United pilot detained for dropping his pants at Rio airport


SAO PAULO – A United Airlines pilot was briefly detained in Brazil after lowering his pants during a security screening at the international airport in Rio de Janeiro, police said Saturday.

Pilot Michael D. Slynn, 49, was asked to remove his belt and shoes during screening Friday afternoon. Slynn laughed at security guards and lowered his pants to his ankles.

He was allowed to fly back to Washington, D.C., after signing a document promising to appear before a judge the next time he is in Brazil, a police spokesman said. Sarah Massier, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based airline, wrote in an e-mail that, “We are investigating the matter.”

It was not the first time an American pilot has gotten into trouble over Brazil’s airport security measures. In 2004, American Airlines pilot Dale Robin Hersh was fined $13,000 for allegedly displaying an obscene hand gesture while being photographed at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport. The photograph was among entry requirements for U.S. citizens implemented by Brazil in response to similar U.S. rules.