A Delta passenger who filmed birds striking his plane over New York City's John F. Kennedy International airport received a scathing letter from the Federal Aviation Administration condemning his use of an electronic during flight takeoff.
Grant Cardone, 54, became a viral hit after posting a video of birds being sucked into the engine of his Los Angeles-bound Delta flight on April 19. The plane was forced to turn back to the airport and landed safely, the New York Post reports.
Soon afterward, Cardone received an official letter from the FAA complaining the video was taken illegally because he used his iPad to film the strike, and use of portable electronic devices is prohibited during "critical" phases of a flight, such as takeoffs. Electronic devices also cannot be used during an in-flight emergency.
"Your failure to comply with flight attendant instructions during a critical phase of flight and an aircraft emergency could have affected the safe outcome of the flight," the letter says.
Cardone defended his actions.
"I didn't think I was breaking a law. I didn't think I was putting passengers at risk," Cardone said Thursday in an interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto.
"If these electronics are actually dangerous, the FAA doesn't need to send me a letter. They should ban them from the airlines."
Cardone, a Los Angeles business consultant and frequent flier, will not be fined, but the letter "will be made a matter of record for a period of two years," the FAA said.