US pilot detained for showing underwear in Brazil

The pilot was briefly detained at international airport in Rio de Janeiro.

Updated: Jun 27, 2010, 08:34 AM IST

Sao Paulo: A United Airlines pilot was briefly detained at the international airport in Rio de Janeiro after lowering his pants during a security screening, police said on Saturday.

Pilot Michael D Slynn, 49, was asked to remove his belt and shoes as part of a routine security screening on Friday afternoon. In response, Slynn laughed at security guards and lowered his pants to his ankles, said a police spokesman who was prohibited by departmental rules from giving his name.

Slynn was detained but released shortly afterward and allowed to fly back to Washington, DC, after signing a document promising to appear before a judge the next time he is in Brazil, the spokesman said.

Calls to United Airlines in Brazil were not immediately returned. When asked for comment, Sarah Massier, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based company, wrote in an e-mail, "We are investigating the matter."

Two telephone numbers listed for a Michael Slynn, in California and Florida, respectively, were disconnected or could not take messages on Saturday.

Federal Police Chief Rafael Andreatta was quoted by the Internet site of the Brazilian newspaper O Globo as saying the pilot "did not respect security rules and made fun of officers”.

It was not the first time an American pilot has gotten into trouble for allegedly responding inappropriately to Brazil`s airport security measures.