A ranting Southwest Airlines pilot was caught on a hot mic at Mineta San Jose International Airport slamming the San Francisco Bay Area’s “goddamn liberal f**ks” and “f**king weirdos.”
Southwest confirmed to the San Francisco Chronicle that the pilot was indeed one of theirs and that the company was dealing with the issue “internally.” Southwest did not reveal the pilot’s identity.
The expletive-riddled tirade occurred March 13 and was first reported by travel site One Mile at a Time. It was initially revealed in a tweet by Will Lawton, a private pilot based in San Jose who routinely listens to air traffic control chatter on LiveATC. The first jolting remark from the Southwest flight was an extremely angry: “Fuck this place.”
Lawton deduced the plane and the airline from the communications.
“As to whether it was the captain or the first officer, there’s no way to know, and only Southwest would have a record of what pilots were working what flights on that day,” Lawton said in a message to the Chronicle.
“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.”
The errant pilot also slammed the locals, inexplicably, for “probably driving around in fucking Hyundais.” “You don’t have balls unless you’re fucking rolling coal, man, goddamn it,” he added.
“Rolling coal” is a term for modifying diesel vehicles to boost the amount of fuel in the engine, which then belches out black exhaust. Those who roll coal sometimes refer to their cars as a “Prius repellant.”
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the flight because 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,” according to a statement from agency spokesperson Ian Gregor.
The airport reported the comments to the agency. “This communication is very unprofessional, and I have forwarded the communication to the FAA,” airport spokesperson Demetria Machado told the Chronicle.
Southwest presented itself as mortified.
“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,” a spokesperson told the Chronicle in a statement.
“This situation was an isolated incident involving a single employee and not representative of the nearly 60,000 hardworking, respectful People of Southwest Airlines.”