Pilots Suspended For Letting MLB Coach Sit In Cockpit During Flight

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Two United Airlines pilots were suspended for allowing an unauthorized person in the cockpit during a charted flight. The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating the incident, which occurred on April 10 when the Colorado Rockies were traveling to Canada for a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rockies hitting coach Hensley Meulens posted a since-deleted video on Instagram showing him sitting in the pilot's seat while the plane is on auto-pilot at cruising altitude.

"Had some fun in the cockpit on our flight from Denver to Toronto," Meulens wrote on the since-deleted post. "Thanks to the captain and the first officer of our United charter that allowed me this great experience."

While Meulens enjoyed the experience, he was violating FAA regulations.

"Federal regulations restrict flight deck access to specific individuals," the agency said in a statement announcing the investigation.

United Airlines is also investigating the incident.

"We're deeply disturbed by what we see in that video, which appears to show an unauthorized person in the flight deck at cruise altitude while the autopilot was engaged. As a clear violation of our safety and operational policies, we've reported the incident to the FAA and have withheld the pilots from service while we conduct an investigation," the airline said.

Rockies manager Bud Black told the Denver Post that Meulens apologized to both the team and United Airlines.

"I can't comment really any further because of the investigation of the matter," Black said, adding that the incident will not affect Meulens' job.


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