Aviation

Ex-airline pilot sentenced for watching porn mid-flight and exposing genitals

A former Southwest Airlines pilot has learned his fate after pleading guilty to some rather inappropriate behaviour during a flight.

Michael Haak, 60, admitted to exposing his genitals to a female first officer while on a flight from Philadelphia to Orlando last year, as well as watching pornography on a laptop, after being charged in April with intentionally committing a lewd, indecent or obscene act in a public place, according to the New York Post.

Haak, who retired as a pilot not long after the incident occurred, apologised for his actions during a virtual court hearing and claimed it all started as “a consensual prank between me and the other pilot”.

“I never imagined it would turn into this in a thousand years,” he said.

According to federal prosecutors, Haak hopped out of the pilot’s seat when the Southwest Airlines plane hit cruising altitude and “disrobed”, before proceeding to watch porn on a laptop in the cockpit.

“As the plane continued its flight, Haak further engaged in inappropriate conduct in the cockpit, as the first officer continued to perform her duties as an assigned aircrew member,” prosecutors said in a statement.

The NYP reported that Haak was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 ($6,447) fine.

In a statement to Travel Weekly, Southwest Airlines said it only learned of the alleged incident after Haak “voluntarily separated from Southwest Airlines”.

“As described, the behaviour would be incongruent with our expectation and policies. Southwest does not tolerate behaviour of this nature,” it said.


Featured image source: iStock/MatusDuda


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