United Pilot Diverts to Miami to Kick Flight Attendant Off Plane

A United Airlines pilot flying from Sao Paulo to Chicago diverted his plane to Miami so he could kick a senior flight attendant off the aircraft after an argument on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, the details of the argument aren’t known, but I bet they are realllllllly good.  This may be the first time this has ever happened.  Nicely done.  United is investigating.

(Thanks Flight Global)

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  1. As a result of the captain’s grave action, he has lost his job with United Airlines and his license to fly is suspended by FAA until further unvestigation. He was out of control and out of line. The flight Attendant is being lauded for her composure and professionalism by her crew and the other 2 piolets.

  2. United is backing the Purser 110%. United suspended the pilot, Leigh Smith, and FAA has suspended his license pending further investigation. Hope he enjoyed his final “captain’s authority.” He’s toast.

  3. Was the pilot tested for drugs or alcohol before continuing on to Chicago?

  4. No, capt. wasn’t tested in MIA, although he might have been tested upon landing in Chicago. He was met by Flight Ops, Chief Pilot and the capt. refused to talk to anyone but a representative from APLA…pilots union. They’re not impressed with him as he was a SCAB in the Pilots strike in 1985. He hired onto United and took away jobs from striking pilots…he’s NOT highly thought of. He’s basically an ego bloated, loose cannon Make that an unemployed, ego bloated, loose cannon

  5. I know Leigh Smith and have flown with him many times, if there was a problem it was serious. Leigh is an outstanding pilot and has no ego what so ever. He is an outstanding person, dedicated American, and one of the best pliots anyone could be honored to fly with. Leigh Smith is far from being a ego bloated loose canon. He is highly respected amongst flight crews from the military to civilian air lines. Anyone that knows Leigh Smith can tell you he is one of the finest pilots out there. Whoever wren is that made the last post has no clue what he is talking about. My wife & I have flown with Leigh on many occasions and trust him 110% with our lives.


  6. CAF,

    Would you trust him not to take your job away from you? Regardless, this clown is completely out of line. He should be fired, sued by every passenger aboard this flight and banned from aviation. How can you…….

    A.) Say a Scab is “highly respected”?
    B.) Say “He is an outstanding person”?
    C.) Say “he is one of the finest pilots out there”?

    I must say, you are either sleeping with this guy or naive? I don’t know what would be worse.

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