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Southwest Pilot Suspended For Slurs, Swearing Over Houston Air Traffic Control Radio

HOUSTON -- A Houston-based airline pilot has been suspended after his cockpit microphone became stuck, allowing an obscenity-laced rant to be broadcast over hundreds of miles, Local 2 Investigates reported Tuesday. ( More...

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Victor Engel 1
Don't know if this was the same granny, but I once has a SWA flight where the flight attendants included a grandmother and her granddaughter. They were a delight.
Toby Sharp 0
What a moron. Dude is ignorant AND an idiot to not realize he has a stuck mike.
Robert Keller 0
LOL. I think he figured it out towards the end.
I don't think the controller found it very entertaining I would probably be laughing at him, that guy is going to get so busted! I cant imagine if he's married how much more trouble he will get himself into!
preacher1 0
Sad part is, that probably goes on in more than one cockpit. I doubt he meant it to be broadcast all over Texas though. This guy does seem a little more arrogant than others though.
conmanflyer 0
He probably figured it out and the last word he prolly broadcast was F*** lol
Wes Jones 0
Concerned for their safety? It's not like the pilot is going to think to himself,"Gee, there are too many un-doable flight attendants on this plane. Think I'll fly it into that mountain over there."
Jackie Butcher 0
He should have noticed the stuck mike in the first place, which make him not very detail and therefore dangerous in the cockpit.
That kind of thing would get us time off from the Company alone, not to mention a fine the Feds. Is there not some sort of indication on the radio face that says TX? Even with remote heads, we have that function.
John Hale 0
That is Funny!!!!!!!!!!!
Wes Jones 0
I totally agree. Tying up the radio with idle chit chat is a big no no, but they are focusing on the wrong issue. He's unsafe because he's not observant, not because he's insensitive.
dbaker 0
What I've never understood about these stuck mic stories (this is not the first, but definitely the most extreme) is why ATC keeps radioing the pilot to fix the stuck mic. The radios are half-duplex, so the transmitter cannot simultaneously receive. Unless the other pilot has a separate radio tuned to the same frequency, you can't reach the crew on that frequency. It makes more sense to broadcast on 121.5 and say, "stuck mic on XXX.XX" rather than repeatedly make a transmission that can only be heard by everyone BUT the person you're trying to reach.
Toby Sharp 0
AGREED DB! right?!?!
Walter Wilson 0
For everyone deciding he should have noticed the stuck mic, the aircraft with the stuck mic is the last to know. You cannot receive and transmit at the same time. The benefits of todays glass cockpits are the indication the radio is transmitting.
I have had several stuck mics over the years with one being quite hilarious to the controller when I was letting out an explitive upon realizing I probably had a stuck mic. The controller responded "excluding explitive, cleared direct xxxxx".
Robert Fleming 0
Wow-that's all I can say....WOW- This guy obviously didn't know he was being heard by every other airborne pilot over TX because he was tying up radio traffic. That is NO EXCUSE for the kind of language or content of conversation. I'm sure that there'll be worse things in his future than just his boss suspending him w/o pay. For one, I doubt seriously, that anyone will want to work on flights he is piloting now.
Just one of the worst cases of unprofessionalism I have ever seen (or heard in this case)
David Sims 0
Reminds me of my favorite stuck mic that I heard, "...its fun flying this low, you can see all the girls laying out in their back yards by the pools"
William Sands 0
Just who I want flying my plane - some clown who is interesting with getting with married flight attendants as opposed to reading instruments and sending/transmitting pertinent flight information. What an imbecile, I don't feel safe on SouthWest anymore. On a personal level, he would be someone who, if he talked in a bar like that, has a high probability of getting punched out.
preacher1 0
Well, as I said before, he seems a little more arrogant than a lot of folks what with his attitude and all. It is obvious he thought he was having a private conversation with his FO and didn't intend for it to be broadcast all over South Texas, but what bothers me is that whether a glass cockpit or anything else, there should be an indication somewhere that the radio is transmitting. All of us have probably had a stuck mic before and whether you are having a conversation such as this, or doing something else, it may take a minute or 2 to see it. This one was stuck for 4 1/2 minutes. As Connor Osley said here in an earlier comment, his last transmission was probably "Oh F%^&"
billykid05 0
"Reply to all" by mistake emails come to mind..............
James Coady 0
Mics do get stuck, and usually all you get is a chortle from other pilots in the area as your inflight announcements or conversations get broadcasted to other planes, however, this was extremely ignorant of this pilot to swear in any case, and to do it while his mic was transmitting to other aircraft.
mark tufts 0
that fool should have gone thru alot more than diversity training as look at how many people he put at risk
He knew he was wearing a headset with a mic. NO excuses. This was 100% his fault.

It's unfortunate that Southwest felt it was ok to discipline and reinstate the pilot. He hates his job. He views his co-workers as nothing but pieces of meat, there only for his pleasure. He hates old women. He hates women that don't submit to his needs sexually in the workplace. And he hates homosexuals. He rants about this while flying an aircraft full of people.

I find it amusing that professional pilots are always complaining about their jobs. Southwest Pilots make a lot of money, 3-4 days/week, excellent benefits, profitable airline, travel perks for them and their family. 20% of their customers are unemployed or underemployed. What percentage of pilots or wanna-be pilots are unemployed right now?

I employ two pilots. If either of them sound disgruntled about me or their employment status, I'll set them free of their misery.
JD345 0
I'd agree MANBOI... what really grates on me is all of these aviation sites is all of these too-cool-for-school malcontent pilots who post about how they have the worst, most miserable lives imaginable...
MAKPilot718 0
After they said the pilot apologized to then, I think he really didn't care.
Tony Welch 0
as me being a southern boy i see this as being amusing none the least. but what made him wanna say that stuff?
I think he needs to try Sporty's- How an airline captain should look and act.
conmanflyer 0
@votex, cause the flight attendants aren't hot anymore :'( lol, jk
@MANBOI....Ditto! Southwest should have cut him loose. "Diversity training"??? Does Southwest really believe that he's going to suddenly sit around the campfire singing Kumbaya with the very types of people he disparaged?
It's obvious that he believes the world centers around him....and apparently can't be bothered with minutiae of flying the plane!!! If he worked for me, I'd show him the door.
calbert 0
Looks like he may have not set up the audio on his side to interphone to talk. some aircraft don't have a hot mike or intercome but can use the interphone part of the audio system to talk. It also kinda sounds like he does not like his job to well from the sotry.
Ryan Pitt 0
This, in my opinion, is extremely funny, but unprofessional. He just got unlucky and had it broadcasted on freq.
Robert Fleming 0
I found it interesting that Southwest reinstating this idiot way too easily. and what Mark K. said seems to sum it up correctly, that the airline really didn't care about what happened. They should, considering that all of the flying public heard what was said over the radio(flying public being every other pilot in the air over Texas at that particular time). Stuck mic or no....I guess this guy had never heard the term "discretion". I doubt there'll be a whole lot of people that will want to work with him for the rest of his career with that airline!
Scott Branson 0
If he is so promiscuous, he should be open to older women and bigger women.
Don't be so picky if you are going to be a player
steve elliott 0
Thanks Daniel Baker for the audio link. Best way to consume a delicious cup of morning coffee and wish that there were more stuck mic conversatistons to enjoy. I recall @ 430 one night between MCI and MEM two unsuspecting controllers betting on race horses.

Welcome to the real world of keying the mic at the wrong time. It happens.

Not only he is a dummy, but clearly has issues
I get a laugh out of some of the comments posted here. So who here has not made a fool of himself before? Who here is up for sainthood? My, my we are so very judgmental.
Frank DeLeon 0
Sensitivity issues aside, stuck mics are a menace to air safety. As a retired air traffic controller I experienced many instances of stuck mics over the years. All of them raised my blood pressure a few points as I was helpless in trying to communicate not only with the pilot whose mic was stuck, but everyone else I had on that frequency. Nothing like putting several aircraft on vectors for weather, spacing, etc., and a few others in climb/descent mode, and having the frequency suddenly jammed with a stuck mic. And unfortunately, based on my experience, not very many pilots actually listen to 121.5.
I take serious offense to this absolutely unnecessary rant. I'm gay and if he knew how many diverse people make up Southwest Airlines (or any other airline for that matter); he might re-think about "open-firing" while on-duty. I could care less if he wants to say that kind of crap while he's off-duty but while he's on-boards the aircraft and on-duty; he should refrain from using any such language.
Chip Hermes 0
I think the funniest part of all this is how strong his opinions are. He's truly all worked up over this and has given this a lot of thought. THAT's what's so funny. What a character...
Doug Herman 0
I spent 40+ years in the broadcasting industry and there's probably nobody in that business who doesn't have an accidentally open mic story. Never heard of one that went this far over the side, though! I guess it could have been the cabin PA instead, and overheard by a planeload of customers (and, of course, all those <expletive> <expletive> un-<expletive>able <expletive>ing flight attendants)!
John Casebeer 0
Another good reason to confine conversation on the flight deck to flying!
Jim Quinn 0
This guy sounded pretty cocky. I'd take a bet that most of us pilot-types would be able to spot this guy fifty yards away just by his body language. Arrogance is the least of his problems, though. What I'd give to have his job for the last few years of my own flying career.... He simply cannot recognize just how good he has it, and then some. In a similar situation a storm-spotter buddy accidentally put something down on his mic and unintentionally informed everyone on a busy ham radio frequency just how much of a !@#$%^&*()_+ moron a lady driver he was following happened to be! He was highly embarrassed, as he should have been, and since then he's been very careful about replacing his mic into the hanger after a conversation. He almost died when I told him my ham operator/storm spotter wife was in my car with me and heard every word of his tirade! He doesn't place his mic on the seat any longer...
SueTheFBOGirl 0
Dang SWA.. hiring old or ugly or gay FAs! lol... just kidding!!
Robert Guzzi 0
I'd like to know what this gift-from-God looks like. He's probably a fat-bellied, pancaked ass, 4 strands of hair-combed over his forehead moron. If he has to resort to pining over pinning down his female colleagues over operating his plane, he's got serious problems.
Jim McClain 0
ain't we all just gettin a might too thin-skinned here in a spade a spade...what happened to: "sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me"..get a life people!!!
Mike Rasnak 0
I'd like to know the rest of the story. Who did this guy think he was talking to? Sounds like it was meant to be a private conversation. A Stuck mike is usually a maintenance issue. Tying up the frequency is the offense here, and that should be what's followed up on. And it is a serious issue.
The problem is you don't realize you have a stuck mike until after it sticks.
As a old ,fat pilot, this young pilot's time will come soon enough. This converstaion can be heard in most bars and resturants accross the nation on a nightly baisis. Sorry it went public.
Ironic it's Southwest, who's flight attendants often do a smartaleck shtick not always appreciated.
Back in 2005, I was involved with a stuck mike between pilot and co-pilot of a light twin involving a vivid descripttion of the pilot releaving himself in a coke can!
Got yelled at for blocking the frequency, but no union complaints. Fixed the mike before the next leg of the trip. (and got a fresh can)
Chad Short 0
Who cares it was meant to be a private conversation.... To each his own uptight America ...
Mary Mitton 0
Guess his cuppa' coffee will be cold from now on, no ice in his soda, and who knows what'll be in any meal served from the cabin to the cockpit.

If he really lives in the world we heard him speaking of, let him find a new career in porcine calling.
William Day 0
We had an idiot at work riding with a salesman and he didn't realize he had his cell phone on. He left a similar voice message that ended up being forwarded all over the company.

Be very careful with technology----- just ask Obamas side kick about that.
Brian Bragg 0
I agree with Frank DeLeon, who commented on the safety issue of stuck mikes. With all the technological advances in aviation electronics we've seen in the last 10-15 years, why is there still no better remedy for this than for ATC to repeatedly (and futilely) call on the same frequency that is being blocked? Or on 121.5, which as a practical matter is only monitored continuously if the aircraft has a third radio and a properly configured audio panel?
alfadog 0
Wait, are they saying that some airline pilots are insensitive bigots? I don't believe it.
Glenn Dawson 0
the stuck mike has revealed the type of person & pilot he is. One with poor judgement. Not a trait desirable for pilots!
2point0 0
Here's a quick glimpse of a future with cameras and audio recording in the cockpit.
zfrankowski 0
It's a real life Quagmire from Family Guy...giggity giggity goooo hahaha

ps: the link to uncut audio, isn't uncut!
Perhaps as part of his "sensitivity" training he'll get to be a flight attendant for a month?
mrdedwalker 0
LOL - Hilarious! What I find amazing is the difference between posts here and those on PPRUNE. One thing is abundantly apparent - if you post anything on PPRUNE about the pilots need for maturity or morals ... watch out! You'll be shot down in flames as a bore & lacking the concensus of non-boring attitude. If you're flight deck crew it seems you have the 'right' to complain about the unscrewable nature of your cabin crew. In Australian rugby league they say "Thats Gold" & he certainly hit it - maybe he could get a run on an aussie football team - they're the only dipswitches who are 'better' at this type of stuff. @mcmitton has it right - pack your lunches buddy . . . unless you prefer Veal Cordon toiletsmeared Bleu . . .LOL
cwleach 0
My question is how the news media got tipped to the story three months after it happened?

As for punishment, I read on another forum (then verified) that a month off without pay for an airline captain is a greater financial penalty than that assessed for involuntary homicide in many states. So, tell me whose life was in danger here?
Paul Slonaker 0
keeping the channel closed for four minutes is something to get in a twist over while the pilot is on his rant, but his subject matter in his ranting is pretty common in todays world. If his rants were directed at certain what. These people need to get a life...grow up and realize that not everyone feels the same as this pilot, and just consider the source of the person making the statements and go on about their business.
adrian sairin 0
I can't believe in this day with all the tech put into TCAS and flight instruments, one-way radio is still the main link that ties aircraft to atc.
Jeff Nielsen 0
Should he be condemned for the stuck mic? No. It happens to the best of us.

Is he a bad pilot? Well, you can't really tell from the audio recording. He might be a fantastic stick and rudder guy.

The only thing you can really say is that his character is quite lacking. Sounds to me like a loudmouthed, self-centered blowhard. The kind of guy who thinks the universe revolves around him, and has no respect for people who don't believe that. More than anything, this guy needs our prayers (or "good thoughts,' if you're not the prayin' kind)... perhaps this incident will make a dent in his psyche. We can only hope.

Capt. Jeff
James Scarff 0
My experience has been that people who are mean-spirited and cruel to some are generally mean-spirited and cruel to everyone. They just hide it more efficiently with their superiors and those they want something from. Bet this guy isn't cared for by many in the company.
John Cook 0
The length of his real punishment is already set. He will be unable to trust the coffee or the crew meal for the rest of his career!
Chip Hermes 0
john cook -- you are probably right EXCEPT if he was flying with cute chicks....although clearly he has problem getting on the schedule with them.
Jim Taylor 0
What about the poor sap who is on the receiving end of this diatribe over the scheduling period. Bet this guy is on the "Please Lord, never put me on an overnight with..... again" list.

I once had a boss like this, married guy in his late 40's who would hit on every waitress he met (I mean, room number, key, everything). Grossed me out and I just wanted to get sick days every time he said he was coming up to travel with me.

I'm kinda surprised that SW would put up with this as well. My guess is that they couldn't make a case within the union rules to fire his sorry butt.
They are try'n to get people to stay in Detroit any way they can!!
Does the term "Lowest Common Denomiator" come to mind, anyone?
Arthur Bahme 0
As an old, bottom-feeder private pilot (100LL was $1.68.. that old!), I found this hysterical! This was great fodder for the media, unions and all the other PC mobs... My opinion, worth something only to me.
That being said, he did behave like a moron.. a real pinhead, but if he's a capable, otherwise safe pilot, he needs to be taken out behind the hanger by his fellow aviators and cabin crew, who he DID embarrass, and give a verbal (or otherwise??) tune-up.
Arthur Bahme 0
As an old, bottom-feeder private pilot (100LL was $1.68.. that old!), I found this hysterical! This was great fodder for the media, unions and all the other PC mobs... My opinion, worth something only to me.
That being said, he did behave like a moron.. a real pinhead, but if he's a capable, otherwise safe pilot, he needs to be taken out behind the hanger by his fellow aviators and cabin crew, who he DID embarrass, and give a verbal (or otherwise??) tune-up.
greenbaron 0
Sounds like somebody who really doesn't enjoy his job. I'm pretty sure I'd rather fly with someone who does...
smokechaser11 0
He screwed up, but everything he said was actually true!
smokechaser11 0
This was inappropriate for everyone's ears, but it was all true!
mgor24 0
shit right on, everyone thinks that way, they just dont voice it.
mgor24 0
all i hear is, " i wanna get laid every night"
andy smith 0
There is nothing hilarious about hate. If you think anything he said in that transmission was humorous you need some serious therapy. If I was his FO, I would have patiently waited until the hotel, then take him out back and go Bruce Lee on his ass. Everyone does NOT think that way. Maybe you redneck conservatives wouldn't spill your Jack Daniels laughing so hard if that douchebag was talking about banging your sister or daughter. I know plenty of professional pilots who would love to throttle that guy. Grow the hell up!
smoki 0
It's kinda funny to read all these self righteous posts some of which border on gibberish. Those who live in glass houses should cast the first stone. Humans are imperfect creatures, some more than others, but imperfect nonetheless. Embellishment for the sake of trying to impress along with too much testosterone is often behind such idiotic over the top comments in a male on male environ. Equally so is the feigned catatonic self righteous reaction some people have as if they've never heard anything like this before. Puhleze! Turn on your TV or go to a movie. It's so common it's disgusting. The language of our culture has become increasingly coarse and the comments made by this pilot reflect it. If CVRs were pulled at random it would not be surprising to hear some of the same stuff. This guy was caught by the ever present electronic mouse trap not unlike what happened with the now infamous Congressman Anthony Weiner. That isn't meant to excuse such crude behavior, just a statement of fact. I never used or was required to use a lip mike in my day, relying instead on the old hand held mike that hung over the sliding window latch on my trusty "Diezel Eight." I can tell you this though, that guy had better be checking whatever is brought from the back of the airplane in flight. Payback from the offended gals/guys in the back can be unmerciful. One of the funniest cases of a stuck mike was on New York Approach some years ago when a lengthy PA was given over the working frequency which amounted to a guided travel tour of New York city. Air traffic was as usual heavy with sequencing requiring almost continuous directions from NY Approach Control and this comparatively lengthy interruption caused all kinds of problems for Approach Control to sort out. When he finally shut up, the guy got a quick stern lecture from ATC then put at the back of the line in the sequence.
To old you "you tube" posters, if the truth be known, what he is saying is what many have said with out the stuck mike. I have heard this said by many at different functions, from back yard BQ to comp. get together. Now so many posters act like they are the only angels walking around that have never, ever said a foul sentence in their lives. Give us all a break and don't post your 10y old feelings on this subject.
Barbara Gould 0
Hate to inform this Pilot, but he probably isn't that "hot"
himself, therefore he has no room to take inventory of others.
I am a young grandmother, still working, and when I fly on business,
I am not impressed the any of the Pilots I see walking through
the airport, OR behind the controls.
Astronauts impress me, but pilots no longer make a dent, because
my Father was both a Navy and Commercial Pilot, and when you see
behind the scenes, the "magic' is no longer for his
language? "Cursing, is the effort, of a LIMITED mind, to express itself,
and I wouldn't go so far as to say this guy's ego is over the top,
I would say his ego has had a major "wreck" and venting, as he did,
is just his way of trying to pump up the volumne in his pathetic life...
If you stop and think about it, everyone he criticized, is probably more of a "person" than he will ever hope to be...His theme song should be
"Lookin for Love in all the wrong places" Since he hangs out in bars, by his own admission, he's only going to catch barflies, nothing more.
He not only needs hostility management, he needs a shot of Maturity
before he takes control of an aircraft again. I would NEVER want
him flying any airplane, on which I was a passenger, and unless Southwest
gets rid of him, they will automatically lose revenue...there are
many other Pilots out there, who would truly appreciate his job,
in this economy, so I believe he has done more damage to his career,
than the women have done to his ego.... Happy Trails, guy...I wouldn't let
you fly a remote control airplane in my back yard....ever.
A "skirt-chasing pilot"!?!? What's this world coming to?

Parking Brake SET
Throttles IDLE
Passenger Signs OFF
Air-conditioning Fan OFF
Pitot Heat OFF
De-ice OFF
Taxi Lights / Runway turnoff Lights OFF
Nav Lights OFF
Avionics OFF
Fuel flow OFF
Eng Start Switches 1 – 2 OFF
Beacon OFF
Passenger Door OPEN
BATT Master Switch OFF

Barbara Gould 0
@David Walker..Hang out a lot, on PPRUNE, do ya?

I would rather discuss his maturity and morals
and be shot down, than be too afraid to express
my disgust, with people like him. What's the
expression? You give as good as you get, and
since this is no laughing matter, when people's
lives are at stake, because a Pilot can't keep
his mind on the job, but allows it to wander (in
and out of his previous "encounters") anyone who
would consider NOT discussing his morals and maturity
which impact their safety, should never be
allowed out, without a leash....I'm just sayin...
You are now free to walk about PPRUNE, again.
Tony Galvez 0
You would expect the professionalism to govern the thinking of an individual especailly for the respoonsibilities of those in the back end.
I wonder if the PIC is one of those pistol packing flyboys? Can you imagine the carnage if a FA handed him a cup of coffee with a limp wrist and a very big smile :)
The fact is absurd, silly..I dont believe that is true....
astrojet120 0
@Barbara Gould,

I agree with you 100% He's a trained pilot and should know better regardless!
Peter Chestnut 0
I am very fortunate to have flown 24 years with Eastern air Lines when flying was fun and the passengers were treated with respect. However, ya gotta make sure the mics are not stuck open. One comment the pilot made was about the different flight attendents. We had the same problems years ago especially when the "wimmens Lib movement came about". It is important for the crews to know who is working the trip. Today's stupid rules apparently donot permit pre trip briefings. I always gathered the crew together so we could meet and find if the F/A's needed anything special and to brief themon the expected weather enroute. Too bad tha guy got caught. I thinkhis comments were just, but only for his co-pilot, not the whole world.
The offended groups are some of the biggest whinners in the world. Remember when they weighed the Stew? Beautiful women having the time of their lives only to have it ended when they were 1)overweight, 2) married or 3) whatever else the corporation deemed inappropriate.

So, the whinners sued, we now have lots of unhappy career FA's (it was never intended to be a lifetime career) and they act insulted when a man tells them what he thinks. Give him a break. The plane landed safely.
25 or 30 years ago if this would have happened (as I am sure it did) there would be very little , if anything , said about bad behaviour in the cock-pit. Now that we are under a "system" sic government, where everything has to be so politically correct, we have to constantly remind ourselves that "Big Brother" is watching every move and re-cording any and every conversation that we partake in. God Bless America...if you can find it!
I can't believe anyone in their right mind would defend his patheticness and unprofessionalism. The pilot version of Christian Bale and Charlie Sheen. 3 people who SERIOUSLY need to get over themselves. And one airline.
And I agree with Barbara Gould.
James Scarff 0
Good sense: when people try not to offend you. Political correctness: when people try not to offend others.
Richard Dugger 0
"I can't believe in this day with all the tech put into TCAS and flight instruments, one-way radio is still the main link that ties aircraft to atc. "

Actually they are called TWO-WAY radios and they still use them because people can talk faster than they can type.

Just sayin'...
Correction @jasscarff. Good Manners: when people try not to offend others.
PC applies when something gets onto the public forum (and the public "demands" more retribution,) which this evidently has done, but if he'd had good manners in the first place, that would NEVER have happened.

I believe the responses of the other pilots and their attempt to disassociate themselves from the ranter said it all.
James Scarff 0
Glenna Wheatley, You may be missing my point. I'm tired of those who describe other people's refusal to be insulted or belittled as "political correctness." They generally want their own groups to get the utmost respect while not offering any to others--in this case women and gay people.
John Van Dyke 0
They need to learn, times have changed, and we today find it in the wrong place.
mrdedwalker 0
@Barbara Gould - only on pprune every so often. The only thing I'm laughing about is the guys stupidity and how he has got what he eventually asked for. I'm disheartened that so many pilots seemed to attack the one guy (on pprune) who challenged what (the content) he had to say & instead attacked him (the poster). I understand that open mics have happened to nearly all of us (and shouldn't that dictate professionalism), and that as one poster commented, 'males tend to exaggerate amongst males' but one thing I can't gel with; that we have all spoken about others like that. Self righteous? I don't believe so, not everyone is the same.
Shawn S. Sullivan said: "What a moron. Dude is ignorant AND an idiot to not realize he has a stuck mike. "

Wow! Just, Wow! Bigotry is indeed alive and well and I'm not referring to the comments of the hapless SWA pilot!

Three issues: (1) Stuck mic.
(2) Pilot's ability
(3) Character

(1) Stuck mic can and does happen to most anyone who flies long enough. If this hasn't happened to you, you haven't been around long enough. These guys were not low-time neophytes! In a Boeing 737 a stuck mic is not readily apparent.

(2) Pilot's ability: there is not enough information to make an informed decision about this pilot's overall ability. The fact that SWA kept him as a pilot speaks volumes. I'm glad the management of SWA is not as bigoted and small minded as so many of you self-righteous posters!

(3) Character! Yes. These posts tell me far more about the character (or, lack thereof) of the posters than it does of the SWA pilot who is the subject of so much uninformed, bigoted vitriol. Excuse me, this pilot's comments were never intended for "public consumption". They were private comments intended for a private conversation. This pilot's speech is "free speech" and, as far as I know still protected by law.

He is completely free to disapprove of obesity, old flight attendants and the homosexual lifestyle; his opinions may not suit you, but he has a right to them. The intolerance of so much of this crowd is amazing.

Talk about a lack of character!
Ford Mays 0
This is just one more example of Southwest's flight crews' total lack of cockpit discipline and professionalism. How many times are they going to get away with it before the inevitable disaster occurs? Just think- runway overruns at Burbank and Midway attemting to land when they were not in the slot; taking all their clothes off in flight, etc. They need a whole new corporate philosophy which includes safety and responsibility. Then weed out all those that had rather play games than fly.
>This is just one more example of Southwest's flight crews' total lack of >cockpit discipline and professionalism. How many times are they going to >get away with it before the inevitable disaster occurs? Just think- runway >overruns at Burbank and Midway attemting to land when they were not in the >slot; taking all their clothes off in flight, etc. They need a whole new >corporate philosophy which includes safety and responsibility. Then weed >out all those that had rather play games than fly.

OMG, get a life.
captsteveo 0
Knock-off the pious attitude, the man has his opinions, just like the rest of us. He believed it was a private conversation at the time and now its a lesson-learned.
Ford Mays 0
If the shoe fits, wear it.
Barbara Gould 0
Any conversation, NOT having to do with the operation of the aircraft, and the safety of the passengers and crew, has NO place in any cockpit, or tying up the channel as he did. That has NOTHING to do with being "pious"
when a comment is made about his conduct. No matter WHAT job anyone has, they leave their personal life behind, when they punch their time card, and their life, for 8-10 hours belongs to their EMPLOYER. If his personal life and his opinions, are MORE important, that he doesn't use common sense and know when and where to discuss his disgust with overweight, elderly, or gay people, be they crew OR passengers, then his maturity level is in question, and therefore I, personally would not want him flying any airplane I might have to be a passenger aboard.
As his freedom of speech is protected by the constitution, mine is, as well, and when I pay someone (ie a ticket) to perform a job, I expect him/her to focus on what they are doing, and not distract the tower, or the co-pilot with his foolish ranting. I wouldn't expect a "roofer" to do a decent job on my roof, if he was so distracted with lastnight's roll in the sack, that he didn't pay attention to where he was putting the nails, and I expect someone who is at times, responsible for the lives of over 100 people on board, to pay MORE attention to his performance in the cockpit, than to blame a stuck mic for his display of are all entitled to your opinions, and so am I. I rest my case and I respect your right to voice your opinions as well....that doesn't mean we have to be nasty, nor are we being "pious" in our comments. The truth "smarts" sometimes, and his type of "vitriol" was unnecessary in the performance of his duties as Captain of the ship. Period.
jdr567 0
What did he say that was wrong????????????????????
jdr567 0
No apologies needed, holmes. the public should hear some of stuff we say.
Grow up people, the government will not do weverthing for you. Get it.
Roger Curtiss 0
My favorite thing about this incident- A Houston TV station news team said they identified the pilot and went to his housing development. The reporter was standing in front of the sign for the neighborhood. Its name? Pilot Knob Estates. 'Nuf said!
John Scott 0
Better hope he has some good investments. I think he's as good as fired without the chance of ever having a career in aviation. The suspension is merely a formality prior to letting him go. I don't care about anyone's personal feelings about others, but the moment you bring it to work and vocalize it--it's now a company image issue. I'm sure an upcoming first officer that upholds the professionalism expected of pilots and the Southwest image will be glad to take the ex-pilot's slot.
Randy Brown 0
There are those posting here who act like any conversation not directly related to the flight is patently unsafe. Hogwash. There is a reason that the sterile cockpit only applies to certain segments of the flight. It would be a boring job if the cockpit were 100% "sterile" This pilots coarse words and offencive opinions are no less safe than talking about painting the house or deciding whats for dinner. If we are going to eaves drop on every persons personal conversations during work time and judge/ fire them for it then America is gone. I detest the actions of the pilot but if this man were to lose his livelihood over a few poorly chosen words it would infringe on ALL our freedoms. If every pilot was sanctioned the same for a stuck mike then so be it. But to judge the violation by the content of the conversation steps over the rights we as Americans hold.
Get off your high horses kids just the embarrassment is punishment enough.
[color=blue]Dear Barbara Gould....Aviation Mom! You are so wrong! I can't believe you actually posted, "Any conversation, NOT having to do with the operation of the aircraft, and the safety of the passengers and crew, has NO place in any cockpit, or tying up the channel as he did."

Do you really think pilots don't have personalities and conduct "casual conversations" during non-sterile parts of flights?

Do you think people who go to an office never talk about anything except "business". Does your job have you in a cubicle all by yourself? Do you have no work experience involving other humans? How much multi-pilot cockpit experience do you have? It really is a unique place.

You are certainly welcome to participate in the forum, but I would suggest some background, or experience in the cockpit before you preach to us.

John Scott 0
I can't judge that the pilot was necessarily operating the aircraft in an unsafe manner; however, he was so engaged in an inappropriate conversation he neglected to notice his mic was stuck. His plane could have been drifting off course, the or another aircraft could have missed critical communication with ATC or other aircraft in the vicinity. No matter the profession you work in, it was inappropriate to vocalize those thoughts, especially during duty hours and on company property (the aircraft). Even speaking those words privately to a coworker could result in punitive actions if the coworker finds offense. In either case it is now the companies responsibility to take action.

John, you are trying to be funny, right?!

In your vast B-737 experience could you tell me how the pilot would instantly recognize a stuck mic when he wasn't expecting such?

And in casual conversation, the pilot has every right to conduct speak his's called "free speech". The fact that his views are not politically correct is not germane to the issue at hand.

The Company, SWA, was not responsible for the pilot's remarks and had no responsibility for them. The fact that SWA gave him some "sensitivity training" was a sop to people with views like yours, but it was otherwise meaningless.

I suspect his training was a five minute meeting with an assistant chief pilot who told him to be careful in the future. Certainly enough corrective action given the details of this case.
John Scott 0
I'm not a rated pilot. I have quite a bit experience observing while riding in the cockpit during my 20 years of flying in Air Force aircraft, and I have a little experience flying private aircraft. I do have experience using cockpit headsets. I know that there is a difference between military and commercial aviation. However reserve pilots I flew with also flew for major carriers as their full time job. If the aircraft was is in the vicinity of Houston, that I'm guessing has a fairly busy airspace depending on the time of day, I might think something could be wrong with either my radio or headset if I'm not hearing any communication for a minute or two--just an observation from my point on the ground. Regardless if he had observed his stuck or could have known it was stuck, and the fact remains he had an inappropriate comment conversation on company time aboard company assets.

I could care less about sensitivity training and political correctness. However, what occurred, and specifically one key word, "hate," when directed towards a group of people is usually not in line with most companies non-discrimination policies. The fact that the aircraft commander used those words made it even worse and leads to a hostile work environment. What flight attendant will want to work with him anymore? His words prove he holds them of little value. I like nice looking flight attendants, but the fact is today the FAs are there not just to serve people and make sure they're strapped down; they are now a first line defense for terrorist acts and safety.

I think he should consider himself lucky if Southwest just let's him go. The FCC can bring charges against him for speaking those words over air. I'm sure the FAA could find some charges as well. It is now a Southwest issue. If they keep him on, and and repeats itself known behavior, they can then be held civil and/or criminally liable for him.
Phil Caron 0
No, he was not right with the hate propaganda, but a person can express his opinion according to our first amendment, or did I miss something? Now if this guy was part of a certain Mid-East minority that would be ok because of his religious rights. To all you non-pilots you have no idea what cockpit safety entails, so do us all a favor and stop guessing.
James Scarff 0
The first amendment protects our right to say what we want when the government doesn't approve of what we say. It doesn't protect our jobs if our employer doesn't approve of what we say.
John Scott 0
James if you're a current rated ATP you're clearly the expert over me when it comes to flight deck safety. However, it's ultimately going to be up to the NTSB, and Southwest to determine if there was neglect or something to comprise the safety of the aircraft and surrounding airspace occurred.

I believe strongly in the first amendment/freedom of speech and expression. Unfortunately for the pilot the first amendment does not allow for discrimination or hatred. When I first heard of the incident, initially I sided with the pilot. I thought it was just a few explicit words that he accidentally said over the air, unknowingly transmitting to ATC and other aircraft. However once I listened to the tape I realized it was more.

Think of it as a work phone or computer. The justice department has determined it is legal to monitor employees while using company computers and telecommunications equipment. That's how people get terminated over porn on company resources all the time; because it can be offensive and against company policy. What this pilot said displayed a clear lack of leadership, disrespect for coworkers, was discriminatory in nature, creates a hostile work environment--the list goes on. He didn't say these things as a private citizen, but as a representative of Southwest Airlines.

I bet the people aboard US Airways flight 1549 on 1/15/09 are glad this guy wasn't thier pilot. He might have been focused on the looks and the sexual preferences of the flight attendants and going to gay bars instead of the critical situation at hand.
John Scott 0
Southwest was recently recognized once again as the number one airline major US carrier. I think there is a reason for that--the culture Southwest creates; starting with it's employees. If employees are happy and have a good work environment, most likely they will pass it on to the customer. It's really basic human relations--something leaders don't need diversity training for.

I have nothing against the pilot personally. I don't know him. It his fault he will most likely be terminated. Southwest has an image and culture to uphold. I say let the Southwest Flight Attendant's Union vote to see if the pilot should be retained or terminated.
n6brr 0
Obviously this guy is a failure as a decent human being but perhaps more important is the fact the transmitter was transmitting for that long. In land mobile radio systems the transmitters have time out timers which are typically set for 30 to 60 seconds. If you have more to say you simply unkey for a moment then continue. Why didn't that aircraft's radio have such a feature enabled? With simplex radio systems a second radio would only have heard the aircraft's transmitter so a second radio is not a solution.

I feel sorry for anyone that has to crew with this creep in the future.
John Scott, apparently you are unaware that this event took place back in March. It was a total non-event until the news-monger-politically-correct crowd got hold of it through a FOI request.

This pilot should not be terminated/was not terminated. He did nothing wrong. Obviously SWA agrees with me.

I suggest you wear a microphone all the time you're at work and then see if there are some "random" expressions out there. Now imagine that they are publicized by those who disagree with the thoughts. You might just get a little egg on your face too!

Stop trying to be part of the thought-police. There are already enough of them now. The word "hate" is a proper verb and its use is not regulated, yet.
Jo Hammond 0
. . . proving that the human race has redneck pilots as well as redneck truck drivers.
James Scarff 0
John Scott, I agree with everything you say--no need to pull rank on me. I was responding to the posts saying that the pilot was just exercising his first amendment rights. That doesn't protect him under whatever standards of behavior his employer has established, and no employer would or should accept this kind of poisonous rant about fellow employees.
John Scott 0
James, I would never try to pull rank on anyone (not that I have authority to anyway); just please know I'm expressing my opinion just like everyone else in this forum.

This story just came to my attention a couple of days ago. I read a brief about the case, and then listened to the audio recording. I just learned the pilot had returned to flying after attending a diversity training course. It is my impression the investigation is still on-going.

I hope Southwest does/did give the pilot a fair and balanced investigation. Based on the evidence I have seen and heard it is my opinion he should be terminated.

Mooneymite, I don't believe it's "random" expressions, nor should they be treated as such. I could care less about his thoughts; the issue here is he vocalized his thoughts about coworkes in a demeaning manner. I have worn a mic for 8+ plus hours; I was on duty and I knew the behavior that I was expected to exhibit. Even if it wasn't on mic, the fact remains he said it to another coworker on company time, on company property, about coworkers. The coworker could have taken offense to that and reported him regardless. I agree the pilots should be able to have conversations on the flight deck personal in nature when appropriate. However, there are boundaries for personal conversations at work. It is my opinion he crossed that boundary.

Maybe now that this has received the much deserved media attention the proper levels of Southwest management and stockholders will be made aware of the incident. The flight attendants should go to thier union and refuse to work with him. A 737 can't fly revenue passengers and make a dime without flight attendants. I do know the Southwest Flight Attendant's Union is considering a law suit against Southwest because of the pilot's return to duty. Instead of shareholders having to lose stock value over a lawsuit, I recommend his termination.
Victor Engel 0
Hmmm. I'm a stockholder. What can I do to see that this happens, John?
John Scott 0
Victor, write the boardmembers or send correspondence to investor relations at the address below. As a shareholder, you vote the boardmembers in; the more shares you own the more you have the boardmembers attention, but every bit of correspondence counts.

Southwest Airlines Co.
Investor Relations, HDQ-6FC
P.O. Box 36611
Dallas, Texas 75235
(214) 792-4415
Fleagle 0
SWA is a Proven,Innovative,1st Class AIRLINE in every sense of the word.
Their Success,and Professionalism("making it look easy - with a smile")has incurred a certain amount of professional Envy from the rest of the Community that,(by the way)aren't doing As Well,and Won't Do as well because They(for whatever reason)haven't brought OnBoard the unique type of takes to Command a most challenging changing Market;the flexibility;morale;prescient Thinking that I'm convinced SOUTHWEST HAS.
This incident was/is unfortunate from many aspects.
I would Hope We all get beyond it.Because in Truthit reflects on All of us And,WE'RE different Industry. That's 'just the Way of it'.
They're a Great is most of the 'AIR operations types';FlightDeck and the "Stem of the Rose"- the nameless/faceless support Crews that MAKE it All Work! Quality,anyone?
The only recommendational pittance I'd proffer is for unsuspecting callow Management'Human'Relations types to really take a hard Look(a 'discerning' Look),in the initial Hiring practice in taking on Air Force and Navy Fighter Pilots. Loud;Showy."Full"of themselves(and insecurely clannish)paper tigers in the pinch;
Lean toward: ARMY and MARINE Rotary-wing and you'll Never go wrong.Also Commercial Pilots that came up in areas like Alaska and other rural regions.The Freighter Dogs.They're not usually steller,smiling & Shiny,but These Aviators will "be" there for You and are more an Example of:
the 'show me don't Tell me'crowd. Getting smaller and smaller.
Reliable.Courteous;Gentile.Steady.Especially, The Warrant Officers.
(smiles anyone?)Ding,Ping.
Regarding Homo's(queers and 'gays'),the'Older' Gals. . .and the 'not so attractive,'plain ones'. They beat with flying colors and Fly circles around 'some' of the so-called normal individuals in the T.L.C.,& Competance Depts.(I've seen it)and friends,That's what Life is all about warm Laughter.CARING,and authentic sensitivity.TEAMWORK.
The PILOT with the Mouth.... well... I'm sure he's not too pleased with himself at this point. "Arrested Maturity"?...there's more to being A Man(than being a good stick;practically or biologically)I'm thinking at some point somewhere sometime- it could've(or something similar)happened to-
Any of Us... OR will! Wrong moments.
He knows he's let some Fantastically FINE Squadron Mates down and reflected poorly on himself. He didn't DO it "on purpose"... mebbe THE Cosmos' way of putting him On Report.
Forgiveness___it's a beautiful Thing. Reconciliation.
ATC's part of "The Stem" spoken of eartlier.
For you "walking the boards" PATCOS that read this:
Out."Papa Mike"
Barbara Gould 0
Dear Randy Brown (RJBrown409
Unfortunately, I've had much more time in the work force, and probably
much more experience flying "commercial" and private, than you have been

Today's work ethics are lax, at best. The "ME" generation, behind
my own, lives for Fridays, not to excell at their profession.
I do not excuse a lack of respect for his employer. If he can't hold his
words, until he has completed his job, or have the discernment, to vocalize his gripes, in the right place and the right time, he has no business assuming to be a pilot, anymore than standing in a garage makes him an automobile. He is incapable of using "discretion" and since he
has that problem, I am entitled to my opinion that he should not be entrusted with the lives of the paying public. I don't find it "cute"
to be mouthing off, whether it is a sterile part of the flight, or "autopilot" time.

Obviously, his co-workers and their union agree. I would advise you to know who you are speaking to, before you post such a lame evaluation. Most of my experience on Commercial aircraft, has been in the form of working for a relative, to build his Group Travel Charter company, Transatlantic flights, and I'm probably old enough to be YOUR Grandmother, so mind your manners "sonny". :-)
Mooneymite Hight -1

John said: "Mooneymite, I don't believe it's "random" expressions, nor should they be treated as such. I could care less about his thoughts; the issue here is he vocalized his thoughts about coworkes in a demeaning manner."

You have completely missed the point (again).

He is entitled to his thoughts and his speech is protected.

AND mostly he's RIGHT! Many flight attendants ARE too fat; Many old flight attendants are not suitable "bar bait" and the homosexual life-style is disgusting! Those thoughts are not illegal and it is not illegal to say such things.

What do you not grasp about the fact that the pilot never intended those thoughts for "consumption at large"? They were private comments that a stuck mic made public.

Vocalizing one's thoughts does not make a person unfit for command, nor is it a reflection on one's professionalism. SWA made a judgement about those aspects of this individual and they retained him. What does that tell you? They know a lot more about this pilot than you do.

Dean Winslow 0
I actually feel sorry for the guy. I'm sure the SWA captain learned his lesson. Just a couple of weeks ago I was telling a story to my crew in Afghanistan on what I thought was "intercom" but it actually went out on UHF tactical frequency in the AOR. Fortunately it was a clean story and the controller thought it was pretty funny! I guess the lesson is to keep the language clean and not say anything in an airplane you wouldn't want your parents or kids to hear...
Barbara Gould 0
If "thoughts" remain "private" and discretion is used, there is
no need for "thought Police" at all. It all boils down to
"self-respect" and respect for others, and his opinions are
worth about as much as everyone paid for them "zero".
Just think, if everyone could sell their "thoughts" as valuable
we wouldn't have such high UNEMPLOYMENT around the World.
Because he lacked the discretion to keep his thoughts to himself,
he alienated not only future crews (and they all talk amongst
themselves) but thousands of passengers, who might have considered
flying SWA, the old, the fat, and the gays are all "paying passengers"
at some point, and he has done far more damage to SWA's advertising
program, regardless of their "culture", than any Marketing person would
even like to think about. Tieing up the Tower as well, with his nonsensical gripes, was a safety issue for other aircraft, and you believe
this guy did nothing wrong? I hope you continue to draw him, as your Captain, for every future flight you may have to endure... He couldn't come close to USAirways Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, with a track record like this. Had he been in the same airspace with that aircraft, tieing up the towers ability to communicate, hundreds of lives might have been lost....keep him at SWA, and out of the big city airports.. Thanks!
jdr567 0
I'm old, fat, balding, gray headed, but not gay and I found him to be hilarious. Sense of humor people. Big Gov will tell us how to think, but not me, yet. Now, shut up and TSA search more 95 year olds diapers for weapons of mass destruction.
I "feel" safer already.
jdr567 0
Thanks Captain, now turn down the cabin lights for our viewing pleasure!
jdr567 0
People, WWII was won with jokers like this. Get out behind your cash register at 7/11. I know it's hard, but do it. Try hanging out in an Emergency Room or surgical suite for a day. Please.
Nothing disgusts me more than people justifying bad behavior with good performance. Well, if WWII was won by childish, puerile, kindergartners who knew how to do something good, let's excuse all their childish, puerile behavior.

Gimme a break and grow the hell up.
jdr567 0
Oh okay. Idiot.
dbaker 0
[ Link to full audio recording (beware of profane language)]
Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me. The only other thing that disgusts me as much is people who resort to name calling when they run out of valid arguments. :D


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