Retired Southwest Airlines pilot admits to exposing himself to female first officer and watching porn mid-flight

·2 min read
Southwest Airlines Phoenix
Stephen M. Keller/Southwest Airlines
  • A retired Southwest Airlines pilot admitted to performing lewd acts during a flight last year.

  • Michael Haak exposed his genitals to a first officer and watched porn in the cockpit, prosecutors said.

  • Haak expressed remorse for his actions before being sentenced to one year's probation.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A retired Southwest Airlines pilot was sentenced to probation on Friday after pleading guilty to showing his genitals to a female first officer and watching pornography during a flight from Philadelphia to Florida last year.

Prosecutors alleged that Michael Haak, 66, waited until the flight reached cruising altitude before he got up from the pilot's seat and "intentionally disrobed" while watching porn on a laptop, USA Today reported.

"Haak further engaged in inappropriate conduct in the cockpit, as the first officer continued to perform her duties," prosecutors said in a statement, according to the BBC. Haak had never met the female first officer before the flight.

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Judge J Mark Coulson sentenced Haak to one year of unsupervised probation and a $5,000 fine. Coulson said the ex- pilot's actions had traumatized the first officer.

Haak apologized for his actions and said they had "started as a consensual prank between me and the other pilot," the BBC reported.

"I never imagined it would turn into this in a thousand years," he added.

Haak, who is originally from Florida, was a pilot with Southwest Airlines for 27 years. He retired at the end of August last year.

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines told USA Today that the airline "does not tolerate behavior of this nature and will take prompt action if such conduct is substantiated."

"Nonetheless, Southwest did investigate the matter and as a result, ceased paying Mr. Haak any benefits he was entitled to receive as a result of his separation from (the airline)," the spokesperson added.

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