Colorado Rockies' Recent United Airlines Charter Flight Under Federal Investigation

After Colorado Rockies hitting coach Hensley Muelens shared a video of himself sitting in the cockpit of a United Airlines flight, the FAA launched an investigation into the incident.
Apr 6, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; General view of the Colorado Rockies logo before an MLB game.
Apr 6, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; General view of the Colorado Rockies logo before an MLB game. / Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
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The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the Colorado Rockies' recent charter flight on United Airlines, NBC 9News' Chris Vanderveen was first to report Thursday night.

Rockies hitting coach Hensley Meulens posted a since-deleted video to his personal Instagram account that featured him sitting in the cockpit of an April 10 flight from Denver to Toronto. In the video, Meulens was wearing pink sunglasses on his forehead, repeatedly saying that he would be landing the plane.

Meulens thanked the captain and first officer for the "great experience" in his caption.

"We are deeply disturbed by what we see in that video," a United spokesperson told multiple media outlets.

According to United Airlines, the flight was at cruising altitude and autopilot had been engaged. Still, there was "a clear violation of our safety and operational policies," so the pilots are being withheld from service until United completes its own internal investigation.

As for the FAA, they did not provide a comment beyond confirming that they had opened an investigation into the incident.

The Rockies were traveling for a road series against the Toronto Blue Jays that weekend. After winning Friday, Colorado dropped the next two games of the series and then got swept by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Meulens, 56, has been the Rockies' hitting coach since November 2022. He was previously the assistant hitting coach for the New York Yankees and bench coach for the New York Mets.

The San Francisco Giants employed Meulens as their hitting coach from 2010 to 2019, winning three World Series championships when he was on staff.

Meulens played for the Yankees from 1989 to 1993 before spending the next three seasons playing professionally in Japan. He returned to MLB to play for the Montreal Expos in 1997 before suiting up for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998.

He was the first Curaçaoan to appear in an MLB game.

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Sam Connon is a Staff Writer for Fastball on the Sports Illustrated/FanNation networks. He previously covered UCLA Athletics for Sports Illustrated/FanNation's All Bruins, 247Sports' Bruin Report Online, Rivals' Bruin Blitz, the Bleav Podcast Network and the Daily Bruin, with his work as a sports columnist receiving awards from the College Media Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Connon also wrote for Sports Illustrated/FanNation's New England Patriots site, Patriots Country, and he was on the Patriots and Boston Red Sox beats at Prime Time Sports Talk.