According to an audio recording released on an aviation and travel blog, a Southwest Airlines pilot was caught last week on a hot mic “making an expletive-filled rant against the San Francisco Bay Area,” calling its residents “f***ing weirdos” and “goddamn liberal f***s,” and that they’re “probably driving around in f***ing Hyundais” on “f***ing roads and s*** that go slow as f***.”
“The unidentified pilot was heard on a radio frequency at Mineta San Jose Airport (SJC) as the flight taxied for departure,” ABC 7 reported.
“F*** this place, goddamn liberal f***s,” the pilot is reported to have said, according to the released audio recording. “Like 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***,” he continued.
“You don’t have balls unless you’re f***ing rolling coal man, goddamnit,” the pilot added, according to the audio clip posted by One Mile At A Time, an aviation and travel blog.
“Rolling coal” refers to the modification of a diesel engine to increase the amount of fuel entering the engine in order to eject large amounts of black exhaust fumes.
Will Lawton, the Twitter user cited by the One Mile At A Time, said that he was “pretty positive” that the person on the audio is a Southwest pilot.
“I’m pretty positive based on the same voice at the end of the rant says ‘Southwest 531 ready to go,’” said Lawton.
“While his tirade wasn’t broadcast to passengers, travelers say the audio is concerning,” ABC 7 added.
According to the outlet, Councilman Raul Peralez, whose district includes the San Jose airport, described the comments as “disheartening” and “wrong.”
“It was extremely disheartening to hear our largest air carrier — to hear one of their employees — their pilots speak so disparagingly about the San Jose area,” Peralez said.
“It’s one thing to be hearing peoples’ authentic opinions. I think they’re entitled to those opinions. I think in this case, this person is completely generalizing and completely wrong,” he added.
“The FAA said its regulations prohibit pilots from talking about anything other than safely conducting their flight while taxiing and while flying below 10,000 feet altitude,” ABC 7 concluded.
“The FAA is investigating communications that an airline pilot made while taxiing at Mineta San Jose International Airport last week,” the administration stated. “The FAA also reported the incident to the airline.”
A Southwest spokesperson confirmed that the person heard was indeed an airline employee.
“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,” the spokesperson said, according to a San Francisco CBS outlet. “This situation was an isolated incident involving a single Employee and not representative of the nearly 60,000 hardworking, respectful People of Southwest Airlines. We do not publicly discuss Employee matters, but we are fully addressing the situation internally.”
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