A federal judge in Brazil has denied a request to return the passports of two U.S. pilots involved in a mid-air collision that killed 154 people.

The judge ruled Monday that the passports of Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino will be held until an investigation into the incident is completed.

A lawyer for the men criticized the ruling, saying the pilots are the only ones involved in the case to face such restrictions.

The two men were piloting an executive jet in September, when it hit a Brazilian airliner.  The airliner crashed into a Brazilian jungle, killing everyone aboard. The executive jet landed safely.

Relatives of some of the victims have filed a lawsuit alleging the pilots were flying at the wrong altitude at the time of the incident.

The American pilots have denied any wrongdoing.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.