On a hot mic above Mineta San Jose International Airport, a Southwest Airlines pilot was captured ranting about Bay Area residents.
His expletive-laced rant sounded off on liberals and was recorded by the air traffic control scanner.
Here’s the audio (warning foul language):
Here's the audio of the Southwest pilot going on a rant about the Bay Area caught on a hot mic: pic.twitter.com/hJ2nhDeckV
— I need to go to the bathroom (@BugPennis) March 25, 2021
The audio is archived online at Live ATC, a website that livestreams air traffic control audio transmissions.
Though the audio is fuzzy and the context of the remarks unclear, the pilot can be heard repeatedly cursing.https://t.co/kxY7ifYXy8
— SFGATE (@SFGate) March 25, 2021
A Southwest Airlines spokesperson confirmed that the pilot is a company employee. https://t.co/lMJX7zvXCO
— The Sacramento Bee (@sacbee_news) March 26, 2021
— The Hill (@thehill) March 26, 2021
From The Hill:
A Southwest Airlines pilot’s recorded rant about Bay Area residents quickly went viral online this week, with the pilot at one point calling those who live in San Francisco “goddamn liberal f—s.”
A Southwest spokesman confirmed to The Hill Thursday night that the audio was captured on one of the company’s flights and that the pilot worked for Southwest.
The spokesman added that the company was “fully addressing the situation internally.”
The remarks, which were picked up over the Mineta San Jose International Airport’s air traffic control scanner, occurred on a March 12 flight and were posted on Live ATC, which livestreams air traffic control audio transmissions.
The pilot, whom Southwest has not publicly identified by name, can be heard in the recording beginning to complain about San Francisco residents amid directions from air traffic controllers on weather and runway conditions.
“F— this place, goddamn liberal f—s,” he said, before he was interrupted by an air traffic professional.
He later continues his rant, saying, “F—ing weirdos, probably driving around in f—ing Hyundais, f—ing roads and shit that go slow as f—.”
“You don’t have balls unless you’re f—ing rolling coal, man, goddamn it,” he added.
A call for Southwest Airlines 531 could be heard in the recording during the time of the rant.
Southwest told The Hill that the outburst was an “isolated incident involving a single employee and not representative of the nearly 60,000 hardworking, respectful people of Southwest Airlines.”
And from SFGATE:
The pilot who delivered the anti-Bay Area rant has been confirmed to be an employee of Southwest Airlines, the airline confirmed exclusively to SFGATE. A spokesman for the company did not identify the pilot but said that they are “fully addressing the situation internally.”
“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 spokesman said 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.”
As a policy, the FAA does not identify the subjects of an investigation. But Will Lawton, a private pilot based out of SJC who routinely listens to LiveATC and who initially reported the incident, believed he knew which airline is involved.
“My opinion is that voice talking during the stuck mic situation matches the voice at the end saying ‘Southwest 531 ready to go,'” Lawton wrote in a Twitter message. “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.”
“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,” he added.