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How A Pilot Refused A Full Body Scan And Now May Lose His Job

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A pilot for ExpressJet Airlines refused to submit to a full-body scan in Memphis on Saturday, saying the technology amounts to “virtual strip searching.” Detained by airport security, he now may lose his job. Here’s his heroic first-hand account.

Michael Roberts says he has been reporting for work in Memphis for 4 1/2 years without incident until Friday, the first time that the Transportation Security Administration had asked airline employees to enter the full-body scanners now being deployed at airports around the country.

Roberts said when he objected while wearing a full uniform, airport security sent him through a metal detector, then told him he would have to be frisked. He declined, and that’s when things got uncomfortable; airport police were summoned, talked with Roberts, and eventually demanded his information. He claims he gave most of what they wanted — but stopped short when asked to provide his bosses’ name and telephone number.


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