Michael Haak: Ex-Southwest Airlines Pilot Accused of Mid-Air Lewd Sex Act

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Michael Haak is a former Southwest Airlines pilot facing a federal charge after officials said he exposed his genitals during a flight.

According to the federal complaint, the indecent exposure happened on August 10, 2020, on a flight from Philadelphia to Orlando. The airline says it learned of the incident after Haak had already left the airline.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Haak Was the Commanding Pilot During the Flight in Which He Was Accused of Exposing Himself

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U.S. District CourtEx-Southwest Airlines pilot Michael Haak was accused of exposing his genitals mid-flight.

The case against Haak was filed in federal district court in Maryland on April 2. According to the one-page complaint, prosecutors say Haak intentionally exposed his genitals during a flight from Philadelphia International Airport to Orlando International Airport on August 10, 2020.

The specific flight was identified as Southwest Airlines Flight WN 6607. Haak was the pilot in command of this flight. Prosecutors specified that the “acts began, continued and were completed while the aircraft was in flight.”

The case was filed in the District of Maryland because the flight flew over that region, prosecutors said. Officials have not specified when the airline became aware of the incident or when it was reported to federal authorities.


2. Southwest Airlines Says No Passengers Saw Haak Expose Himself

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The exposure incident most likely occurred at the front of the plane or in the cockpit. A Southwest Airlines spokesperson confirmed to the Associated Press that “pilots were the only people aboard aware of the incident.”

Southwest Airlines spokesperson Brandy King confirmed to Heavy via email that no flight attendants or passengers witnessed the interaction.

In a prepared statement to NBC Washington, Southwest suggested Haak had violated the corporation’s policy about how to act in the workplace. The statement did not mention Haak by name:

The event was recently brought to our attention, and we’ve cooperated with the appropriate outside agencies as they investigate. 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. Our corporate culture is built upon treating others with mutual respect and dignity, and the events alleged in this situation are inconsistent with the behavior that we require of our employees.


3. Haak Left Southwest Airlines in 2020 But It’s Unclear Whether He Was Fired

Southwest Airlines said in its prepared statement to NBC Washington that Haak was no longer an employee and that he had “departed the company” in 2020.

Southwest says the airline did not learn about the accused indecent exposure incident until after Haak had already left the company.

Heavy reached out to the airline for clarification about whether Haak was fired or if he left on his own. Spokesperson Brandy King did not answer that question. We also asked whether Haak had moved to another commercial airline. but King said Haak’s current employment status was not available.


4. Haak Could Face Jail Time & a Fine If Convicted

The federal complaint states Haak is facing a misdemeanor charge for committing a “lewd, indecent, or obscene act.” The document states Haak was charged under a federal code that specifically deals with the “application of certain criminal laws to acts on aircraft.”

The misdemeanor charge was listed under D.C. Code Section 22-1312. According to the Code of the District of Columbia, “It is unlawful for a person, in public, to make an obscene or indecent exposure of his or her genitalia or anus, to engage in masturbation, or to engage in a sexual act.”

The charge carries a maximum punishment of 90 days behind bars if convicted. Haak could also be charged with a $500 fine if found guilty.

As of this writing, federal court records did not list an attorney who could speak on Haak’s behalf.


5. It Wasn’t Immediately Clear How Long Haak Was Employed at Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has not shared further information about Haak’s employment history or whether he’d been accused of anything similar in the past.

Haak appears to have suspended or deleted any social media accounts. The Daily Mail reported that a LinkedIn account associated with Haak listed him as a captain with Southwest Airlines.

The Federal Aviation Administration lists two people under the name “Michael Haak” who are licensed to fly in the United States. But it’s unclear whether either of those profiles belongs to the former Southwest Airlines pilot.

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