Saturday, February 24, 2007


Yeah, I know I said I'd rested my case. Just by way of keeping you up to date on what's going on down the rabbit hole, here's a link followed by a translation.

Chief is convinced of Legacy pilots' blame in accident

Published on 23/02/2007 at 19:05
by Anselmo Carvalho Pinto - O Globo

CUIABÁ - Federal police chief Renato Sayão, who is investigating the causes of the accident with the Gol plane in September of last year, no longer has any doubts that the pilots of the Legacy jet, Joseph Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino, are the most to blame for the tragedy. The aircraft which they piloted collided in midair with the Boeing 737-800 at an altitude of 37,000 feet, leaving 154 dead. This Friday, the Federal Court in Sinop extended the inquiry for another 60 days, at the request of the Federal Police.

The chief, however, is still trying to understand how the jet's transponder and TCAS were disconnected. The first is the electronic communication device responsible for emitting the plane's data. The TCAS is the anti-collision system.

"We still need to know details about the operation of this equipment", Sayão said.

In two questions which he sent to the experts at the National Criminalistic Institute, Sayão asks for responses to a doubt which he considers essential: if the commands which activate the two devices are similar to each other or if they are near the keys that operate the radio or any other apparatus frequently handled during cruising flight. In another question, he asks what sequence of actions is necessary for the turning off of the transponder, and of the TCAS. He has doubts about the necessary order of commands which permit deactivating the equipment.

"With these answers, we can have certainty as to whether the turning off was voluntary or involuntary", the chief affirmed.

Chief says that no controller will be accused

The information can add little to the inquiry, since Lepore and Paladino are already accused of the crime of involuntarily exposing a vessel or aircraft to risk. But it could be an aggravating factor in the calculation of an eventual penalty. The chief guarantees that he will not accuse them of any other crime.

In the period of the investigation that still remains, Sayão is waiting only for the results of expert examinations requisitioned from the Center for the Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautic Accidents (Cenipa), of the Department of Air Space Control (Decea) and from Embraer, manufacturer of the Legacy. From the first, the experts will evaluate the complete content of the black boxes of the two planes.

For Decea, the request includes more images of the screens of the radars in the Brasilia and Manaus towers. From Embraer was requisitioned information about the functioning of the Legacy's devices.

As soon as he receives the results of the expert examinations, the chief will make a final report on the inquiry, in which the only ones incriminated will be the pilots. Sayão understands that, even if some inadequate conduct by the Brasilia tower is detected, no controller will be indicted.

"My understanding is that it is up to the Air Force to investigate eventual military crimes", he affirmed.

In the case of suspicion of blame on the part of the Brazilian controllers, the Federal Police will request that the Federal Prosecutors' Office send the inquiry to the Military Prosecutors' Office recommending the opening of a new investigation. The controllers in São José dos Campos and Manaus, who also maintained contact with the two planes, did not have any responsibility for the accident.

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