The Cuban Government, which has maintained that the pilots violated its airspace, did not recognize the court's jurisdiction and chose not to defend itself in the trial.
Beverly lodged complaints with the Virginia State Aeronautics Division claiming that pilots using the airport were violating minimum altitude requirements and were flying less than 50' over cars on Route 7 while they were attempting to land.
But unless it can be proved that the pilots willfully violated orders or broke the rules of engagement, I think it's wrong to put them on trial for mistakes made during combat operations.
Prosecutors say the pilots violated numerous written and radioed orders, including at least two directives to hold their fire in the moments before Major Schmidt dropped the bomb.
"They clearly knew what the rules were," a senior official said, noting that the pilot had violated speed and altitude limits he himself outlined for the crew before taking off.
Investigators determined that the pilots had violated correct flying procedures, an assertion the pilots' widows dispute.
The hunting of MiGs in Manchuria would lead to many reels of gun camera footage being 'lost' if the reel revealed the pilot had violated Chinese airspace.
The Air Line Pilots Association, which has insisted that neither pilot violated any agency rules, described the action announced by Mr. Busey as "totally unwarranted."
"And if a pilot is violating the rules, which it appears may have happened in Salt Lake, the controller can see the altitude and issue a timely warning to another plane he has under his control."