Rockies Under Federal Investigation Over Hitting Coach’s Wild Move During Team Flight

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The Colorado Rockies' April 10th flight on United Airlines is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration after a video appeared to show team hitting coach Hensley Meulens sitting in the cockpit of the charter airplane.

A spokesperson for United Airlines, which reported the incident to the FAA, said the following to multiple news outlets in a statement: "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."

Meulens, in a since-deleted video originally posted onto his Instagram account, appears to be seated in one of the pilot's chairs as the camera pans around the cockpit, showing the pilot next to him.

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

United Airlines has said the flight was in "cruise altitude" and autopilot was engaged, according to Chris Vanderveen of 9 News Denver.

United Airlines called Meulens's presence in the cockpit a "clear violation of our safety and operational policies," and has "withheld" the pilots from service as it conducts an internal investigation.

The Rockies were traveling from Colorado to Toronto for their series with the Blue Jays, which began April 12 and concluded this past Sunday.

Tim Capurso


Tim Capurso is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Previously he wrote for RotoBaller and ClutchPoints, where he was the lead editor for MLB, College Football and NFL coverage. A lifelong Yankees and Giants fan, Tim grew up just outside New York City and now lives near Philadelphia. When he's not writing, Tim enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with his family, including his three-legged cat Willow, who, unfortunately, is an Eagles fan.