AVIATION

5 April: Airborne over Maryland

A pilot who was flying a Southwest Airlines plane back in August of 2020, a has been charged committing a lewd act during a flight. The pilot, Michael Haak, was in command from Philadelphia, Penn. to Orlando, Fla. and the incident reportedly occurred somewhere en route. The complaint states, “On or about August 10, 2020, on an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, namely Southwest Airlines Flight WN 6607, of which he was the pilot in command, the defendant, MICHAEL HAAK, intentionally committed an act of lewd, indecent and obscene exposure of his genitals in a public place, which if committed in the District of Columbia would violate D.C. Code Section 22-1312 (formerly D.C. Code Section 22-1112).” It goes on to say, “The acts began, continued and were completed while the aircraft was in flight from Philadelphia International Airport to Orlando International Airport, during which it overflew parts of the District of Maryland and other federal districts.” Haak was charged under 49 U.S. Code § 46506(2), which pertains to the “Application of certain criminal laws to acts on aircraft.” Southwest spokesperson Brandy King said in a statement, “The Pilot in question is no longer Employed by Southwest Airlines and departed the Company last year prior to us becoming aware of the matter. 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.”

AVIATION

23 March: Nouakchott, Mauritania

In what some are calling an attempted hijacking, a suspect has been arrested after boarding an empty and parked Mauritania Airlines at Nouakchott International Airport-Oumtounsy. Reports say the hijacker was threatening to destroy the aircraft by setting it on fire and issued demands to authorities. The aircraft had been sitting, parked and empty, and there were no reports of injuries or casualties at this time. Flights into the airport were stopped but resumed shortly after.

AVIATION

10 March: London, UK

easyJet settled a lawsuit with a British-Israeli woman who was made to move seats twice because her originally-assigned seatmates, ultra-Orthodox Jewish men, refused to sit with her. She did move even though she did not want to. Later she lodged a formal complaint with the company, asking for 15000 pounds, however the final agreed compensation was not released. A statement by easyJet said, “EasyJet does not believe that female passengers should be asked to move seats simply based on their gender. The airline has a policy to politely inform any customer who raises this request that this will not be accommodated. Unfortunately, according to Melanie Wolfson this policy was not followed in her case. EasyJet is committed to tackling any discrimination on flights…we take this very seriously and in addition to compensating Ms. Wolfson for her experience, easyJet intends to implement additional crew training and renew our crew guidelines in order to prevent these incidents happening in the future.”

AVIATION

9 March: Novosibirsk, Siberia

A woman was restrained on a Russian flight a few minutes after it departed from Vladivostok. The woman, suspected of being on drugs, got out of her seat, began roaming the aisle and disrobing. She refused flight attendants orders to return to her seat and repeated tried to remove her underwear. Passengers and crew used ropes, a seat belt and tape to restrain her in her seat. She was arrested upon arrival at Tolmachevo airport in Novosibirsk, Siberia where she admitted to law enforcement that she had taken a synthetic drug prior to departure.

AVIATION

9 March: Mogadishu, Somalia

An attack consisting of six mortar rounds that landed in the perimeter of the Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu wounded at least two. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility. UN Secretary-General for Somalia, James Swan, quickly condemned the attack, saying in a statement, “I condemn this Al-Shabaab mortar attack on the airport facility in Mogadishu. We wish a speedy recovery to those injured elsewhere at the airport. Despite such acts of violence, Somalia’s international partners remain committed to stand by the people of Somalia, and continue supporting the advancement of the country.”

AVIATION

8 March: Abha International Airport, Saudi Arabia

Insarallah Movement (Houthi forces) said they launched a new ballistic missile strike on targets including a Saudi airport inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Brigadier General Yahya Sare’e, spokesman for the Ansarallah-linked Yemeni armed forces, tweeted “the Missile Force targeted a sensitive military target at Abha International Airport with a new ballistic missile, which has entered service recently and has not been revealed yet, the designated targeted has been hit with high precision.

AVIATION

8 March: En Route Ft. Lauderdale – L.A.

A Delta Air Lines flight attendant is accused of inappropriately touching, rubbing and/or stroking an 11-year-old passenger traveling alone from Fort Lauderdale to Australia in December of 2019. The account alleges the unidentified attendant did this “multiple times and in different manners.” The flight attendant is also accused of making inappropriate, sexualized comments, including: “your body’s beautiful” and “I love you,” the suit alleges. The girl reported the incident to Los Angeles police at the airport. A police report says the victim “visibly shaken,” according to the complaint filed by Coral Gables lawyer Ian Pinkert. the airline said it was aware of the lawsuit. “Delta contacted law enforcement immediately upon learning of the initial allegations and cooperated in their investigation,” the airline said in a statement after learning of the allegations. “To Delta’s knowledge, no criminal charges were brought against any Delta employee. Delta has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct in any form by its employees.”

AVIATION

5 March: Isfahan, Iran

A plot to hijack an Iran Air aircraft was apparently foiled before it could be carried out in Iran on March 5. “A conspiracy to hijack a Fokker 100 aircraft belonging to Iran Air was neutralized thanks to the vigilance of the IRGC flight security unit,” the IRGC public relations office said in a statement published on its official website. The hijacker was planning to make the flight deviate toward an unspecified country on the southern shore of the Gulf, the statement said. The aircraft instead diverted to Isfahan airport after declaring an emergency and the accused hijacker was arrested.

AVIATION

4 March: Vantaa, Finland

Finnair’s customer loyalty database was hacked, a statement by the airline said. Some 200,000 frequent flyers were effected when hackers breached the Finnair Plus program. The airline reported the event to the country’s Data Protection Authority. Finnair says that although names and customer numbers were compromised, the hackers did not get credit card info, contact info or passwords. The airline also says their own systems were not hacked – this event took place via a service provider that held the data. Nevertheless, the airline recommended changing passwords to their Plus members.

AVIATION

1 March: Seoul, South Korea

A 12-year-old boy allegedly made threat against the Incheon International Airport. The boy, a regular Youtuber, allegedly made a video that warned of an attack at the Incheon airport, on March 1, Korean Independence Movement Day. Google and Youtube (owned by Google) assisted in confirming where the video was uploaded which helped authorities find the child. He is said to be born in South Korea but living in the US. Authorities are considering charging the culprit in violation of the Aviation Security Act.