No one really likes to be corrected, but when that correction is “you’re taking your plane to the wrong runway,” then you should probably appreciate the criticism. That wasn’t the case for one Delta pilot who didn’t take kindly when an air traffic controller at the country’s busiest airport tried to put him on the right path.
The conversation is being described as a “rant,” and ABC News even warned viewers that the exchange can get pretty heated. Neither of those is really true, as neither party curses or raises his voice.
But what is of concern is the pilot’s attitude during the discussion.
The flight, Delta 2422 from Atlanta to Charlotte, NC, was slated to take off from the runway labeled “Mike” on Friday, but the air traffic controller contacted the pilot because he appeared to be taking his jet to the “Lima” runway.
“Hey you know what, we’ll taxi out there any way we want unless you tell us to,” responded the pilot. “I don’t like your attitude.”
To which the controller answered, “I don’t have an attitude, I’m just saying it looks like you joined Lima instead of Mike and I’m just trying to correct you before you stay on Lima.”
This apparently got the pilot even more upset.
“Like oh my god, there’s another plane out there, like 6 miles away,” he told the controller. “Your attitude is really something sir, we’re out here on Mike. Good morning.”
At this point, the controller reminds the pilot that it’s a controller’s job to, ya know, control air traffic.
“Good morning. There was no attitude,” he told the Delta crew. “I was just trying to correct you. That’s my job to correct you if you mess up, and make sure everybody’s doing what I ask them to do for certain reasons.”
Then the pilot said something he probably didn’t want the world to hear on national news.
“All right, I make a mistake every two to three minutes but my attitude is not like yours,” he fired back.” We’re out on Mike and you didn’t tell us how to get there, so next time you can try doing that.”
The best part of the exchange is when a pilot from another plane chimes in to say, “Settle down Captain Happy,” which we’re assuming is not the Delta pilot’s actual name.
Delta says it is looking into the exchange but says no passengers were ever in danger.