updated 12/5/2006 3:43:40 PM ET 2006-12-05T20:43:40

A court said Tuesday it had released the passports of two U.S. pilots of a private jet involved in a collision with a Boeing 737 over the Amazon that killed 154 people.

The Federal Regional Court of the First Region of Brasilia said that it unanimously agreed to return the passports of Joseph Lepore, 42, of Bay Shore, N.Y., and Jan Paladino, 34, of Westhampton Beach, N.Y.

They can pick up their passports in 72 hours and leave Brazil, but must agree to return to Brazil for further inquiry and judicial action, the court said on its Web site.

The Americans were piloting a Brazilian-made Legacy executive jet when it collided Sept. 29 with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800. All 154 people on board the Gol flight were killed, while the none of the seven people on board the Legacy were injured.

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