Pilot Suspended For Tornado-Landing Attempt

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A Northwest Airlines pilot who attempted to land at Sioux Falls Airport last year near a tornado has had his certificate suspended by the FAA for 45 days. But Michael Hughes gets to keep flying while he appeals the suspension. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported that the FAA found that Hughes violated regulations by ignoring warnings about severe weather, including an approaching twister. Despite the warnings, Hughes continued his approach and asked for a clearance to go lower. The report says wind shear finally caused the plane to go briefly out of control. The pilot then diverted the DC-9 to Omaha, where it landed safely. At least one passenger on the plane said she's glad Hughes is being sanctioned. "What they put people through that night. I'm glad something was done," Chris Wright told Keloland Television. But she also said she didn't think Hughes deserved to have his certificate pulled permanently, although she personally wouldn't take any chances with him. "I really don't know if I'd fly with him," she said.