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Ex-Pilot Sentenced for Watching Porn and Exposing Himself to Crew Member Mid-Flight

Ex-Pilot Sentenced for Watching Porn and Exposing Himself to Crew Member Mid-Flight

A Southwest airlines pilot who watched porn mid-flight and exposed himself to a female officer has been given a year’s probation.

Michael Haak, 60, pleaded guilty to exposing himself to a female first officer and watching pornographic material on a laptop on a flight from Philadelphia to Orlando in 2020.

His attorney said in a court filing that Haak accepts responsibility for his behaviour and “offers no excuses,” according to a report in the New York Post.

Haak quit Southwest Airlines shortly after the incident but claimed that it “started as a consensual prank between me and the other pilot. I never imagined it would turn into this in a thousand years,” he said during the virtual hearing.

Prosecutors said that as soon as the plane reached its cruising altitude, Haak got out of his seat, “disrobed” and opened a laptop where he started watching pornography.

“As the plane continued its flight, Haak further engaged in inappropriate conduct in the cockpit, as the first officer continued to perform her duties as an assigned aircrew member,” federal prosecutors said in a statement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Cunningham slammed the pilot, saying that he “had a duty to comport himself in a much more responsible manner.”

As well as the probation, Haak was fined $5,000.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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