Last updated: 11:33 AM ET, Wed May 27 2015

Flight Attendant Under Fire for Controversial Tarmac Photos

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | May 27, 2015

Flight Attendant Under Fire for Controversial Tarmac Photos

Photo via Twitter

A flight attendant for ultra low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines is in hot water after passengers discovered her taking photos on the tarmac at Chicago O'Hare International Airport ahead of a recent flight.

According to an exclusive report from ABC 7 in Chicago, multiple passengers witnessed the flight attendant, identified as Ericka Paige Diehl, posing for photos in front of the plane's engines and turbine blades.

The passengers, upon learning the woman's name, also reported seeing the photos posted on her Facebook page.

A Spirit Airlines executive told ABC 7's I-Team that "the activity portrayed in the photo absolutely goes against Spirit policy," and an airline spokesman said the company plans to investigate the incident and take action if necessary.

Nonetheless, Diehl's actions have been met with support from some within the aviation community.

"I have a picture in a jet engine, and pretty much everybody that I know that has been a flight’s just one of those things that we like to do," aviation consultant and former flight attednant Sylvester Pittman told ABC News.

Meanwhile, fellow flight attendant and bestselling author Heather Poole took to Twitter:

When contacted by the I-Team about the Facebook images, the 41-year-old Diehl told reporters that she wasn't "at liberty to discuss them." The photos were reportedly taken down just moments later. 

According to the I-Team's investigation, A Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman said "an individual must be properly badged and/or under escort" in order to gain access to the tarmac.

It's unknown whether Diehl was authorized to be on the tarmac. 

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