Monday, April 23, 2007


Awaiting a sane response (that's my criterion) from Brazil to the damning 134-page report by the American air charter company ExcelAire about how and why Brazil's worst aviation accident occurred last Sept. 29, I somehow overlooked this response, which doesn't quite meet the criterion. Nevertheless, from O Estado de S. Paulo:

"The 'only cause' for the air collision between the Gol Boeing and the Legacy jet on September 29th, leading to the death of 154 people, was 'the failure of the air traffic control system' to ensure that the airplanes were traveling at different altitude levels. This is the argument defended in a 134-page report prepared by lawyers Carlos Dias and Theo Dias, who represent the Legacy pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino. The document was delivered ... to Federal Police Marshal Renato Sayão, who heads the inquest.

"[The report] offers the information that there were several failures in the Legacy’s equipment in tests performed prior to its first commercial flight. According to the report, a radio management unit of the airplane was returned to Honeywell, the manufacturer, after being installed in another airplane.

"This fact, the text says, had never been revealed by Embraer, the jet’s manufacturer, to ExcelAire, the American company that acquired the Legacy. Dias says that, for this reason, 'it is impossible to blame the pilots for the cause the accident, for wrong management of the equipment.'"

Now here is the money quote:

"... Sayão said that the report '“does not provide sufficient documentation' on the previous failures of some of the jet’s equipment. 'The intention is obviously to fully clear the pilots, but that’s not where the investigations are leading us,' [he said]."

My note: Damn those pesky facts...


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