The Federal Aviation Administration said it is investigating a Southwest Airlines pilot captured on an air traffic control recording delivering an expletive-laden rant about the culture of the San Francisco Bay Area while on the ground at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.
The pilot is heard denouncing the region, its politically “liberal” residents and the cars he says they drive. Among the more tame comments, he calls residents of the Northern California region “weirdos.”
The comments are a matter for the FAA, the agency said in a statement, because airline pilots can only discuss safety-related issues while taxiing or flying below 10,000 feet.
A recording of the comments was captured by the website LiveATC.net. SFGate.com reported the incident occurred March 12.
In a statement, Southwest said the comments “are inconsistent with the professional behavior and overall respect that we require from our employees.”
“This situation was an isolated incident involving a single employee and not representative of the nearly 60,000 hardworking, respectful People of Southwest Airlines,” the company said. “We do not publicly discuss employee matters, but we are fully addressing the situation internally.”