Airlines

Former Southwest Pilot Gets One Year of Probation After Lewd Acts in the Cockpit

Former Southwest Pilot Gets One Year of Probation After Lewd Acts in the Cockpit
Joe Cortez

A former Southwest Airlines pilot will be on probation for one year and face a $5,000 fine, after pleading guilty to federal charges related to a lewd act in the cockpit. In a plea agreement, 60-year-old Michael Haak disrobed and viewed pornographic material with a female co-pilot still in the compartment.

A former Southwest Airlines pilot based in Florida will be on probation for one year and be forced to pay a fine of $5,000, after pleading guilty to committing a lewd act on an aircraft he was in command of. In a press release, the U.S. District Attorney for the District of Maryland announced 60-year-old Michael Haak was convicted after entering into a plea agreement.

Pilot “Disrobed” and Viewed Pornography Next to Female First Officer

According to a plea agreement, Haak was the assigned captain and pilot-in-command of a Southwest flight departing Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Orlando International Airport (MCO) on August 10, 2020. His first officer was a female aviator with whom he had never worked before.

Once the aircraft reached cruising altitude, Haak admitted that he got out of the captain’s chair, “intentionally disrobed,” and pulled out his laptop. While still in the cockpit, he began viewing pornographic material on the computer.

Even though the first officer remained in the cockpit working her assigned duty. Haak “further engaged in inappropriate conduct in the cockpit.” The press release did not elaborate on what exactly he was doing.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General and Southwest were all involved in the investigation. Conditions of his probation were not announced.

Acts Intended “As a Prank,” Costs Pilot Retirement Benefits

In a statement to the court reported by BBC News, Haak apologized for his actions and said it started “as a consensual prank between me and the other pilot.” Although Haak retired from Southwest prior to the incident being reported, the airline said in a statement they revoked the former aviator’s retirement benefits.

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. MRM

    June 3, 2021 at 6:56 am

    So if he already retired, how does the probation work? Does that mean his benefits return immediately or in a year if probation is properly completed? If he’s already gotten his benefits back, then where’s the actual punishment?

  2. chadbag

    June 3, 2021 at 8:23 am

    While gross and lewd and not professional, I am not sure this one action should cost him his pension benefits, for which he worked (probably according to a union contract) his whole career. Especially since he had already retired.

  3. swampwiz

    June 5, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Is it any surprise that man of that generation, who as a lad had his marketing introduction to the airline industry in the era when the airlines were flaunting attractive stewardesses to “fly me”, is a moral reprobate?

  4. health1au

    June 7, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    “further engaged in inappropriate conduct in the cockpit.”

    Gee I wonder what that could mean…

  5. bigbuy

    June 9, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    You be funny health 😏

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