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FAA investigating the Colorado Rockies for safety violations on team flight

FAA investigating Colorado Rockies for safety violations on team flight
FAA investigating Colorado Rockies for safety violations on team flight 01:52

Video posted on social media appears to show a member of the Colorado Rockies organization sitting in the cockpit of an airplane mid-flight.


"This was a clear lapse of judgment," said Chad Kendall an aviation professor at Metro State University Denver. He says this video appears to show an egregious violation of United Airlines and FAA rules.

"The rule clearly states that only crew members and authorized personnel from the government and from the company that's operating that flight can access the fight deck," said Kendall.

In a statement, United Airlines said:

"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."

Kendall says the fact that this likely happened during a flight chartered by the Rockies makes no difference.

Chad Kendall,  Aviation Professor at Metro State University Denver CBS

"This flight was operated under their current air carrier certificate, so they are bound by the regulations that are prescribed by the FAA," said Kendall.

CBS News Colorado reached out to the Colorado Rockies and the FAA but has not heard back. Kendall says if the FAA investigation finds wrongdoing, the pilots will see consequences.

"It certainly could result in certificate action against the pilots from the FAA, it could also result in employment action from United Airlines," said Kendall.

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