Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino arrived home in a private jet that landed around noon today at MacArthur Airport on Long Island. The two pilots left Brazil yesterday on a flight that stopped over for the night in Miami before continuing today to New York.
About 200 relatives and friends greeted them when the plane -- a Legacy 600 business jet, the same model as the plane involved in a mid-air collision in Brazil Sept. 29 -- taxied in after landing. They included Mr. Lepore's wife, Ellen, and children Michael, 8, and Nichole, 3, and Mr. Paladino's wife, Melissa. The guests also included the pilots' parents, as well as Excelaire Chief Executive Officer Bob Sherry and other executives, and U.S. Rep. Peter King, who had worked to pressure Brazilian authorities for their release. Also there were four of the five passengers who had been on the Legacy during the crash: David Rimmer and Ralph Michielli of Excelaire, Henry Yandle, of Embraer, and me.