Unidentified Southwest Airlines Pilot Goes OFF On San Francisco Bay Area ‘Liberal F**ks’ In Hot Mic Incident!
Dude, what did the Bay Area and people driving Hyundai cars ever do to you?!
That’s the question everybody is asking of some unidentified Southwest Airlines pilot who was caught on a hot mic incident earlier this month while flying into San Jose’s Mineta International Airport.
In an incident that took place on March 12, the unidentified pilot apparently accidentally left his microphone on, inadvertently sending an expletive-laden message to air traffic controllers, as he was landing his plane in the Bay Area-city. With the mic on, the pilot slammed the region, saying “f**k this place,” and calling the people of the area “goddamn liberal f**ks.” The context of the remarks is unclear beyond the fact that the plane was on its descent into San Jose. And even after being interrupted by an air traffic controller, the pilot keeps disparaging the Bay Area, adding (below):
“F**king weirdos, probably driving around in f**king Hyundais, f**king roads and s**t that go slow as f**k. You don’t have balls unless you’re f**king rolling coal, man, goddamn it.”
Um, WTF?! Again, what did Hyundai drivers ever do to this guy?? So aggressive for no reason!!! Here’s a clip of the recorded rant itself, form ABC7 News Bay Area (below):
BTW, in case you didn’t know — and we didn’t before this — “rolling coal” refers to the practice of modifying a diesel engine (usually in a pickup truck) to allow it to emit a large amount of black exhaust fumes into the air, often as a sign of protest against environmental causes.
The pilot’s identity is still unclear as of Friday morning, but on Thursday, March 25, SFGate confirmed via Live ATC — a site that tracks and records air traffic control audio transmissions — that the pilot is indeed an employee of Southwest Airlines. The company did not identify the pilot in a statement released on Thursday night, instead relaying a note that they are “fully addressing the situation internally.”
Southwest’s official statement continued from there (below):
“We can neither confirm nor verify who made those comments. 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. This situation was an isolated incident involving a single Employee and not representative of the nearly 60,000 hardworking, respectful People of Southwest Airlines.”
Here Come The Feds!
The pilot’s rant may seem crazy (and dumb) enough on its own, but there’s actually a serious side to this. Because of it, the Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating. In 1981, the FAA instituted what’s known as the “sterile flight deck” rule, which states that below 10,000 feet of altitude, the flight crew may only carry out “activities required for the safe operation of the aircraft.” It definitively forbids all “non-essential activities” in the cockpit, with the thought being that below 10,000 feet, pilots have lots of important and immediate responsibilities related to flying the plane.
That forbidden list includes discussing topics not related to flying, so as pilots may avoid getting distracted during those first (or last) key moments of flight. And because this rant occurred during an approach to an airport, the FAA is now investigating whether the pilot violated the sterile flight deck rule and potentially put passengers at risk while distracted by his own unnecessary, off-topic rant.
In a statement to the media, FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor wrote (below):
“FAA regulations prohibit airline pilots from talking about subjects that are unrelated to safely conducting their flight while taxiing and while flying below 10,000 feet altitude. The FAA is investigating communications that an airline pilot made while taxiing at Mineta San Jose International Airport last week. The FAA also reported the incident to the airline.”
That 1981 rule wasn’t arbitrarily made, either. It came about in response to the 1974 crash of Eastern Airlines Flight 212 in Charlotte, North Carolina, where 72 people died — including famed TV host Stephen Colbert‘s father and two of his brothers. Upon investigating the crash, FAA authorities determined the pilots involved had been distracted in the cockpit during their approach into Charlotte by talking about subjects “ranging from politics to used cars.” Sound familiar?
Seriously, what do U make of a pilot who behaves this unprofessionally in the cockpit, Perezcious readers? Is it enough for Southwest Airlines to handle this internally?! Should he be identified — or at least fired? Or is that going too far? And seriously, what’s up with his fixation on Hyundais??
Sound off with your reaction to this ugly incident down in the comments (below)…
[Image via ABC 7 News Bay Area/YouTube]