Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Pilot in Hot Water for Allegedly Using Plane as Flying Pulpit
Talon News / GOP USA ^ | Feb. 10, 2004 | Jeremy Reynalds

Posted on 02/10/2004 8:41:16 AM PST by prairiebreeze

NEW YORK (Talon News) -- A pilot asked passengers on an American Airlines flight to raise their hands if they were Christians, telling them they were "crazy" if they weren't, some of the passengers said Monday.

Passenger Jen Dorsey told CNN, "We were just at the beginning of our flight. The pilot came on to greet everyone and give his comments for the morning, and he said he'd recently been on a mission trip, and he'd like all the Christians to please raise their hands."

Also speaking on CNN, passenger Karla Austin said the pilot commented, "'If you are a Christian, raise your hand.' He said, 'If you are not, you're crazy.'"

Dorsey agreed that the pilot had called non-Christians "crazy."

Another passenger recalled a similar experience in an interview with WCBS-TV in New York. Amanda Nelligan told the station the pilot said those who did not raise their hands were "crazy."

Austin said no passengers raised their hands.

The pilot asked passengers to look around at each other and use the flight wisely or "just sit back and watch the movie," Dorsey said.

The airline is investigating reports about Friday's Flight 34 from Los Angeles to New York, a company spokesman told CNN.

American Airlines said that if the incident were true it "would be against our policy."

In a statement, the airline said, "It falls along the lines of a personal level of sharing that may not be appropriate for one of our employees to do while on the job."

American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner said the pilot, whose name has not been released, denies using the word "crazy." CNN reported he told the airline that he had recently returned from a mission trip and was encouraging people to use the 4-hour plus flight to speak with other passengers about their relationship with God.

"American Airlines apologizes if anyone was made to feel uncomfortable by the comments of this pilot," Wagner told CNN.

Wagner declined to say whether the pilot has been grounded while an investigation is under way. The man, a senior pilot with the airline, did not fly again over the weekend, Wagner said.

Wagner would not say if the pilot had been scheduled to fly this week.

The result of the airline's investigation will not be made public because it is an internal matter, Wagner told CNN, adding it will be "handled internally according to American Airlines procedure."

Passengers were "shocked," said Austin, adding that some reached for their mobile phones and others used the on-flight phones.

"Just given the history of what's happened on planes in this country, anything can happen at this point. So we weren't sure if something was going to happen at takeoff, if he was going to wait until JFK to do something... But there was definitely [an] implication there that we felt that something was going to happen," Austin said on CNN.

Passengers complained to the flight attendants, who relayed their concerns to the cockpit. They were reassured that they had nothing to worry about on the flight, Austin said.

Attendants also told passengers they had contacted airline officials about the matter, she said.

About 45 minutes into the flight, the pilot apologized -- but his apology focused on the crew, not the passengers, Dorsey said on CNN.

"He came on and said, 'I want to apologize for my comments earlier. I think I really threw the flight crew off a little bit, and they are getting a lot of flack for the things I said. So I want to apologize to my flight crew,'" she said.

Wagner said the pilot offered to speak after the flight with anyone who wanted to discuss his comments.

Austin said on CNN that on her way off the plane she told the pilot "he should be ashamed of himself."

"He just nodded and looked to the ground, and that was it," she said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: christ; crazy; fanaticism; pilot; plane; pulpit; spiritualjourney; sticktoflying
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 251-257 next last
What a maroon.
1 posted on 02/10/2004 8:41:22 AM PST by prairiebreeze
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
Careful, there are a bunch of Freepers who are defending him, calling anyone who objects to him all kinds of names. Personally, the guy scares the stuffing out of me.
2 posted on 02/10/2004 8:43:28 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
He'd be good for a free flight to anywhere I wanted to go. The airline probably had to hand out a bunch of vouchers! (yes, I scimmed the article and I bet that info is in it!)
3 posted on 02/10/2004 8:44:47 AM PST by CSM (Council member Carol Schwartz (R.-at large), my new hero! The Anti anti Smoke Gnatzie!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
I object to this. His job is to get me safely to my destination, not proselytize.
4 posted on 02/10/2004 8:46:10 AM PST by Arkie2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
Boy, I thought mentioning God, especially in a Christian context, was illegal in public. They should put this man in prison, or at least in a mental institution. He obviously needs some re-education, preferably at the hands of the government. Doesn't he know how damaging such mentions can be to an unprepared public?
5 posted on 02/10/2004 8:46:28 AM PST by jim35 (A third party vote is a vote for the DemocRATs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
Oooops! Sheesh, he was a little revved up on the evangelizing thing! Poor guy, he's probably wincing about now, or should be! V's wife
6 posted on 02/10/2004 8:47:56 AM PST by ventana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
Personally, the guy scares the stuffing out of me.

Seems to me like the pilot, given that he has everyone on the flight's life in his hands, should be concentrating on flying the airplane, not preaching to the passingers.

7 posted on 02/10/2004 8:48:27 AM PST by Thermalseeker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
"...Personally, the guy scares the stuffing out of me..."

I think you'd be crazy not to be a Christian too. Boo! Oops, didn't mean to scare you.
8 posted on 02/10/2004 8:48:32 AM PST by jim35 (A third party vote is a vote for the DemocRATs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: jim35
I can hear your sarcasm. The bottom line is that what he did was totally inappropriate. THAT part of it you CAN'T defend.
9 posted on 02/10/2004 8:48:35 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
"American Airlines apologizes if anyone was made to feel uncomfortable by the comments of this pilot," Wagner told CNN.

I'm glad he brought this up! I'm frequently made very uncomfortable by the things pilots say during a flight. Consider what one said on my last flight, "We are at our cruising altitude of 27,000 feet and our current ground speed is just under 600 mph." Who the heck wants to be reminded of the fact that we are 5 miles up and trucking along at almost 10 miles per minute? After hearing that, you're darn right I would've raised my hand! That's just not the time to be denying one's faith!

10 posted on 02/10/2004 8:48:58 AM PST by FormerLib (We'll fight the good fight until the very end!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
I searched for this article and came up no matches. Didn't realize it's been posted elsewhere??

Prairie
11 posted on 02/10/2004 8:50:25 AM PST by prairiebreeze (WMD's in Iraq -- The absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker
Sounds to me as if the demands of flying the aircraft left him unable to fully concentrate on what he was saying. End result, he went for a joke and failed badly. Oh well, no stand-up comic career for him.
12 posted on 02/10/2004 8:50:49 AM PST by FormerLib (We'll fight the good fight until the very end!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
church, social gatherings, airport corridors...good places to evangelize. At 30,000 feet, moving at 500 mph, not a good place to evangelize.

Unless he was trying to bait some leftists into rushing the cockpit...
13 posted on 02/10/2004 8:51:22 AM PST by Stopislamnow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
He must have had a big dose of fire and brimstone while on his mission. Overwhelming enthusiasm is one of the first signs.
14 posted on 02/10/2004 8:51:55 AM PST by sarasota
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
"...THAT part of it you CAN'T defend..."

Oh really? Watch me. This pilot, like any other American, has a God (sorry, did I scare you?) given right to make casual conversation, even to mention that he hopes you're a Christian, even while he's at work. How restricted is your speech at work? Are you allowed to mention God? I know I am, and sometimes I will even pray with my "customers." I have even offered to do so, unsolicited! Scared yet? To my knowledge, noone has been injured yet by my outrageous behavior. Americans today are just looking for something to be offended by, and that's all this is.
15 posted on 02/10/2004 8:52:55 AM PST by jim35 (A third party vote is a vote for the DemocRATs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

...Votive Candles are in first class only.
16 posted on 02/10/2004 8:53:21 AM PST by Consort
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
Posted HERE yesterday. The usual suspect are showing up for an encore. LOL!
17 posted on 02/10/2004 8:53:40 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
Personally, the guy scares the stuffing out of me.

Pffft! We'd better not tell you about the boogeyman then! Hey, ever hear of Osama bin Laden? Now he's scary! If he's still alive, that is.

18 posted on 02/10/2004 8:55:00 AM PST by FormerLib (We'll fight the good fight until the very end!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: FormerLib
Good thing you never flew in the Concorde. 60,000 feet cruising at 1,500 mph.
19 posted on 02/10/2004 8:56:49 AM PST by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: jim35
WRONG, jimbo. If you come up to me in a hallway, building, street corner and start blathering religion to me, I can walk away. It's my RIGHT to NOT have to listen to you if I don't want to.

A pilot at 30,000 feet starts it up, and where can we go? Out the window? You ARE scary.
20 posted on 02/10/2004 8:57:22 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Consort
LOL!
21 posted on 02/10/2004 8:57:54 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
well, at least the pilot is sober.....

BTW, my all time favorite airline pilot story is years ago, at LaGuardia in NYC, when the pilot of an Eastern Airlines jets..( told you it was a while back) after sitting on the runway for 4 hours waiting for take off clearance...said the hell with it..opened the door, jumped down, walked across the runway to the parking lot, and drove home...

22 posted on 02/10/2004 8:58:09 AM PST by ken5050
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
See what I mean? LOL!
23 posted on 02/10/2004 8:58:58 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: ken5050
LOL! But did they let the passengers off? Usually they won't.


How do we KNOW the pilot was sober.........?
24 posted on 02/10/2004 9:00:35 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
He should have asked that any Muslims on the flight raise their hands..
25 posted on 02/10/2004 9:00:43 AM PST by Homer1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Arkie2
I object to this. His job is to get me safely to my destination, not proselytize.

It was the nosedive and spin, while he screamed "REPENT! REPENT!" that actually got him into trouble.

26 posted on 02/10/2004 9:01:18 AM PST by D Rider
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Homer1
LOL!
27 posted on 02/10/2004 9:01:45 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
This was at the time whenthe delays at LAG were horrendous....also, because the airport is so small, there is NO room for the planes to turn around and return to the gate..the only reason for doing so is because of a lack of fuel to complete the trip..
28 posted on 02/10/2004 9:02:41 AM PST by ken5050
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
"...A pilot at 30,000 feet starts it up, and where can we go? Out the window? You ARE scary..."

So just exactly what should we prohibit a pilot from talking about? I mean, aside from Christianity. Any other topics you are afraid to be within hearing range of? Draw up a list of the topics you are offended by, and submit them to all businesses which employ people who deal with the public, so that we can prohibit them. I'd hate to see you forcibly exposed to words that don't suit your temperment. If we're successful, then we can make democRATS obsolete! Who needs governmental prohibition on free speech, when you've got business to do it for you?
29 posted on 02/10/2004 9:06:42 AM PST by jim35 (A third party vote is a vote for the DemocRATs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
This specific article may not have been posted previously, but about 20-30 articles with the same basic info about this story have already been posted.
30 posted on 02/10/2004 9:08:37 AM PST by John H K
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: jim35
You are severely damaging your case. I suggest you get back on your meds. It's your kind of ranting that turns people away from religion, and doesn NOT make it look attractive. You, sir or madam, are a KOOK.

31 posted on 02/10/2004 9:09:43 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: jim35
"If you are a Christian, raise your hand.' He said, 'If you are not, you're crazy" is CASUAL CONVERSATION?

If he'd asked all the Mormons to raise their hands, encouraged all the non-Mormons to talk to them about the LDS church, and said if you aren't LDS, you're crazy, would you have been fine with that as well?
32 posted on 02/10/2004 9:11:17 AM PST by John H K
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: jim35
The pilot had a captive audience unable to a) respond to the stupid pilot or b) leave. He also had an audience in a flying bomb who are currently sensitive to religious differences and issues, particularly because 19 assholes ostensibly used their religion to kill 3000 innocent Americans a few Septembers ago.

On the other hand, if I go into your store and you start annoying me with your particular take on a 2000 nomadic desert myth, I can say, "thanks, but no thanks," and take my business elsewhere. Preferably to some place where I can buy what ever it is you sell without a bible lesson.
33 posted on 02/10/2004 9:12:07 AM PST by whattajoke (Neutiquam erro.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking...in case of rapture, this plane will be unmanned. Hope you'll fly with us again soon"
34 posted on 02/10/2004 9:13:08 AM PST by conserv13
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
American Airlines apologizes if ...

Huh? What is it with all these non-apologies lately? "I apologize if you're an idiot. I apologize if you're a hyper-sensitive little prude. I apologize if...."

35 posted on 02/10/2004 9:15:31 AM PST by Theo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Consort
LOL -- I knew there'd be a graphic on this thread.
36 posted on 02/10/2004 9:15:54 AM PST by Yardstick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: whattajoke
Very well put! Thank you.
37 posted on 02/10/2004 9:16:17 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Thermalseeker
Seems to me like the pilot, given that he has everyone on the flight's life in his hands, should be concentrating on flying the airplane,…

Seems… meanwhile the pilot is involved with “flying” the plane during about a 10 minute window immediately before, during, and after takeoff, and then again immediately before, during, and after landing. The rest of the time is spent on housekeeping duties and can easily be filled by chatting or napping.

My dad flew transports in the Air Force (commercial too, later) and said that when they ferried people between CA and the Marshall Islands they’d freak out when they’d walk up to the cockpit (no door) and look inside (especially on the trip back).

They’d see that they’d covered the windows with newspapers to block out the rising sun, and everyone was literally asleep. Captain, co-pilot, and navigator all sacked out. They’d sleep for 5 and 6 hours at a pop too.

So the next time you’re comparing salaries just remember that the Greyhound bus driver has to remain awake and alert for the *entire* trip (or at least his segment of it) for you to arrive safely. The pilot does not and often is not.

38 posted on 02/10/2004 9:16:32 AM PST by Who dat?
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: conserv13
AMEN! What is the problem here? It's not like he preached the "whole"flight. He mentioned it. He didn't force it down anyones throat. I bet if there had been any kind of problem on the plane, the passengers would be thankful that they had him for a pilot. In other words"Thank God"!
39 posted on 02/10/2004 9:31:18 AM PST by codyjacksmom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley
"...You, sir or madam, are a KOOK..."

You mean, a member of "Keep Our Own Kids Safe?" No, that's the anti-soccer group hailed by El Rushbo. Oh, I know. A person of the Christian faith. Righto. I'm definitely one of those kooks. My whole object is to turn atheists away from religion. So far, so good. Oh, I also like to offend people within earshot who may overhear me when I mention anything from the Bible. And, BTW, I'm a "sir," but there's no need to be formal.
40 posted on 02/10/2004 9:33:30 AM PST by jim35 (A third party vote is a vote for the DemocRATs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: codyjacksmom
To your ill-placed, "Amen," does it not interest you that not one single person raised their hand on the flight? While it was a flight b/w Californicatia and Gotham, 2 areas not known for their conservative christian constituency, I think we can agree there were at least some christians on board.

So why didn't anyone raise their hands? Perhaps b/c it was ridiculously out of place, scary, goofy, insulting, personal, and possibly dangerous?
41 posted on 02/10/2004 9:36:40 AM PST by whattajoke (Neutiquam erro.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: John H K
"...If he'd asked all the Mormons to raise their hands,..."

Yep, I'd be ok with that. I wouldn't have raised my hand, but I wouldn't have run crying to the boss either. What a bunch of wussies. Can't take a little religious talk? Waaaahhh! He said Christian! I'm so sad that he offended me!
42 posted on 02/10/2004 9:36:43 AM PST by jim35 (A third party vote is a vote for the DemocRATs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: codyjacksmom
If *I* had been on that flight and he asked Christians to hold up their hands, *I* WOULDN'T HAVE, despite the fact that I consider myself a Christian. It's none of his da^ned business! He's a pilot! He's there to fly the plane, not jaw with the passengers about religion.
43 posted on 02/10/2004 9:39:09 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: codyjacksmom
AMEN! What is the problem here?

Would you be all right with this if he was a Muslim pilot? Or a socialist asking everyone to talk about the joys of John Kerry?

Some things are innapropriate in certain circumstances. Using your power as the pilot of an airplane to advance your religious beliefs on a captive audience is, in my view, rude.

44 posted on 02/10/2004 9:40:38 AM PST by Modernman ("When you want to fool the world, tell the truth." -Otto von Bismarck)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: jim35
There's an appropriate time and place for "religious talk". This flight wasn't it.
45 posted on 02/10/2004 9:42:02 AM PST by Born Conservative ("Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names" - John F. Kennedy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: whattajoke
"...in a flying bomb who are currently sensitive to religious differences and issues,..."

It's not religious differences, it's muslims, specifically. Get it right, at least here on FR.

"...Preferably to some place where I can buy what ever it is you sell without a bible lesson..."

So, do you have that list of approved topics yet? You act as if this pilot held a revival during the flight, instead of asking one question and making one Christian comment. So, make that list, submit it to all companies which have employees who appear before the public, and for heaven's sake, let's stifle that speech!
46 posted on 02/10/2004 9:42:34 AM PST by jim35 (A third party vote is a vote for the DemocRATs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: prairiebreeze
The first thing that would have gone through my mind if he had said this while I was aboard was that I was about to die.
47 posted on 02/10/2004 9:42:58 AM PST by Indie (Hello boys! I'm baaaack!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jim35; EggsAckley
"Just given the history of what's happened on planes in this country, anything can happen at this point. So we weren't sure if something was going to happen at takeoff, if he was going to wait until JFK to do something... But there was definitely [an] implication there that we felt that something was going to happen."

This is why what the pilot did was wrong. He frightened the passengers--because of the context of when he said this, not the content.

The passengers' had to wonder why the man who would say something like this, and in the context of the reality that he held their lives in his hands because he's at the controls of an aircraft, I'm sure the experience was really frightening.

If he said it once the plane had landed and everyone was casually walking to get their luggage, or in the coffee shop before they boarded, it would be completely different.
48 posted on 02/10/2004 9:48:03 AM PST by proud American in Canada (Take back the First Amendment! Call today! U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: ken5050
well, at least the pilot is sober.....

I don't know that I would jump to that conclusion, considering the bizarre nature of what he has just done.

49 posted on 02/10/2004 9:48:17 AM PST by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: jim35
I agree with you, Jim.

And there are apparently several versions of the story going around because I didn't hear that he had called non christians "crazy" in the other stories I've read or heard on the radio.
In any event, I would have been comforted on that flight, knowing the pilot was christian.
50 posted on 02/10/2004 9:48:30 AM PST by California74
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 251-257 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson