Southwest fires pilots for takeoff — of their uniforms

Joe

Well-Known Member
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Southwest fires pilots for takeoff — of their uniforms

By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

Southwest Airlines has fired two pilots for allegedly turning their cockpit into a clothing-optional playpen.

The pilot and co-pilot — both men — were dismissed for allegedly taking off all or most of their clothes in the cockpit of their aircraft.

"Southwest Airlines conducted a thorough investigation and terminated the two pilots involved for inappropriate conduct," says spokeswoman Ginger Hardage, who would not elaborate. Southwest "will not tolerate any inappropriate or offensive behavior."

Cockpit shenanigans seem to be on the rise, even as pilots and passengers face the stresses of air terror fears. America West fired a pair of pilots last year for being under the influence of alcohol in the cockpit after running up a $142 tab at a Miami bar the night before. And a Northwest Airlines pilot was arrested in January, after a loaded gun was found in his carry-on.

The Southwest dismissals occurred earlier this month for an incident that happened months ago. The names of the pilots involved were not disclosed.

The president of Southwest's pilots association, Capt. Ike Eichelkraut, would say only, "It's an internal matter."

The pilots involved are appealing their termination, sources say. They contend that one of them removed his uniform after coffee was spilled. A flight attendant saw them after being summoned to the cockpit to bring paper towels and soda water.

Southwest is treating the episode as a prank that went too far.

While the incident occurred on a Boeing 737 in flight, there's no implication that safety was breeched. And a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman says there's no specific prohibition against flying naked.

"I'm not aware there are any regulations on the type of clothing, so there's most likely none on (wearing) no clothing at all," spokesman Les Dorr says. There are rules against behavior that distracts crewmembers during vital phases of flight, which is just about anything below 10,000 feet, Dorr notes.

Southwest is famous for being offbeat. When the airline started flying in 1971, flight attendants wore hot pants and were chosen for sex appeal. Founder Herb Kelleher, dubbed the "high priest of Ha Ha" by Fortune magazine, unabashedly said the airline looked for "attitudes; people with a sense of humor who don't take themselves too seriously."

To this day, Southwest often makes funny in-flight announcements, sometimes even in song. Kelleher, who has publicly dressed as Elvis, once arm-wrestled the head of another company for the rights to a slogan.

He lost and was ceremoniously carried from the ring on a stretcher while sipping shots of Wild Turkey.

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It's guy's like them that give the rest of us a bad name!
 

av8sean

New Member
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There's no implication that safety was breeched. And a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman says there's no specific prohibition against flying naked.

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Hmm.. and who would ever do anything like that anyways??

 

davetheflyer

New Member
From the title of the thread, I pictured it completely different. I thought that some of the SWA pilots might have posed for something like the 7UP truck driver swimsuit calendar.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

So let me get this straight. The passengers never saw it, the safety of the flight was never compromised, and no FAA regs were violated.

What's the big deal? It'd be one thing if they paraded through the cabin in the nude, but what's the big deal if they decided to fly in their boxers?

More importantly, how did anyone find out?
 

JDE

Well-Known Member
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Hmm.. and who would ever do anything like that anyways??

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Jump in a Sundowner on a 80°+ day and flying naked sounds like a good idea!
I just don't think I'd want to be with another guy when I did it though!
 

A320_DUDE

Well-Known Member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

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More importantly, how did anyone find out?

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I got this as third hand info,but appearently one of the F/As on the flight took a picture of them in the cockpit(no pun intended!). If there's one thing that moves faster than the planes at SW,it's gossip! From what I heard the pics got circulated all over the system. That's how they found out!

As far as I'm concerned these two should get their jobs back.....hell the two goons that thought Hollywood Blvd was the runway in BUR got their jobs back. I don't see what the big deal is, pre-9/11 there were alot of "flashing the flight deck" by the F/As and none of them got fired for it!
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

Reminds me of the Washington ANG KC-135 crew (male and female) that were refueling fighter jets while naked a couple years back.

MD
 

Kingairer

'Tiger Team' Member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

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As far as I'm concerned these two should get their jobs back.....

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I disagree, this is not a professional way of doing business if it was anything other than the spilled coffee story. Its ok to have fun, but come on!
 

A320_DUDE

Well-Known Member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

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I disagree, this is not a professional way of doing business if it was anything other than the spilled coffee story. Its ok to have fun, but come on!

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Show me where they busted the FOM or FARs by flying in their boxers. At most they should have gotten a couple days off and a letter...not fired. I don't know who these two are (although I'm working on that!) but I'm pretty sure they'll be back in a couple of months.
 

secretapproach

New Member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

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As far as I'm concerned these two should get their jobs back.....hell the two goons that thought Hollywood Blvd was the runway in BUR got their jobs back.

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737_DUDE do you have a reference to this incident? I'd like to hear the whole story.

As far as the naked SWA pilots go I'm torn. I think the story is really funny but as a passenger I would feel uncomfortable knowing that the pilots were acting like juveniles in the cockpit.
 

chunk75

Well-Known Member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

EODfe can back me up here....

More than a few P-3 missions prosecuting Soviet subs was accomplished sans clothing. NATOPS only says boots, SV-2, dogtags....right?
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

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More than a few P-3 missions prosecuting Soviet subs was accomplished sans clothing. NATOPS only says boots, SV-2, dogtags....right?

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AAAAAaaaannnnnd thanks for THAT mental image!
 

Kingairer

'Tiger Team' Member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

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Show me where they busted the FOM or FARs by flying in their boxers. At most they should have gotten a couple days off and a letter...not fired. I don't know who these two are (although I'm working on that!) but I'm pretty sure they'll be back in a couple of months.

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How many jobs say YOU MUST WEAR YOUR CLOTHES? Its a given. If these pilots had worked for American, Delta, etc. etc.. everyone would be all over them.
 

A320_DUDE

Well-Known Member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

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How many jobs say YOU MUST WEAR YOUR CLOTHES?

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I know of a couple of jobs where you could make about the same amount as a pilot

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If these pilots had worked for American, Delta, etc. etc.. everyone would be all over them.

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No they would'nt.....everyone know pilots are complete horn dogs regardless of what uniform they may or may not wear!
 

I_Money

Moderator
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

Funny this comes up:

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How many jobs say YOU MUST WEAR YOUR CLOTHES?

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Here is an email that went around this morning from our HR girl, and my reply!!

-----Original Message-----
From:
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2003 10:59 AM
To: All Employees - Irvine
Subject: Just a reminder.......

This is a reminder to help define appropriate casual business-wear for all employees during Casual Fridays here at CapitalWerks:

Examples of acceptable casual business-wear include:
Slacks, blue jeans, casual dresses and skirts, golf shirts.

Examples of unacceptable clothing items include:
Shorts, T-Shirts, thong sandals, sweatpants, beanies. Flashy, skimpy or revealing outfits are also unacceptable during any day of the week. (Please refer to Employee Handbook- pg. 49)

We want to make a favorable impression on the public and our fellow workers. We are the top leading leasing company around......... our image needs to reflect this!

[Iain Holmes]

Sorry, I will put my clothes back on!

Iain

[Human Resouces]

Thanks!
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

Here's some "copied without permission" gouge from someone familiar:

The guys asked the F/A to "show her t?ts". I guess this is a tradition at SWA for new F/As. Anyway, she said sure, but only if they strip first--so they did. She came back with a phone that also takes digital pics. The rest is history.

Personally, it is probably cheaper and safer to just buy a Playboy.
 

A320_DUDE

Well-Known Member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

I found out I know who the Captain is......he's a pretty good guy,I hope he gets his job back!
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

Apparently, the FA sent the pic to her husband who got po'd, flew off the handle and started the whole ball rolling.... errr... pardon the pun.
 

I_Money

Moderator
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

What happened to the good old days where FA's and FC's were good friends.

There is a story out of England that a couple pilots got sun burnt really badly on a short trip to the Carribean. On the way home their uniform was most uncomfortable against their burnt skin, so they did what was logical; take of their kit, and flew home in their skivves. Well an FA went took them some water and on her way out she picked up their uniforms and left with them. She did return them before landing, however you can imagine the fun on the interphone they had. Ofcourse as soon as this plane landed back in London, this went right over to HQ, and in a different world from today they all laughed and that was the end of that!

Unfortunately their seemed like a much better culture in the airline industry back in the 70's. Now I know there is one airline (no nAAmes) that rewards staff to inform management over every silly little thing.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
Re: Southwest fires pilots for takeoff ? of their uniforms

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As far as I'm concerned these two should get their jobs back.....hell the two goons that thought Hollywood Blvd was the runway in BUR got their jobs back.

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737_DUDE do you have a reference to this incident? I'd like to hear the whole story.

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Southwest Airlines 1455, Boeing 737-3T5 N668SW, Burbank, California, USA

Click the link for detail on the incident, also be sure to check out the photos and eyewitness report, interesting stuff...

Anyway, back to the topic, now the non-flying public will view pilots as drunk, gun-toting, overpaid womanizing nudists...

Along the lines of the F/A's flashing; I remember hearing a few years back about two pilots who got in trouble for staging a wet T-shirt contest in the cockpit on a flight with a bunch of hot chicks, probably a cheerleading team or something...

Given the amount of BS one has to go through to get into that cockpit in the first place, why would anyone take a chance doing something dumb like that in the first place? I know when I get there I'd be too scared to even take off my tie...
 
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