      JIM – Its admitted. THE whole thing is for americans ,We are now the enomy to the n.w.o. no joke. We have had a coux.

    • EOD

      Jim, I work for TSA and I am a retired military vet with 20 years. I was deployed to downtown Baghdad disarming IED’s for a living, You need to be careful about generalizing about personnel that work for TSA, there are a lot of Military and retired law enforcement personnel that work for DHS and have spent more time defending our country than your son. Just because he fought for the country doesnt give him preferential treatement, while he deserves the respect he needs to follow all rules when flying just like the civilian populace.

      • Spuddy

        Finally! An intelligent person. Thank you for your service!





  • WellRead29

    TSA Yet another affirmative action, reparation plan for people with zero skills or amibition in life.

    We spend $Billions to search little old ladies at the airport, and I have to get strip searched because I’ve had a knee replacement. Stupid, Stupid, Stuipid

  • meezer

    Start profiling muslims and we can do away with all this BS

    • Spuddy

      Yes! Because white people would never try to hijack a plane. Well thought-out comment, meezer!

  • watchtheborders

    I drive on vacation. I haven’t flown since 911 when they killed my brother. The meaning the airlines. It’s easy to keep Islamic terrorists off an airline .. just baptize everyone with pork juice.



    ________BUILDING 7________

  • watchtheborders

    Building 7 burned out of control for 8 hours after the attcks on 911. FDNY did a search of the building and the grounds, and controlled the fire so that it didn’t spread beyond the buildings footprint. When it became obvious that it was structurally failing, they helped it along with standard fire fighting methods. That is something they do all over the 5 boroughs when a fire cannot be controlled, and when lives are in danger. Why are you so stupidly belieiving there’s a conspiracy here. This info came from my FDNY buddy, who is an officer in FDNY and trains fire fighters. They all did a great job, and should be congratulated, not disrespected by propgating an urban myth that appears to be a determined and hateful radical liberal domestic terrorist agenda. From a 911 family member..

    • Robert Sciolino

      This “building seven” guy, as all paranoids do, changed the subject because no-one listens to his rants. Don’t fall for it. Giving him facts about what actually happened is an utter waste of time. Let’s stick to the subject and hopefully he finds the right combinations of meds to control his out of control paranoia.

    • notamuslim210

      to: watchtheborders – Well said.


      TOTAL BS. THIS “watchtheborders” poster is disinfo.

      and a LYING SACK.





  • http://www.philipnelson.org/2010/10/pilot-refuses-full-body-scansays-tsa-doesn%e2%80%99t-make-travel-safer/ Pilot Refuses Full-Body Scan,Says TSA Doesn’t Make Travel Safer | Philip Nelson

    […] the entire article HERE Share and […]



  • mb7725

    RIGHT ON !!!!!! Nut bags doing all the bad stuff and we have to pay for it as they do it to us and forever after they do it.
    Give us a PO box mister pilot, I’d like to send a little cash to help ya thru the bumpy times. It takes guts and you obviously found yours.

  • dusterdave

    I am a pilot, I now only fly my own aircrqft. What idiocy, The pilot doesn’t need anything but his hands to bring down the plane. This whole thing is stuprid. I hate flying commercial. Its about time the sheeple realize TSA is a joke, and an intrusion that must stop.

  • DG

    I got issues with the TSA as well, and I’m not so sure things are any safer than before…although perhaps this pilot had something to hide…? Wouldn’t be the first time…

  • Joerocker

    Say NO to the Naked body scanners.Do not trade Your Freedom for False securty. Stand up America, wile you still can.

  • Chris

    Ok so according to you all blond haired, blue eyed, white skined females shouldn’t have to be screened since they couldnt possibly be terrorists……..oh wait a minute what was Jihad Jane. Wasn’t she a blond haired, blue eyed, white skin female??? That is why profiling is so dangerous and why terrorists are trying to find white American jihadist to bypass your profiling methods.

  • Aunt Bee

    Stop flying and bankrupt the airlines. It’s just that simple. You have the power to crush these inbred morons that think they own you. Put them all out of jobs, drive.


  • Fabric Softener Kills

    Nearly 10 years ago, a couple of people flew a couple of planes into a couple of buildings, killing 2997 people. GET OVER IT! Since then, automobile accidents have killed one million people, Big Pharma drugs have killed one million, and the Iraq War has killed one million people – those things combined are 1000 times worse than 9/11, but you want to say we have to make more sacrifices because of 9/11?

  • Joe LoPrete

    Shoe Bomber – I’m tired of taking off my shoes every time I’m going through security. Why is it every American has to take the punishment for one dumb ass who tried to blow off his feet on a plane?

    What happened to our Constitutional rights? Joe

  • Dog

    What’s the world coming to, when a pilot can’t bring aboard his flask of Jack Daniels?

  • Avan Harts

    How about Swine Airline? A pig on every plane!!! I would feel AND BE safer in the air with a pig.

    • marvinlzinn

      That is a good idea! I wouldn’t mind sitting next to the pig.

      But I cannot figure out is why Obama is both Muslim AND a pig.

  • MTB

    Good for him! The TSA is focussing on the wrong people out of political correctness….DONE!

  • Shalom1

    You are being anti-Semitic there… beware of ADL

    We will get you for this… beware

    • JBW

      riiiiiight. Fuuuuuuck u

  • rmirod

    What causes a TSA to exist is the demand by the civilian population to fly commercially in absolute safety and comfort. What they refuse to accept is that Muslims are at war with the United States whether we like it or not. Why? Because many of their Imams have issued Fatwa’s, and issued calls for Holy Jihad against us. As long as the people in this country want to ignore those facts they will be subject to being treated as “terrorist”. If you want to stop being treated as a “terrorist” then change your demand to be kept safe and comfortable, to volunteering to “fight” the enemy on their lands and defeat them until they raise the white flag. Anything other than that and you all will continue to be treated as “terrorist” by your own government.

    • jbw

      fuuuuuuuck YOU, Zionist!!!!!1

  • james

    MinJae Lee – Right on.

  • Hank Readon

    I would have liked to have read the article, but CBS’ stupid ad saying “Select the station you wish to listen to live” covers 3/4 of the screen and cannot be minimized. Way to go, CBS.

  • Shalom

    Jews don eat pork!!!

    • Ezra

      That was sort of the joke, dog.

  • http://justaftersunrise.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/random-thoughts-and-observations-october-20-2010/ Random Thoughts and Observations (October 20, 2010) « just after sunrise

    […] airline pilot refuses full body scan. He says the TSA only does “make-work” and nothing to make the skies […]

  • RD

    Scanning and patting down pilots is pointless. He is going to be locked in on the flight deck with the aircraft’s controls! He can do what he wants. He doesn’t need a knife.

  • Bob

    Since the introduction metal detectors and X-raying of carry on was started when the people doing the scanning were contractors that the airlines as private businesses used, the private businesses (airlines) could reject you if you did not submit. However, now the ones doing the screenings are agents of the Federal Government. It would be good for someone that has the money to fight it to demand that the Federal Agent present a court approved search warrant by name, or get out of the way.

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