COLFAX, CA - WORLD EXCLUSIVE: The airline pilot who lost his federally-issued gun and badge for posting video on YouTube critical of airport security has chosen to go public with his identity.
"My name is Chris Liu and I'm an airline pilot," Liu said during an exclusive interview Monday with News10 at his home in Colfax.
Liu's cell phone video tour of security at San Francisco International Airport led to a team of six federal agents and sheriff's deputies coming to his home on Dec. 2 to take his handgun and Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) credentials.
Liu's state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon was also suspended by the Placer County sheriff.
Liu contacted News10 last Tuesday to share his story, but insisted that neither he nor his airline be identified for fear of retaliation.
Liu decided to reveal his identity Monday because he wants to become actively involved in changing what he believes is a major flaw in airport security.
"I just found a disparity between what happens upstairs and what happens downstairs," Liu explained.
As Liu pointed out in the video, pilots and flight crew are subjected to real-time TSA security screening while ground crew are not. "Upstairs they're going through the metal detectors and the X-ray machines, and downstairs they're swiping a card," he said.
News10 established a relationship with the Liu family last July after their rental home in Sacramento's Oak Park was destroyed by an arsonist. Four firefighters were injured when the house exploded.
Although Liu is no longer an FFDO, his flight status with his airline has not changed. Liu's wife, Sandra, said she worries about repercussions from the publicity, but supported her husband's decision to go public.
"I think my husband was very courageous. He did what he believed what right," Sandra said. "It's not all about us. It's about the safety of every American."
by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net