US Pilots Allegedly Hid Camera In Toilet
Two Southwest Airlines pilots allegedly hid a camera in a plane’s lavatory and live-streamed the video to an iPad mounted on the windshield of the cockpit aboard a flight, according to a lawsuit filed by a fellow flight attendant.
According to the lawsuit filed in Arizona state court last year which recently transferred to federal court states that the pilots recorded video of passengers and crew members aboard the February 2017 flight from Pittsburgh to Phoenix.
In the suit, flight attendant Renee Steinaker alleges she saw an iPad streaming video from the plane’s forward lavatory when she entered the cockpit about 2 1/2 hours into Flight 1088. The captain, Terry Graham, had asked her to come into the cockpit so that he could use the lavatory as Southwest Airlines protocol requires a second person in the cockpit at all times that’s when Steinaker saw the pilot in the streaming video on the iPad mounted on the windshield left of the flight captain’s seat.
According to the lawsuit, the complaint said co-pilot Ryan Russell admitted to Steinaker that the iPad was streaming from a camera in the lavatory and tried to convince her that the cameras were a “top-secret security measure installed in all of Southwest’s Boeing 737-800 planes.”
The lawsuit was originally filed in an Arizona state court in October 2018 on behalf of Renee Steinaker and her husband, David Steinaker, also a Southwest flight attendant. In late August it was moved to federal court in Phoenix. The Steinakers live in the Phoenix area.
The attorney for the couple said “The cockpit of a commercial airliner is not a playground for peeping Toms. Behavior that distracts and distresses crew members during flight compromises safety”.
Court filings by attorneys for Dallas-based Southwest and the two pilots denied the live-streaming allegations, according to the Associated Press.
In its statement, Southwest said when the incident happened, the airline investigated the allegations and addressed the situation with the crew involved.
“We can confirm from our investigation that there was never a camera in the lavatory; the incident was an inappropriate attempt at humor which the company did not condone,” the airline said.
It added: “The safety and security of our Employees and Customers is Southwest’s uncompromising priority. As such, Southwest does not place cameras in the lavatories of our aircraft.”