A pilot is suing Southwest Airlines and a former co-pilot, Michael Haak, after the gentleman allegedly locked the cockpit door during a flight, stripped off his clothes, and "committed a lewd act for 30 minutes" in front of her as he watched pornography on his computer, according to ABC News.
Christine Janning says not only did Southwest ground her after she reported the inappropriate behavior to the airline and the FBI, but the airline also permitted Haak, who's been accused of sexual misconduct in the past, to continue flying until his planned retirement three weeks later.
Although Haak later pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to probation, he now claims it was she who encouraged him to take off his clothes, and she "who made sexual advances after he disrobed."
From ABC News:
According to the lawsuit filed last week in Orange County, Florida, Janning had never met Haak before August 2020, when she was his co-pilot on a flight from Philadelphia to Orlando. She says Haak, a 27-year veteran of the airline, had used his seniority rights the previous day to bump another pilot who had been scheduled to command the flight. Janning believes that's because he saw a woman was the scheduled co-pilot.
Janning said that when they reached cruising altitude, Haak told her this was his final flight and there was something he wanted to do before retirement.
She said he bolted the door so no flight attendant could enter. He then put the plane on autopilot, stripped off his clothes, began watching pornography on his laptop and committed a lewd act for 30 minutes while taking photos and videos of himself. …
She also said that on the day she was grounded, the airline stranded her in Denver and the FBI had to book her a United Airlines flight so she could return home to Florida. She said a Southwest manager sent a memo to more than 25 employees "that made baseless allegations" about her flying competency.
At his sentencing hearing last year, Haak called the incident "a consensual prank" that got out of hand.
Southwest denies the allegations against the company and claims the airline has always supported Janning.