A Southwest Airlines pilot whose microphone was wide open when he said some choice phrases about residents of San Francisco is facing scrutiny by both the airline and the FAA.
The nameless pilot gave an obscenity-ridden tirade over his open microphone to an airplane full of patrons as he landed at Mineta San Jose airport.
WARNING: NSFW language
Here's the audio of the Southwest pilot going on a rant about the Bay Area caught on a hot mic: https://t.co/hJ2nhDeckV— I need to go to the bathroom (@I need to go to the bathroom) 1616699355.0
The unprofessional rant was heard by both passengers and air traffic controllers, whom themselves were shocked.
"It just makes me sad and angry to hear folks who are expected to be professionals in care of the general public acting in this manner," said Will Lawton, a pilot based in San Jose.
@lostpckt @SouthwestAir Wow. I'd be worried with the pilot acting like that flying a plane.— Tom Paseka (@Tom Paseka) 1616559164.0
@KrisCrockerKXLY @lostpckt @SouthwestAir His employer should ask him where he was on January 6th.— Art Tubolls ❤️🤍💙 (@Art Tubolls ❤️🤍💙) 1616714627.0
@lostpckt @SouthwestAir Uh, @SouthwestAir sounds like you have a pilot that needs some serious coaching.— Chris Malayter (@Chris Malayter) 1616560817.0
@ArtTubolls @KrisCrockerKXLY @lostpckt @SouthwestAir His employer should no longer be his employer.— unpeople (@unpeople) 1616731646.0
@lostpckt @SouthwestAir I’m guessing he has a very strong opinion about pineapple on pizza as well.— Ungodly News (@Ungodly News) 1616749760.0
Mineta San Jose Airport reported the comments to the FAA because of the unprofessional conduct on the flight deck.
The FAA is investigating the conduct of the pilot because pilots and first officers are prohibited from speaking on open airways about "subjects unrelated to safely conducting their flight while taxiing and while flying below 10,000 feet."
Didn’t expect tonight’s episode would include Southwest Air in trouble because of redneck pilots, but here we are.— Steven Beschloss (@Steven Beschloss) 1616732363.0
Southwest pilot leaves his mic on, complains about "weirdos with rainbow flags" https://t.co/WRCG5ZlLFf— 🇺🇸 Lord Anthony Walker (🔥 Hot Medic 🔥) (@🇺🇸 Lord Anthony Walker (🔥 Hot Medic 🔥)) 1616713016.0
@RexChapman As someone who flies Southwest out of the Bay Area on the reg when there isn’t a pandemic, I’m concerne… https://t.co/A1acQh78ms— Jennifer (@Jennifer) 1616704849.0
Yikes! @SouthwestAir please return this pilot to wherever you found him. I love Southwest Air & would like to fly a… https://t.co/cLLtt22eUw— ANTIFACorgiSezWearAMask😷 (@ANTIFACorgiSezWearAMask😷) 1616709375.0
If you were wondering: 1) Aviation world skews heavily conservative in political views. I know this first-hand 2)… https://t.co/IBO7XcTEPy— James Fallows (@James Fallows) 1616732488.0
Southwest condemned the incident.
"Our corporate culture is built on a tenet of treating others with concern and dignity, and the comments are inconsistent with the professional behavior and overall respect that we require from our employees," said a statement from the airline.
"This situation was an isolated incident involving a single employee and not representative of the nearly 60,000 hardworking, respectful People of Southwest Airlines."
@anthonycwalker @electroboyusa I hope that anyone who is LGBTQ2 or an ally never flys Southwest Airlines again.— Rae Deeton5 (@Rae Deeton5) 1616713702.0
even the article title is not immune to white, conservative favoritism. Incredibly vague pull quote about Southwest… https://t.co/HVJHjUarvP— p (@p) 1616711272.0
@cbslocal @WCCO Can you imagine having your pilot so UNAWARE & UNHINGED? Hope his career is confined to crop dust… https://t.co/kiYVv7NYUQ— Shelly (@Shelly) 1616773040.0
Damn unnamed Southwest Airlines pilot, making me like the Bay Area more.— Steve Canon (@Steve Canon) 1616698118.0
@SouthwestAir I've enjoyed traveling on Southwest in the past, but I wouldn't want my safety entrusted to a pilot w… https://t.co/EDELi7mJZv— Tim Rayborn (@Tim Rayborn) 1616718375.0
The pilot's consequences at the hands of both the airline and the FAA have yet to be determined, but his comments are on the internet for all to hear.
His bigoted, harmful words will follow him throughout his career, and if Southwest doesn't act, for the rest of their time as an aviation company.