Southwest Pilot Caught on Hot Mic Cursing Out Bay Area Residents
A Southwest Airlines pilot was recorded on a hot mic ranting and trash talking Bay Area residents. The short clip went viral online after being recorded by Live ATC, which livestreams air traffic control audio transmissions.
The incident happened on March 13 and picked up over the Mineta San Jose International Airport’s air traffic control scanner. The shocking rant was not heard over the PA system on the airplane itself. If you want to hear it for yourself, you can check out the archived recording here (Warning: Explicit language), starting around 21:00.
The pilot, which has not been publicly identified by name by Southwest, can be heard in the recording beginning to complain about San Francisco residents amid directions from air traffic controllers on weather and runway conditions.
He starts off by saying “F— this place, g–damn liberal f—s,” before being interrupted. Then he goes on for a few more second adding, “Eight guns out here somewhere as it is. F—ing weirdos, probably driving around in f—ing Hyundais, f—ing roads and s— that go slow as f—. You don’t have balls unless you’re f—ing rolling coal, man, goddamn it.”
Southwest has confirmed to multiple outlets, including The Hill, that the audio was captured on one of the company’s flights and that the pilot worked for Southwest. The airline also issued a short statement, saying the its “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.”
Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Ian Gregor wrote in a statement that “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.”