Pilot Caught On Hot Mic Calling San Francisco Residents ‘Liberal F*cks’ And ‘Weirdos’

by : Emily Brown on : 26 Mar 2021 18:53
Pilot Caught On Hot Mic Calling San Fran Residents 'Liberal F*cks' And 'Weirdos'Pexels/PA

Rather than discussing the estimated flight time and weather, one airline pilot was caught on a hot mic describing San Francisco residents as ‘goddamn liberal f*cks’ and ‘f*cking weirdos’.

The pilot has not been identified, but has been confirmed to be an employee of the US-based company Southwest Airlines.


The airline worker made the comments on March 13 at the Mineta San Jose International Airport in California, where he quickly made his disdain for San Francisco’s Bay Area clear as he commented: ‘F*ck this place.’

You can hear the audio below – warning: contains expletives: 

In the recording, which was initially revealed by private pilot Will Lawton, who routinely listens to air traffic control chatter, the pilot described locals as ‘f*cking weirdos’ who are ‘probably driving around in f*cking Hyundais’.


He added: ‘You don’t have balls unless you’re f*cking rolling coal, man, goddamn it.’

According to the Huffington Post, the term ‘rolling coal’ refers to the modification of diesel vehicles to boost the amount of fuel in the engine.

The audio of the pilot was archived online at Live ATC, a website that livestreams air traffic control audio transmissions.


Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, per HuffPost, Lawton said there was ‘no way to know’ whether the comments came from the captain or the first officer of the flight.

He added: ‘It just makes me sad and angry to hear folks who are expected to be professionals in care of the general public acting in this manner.’

Southwest Airlines stressed that the recording was not representative of the company as a whole, saying: 

Our corporate culture is built on a tenet of treating others with concern and dignity, and the comments are inconsistent with the professional behavior and overall respect that we require from our employees.

This situation was an isolated incident involving a single employee and not representative of the nearly 60,000 hardworking, respectful people of Southwest Airlines.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched an investigation in response to the comments as the 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,’ agency spokesperson Ian Gregor said.

In a statement cited by SF Gate, the FAA added: ‘The FAA is investigating communications that an airline pilot made while taxiing at Mineta San Jose International Airport last week. The FAA also reported the incident to the airline.’

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, plane, San Francisco, Swearing


Huffington Post and 2 others
  1. Huffington Post

    Southwest Pilot Caught On Hot Mic Blasting Bay Area 'Liberal F**ks' And 'Weirdos'

  2. SF Gate

    Southwest pilot on hot mic goes on expletive-laden rant against the Bay Area

  3. Live ATC

    Live ATC