Federal authorities have charged a former Southwest Airlines pilot with indecent exposure for an incident they say occurred during a flight last August.
Michael Haak was the pilot in command of the plane during a flight from Philadelphia to Orlando, Florida, according to a single-page filing in federal district court in Maryland.
According to the document, which was dated Friday, Haak exposed his genitals in acts that "began, continued and were completed" while flight 6607 on 10 August was in the air. The document did not indicate the circumstances and who might have witnessed the incident. However, the filing in Maryland stated that Haak was the "pilot in command" of the aircraft.
A Southwest spokeswoman said no passengers witnessed the incident; the pilots were the only people aboard aware of the incident.
"The Pilot in question is no longer Employed by Southwest Airlines and departed the Company last year prior to us becoming aware of the matter. The event was recently brought to our attention and we've cooperated with the appropriate outside agencies as they investigate. Southwest Airlines takes all matters related to workplace conduct very seriously, with a well-defined policy and reporting process for harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation claims," said a spokesperson for the airline.
"Our corporate Culture is built upon treating others with mutual respect and dignity, and the events alleged in this situation are inconsistent with the behavior that we require of our Employees."
The airline spokeswoman said Haak left the airline before the company was aware of the incident. Since learning of it, she said, Southwest cooperated with investigators.
It could not be determined if Haak has a lawyer.
In a separate incident another Southwest Airlines pilot is under investigation after accidentally broadcasting an expletive-filled rant to air traffic control.
The pilot was caught on the hot mic while taxiing on the runway of San Jose Airport, complaining about "F******g liberals" in California who were "probably driving around in f******g Hyundais."
It is illegal to discuss anything else but flight operations while under orders from air traffic control.
"Views do not represent the views of the 6000 other Southwest employees."
- Associated Press With additional reporting