SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A Southwest Airlines pilot departing Mineta San Jose International Airport has been caught on an open mic delivering an expletive-filled rant against the liberal Bay Area population.
Aviation and travel blog One Mile at a Time published the account of a Twitter user who posted air traffic control audio from March 13. A person is heard saying his flight was “ready to go,” followed by a series of f-bomb insults.
“F— this place, g–damn liberal f—s.”
“Eight guns out here somewhere as it is.”
“F—ing weirdos, probably driving around in f—ing Hyundas, f—ing roads and s— that go slow as f—.”
The audio was archived at Live ATC, a website that livestreams and records air traffic control transmissions.
Will Lawton, the Twitter user cited by the blog, said in a Facebook post he is positive the person heard in 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, who indicates he is a pilot on his Facebook profile.
A Southwest spokesperson told KPIX 5 that person heard in the audio is 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 in an emailed 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. We do not publicly discuss Employee matters, but we are fully addressing the situation internally.”
FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor told the San Francisco Chronicle in a statement, “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,” read the statement. “The FAA also reported the incident to the airline.”