By Lori Aratani
Washington – A former pilot for Southwest Airlines has been charged with intentionally committing “an act of lewd, indecent and obscene exposure of his genitals in a public place,” according to documents filed in US District Court in Maryland.
The pilot was identified as Michael Haak in court documents filed April 2. According to the one-page filing, Haak was the pilot in command on an August 10 flight from Philadelphia International Airport to Orlando International Airport when the incident took place.
The filing alleged the “acts began, continued and were completed while the aircraft was in flight . . . during which it overflew part of the District of Maryland and other federal districts.”
No attorney was listed for Haak in the filing, who is charged with violating DC Code Section 22-1312, which is a misdemeanour.
In a statement, Southwest Airlines said Haak left the airline prior to the company learning about the incident. The airline said the alleged acts were “not witnessed by passengers.”
“We’ve cooperated with the appropriate outside agencies as they investigate,” Southwest’s statement said.
“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,” the statement continued.
“Our corporate culture is built upon treating others with mutual respect and dignity, and the events alleged in this situation are inconsistent with the behaviour that we require of our employees.”