If you’ve ever wondered what pilots talk about while they’re queuing up in the taxi phase of your flight… maybe it’s better that you don’t know. According to travel site One Mile At A Time, two weeks ago a hot mic incident was recorded over the Mineta San Jose International Airport’s air traffic control scanner that caught a pilot ranting about San Jose in what we can only describe as very, extremely a lot.
The hard-to-decipher audio, which can be found at LiveATC, captures the pilot saying things like “F*ck this place, goddamn liberal fucks.” “Eight guns out here somewhere as it is” which, okay, not sure what that means. “F*cking weirdos, probably driving around in fucking Hyundais, f*cking roads and sh*t that go slow as f*ck.” And this gem, “You don’t have balls unless you’re f*cking rolling coal man, g*ddamnit.”
Coal. That famous fuel source that powers jet engines.
SF Gate reveals that the pilot in question is an employee at Southwest Airlines, with a spokesperson for the company confirming to the publication that they are “fully addressing the situation internally.” Aside from this being disturbing, it’s also a matter that the FAA — which officially operates the control towers — takes incredibly seriously. They’ve indicated that they reported the incident to the airline that employs the pilot and is further investigating the situation.
“FAA regulations prohibit airline pilots from talking about subjects that are unrelated to safely conducting their flight while taxing and while flying below 10,000 feet altitude,” wrote FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor in a statement regarding the incident.
We can all agree the last thing we want from our pilots is for them to openly express how they hate us all while dropping us off at home. If we could rate them like Uber drivers (not a terrible idea), this guy would be in trouble.