Pilot Fired After 2023 Emergency Landing Sues Southwest Airlines, You'll NEVER Guess His Claims...

By Maria Angelino | Thursday, 23 May 2024 08:30 PM
Views 6.2K

David Legeros, a former captain for Southwest Airlines, has lodged a complaint against the company following his dismissal over a decision he made during an in-flight emergency in 2023.

Legeros was piloting a Boeing 737 that experienced a severe engine failure shortly after departing from Houston Hobby Airport en route to Cancun.

Court documents obtained by The Independent reveal that the aircraft's right-hand engine sustained significant damage during the incident. However, instead of assuming control of the aircraft, Legeros delegated flying duties to the First Officer. He then communicated with air traffic control to arrange an emergency return to Houston.

In his injunction application filed in a New York district court in April, Legeros stated that flames were visible from within the cabin, causing understandable panic among the passengers. He then addressed the passengers in both Spanish and English, aiming to reassure them that the situation was under control.

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According to Legeros, Southwest Airlines reprimanded him following the incident. The airline's standard operating procedures dictate that the captain should take control of the aircraft during emergencies, as reported by PYOK.

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Legeros argued that had he taken control of the aircraft, the sudden movement could have dislodged the burning engine, potentially causing it to fall to the ground. The court documents state, "Had SWA (Southwest Airlines) decided to reward Mr. Legeros, or even ignore him, following his heroics, this story would be over, but SWA decided to punish him."

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The airline's investigation into the incident on Flight WN307 concluded that Legeros had "engaged in serious misconduct." Instead of immediate termination, Legeros was compelled to sign a 'Last Chance Agreement' with numerous extraordinary requirements for his 'retraining program,' as stated in the injunction application.

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Despite the passengers onboard being predominantly Hispanic, the complaint alleges that the airline criticized Legeros for addressing the passengers in Spanish. The complaint further alleges that Southwest Airlines has been seeking to oust Legeros under the guise of 'serious misconduct,' but in reality, due to his racial background.

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Legeros remains grounded from flight status, and in January, the airline requested a 'Fitness for Duty' psychological evaluation. The lawsuit states, "There are few better ways to remove an irritating pilot than to develop a medical record that purports to diagnose said pilot as insane."

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Legeros claims he was unable to attend the initial evaluation due to his father's hospitalization. The lawsuit further alleges that Southwest now wants him to attend a meeting with their Chief Pilot, where he would be given the choice to resign or face termination.

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Legeros is seeking injunctive relief to prevent Southwest from forcing a psychological exam or the Fitness for Duty evaluation.

Southwest declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit to PYOK due to the pending litigation. However, company spokesperson Lynn Lunsford stated that Southwest stands by its decision to dismiss Legeros. "Southwest expects all of its Pilots to follow procedures and policies that exist to protect the safety of our Customers and Employees," the airline said in a statement.

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