Illicit Materials in the Cockpit

T he pilots of Air Canada apparently have redefined the word cockpit as they allegedly demonstrate to have some skin in the game when it comes to inappropriate materials in the flight deck of an airplane.

An internal bulletin from Air Canada reportedly warned members of flight crews that they face criminal charges and possible termination of employment for placing pornographic material in the flight deck, as exposed by this article written by Marnie Luke of CBC News, which is a division of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The ins and outs of pilots engaging in inappropriate behavior is apparently not confined to Air Canada. Last year, a pilot of 22 years who was employed by American Airlines was arrested and faced federal charges of allegedly possessing and distributing as many as 85 videos and 600 images of child pornography. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly confiscated his laptop computer after being served a warrant to search his home.

Pilots are not the only people who partake in inexcusable behavior: a Transportation Security Administration employee was reportedly taken into custody three years ago after his home was searched by police, who charged him with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Passengers apparently get in on the act as well: a father of two was arrested by Massachusetts State Police for viewing pornographic images of children on his laptop computer while sitting in his seat in the first class cabin on a Delta Air Lines flight from Salt Lake City to Boston back in late 2011. He had reportedly been charged with possession of child pornography; and his bail was set at $15,000.00…

…and this mother of two young children posted a petition almost a year ago wanting American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and NBC Universal to stop showing violent and sexually inappropriate movies and television programs on drop-down and bulkhead screens aboard airplanes after she allegedly witnessed several movies with French dialogue showing scenes with domestic abuse and sexual situations accompanied by English subtitles laced with profanity.

Imagine what her reaction could have been if she only knew what was going on in the cockpit.

As Gary Leff from View From The Wing points out in this article, some airlines promote the use of content in their advertising which are pushed closer towards becoming of an almost erotic nature…

…but then again, there are those people who thought that this safety video for Air New Zealand crossed the line in terms of sexual exploitation.

Time for me to digress for a moment: I had a client in the Los Angeles area whose business designed video covers for the pornography industry. Photographs of naked women were everywhere and on everyone’s computer screens. “…so what do you sneak onto your computer during work hours — G-rated materials?” They laughed. You could tell that they — mostly male employees who work hard and were more obsessed with doing their jobs professionally rather than the explicit material with which they had to work — were all jaded and perhaps even bored with all of the nudity. It was simply another job for them.

Perhaps the Air Canada pilots in question would rather take a job at this place. The term take off could have a new meaning for them.

I really have no problem with people who want to fantasize and engage in lascivious behavior on their own time — as long as it is not against the law and as long as there is consent with all parties involved — but to engage in acting inappropriately while on the job or at the workplace is simply unacceptable, as there is a time and place for everything…

…and why in the world do they need to keep abreast with inappropriate materials in the cockpit? Even with autopilot activated on the airplane, don’t they have enough to do to occupy their time during a flight? Whatever happened to professionalism and pride in one’s occupation?

Well, thankfully there are many more pilots who are exemplary than not — and this pilot is one of those who sets an excellent example for the rest of the profession…

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