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Southwest Airlines pilot's rant about 'liberal f***s' caught on hot mic

The airline said the comments are "not representative of the nearly 60,000 hardworking, respectful" people who work for the company.
Credit: AP
A Southwest Airlines jetliner lands in the main terminal of Denver International Airport late Monday, June 22, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

SAN FRANCISCO — An expletive-filled rant from a Southwest Airlines pilot about "liberal f***s" in the San Francisco Bay Area was caught on a hot mic while preparing to depart for a flight.

CBS 2 reports the flight was taking off from Mineta San Jose International Airport at the time of the incident.

The outlet One Mile at a Time was the first to report on the verbal tirade unleashed after being alerted to a tweet by Will Lawton, who is said to be a private pilot.

Audio from the incident has also been archived on LiveATC, a website that records and provides air traffic control audio online.

Just shy of 20 minutes into the audio feed is when the pilot's rant begins. You can hear someone call out that the plane is "ready to go."

The simple call-out was followed by several curse-filled comments about the California community.  

"Yeah, f**k this place. Goddamn liberal f***s."

That was followed by comments about how the people there are "f***ing weirdos" who are "probably driving around in a f***ing Hyundai and f***ing slow as s**t, they go slow as f**k."

The rant was met with a warning that the pilot was on a hot mic, but the verbal attack on the Bay area didn't stop there.

"You don't have balls unless you're f****ing rolling coals man...goddamn it."

Southwest Airlines confirms the audio was captured during one of its flights and that the voice heard was an employee but did not elaborate on that person's role.

"The audio captured was from a Southwest flight. Our corporate Culture is built on a tenet of treating others with concern and dignity and the comments are inconsistent with professional behavior and overall respect that we require of our Employees. This situation was isolated to a single Employee and is not representative of the nearly 60,000 hardworking, respectful People of Southwest Airlines. We do not publicly discuss Employee matters, and we are fully addressing the situation internally," it wrote.

The FAA is investigating the incident, according to NBC News.

"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," an FAA spokesperson told the national outlet.

The exact context of the pilot's comments is not yet known.

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