Pilot defends posting of videos of SFO security flaws

December 28, 2010 7:37:28 PM PST
The American Airlines pilot behind the controversial YouTube video that highlights what he says are security problems at the nation's airports, including SFO, is defending himself on national television. He first spoke exclusively with reporter George Warren from our ABC affiliate in Sacramento and this morning he went on ABC's Good Morning America.

Chris Liu defended the video, highlighting what he calls security flaws at the nation's airports.

"Well, there have been numerous articles written about this security problem and I just wanted to address it. I didn't think anybody was watching YouTube. So I didn't really think much of it," he said.

The TSA watched it and then sent agents to his house to confiscate his federally issued handgun. The pilot has also been suspended, accused of revealing security secrets.

But Liu's attorney Don Werno says he didn't reveal anything passengers couldn't see on their own.

"It was a little bit of a surprise I guess that TSA has time to watch YouTube. You know, really, the issue is, why aren't they securing our airports and why aren't they doing a better job of screening the ground crews," he said.

At one point in the video, Liu says just a card swipe can get ground crews onto the airfield and access to planes at SFO, while upstairs, passengers and pilots have to go through security and metal detectors. An airport spokesperson says that door actually leads to an employee lunch room.

"Well, the door is really irrelevant in this case. I've been to hundreds of airports and hundreds of doors and they're basically the same," Lui said.

The Sacramento-area resident says he's speaking openly now to bring all sides together to talk about improving airport security, and make sure the flying public is safe.

SFO says the video presents false and misleading information on the airport's security program and actually, in many cases, it exceeds federal security requirements.

SFO says field employees must first be sponsored by an employer and pass a 10-year FBI background check.

As for Liu, he now has a website called "The Patriot Pilot: An American Hero" and after 12 years of flying, he says he just wants to return to the cockpit.


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