Federal investigators have said they issued subpoenas to force the pilots of an American Airlines jet to sit for recorded interviews about a close call with a Delta plane on a runway at New York’s Kennedy Airport last month.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it attempted to interview the crew members three times, but a union representative said the pilots refused to have their statements recorded.
“NTSB has determined that this investigation requires that the flight crew interviews be audio recorded and transcribed by a court reporter to ensure the highest degree of accuracy, completeness, and efficiency,” the agency said in a preliminary report. “As a result of the flight crew’s repeated unwillingness to proceed with a recorded interview, subpoenas for their testimony have been issued.”
The three pilots have seven days to respond to the subpoenas, which direct them to appear for interviews at NTSB headquarters in Washington. American said they are not currently flying for the airline.
NTSB investigators won’t get to hear any conversation that took place among the pilots in the cockpit during the incident — in some cases, a very valuable investigative tool. The recording was taped over when the crew took off for London shortly after the close call.