A veteran American Airlines’ pilot is in deep trouble, now facing prison time in Brazil for assaulting a gate agent during a petty disagreement. But was it just self-defense?
The name of the captain has not been released, but we know he is 59 years old and has flown with American Airlines for 32 years. But that career may soon be over. He has been charged with “offending the bodily integrity or health of another” and faces up to one year in prison. Brazilian authorities have confiscated his passport.
During the pre-flight inspection of AA930 from Sao Paulo to Miami, the captain determined that the jet bridge was in the incorrect position and asked that it be adjusted. But a ground agent disagreed.
At this point, the two stories diverge. The ground agent (and at least one witness) claim she accidentally stepped on the pilot’s foot. The captain reacted in verbal anger while the ground agent denied that she had touched him. With the fight escalating, the captain claims the ground agent tried to punch him and he reacted in self-defense by pushing her away and grabbing her around the neck. The gate agent insists she did not try to punch him.
Caught in the middle: passengers. AA930 was ultimately delayed 27 hours. Most passengers, however, were placed on other flights.
The pilot has been released awaiting trial. If I were him, I’d head to Cataratas do Iguaçu and hire a motorcycle…I’m joking.
I’m just playing armchair judge here, but even if the ground agent did try to punch the captain, why did he have to push her away and grab her around the neck?
Somehow I think his self-defense argument amounts to “mansplaining”.
(H/T: View from the Wing)