Pilot charged with making 'inappropriate' comments at Philadelphia airport

Monday, January 14th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A US Airways pilot was released from jail early Monday, a day after he was arrested for making what authorities said were ``inappropriate'' comments at an airport security checkpoint.

Police charged the pilot, Elwood Menear, 46, of Annville, with making terroristic threats and disorderly conduct, said Cpl. Jim Pauley, a police department spokesman.

Pauley refused to give specifics about the comments.

``The pilot made some comments that the (security) screeners thought were inappropriate,'' said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac. She declined to elaborate on what was said.

Salac said the FAA could ground Menear.

It was the second incident involving a US Airways pilot at the airport in the last few months. Another pilot's sarcastic comment about a gun shut down a terminal in November.

Menear had been scheduled to fly from Philadelphia International Airport to Milwaukee on Sunday morning. He was released on bail shortly after 3 a.m. Monday.

A woman reached at a telephone listing for Menear identified herself as his wife and said she and her husband had no comment on Sunday afternoon.

The FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office will determine whether to file federal charges against Menear, bureau spokeswoman Linda Vizi said.

``There was no immediate threat to anybody,'' said US Airways spokesman David Castelveter, who also refused to give specifics about the comments.

Roy Freundlich, spokesman for the US Airways unit of the Airline Pilots Association, said the union will provide protection for Menear.

``The union will obviously be part of the investigation and make sure the pilot's rights are protected,'' Freundlich said.