View Full Version : Mid-air collision over Brasil


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westhawk
19th Nov 2006, 21:24
In light of the investigatory findings so far released, does anyone here really believe that the needs of the investigation into the cause of the accident or the search for criminal culpability and civil liability actually justify the further detainment of the Legacy crew? I do NOT. So far, just about everything initially reported by the press regarding the role and actions of the Legacy crew in this ACCIDENT has failed to find any factual support. No "aerobatics" or "fooling around" of any kind are indicated or suggested by the objective investigatory findings to date. In fact, all such allegations appear to have been roundly refuted by the FDR traces.

I said then, and I'll say now, that when this whole affair began, it displayed all the earmarks of an intentional media smear job right from the start. As time has gone on and subsequent findings have discredited initial assertions made by officials and reported by media, said media have altered their reporting somewhat, and officials have backed away from their initial factually incorrect, and apparently intentional attempts to lay sole blame on the backs of the Legacy crew.

Even in light of the fact that the findings thus far revealed by the investigatory body tend to discredit these initial assertions made by officials and reported by the media, the judiciary has still seen fit to deny the Legacy crew it's right to liberty even though there appears to be no real case against them to support any charge of criminal culpability as it is defined by most western cultures. Most distressing indeed.

This could be YOU... or YOU... or YOU.... Or me... ANY of us!

Best,

Westhawk



caos
19th Nov 2006, 22:13
Westhawk,
They are not detained, but they are retained.
This depends on the Justice and not of the Air Force.
Days behind, the Air Force had to give the material from the investigation to the Justice, and under a judicial order.

Nov 17 2006 from O Globo News
TRF DENIES REQUEST OF DEVOLUTION OF PASSPORTS OF PILOTS OF LEGACY

The Federal Regional Tribunal of the first area, in Brasília, denied on this Friday (17) the request of devolution of passports of the American pilots' of the jet Legacy.

The pilots' lawyer had request to the judge a definition on the documents until today, but the decision will only be made after judgement of the merit by the plenary session of TRF.

Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino had the passports apprehended by order of the Justice to avoid that they leave the country during the investigations.

con-pilot
19th Nov 2006, 23:56
They are not detained, but they are retained.

True, a fine point, in fact a very fine point. However, when one does not have the freedom to go home, one is detained.

A prison is a prison, whether it is a hotel or a jail. (Okay, I'll admit a 5 start hotel is a lot better than any prison I've ever heard of, agreed.)

Bottom line is that these pilot have lost their freedom. Their freedom of travel, their freedom of earning a living and being home with their families.

Remember, these guys are not airline pilots. They are corporate pilots, they do not have the backing and influence of a union. However, the NBAA/INBAA is also working on their release. So there is hope.

I have sent letters to my U.S. Representative and both Oklahoma Senators to apply pressure to Brazil to release these two pilots.

As Westhawk said, this can happen to any of us.

Now on the controversy of the altitude change. I have been flying for over 40 years and there is no way in hell I would/will change an assigned altitude without permission from ATC. I don't care what was on the filed flight plan. Unless ATC tells me to change FL at such and such intersection, which is not the case here, I will maintain my last assigned altitude.

This was an accident, a very tragic accident and hopefully sooner or later the truth will come out.

I do wonder however, what would have happened if they had landed at a civil airport?

Also I believe that offsetting should be the way of the future. Many years ago back when INS was the greatest and bestest nav tool there was I was flying on an airway heading down to South America at FL-350, fat dumb and happy, we came out of some clouds and a Lear 35 (yeah, it was close enough I could tell it was a Lear 35) came flashing by our left side at the same altitude. Both of us blocked each other out on the frequency asking ATC why we were at the same altitude. This was in an no radar area.

ATC came back and told both of us that we had no traffic in our area.

westhawk
20th Nov 2006, 00:11
Westhawk,
They are not detained, but they are retained.
This depends on the Justice and not of the Air Force.
Days behind, the Air Force had to give the material from the investigation to the Justice, and under a judicial order.

Whatever words are used to describe the fact that they are not free to travel as they wish, the fact remains that they are not. This liberty has been suspended by judicial order. My observations are intended to convey my belief that this judicial action is no longer justified, if it ever was. Given the accusations originally made in the immediate aftermath of the accident, and the highly sensational nature of the public and media reaction, it is understandable that certain facts needed to be established prior to any decision as to whether or not criminal conduct on the part of the Legacy crew had taken place, or that the filing of criminal charges is warranted. No evidence of any such conduct has been presented to date. In fact, the data released to the public thus far appears to refute any such claims.

Preventing them from leaving the country is difficult to justify in this light. I merely opine that the interests of justice are not well served by continuing to hold these individuals against their will when the objective evidence related to the occurrence tends to refute any claims that they were acting in a criminally negligent manner. They should be free to return to their homes. File criminal charges and be prepared to objectively prove the case or release them. I'll leave the talk of politics and economic repercussions to others!

BTW, some excellent analysis of the known facts is taking place here. If only the judiciary had such keen analysis available to them. Keep up the good work!

Best,

Westhawk

caos
20th Nov 2006, 00:53
I agree with you Westhawk,
But, Mr. Sayão the Federal investigator has said that he needs the antecedents of the investigation of the Air force (supposedly today in his hands) and an interview with the Controllers (in psychological treatment) before speaking with the pilots of the Legacy. Sayão has also requested the amplification of the term to investigate (I believe that for 90 days more) and only when he closes the investigation the charges take place if there is any.
I see difficult that Lepore and Paladino can leave from Brazil before 90-120 days.

For what I read they have 2 points in shadows:
1. Why Legacy was at FL370?
2. Why TCAS was not operating?

con-pilot
20th Nov 2006, 01:09
1. Why Legacy was at FL370?

Because that was their last cleared altitude. From everything I have seen on the released ATC tapes they were never cleared to a different altitude.

2. Why TCAS was not operating?

I don't know, no one at this time knows. This issue should come out in an open and fair accident investigation.

Sadly for the crew Brazil is between a rock and hard place. The accident may come down between the Brazilian ATC or the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer.

So, blame the U.S. crew, problem solved.

Casper
20th Nov 2006, 01:11
Have the authorities also confiscated the passports of the air traffic controllers on duty in the appropriate area regarding this mid-air?

Surely, they should be prevented from leaving the country in order that "they may also assist in the investigation."

con-pilot
20th Nov 2006, 01:15
Have the authorities also confiscated the passports of the air traffic controllers on duty in the appropriate area regarding this mid-air?

Excellent question, I'll foward that to my Congressional and Senatorial representatives.

Thanks.

GlueBall
20th Nov 2006, 03:40
Upon loss of contact with the EMB jet, Brasilia Center should have advised Manaus Center that the EMB jet's last assigned altitude was FL370, and that contact was lost. Manaus Center then should have ordered the B737 to vacate FL 370. :ooh:

bubbers44
20th Nov 2006, 06:34
One day I passed Swan Island north of Nicaragua in the clouds at FL350. A minute later World Airways reported Swan Island at FL 350. I asked them if they indeed crossed the same point at the same altitude one minute from us and they concurred. After we assured that they were SE bound and we were S bound about three minutes later ATC cleared them to FL 370. We never reported it because that is expected down there. We were on crossing airways so GPS wouldn't have made it worse. I guess we would be in custody in Managua if we had made contact. Please let these pilots go home. They did not cause this accident.

broadreach
20th Nov 2006, 07:39
Brazil ATC

The Brazilian airforce have begun an inquest into actions by ATC staff after the Gol/Legacy collision, based on suspicion that, in the work-to-rule (max 14 aircraft under each person’s control at any one time) they conducted themselves as a trade union.

The inquest is to focus on the military ATC association leadership, has 60 days in which to conclude its investigations and could lead to courts-martial.

Which sounds rather as if the airforce felt they had no option but to impose discipline and extirpate what they would see as the rot in their midst. It must have been a difficult – and galling - decision, as they’ve been asking for funds to hire more people and predicting an ATC implosion since 2001. And the spectre of courts-martial is not likely to increase the peace of mind of an ATC staff that already consider themselves ill-treated, overworked and underpaid.

One of the civil ATC union leaders has said controllers regularly handle 20-25 aircraft simultaneously whereas “the maximum recommended is 14”. Air traffic here is at its lightest between Saturday mid-day and Sunday mid-day. The collision happened on a Saturday afternoon when, according to a Brasilia controller interviewed anonymously, each one was handling between four and five aircraft.

Flight delays and cancellations continue, though not as severe as when the work-to-rule began, a few weeks ago. So does the debate regarding “de-militarisation”, i.e. transferring most of the military ATC staff to Infraero, the airports authority which, albeit federally controlled, is at least theoretically not subject to military rules and discipline. Mr Pires, the defense minister, portrayed as being pro, the airforce as being con. The interministerial task force assembled to find a solution is limiting itself to homilies for the time being.

In the interim, ATC retirees are being called back for retraining and temporary employment; Brasilia’s being beefed up with controllers (18 they say) from other less busy areas; plans for hiring new staff are in abeyance due to a constitutional nuance: no new federal govt employees can be hired until 60 days after elections!

And Infraero have reviewed their method of reporting delays. 15 minutes is considered insignificant so, as of now, flights will only be considered delayed if they are 45m late departing or arriving. Which should improve the statistics.

The interim report

Both Col Rufino’s presentation and the interim report seemed somewhat defensive and selective of factual information. All the times of radio contact or attempts of contact by Brasilia and the Legacy are given but I couldn’t find any mention of contact between Brasilia and Manaus ATCs nor between Manaus ATC and the Gol flight (which Rufino was called on during the presentation and promised to correct). Can it possibly be there were none?

Re disappearing transponder tracks – there’s an July 2005 IFATCA safety alert at http://www.ifatca.org/safetyalert/ssr_tracks.pdf

ATC Watcher
20th Nov 2006, 16:42
Broadreach, Excatly what I think as well .
The Gol 737 and Manaus are the other keys of this collision, and so far the press and the initial report concentrate only on Brasilia and the legacy. I find this curious, especially since the collision occurred inside Manaus airspace.
A wrong (or no) estimate from Manaus to Brasilia would explain a few things, but I speculate. .
Let’s wait and see .

Casper/con-pilot : On the controllers not leaving the country, remember they are all Military, quite low ranks as I am told , and even if allowed to leave and owned a passport, where would they go ?
Their monthly salaries would probably no cover a night stay in the Hotel where the US crew is retained.

threemiles
20th Nov 2006, 18:33
Broadreach, Excatly what I think as well .
The Gol 737 and Manaus are the other keys of this collision, and so far the press and the initial report concentrate only on Brasilia and the legacy. I find this curious, especially since the collision occurred inside Manaus airspace.
A wrong (or no) estimate from Manaus to Brasilia would explain a few things, but I speculate. .
Let’s wait and see
From the report
"Flight 1907, leaving from Manaus, requested flight level 370. It took off at 15:35 o'clock (Brasília local time) and reached flight level 370 at 15:58 o'clock, on the airway UZ6, same conditions being maintained until the moment of the collision. There were no communication problems between flight 1907 and the control stations during the operation.
Neither was there any loss of radar contact for the Amazonian Center with flight 1907, until it transfer across to the Brasília Center. "

Synopsis:
Loss of separation by lack of adoption of procedural control by ATC once radar contact was lost

Supported by a number of contributing factors of which none for itself would have led to a collision: situational awareness (no verfication of non semicircular FL, no position reporting over compulsary reporting points, no request for planned FL change), transponder/TCAS outage due to technical reasons or mishandling, limited comm and radar quality/range in area, misuse of primary radar altitude readout etc.

broadreach
20th Nov 2006, 20:32
threemiles
Noted. There were no communications problems between Manaus and the Gol 737. The question as to whether there was any communication (Brasilia/Manaus, Manaus/Gol, Brasilia/Gol) arises because so much detail has been given regarding the Brasilia/Legacy/Brasilia attempts.

ATC Watcher
For a civilian ATC, say eight nights at the Marriot.

Brazil ATC
Mother Nature provided an adrenaline boost to ATC on go-slow yesterday as a massive front moved through Curitiba and then Sao Paulo during the late Sunday afternoon rush hour. Several flights diverted from CGH to GRU after a Citation aquaplaned off the runway at GRU. A LH flight diverted to GIG where LH have no ground staff at all. CWB ATC was down this morning due to a tree falling through a fibre optic cable. Etc etc, never rains but it pours. Pity the poor check-in staff, the only available targets for passenger rage at the delays.

KC135777
20th Nov 2006, 22:23
[quote=con-pilot;2975498]
A prison is a prison, whether it is a hotel or a jail. (Okay, I'll admit a 5 start hotel is a lot better than any prison I've ever heard of, agreed.)

Bottom line is that these pilot have lost their freedom. Their freedom of travel, their freedom of earning a living and being home with their families.

Remember, these guys are not airline pilots. They are corporate pilots, they do not have the backing and influence of a union. However, the NBAA/INBAA is also working on their release. So there is hope.
[quote]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There is formal extradition treaties between the US and Brazil, I'm sure. They should either formally charge them, or let them leave the country. Based on the impact on human life in this accident, and some of the accusatory speculation, I would have major concerns for my personal safety (if I were them).

Paladino is a furloughed AA pilot. APA and ALPA have a definite concern on how US pilots are treated in other countries. Many APA & ALPA member pilots transit/land in Brazil every day. I have already contacted the NY congressmen & senators, to urge pressure for release. Many others are, too.

KC135777

con-pilot
20th Nov 2006, 23:11
I have already contacted the NY congressmen & senators, to urge pressure for release. Many others are, too.

Thanks KC :ok:

I knew that Paladino was a furloughed AA pilot, however, I did not know how much action ALPA would take on his behalf. Good news.

After many years of flying international, including South America, as a corporate pilot and as a civilian pilot for the US Government, what has happened to the EMB crew has always worried my wife and me.

Does anyone know who is picking up their expenses?


(Back in my Marshal Service days I asked the (one of the many I served under) Attorney General how much support we could expect if something went wrong while we out of the country. He looked me straight into my eyes and said, "Burn your Red Passport, we never heard of you.", then he smiled and patted me on the back. So I don't know if he was serious or not. :uhoh: )

caos
20th Nov 2006, 23:40
From today's news (sorry I was mistaken in an early post about the data in hands of PF)

Nov 20 2006 from the O Globo News
FLY OF THE GOL: AERONAUTICS HAS 48 HOURS to REVIEW DATA TO PF

On this Monday (20) it was given to the boss of the National Center of Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautical Accidents (Cenipa), brigadier Jorge Kersull Filho, the judicial decision that forces the Aeronautics to supply to the Federal Police (PF) all of the information on the case of the accident of Gol Boeing with the Legacy jet, on September 29, that killed 154 people. The Aeronautics has 48 hours starting from this Monday to give the information.

For more than eight hours, the police officer Rubens José Maleiner, that assumed the case in the police officer's Renato Saião place, with problems of health, heard on this Monday the four controllers' deposition, being three of São José dos Campos (SP) and one of Brasília, that worked in the day of the accident.

PF informed that the police officer considered the depositions very technicians, however productive for the investigation. He stood out, however, that it is early to get any conclusion and it doesn't discard the possibility to hear the controllers again.
Source: http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/Brasil/0,,AA1357053-5598-295,00.html

con-pilot
20th Nov 2006, 23:46
Thanks caos, but what does that mean? You are a lot closer to what is going on than we are.

Thanks again.:ok:

caos
21st Nov 2006, 00:27
Thanks caos, but what does that mean? You are a lot closer to what is going than we are.

Thanks again.:ok:
con-pilot,
what I understand from justice in Brazil (looks similar to here in Chile) and related to this case is that Federal Police (PF) ask to a judge for a term in days to make his investigation, at the end of the term, the Federal Police investigator can make charges if there is any, then a criminal trial start.
But here is more complex, because was a plane accident and Aeronautic, who belong to Brazilian Air Force, do their own investigation (supposedly to improve the security and not with the goal of finding guilty).
Actually, Aeronautic has the information of the black-boxes and the records of the ATC's plus a lot of other information from the place of the collision like the analysis of the remains of the Gol.
In a first attempt the Federal Police requested the information, the one that was denied by Aeronautics (correct action under their regulation or laws) and only a judicial requirement as the presented today, forces Aeronautics to give the information of the investigation to the Federal Police.

The passports of Lepore and Paladino are retained by the Federal Justice, for that until the investigation doesn't end it will be very difficult that return them to him (their lawyer requested the refund, the judge refused it and transferred it to the Federal Tribunal).

Hope this help you to understand better the problem.

If in something I made a mistake, please the Brazilians will be able to correct me.

con-pilot
21st Nov 2006, 00:46
Okay, that helped very much.

Thank you again. :ok:

RatherBeFlying
21st Nov 2006, 02:14
According to Folha, the flight recorder shows American pilot Joseph Lepore receiving instructions from the tower in Sao Jose dos Campos to fly northwest at 37,000 feet (11,277 meters) "until Eduardo Gomes," the airport in Manaus.If the CVR only had the last 30 minutes, I have a feeling the pilots would be stuck for even longer in Brazil.

Eventually the authorities will have to conclude that the Legacy crew were flying according to the last clearance received and acknowledged.

It won't surprise me if one or more controllers end up scapegoated as military and government bureaucracies are especially good at ascribing blame to underlings, even though it looks like several factors contributed to this accident.

threemiles
21st Nov 2006, 06:08
The CVR was reported to be a 2 hrs type. The initial report reported the pilots were never cleared to any other level than 370.

The inquiry of 3 controllers from Sao Jose and one controller from Brasilia shows the current state of the investigation. What have the Tower controllers of Sao Jose to do with a collision under Brasilia ACC (after 2:15 hours flying time)? Even if they gave an en-route clearance for FL370 this clearance would have been issued by Brasilia ACC anyway. It seems too many unexperienced authorities digging in the subject with their own agenda. Lack of an independant and professional accident investigation agency. Civil business jet pilots being in the hands of the Federal Attorney General and the Air Force hiding their own performance.

vapilot2004
21st Nov 2006, 07:08
Question 1 re the original flight plan - "While routing can be autonomous, ATC must approve altitude changes". I agree 100%, but why did the Legacy then stay on FL370 for the whole flight, while their plan said FL370 until Brasilia, then FL360 and FL380 from Teres). They did not even contact ATC when they changed airways.


FL370 was their last cleared altitude. 'Cleared' means assigned by ATC. We do not change our altitude or flight plan without contacting ATC. Should contact be lost, again, we wait the specified time from when lost communication is discovered, then we follow the ICAO rules.

'Airway changes' when part of the flight plan's horizontal path is a normal operation needing no ATC interaction. It is only the vertical path (altitude) that requires approval by ATC in most cases.

Nothing goes bing-bong - Sure, but why is this still so in the 21st Century? Is it impossible to create a system that, once you pass, e.g. an VOR, gives you all the relevant information on a screen, such as
- Information on airway/FL etc.
- Possibly even information on traffic on the same airway/FL
- Frequency nos. of ATCs behind and ahead of you
- Your own transponder reading, sent back to you for verification and to let you know that it is working fine

Maybe one day when we have more bandwidth available for such transmissions. This idea would be very helpful in IFF situations. For now, it is all in the ATCOS court. They tell us when they are handing off to the next controller and pass along their frequency. When things go wrong, again. we can use the guard frequency to make contact.

5) I did not find the thread with "magnetic variation", but found other threads that are also asking the same thing: Why was FL370 authorized, confirmed and maintained, knowing that normally an odd numbered FL is only used for the north-south traffic?

Have a look here:
Looking to the airways chart: 370 was the correct flight level between SJC and Brasilia. Though ground track of the airway is North North West, magnetic course is slightly Northeast due to magnetic variation. Semi circular rules are applied after magnetic courses not ground tracks.

Therefore 370 (odd=East) was correctly filed until Brasilia, where a change to 360 (even=West) was correctly planned, because a left turn makes the magnetic course to become Northwestbound.

Consequently 370 was correctly cleared by ATC in the en-route clearance for the initial segment of the flight until BRS. The wording "Cleared to Manaus via bla bla, FL370, squawk bla bla" is normal. There is no ICAO procedure that calls for subsequently filed level changes to be included in the en-route clearance. Only the first filed altitude is part of the clearance (climb to 4000, expect FLxxx 10 minutes after departure), not even that one in most countries any more. If a comm failure occurs along the route and at a position of a filed level change ICAO comm failure procedures apply.


Bold text above is my emphasis.


Oldiemeister, Obrigado for the Portuguese. Bom dia.
Pode a verdade ser encontrada logo. (hope I got that right) :)

Threemiles: Many thanks on behalf of those sans charts for Brazilian airspace for your enlightening graphic. Good Man!

Con-Pilot: Man, I never thought of this. Thanks!
Just typed a letter to Sen. Warner and Sen. Allen and my local US rep. Will post tommorrow am. :ok:

agusaleale
21st Nov 2006, 10:08
As a reader of this forum and Airdisaster´s, everybody, pilots, ATC, etcetera, don´t agree because applying rules seem to be confuse, and in one given situation you got different answers. The thing is that a situation like this never happened before, the problem with the transponder, the rules, and the ATC doing nothing; so the entire situation should be analized and corrected (may be ICAO rules have to change, I don´t know).
Concerning the pilots, I hope they´d be released soon, but I don´t expect so; I worked a few years with the brazilian government, and for sure they are not telling even the half of what they know; they are going to save themselves first, and for that they have the perfect scapegoat: the pilots.
Your have to know that military institutions all over southamerica are still very strong, and they don´t want to be themselves tarnished by the acusation of killing 154 people of the Gol Flight. In Argentina the civilian airspace is controled also by militars, the air force, but the ATC are civilians who work for the air force, so it´s pretty much the same situation. You should see a couple of movies from a director who is an ex pilot of LAPA. He made two movies, Whisky Romeo Zulu, and Fuerza Aerea Argentina, the first explaining the tragedy of the LAPA flight in Bs. As. and the second the problems in operating the flights by the Air Force (lack of personal, instruments, professionality, even corruption). These movies would clarify a bit the situation where the air force rules.

southernpilot
21st Nov 2006, 10:16
Good Morning,
Last week I wrote to the rep's of the two pilots being held against their will. Won't you join me in writing the Brazilain President this week?

http://web.nbaa.org/public/govt/letters/20061120Brazil.pdf

KC135777
21st Nov 2006, 13:32
...the brazilian government...have the perfect scapegoat: the pilots.

Well, they're not "perfect" scapegoats.....because they're still alive.
If they had perished, how easy it would have been blame the Legacy crew and close the book on it!
KC135777

con-pilot
21st Nov 2006, 16:41
I do realize of course that the majority of the members here at Pprune are not U.S. citizens, however, if the list of people below received letters and comments from a number of international pilots, ATCOs and others involved in international aviation it would certainly help.

Remember, this issue affects all of us in the international aviation community.

Thank you for your consideration.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Fax: 202-228-0282
Phone: 202-224-4451
476 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC20514

Congressman Pete King
Pete.king@<hidden>
436 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC20515
202-225-7896

Senator Charles Schumer
757 Third Ave.
Suite 17-02
New York, NY10017
Fax:202-228-3027

Gary Ackerman
202-225-1589 (fax)
2243 Rayburn Office Building
House of Representatives
Washington, DC20515
202-225-2601
202-225-1580 (fax)

One additional contact and addition:


Congressman Peter King's fax number is 202-226-2279

Joe's local Congressman is:

Congressman Steve Israel
432 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone - 202-225-3335
Fax - 202-225-4669


Thanks again to all of you for your help in this urgent matter!


SAMPLE LETTER
Nov. xx, 2006

Dear xx (senator or congressman)

We are writing to engage your assistance in the return of Jan Paladino and Joe Lepore, two professional pilots from New York, who have been unlawfully detained in Brazil for more than six weeks.


Brazilian authorities continue to hold their passports since their involvement in a mid-air collision on September 29th, despite the fact that there has been no evidence to suggest that these pilots caused this tragic accident. They have been prevented from returning home to their families, without any charges, in violation of Brazilian law, and international aviation treaties.


Sadly, Brazilian government officials have tried to scapegoat these pilots to conceal the shortcomings in their own aviation system. Air safety depends on the integrity of accident investigations. Without free and open discourse championed by ICAO and such internationally respected organizations as the Flight Safety Foundation, the cause of air safety is impaired.

This heavy-handed treatment of these New York pilots, while they are fully cooperating with authorities, is unfair and impedes the aviation investigation and threatens the safety of air travelers throughout Brazil.


We ask for your prompt assistance in helping to bring these honorable pilots home.

Regards,

Xxx



(The above sample letter is very similar to the letters I sent to my Congressmen/women and Senators.)

C-P

caos
21st Nov 2006, 19:17
As a reader of this forum and Airdisaster´s, everybody, pilots, ATC, etcetera, don´t agree because applying rules seem to be confuse, and in one given situation you got different answers. The thing is that a situation like this never happened before, the problem with the transponder, the rules, and the ATC doing nothing; so the entire situation should be analized and corrected (may be ICAO rules have to change, I don´t know).
Concerning the pilots, I hope they´d be released soon, but I don´t expect so; I worked a few years with the brazilian government, and for sure they are not telling even the half of what they know; they are going to save themselves first, and for that they have the perfect scapegoat: the pilots.
Your have to know that military institutions all over southamerica are still very strong, and they don´t want to be themselves tarnished by the acusation of killing 154 people of the Gol Flight. In Argentina the civilian airspace is controled also by militars, the air force, but the ATC are civilians who work for the air force, so it´s pretty much the same situation. You should see a couple of movies from a director who is an ex pilot of LAPA. He made two movies, Whisky Romeo Zulu, and Fuerza Aerea Argentina, the first explaining the tragedy of the LAPA flight in Bs. As. and the second the problems in operating the flights by the Air Force (lack of personal, instruments, professionality, even corruption). These movies would clarify a bit the situation where the air force rules.


agusaleale,
Sorry but I think your comments are very blundered and out of place, if you want to discuss of politics I can suggest a web site.
Fyi:
- Defense Minister Mr. Pires is a politic position, not military.
- Brazil have a very good record in air disasters.
- Brazil is lower than Argentina in corruption rate.
- Not all countries in South America are similar.
- Argentina have a high level of corruption.

I believe that it is necessary to respect the legality of each country and to be governed by their laws, and if something doesn't seem, tribunals and international mechanisms exist.

It is not my desire to begin a new war against Spain (we won the last one). :)

agusaleale
21st Nov 2006, 19:58
Caos, sorry for the misunderstanding. My intentions were not to begin a new war.
I didn´t mean to imply myself in a political discussion. Simply trying to point out that these countries, which no long ago where still managed by military, keep some services (including airspace) controlled by them, and the thing is that I think that it should be done by professional trained people. You don´t have to mix the air force of a country with the civilian control of airspace, because then you cook it, you eat it.
If you want to argue about corruption, I sure could tell you a couple of things of the countries you mentioned, and even yours, but it´s off topic.

KC135777
21st Nov 2006, 20:58
somebody mentioned ALPA earlier....no, as a furloughed American Airlines pilot, Jan Paladino is a member of APA...not ALPA.
____________________________________________________


ALLIED PILOTS ASSOCIATION CALLS ON BRAZIL TO RELEASE PILOTS DETAINED AFTER GOL AIRLINES FLIGHT 1907 ACCIDENT

‘Accident investigation should not be a criminal proceeding’

Fort Worth, Texas (Nov. 21, 2006)—The Allied Pilots Association (APA), collective bargaining agent for the 13,000 pilots of American Airlines (NYSE: AMR), has issued a statement calling for the release of the two pilots of an ExcelAire Embraer Legacy 600 that was involved in an apparent mid-air collision with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 on Sept. 29 over Brazil. The two pilots, who are U.S. citizens, were required by Brazilian authorities to surrender their passports and have been detained since the accident.

APA previously issued a statement on Oct. 11 emphasizing the importance of a “full, fair and timely investigation” into the cause of the accident. The Gol Airlines Boeing 737 went down with the loss of all 154 aboard, while the damaged ExcelAire jet landed safely at a remote military airfield.

“The Allied Pilots Association reiterates its call for a full, fair and timely accident investigation and respectfully requests that the Brazilian government permit Captain Joseph Lepore and First Officer Jan Paladino to return to the United States . We further call upon Brazilian authorities to conduct this accident investigation according to widely accepted International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13 guidelines, rather than as a criminal proceeding. It has long been understood that criminalizing the accident investigation process has a serious chilling effect on its effectiveness, since parties to an accident are likely to be less forthcoming with potentially vital information.

“APA is also asking the U.S. government to express to Brazilian authorities the need to permit the two pilots to return to their homes, as well as the importance of conducting the accident investigation in accordance with ICAO Annex 13.

“In closing, we will continue to keep everyone affected by this tragic accident in our thoughts and prayers.”

That is the full text of the pilot union’s statement.

Founded in 1963, APA is headquartered in Fort Worth , Texas . There are currently 2,852 American Airlines pilots on furlough. The furloughs began shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Also, several hundred American Airlines pilots are on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s Web site address is www.alliedpilots.org. American Airlines is the nation’s largest passenger carrier.

broadreach
21st Nov 2006, 21:57
Ahh, politics

Just to put the daggers away, CAOS is right. Corruption has nothing to do with this.

The Legacy crews’ passports are being held by the Federal Police, part of the Judiciary.

The Federal Police have also been pressing the airforce for release of all details they have on the accident. The airforce have resisted, maintaining it’s not a criminal investigation.

You might say the Legacy crew are the Federal Police’s hostages against the airforce, who would (imho) have no restrictions to the crews’ return.

The airforce are relenting though; some ATC staff have been been interviewed by the FP (delayed due to collective sick leave) and the controllers directly involved are reportedly to be interviewed tomorrow. The defense minister, head of the airforce and president of the civil ATC workers were heard at a Senate hearing this morning, where Brigadier Bueno (airforce) explained that ATC “may have made a mistake” by passing on erroneous information in good faith: a change of shift occurred shortly after the Legacy’s TACS malfunctioned and, based on primary radar, the controller handing over told his replacement the Legacy was at FL360, as per flight plan. I didn’t watch the hearing and don’t know nor have I heard of any questions asked as to the delay noticing there was only a primary radar signal.

Optimism returning over return of the passports. When ATC people have told PF what everyone else seems to know already it will be difficult to for the PF to avoid appearing plain stupid if they persist.

Good on you for writing to senators and congressmen. Hope IFALPA, ALPA, APA etc are sending copies to the media (including Brazilian media!).

caos
21st Nov 2006, 22:49
Caos, sorry for the misunderstanding. My intentions were not to begin a new war.
I didn´t mean to imply myself in a political discussion. Simply trying to point out that these countries, which no long ago where still managed by military, keep some services (including airspace) controlled by them (* 1) , and the thing is that I think that it should be done by professional trained people (* 2) . You don´t have to mix the air force of a country with the civilian control of airspace, because then you cook it, you eat it (* 3) .
If you want to argue about corruption, I sure could tell you a couple of things of the countries you mentioned, and even yours, but it´s off topic (* 4) .
(* 1) In all our countries Air Force have the control of Air Space before military governments.
(* 2) Of course they are professionals, not kids playing Playstation.
Brazil
Escola de Especialistas de Aeronáutica (EEAR)
Argentina
Centro de Instrucción, Perfeccionamiento y Experimentación (CIPE)
Chile
Fuerza Aerea de Chile (FACH)
(* 3) Why not? , professionals are professionals in any place.
(* 4) Sure, corruption exist worldwide, yours too.

agusaleale
21st Nov 2006, 23:45
For me it sounds pretty much clear, since a couple of weeks, that there was nothing to blame on the Legacy pilots.
I think they are in prison, even if they stay at a 5 star hotel.
I can´t imagine they are going to the beach or shopping, as there are 200 millions of brazilian people outside, believing in their guilty.
If they are not guilty and they are not even charged, why not let them return to the States, if everything is clear.
Don´t you remember that Brazil was the only in asking american tourists the same treatment their citizens received in USA, proceding to take fingerprints and photographs. I think that USA had good reasons, but for Brazil it´s simply a revenge.
Everything in Brazil points out that controllers had the big responsiblity in the tragedy, but even so, they don´t release the pilots.
Then, could you please Caos explain clearly to me, WHY?

flash8
22nd Nov 2006, 00:20
My first thoughts are with the 154 people who died a terrifying and meaningless death.

Secondly, the Pilots are effectively under house arrest. If this happened in the states to a US carrier, do you think those guys would be allowed home to Brazil? Would they ****.

The Country has a duty to protect their citizens and I have read absolutely nothing that shows that these pilots have been mistreated, in fact if anything, to the contrary.

Pending the investigations conclusions (when we can all judge based on facts) I think its a reasonable decision the Brazilians have made. Don't forget the NTSB, Boeing and the FAA are involved in the investigation. I have no doubts it will be as fair and balanced as any other report. Although people here seem to be armchair investigators and have already made their mind up.

It also disturbs me that the reporter on board is milking this story for all it is worth without any sympathy for those poor people, despicable and shameful.

If I were one of the crew I'd want to stay and assist in any way possible. It wouldn't cross my mind to leave. But.. I guess I'm in the minority.

caos
22nd Nov 2006, 00:24
For me it sounds pretty much clear, since a couple of weeks, that there was nothing to blame on the Legacy pilots.
I think they are in prison, even if they stay at a 5 star hotel.
I can´t imagine they are going to the beach or shopping, as there are 200 millions of brazilian people outside, believing in their guilty.
If they are not guilty and they are not even charged, why not let them return to the States, if everything is clear.
Don´t you remember that Brazil was the only in asking american tourists the same treatment their citizens received in USA, proceding to take fingerprints and photographs. I think that USA had good reasons, but for Brazil it´s simply a revenge.
Everything in Brazil points out that controllers had the big responsiblity in the tragedy, but even so, they don´t release the pilots.
Then, could you please Caos explain clearly to me, WHY?

Sure, cleary explained at broadreach's post page 40 post #790, or at my post #778 (page 39), also mentioned in post #761 and 764.
Justice take their time to make investigation, at the end of the investigation they decide if there is any charge against anybody.
Note, Justice is not Air Force or Aeronautic.
Anti North Americans feelings exist worldwide, in some countries it is stronger than others (talking at population level), Brazil is one.

vapilot2004
22nd Nov 2006, 07:36
This just in:

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Air traffic controllers believed an executive jet was flying at a lower altitude when it collided with a commercial airliner over the Amazon, killing 154 people in the country's worst air disaster, Brazil's air force commander told a Senate committee Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Luiz Carlos da Silva Bueno said flight controllers believed the plane was flying at 36,000 feet, although it was actually at 37,000 feet _ the same altitude at which Gol Airlines flight 1907 was flying.

Transcripts suggest that air traffic controllers at another tower may have authorized the executive jet to fly at 37,000 feet, which would mean the two towers suffered a communications breakdown.

The Sept. 29 midair collision sent the Gol plane plunging into dense Amazon rain forest, killing all 154 aboard. The executive jet landed safely with all seven people aboard unharmed.

The controller in charge "didn't have a shadow of a doubt that the plane was at 360," Bueno told the committee, using the air-traffic term for 36,000 feet.

Transcripts indicate that the Embraer Legacy jet may have been authorized by the tower in Sao Jose dos Campos to fly at 37,000 feet to the Amazon city of Manaus, although its original flight plan had it making that portion of the flight at a different altitude.

"At departure air traffic control cleared the Legacy to Manaus at 37,000 feet," said Robert Torricella, a lawyer for ExcelAire, which owns the Legacy. "Absent a contrary clearance by air traffic control, the Legacy was required to remain at that altitude."

The Legacy's two American pilots had their passports seized shortly after the crash and have been waiting for prosecutors to decide whether to charge them with involuntary manslaughter. The pilots deny any wrongdoing.


Washington DC rumours confirm our State Department has been pressing Brazil a bit harder on this in the past 2 days. Good job to any and all letter writers.

It appears that we can welcome our guys back home very soon. :ok:




We should try to understand that the Brazilian government were only using established laws regarding the pilots detention and while I would not wish to have my passport seized during an investigation in a foreign land, we need to realise that things could have been worse for them.

ATC Watcher
22nd Nov 2006, 07:59
This start to make sense , and with no mode C and with vertical radar responses close to 360, (if those were avail on the label) , no communications between pilots and ATC, and a wrong estimate on the Gol opposite , I thing we are probably getting close. But this remains speculation.

What I still do not get from these new revelations ( if proven correct later on , as these are media reports ) is that, whatever the altitude cleared by the previous ATC unit,( if the "Tower" they talked about is the previous ATS unit) on first call to any ATS unit any crew has to report altitude. (This is ICAO STD and also used to verify Moce C accuracy, and this must be part of every aircraft operator SOP ) If these revelations are correct, it would mean that the crew on initial contact did not do this, and if that was the case , that the controller did not request this , as he must do. A double error once again.

Another ATC possible scenario would be that the Legacy was coordinated to Brasilia at 360, but remained a 370 after a verbal coordination that got lost in a shift change . If the shift change took place after the loss of Mode C by the Legacy, and there was no other traffic of concern for hunderds of miles around,and the Legacy crew did overfly numerous mandatory reporting points without calling,( and reporting his altitude ) then we have another credible scenario, as all the normal cross check possibilities are gone.

Quite a complex scenario, but a similar patern as we see in other collisions.

In any case the 2 pilots should leave Brazil now. They will find nothing new or they would have done so already.

threemiles
22nd Nov 2006, 09:30
Please, don't make it more complicated than it is. This gives new arguments to those that believe in the sole responsibility of the pilots .

and a wrong estimate on the Gol opposite
Never been mentioned and pure speculation, GOL was in radar contact all the time until collision and transferred to Brasilia already, though still in Manaus airspace (10 NM Northwest of border).

If these revelations are correct, it would mean that the crew on initial contact did not do this
Flight was planned from SBSJ to BRS at FL370 and cleared to FL370 and pilots reported at FL370 when checking in to the last assigned freq 125.05 shortly before BRS. Only filed was a level change to FL360 over BRS, but it was never requested nor cleared. The Mode C label showed 370 until it was lost 53 NM NW of BRS. At this point ATC was still aware of the flight being at 370. Thereafter this information was lost. A shift change may have contributed.

Legacy crew did overfly numerous mandatory reporting points Only two (BRS, TERES) until it started calling (see map). Omitting position reports when in radar contact is standard in most countries and may also have been explicitly requested by the controller (transcripts will show)

In any case the 2 pilots should leave Brazil now. They will find nothing new or they would have done so already.
I fully agree :-)

agusaleale
22nd Nov 2006, 09:48
http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/cotidiano/ult95u128472.shtml
Comandante da FAB diz que Natal não terá atrasos em vôos
"O presidente da Anac fez críticas a falta de recursos para o setor aéreo que, segundo ele, opera no limite por falta de investimentos. Ele observou que nos últimos anos a aviação cresceu 26% enquanto que a economia apenas 3%"
The president of ANAC criticised the lack of resources for the air sector that, from his opinion, operates up to the limits by the lack of investments. He observed that in the last year aviation incremented 26%, but economy just a mere 3%.

http://oglobo.globo.com/pais/mat/2006/11/21/286740241.asp
During the audience, the chief of the DCEA (Departamento de Controle do Espaco Aerea), mayor Paulo Roberto Vilarinho, affirmed that the Aeronautic Comand get surprised by the accident. According to him, such kind of accident was imposible to occur. Questioned by Senator Heráclito Fortes if there was a controller failure, because the country has a modern system that should´ve evited the tragedy, mayor Vilarinho answered:
-I got astounded such as you Mr. It was impossible to occur such a thing.
Vilarinho got suprised by senator Heráclito Fortes during the audience. Vilarinho said that the Gol accident was the first crash between two airplanes in the country. Heráclito reacted saying that two other cases happened between military airplanes, in 1930 and 1950.

http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/cotidiano/ult95u128454.shtml
"Os controladores deveriam ter sido ouvidos em outubro, mas apresentaram atestados médicos e adiaram os depoimentos. Os documentos foram assinados por médicos da própria FAB (Força Aérea Brasileira), e afirmavam que os controladores convocados estavam sob tratamento psiquiátrico.
A expectativa é que os depoimentos ocorram até o final da tarde desta terça e sejam concluídos na quarta"
Controllers should have testified in october, but they presented medical certificates and diferred their declarations. These documents have been prepared by doctors from the same Brazilian Air Force, and they affirmed that controllers were undergoing psyquiatric treatment.
..expectations are that testimonies will be concluded on day 22.

Seems to me lot of time they had (Air Force and Controllers) to prepare and agree with the testimonies.

ATC Watcher
22nd Nov 2006, 10:13
This gives new arguments to those that believe in the sole responsibility of the pilots .

Your words, not mine and definitively not my point. As I said many times I do not care about responsibilities and blames. Not interesting .

( This is BTW, the problem I have with you, you keep on wanting people to be blamed for errors. If I take that part away from your posts, I find what you say very interesting and constructive. Change the tone, and you will find we might be more in agreement than you think )

GOL was in radar contact all the time until collision and transferred to Brasilia already

yes, by Manaus, but we find nowhere that the Gol called Brasilia a/ nor that they had it on radar prior the collision. It will help to have info on the Gol R/T.
Therefore my speculative remark. .


pilots reported at FL370 when checking in to the last assigned freq 125.05 shortly before BRS.

How do you know ? have you seen the transcripts ?

The Mode C label showed 370 until it was lost 53 NM NW of BRS.

Have you seen the radar video ? But you are probably right there I guess.


. Omitting position reports when in radar contact is standard in most countries and may also have been explicitly requested by the controller (transcripts will show)


You might be right , but unless you've seen the transcripts you do not know that.

Your scenario is as speculative as any other at this point no ?

lomapaseo
22nd Nov 2006, 12:47
.

.......... Don't forget the NTSB, Boeing and the FAA are involved in the investigation. I have no doubts it will be as fair and balanced as any other report. Although people here seem to be armchair investigators and have already made their mind up.

............
.

I'll just coment on this part of your statement for now.

I wonder if you could define for us the involvement of the NTSB, FAA and Boeing in this investigation and how this might influence the judicial decision to keep the pilots from returning to family and friends?

What evidence exists that the NTSB, FAA and Boeing are actively working with the Brazilian authorities and contributing to the understanding of this accident on site?

Have there been any news conferences where these parties participated with their brazilian counterparts, lending any support for the credibility of the investigation?

jondc9
22nd Nov 2006, 16:37
OF interest::: NTSB update on MIDAIR

note: 737 outer left wing not found yet

flight plan for LEGACY jet involved altitude changes...odd in my view...but we all know a CLEARANCE is the last legit altitude.

please read on...quite interesting>


************************************************************
NTSB ADVISORY
************************************************************

National Transportation Safety Board
Washington, DC 20594

November 22, 2006

************************************************************

UPDATE ON BRAZILIAN INVESTIGATION INTO SEPTEMBER
MIDAIR COLLISION OVER AMAZON JUNGLE

************************************************************

The government of Brazil has asked the National
Transportation Safety Board to disseminate the following
factual information on the progress of its investigation
into a midair collision over the Brazilian Amazon jungle on
September 29, 2006, between a Boeing 737-800 (PR-GTD)
operated by Gol Airlines of Brazil, and an Embraer Legacy
600 business jet (N600XL) owned and operated by Excelaire of
Long Island, New York.

The accident investigation is being conducted under the
authority of the Brazilian Aeronautical Accident Prevention
and Investigation Center (DIPAA). Under the provisions of
ICAO Annex 13, the United States, as state of registry and
operator of the Excelaire Legacy, and state of manufacture
of the Boeing 737 and Honeywell avionics equipment in both
airplanes, has provided an accredited representative and
technical advisors for the investigation. The U.S. team
includes the accredited representative from the major
aviation accident investigations division of the NTSB, as
well as technical advisors in operations, systems, air
traffic control, flight recorders, and aircraft performance.
Additional technical advisors from Boeing, Excelaire,
Honeywell, and FAA have also been included.

The accident occurred about 4:57 pm Brasilia standard time.
The Boeing 737 was destroyed by in-flight breakup and impact
forces; all 154 occupants were fatally injured. The
wreckage of the 737 was located in remote jungle terrain
with very difficult access. Brazilian military search and
rescue personnel have located the flight recorders and all
significant portions of the wreckage except the outer
portion of the left wing. The Legacy N600XL experienced
damage to its left wing and left horizontal stabilizer and
performed an emergency landing at the Cachimbo Air Base,
approximately 60 miles northwest of the collision site.
There was no further damage to the airplane, and the 2 crew
members and 5 passengers were not injured. The airplane
remained at the base and significant components have been
tested and recovered from the aircraft.

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area of
the accident. Both aircraft were operating on instrument
flight rules, on instrument flight plans and clearances.
The Boeing 737 was a scheduled domestic air carrier flight
enroute from the Eduardo Gomes International Airport,
Manaus, Brazil; to the Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek
Airport, Brasilia. The Legacy N600XL was enroute from the
Prof. Urbano Ernesto Stumpf airport, San Jose dos Campos,
Brazil (SBSJ), to a stopover in Manaus, and eventually
enroute back to the U.S. This was Excelaire's initial
flight with this aircraft, taking delivery from the Embraer
factory and a planned flight to Excelaire's home base in New
York.

History of flights:

The Legacy N600XL departed SBSJ at about 2:51 pm. The filed
flight plan included a routing via the OREN departure
procedure to Pocos beacon, then airway UW2 to Brasilia VOR
(BRS), airway UZ6 to Manaus. The cruise altitude was filed
as FL370, with a planned change to FL360 at BRS, and to
FL380 at the TERES navigational fix, approximately 282 miles
north of BRS.

After takeoff, N600XL was issued a number of interim
altitudes during climb, all of which were read back. The
flight was cleared to proceed direct to Araxa VOR (on airway
UW2), and at 3:11 pm was cleared to climb to FL370. At 3:33
pm, the airplane leveled at FL370.

At 3:35 pm, the Boeing 737 departed Eduardo Gomes airport,
requesting FL370 as a cruise altitude, and a routing via UZ6
to BRS. The airplane reached FL370 at 3:58 pm. There were
no anomalies in communications with or radar surveillance of
the Boeing 737 throughout the flight.

At 3:51 pm, an air traffic controller in the Brasilia ACC
(CINDACTA 1) instructed N600XL to change frequencies to the
next controller's sector. The crew of N600XL reported in on
the assigned frequency that the flight was level at FL370.
ATC acknowledged and instructed the crew to "ident" (flash
their transponder). Radar indicates that the ident was
observed. This was the last two-way communication between
N600XL and ATC. At this time the airplane was approximately
40 nautical miles south of BRS.

At 3:56pm the Legacy N600XL passed BRS level at FL370.
There is no record of a request from N600XL to the control
agencies to conduct a change of altitude, after reaching
flight level 370. The airplane made calls, but there is no
communication in which it requested a change of flight
level. There is also no record of any instruction from air
traffic controllers at Brasilia Center to the aircraft,
directing a change of altitude.

When the airplane was about 30 miles north-northwest of BRS,
at 4:02 pm, the transponder of N600XL was no longer being
received by ATC radar. A transponder reports a unique code,
aiding radar identification, and provides an accurate
indication of the airplane's altitude. Additionally, the
transponder is a required component for the operation of
Traffic Collision Avoidance System equipment, commonly
called the TCAS system.

Between 3:51 pm and 4:26 pm, there were no attempts to
establish radio communications from either the crew of
N600XL or ATC. At 4:26 pm the CINDACTA 1 controller made a
"blind call" to N600XL. Subsequently until 4:53 pm, the
controller made an additional 6 radio calls attempting to
establish contact. The 4:53 call instructed the crew to
change to frequencies 123.32 or 126.45. No replies were
received.

There is no indication that the crew of N600XL performed any
abnormal maneuvers during the flight. Flight Data Recorder
information indicates that the airplane was level at FL370,
on course along UZ6, and at a steady speed, until the
collision. Primary (non-transponder) radar returns were
received corresponding to the estimated position of N600XL
until about 4:30 pm. For 2 minutes, no returns were
received, then returns reappeared until 4:38 pm. After that
time, radar returns were sporadic.

Beginning at 4:48 pm, the crew of N600XL made a series of 12
radio calls to ATC attempting to make contact. At 4:53, the
crew heard the call instructing them to change frequencies,
but the pilot did not understand all of the digits, and
requested a repeat. No reply from ATC was received. The
pilot made 7 more attempts to establish contact.
At 4:56:54 pm the collision occurred at FL370, at a point
about 460 nautical miles north-northwest of BRS, on airway
UZ6.

There was no indication of any TCAS alert on board either
airplane, no evidence of pre-collision visual acquisition by
any flight crew member on either aircraft, and no evidence
of evasive action by either crew.

Wreckage and damage examination indicates that it is likely
the left winglet of the Legacy (which includes a metal spar)
contacted the left wing leading edge of the Boeing 737. The
impact resulted in damage to a major portion of the left
wing structure and lower skin, ultimately rendering the 737
uncontrollable. Flight recorder information ceased at an
approximate altitude of 7,887 feet.

After the collision, the crew of N600XL made numerous
further calls to ATC declaring an emergency and their intent
to make a landing at the Cachimbo air base.
At 5:02 pm, the transponder returns from N600XL were
received by ATC.

At 5:13 pm, an uninvolved flight crew assisted in relaying
communications between N600XL and ATC until the airplane
established communication with Cachimbo tower.

Investigative activities completed to date:

Flight recorders from both airplanes were recovered and
downloaded at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada
(TSB) laboratories. Transcriptions of the cockpit voice
recorders (CVRs) were prepared (the transcript of the
Legacy's CVR was produced at the NTSB's laboratory in
Washington, D.C.) and data from flight data recorders
obtained.

Initial interviews and medical examinations were conducted
with the crew of the Legacy. Air Traffic Control data was
gathered. Preliminary tests of the avionics equipment on the
Legacy were performed. Wreckage of the 737 was examined.

Future investigative activity:

Additional investigative work will include laboratory tests
of the avionics components removed from the Legacy, an
examination of the operating procedures of the avionics,
interviews with ATC personnel, examination of ATC practices
and comparison between Brazilian and FAA procedures, a
technical examination of ATC communication and surveillance
systems, and further examination of the training provided to
the operators.

The Investigator in Charge estimates a 10-month timeline for
the investigation. The first phase, data gathering is
estimated to take approximately 45 days, although some
further data gathering remains to be completed. Analysis of
the data is estimated to take 90 days followed by a
preliminary report with conclusions 120 days afterward.
Preparation of the final report and review by involved
parties and States is estimated at a further 30 days each.

- 30 -

Brazilian Contact: Brazilian Aeronautical
Accident Prevention
& Investigation Center
55-61-3329-9160

NTSB Media Contact: Ted Lopatkiewicz
(202) 314-6100
lopatt@<hidden>




************************************************************

RomeoTangoFoxtrotMike
22nd Nov 2006, 18:37
I'll just coment on this part of your statement for now.
I wonder if you could define for us the involvement of the NTSB, FAA and Boeing in this investigation and how this might influence the judicial decision to keep the pilots from returning to family and friends?
What evidence exists that the NTSB, FAA and Boeing are actively working with the Brazilian authorities and contributing to the understanding of this accident on site?
Have there been any news conferences where these parties participated with their brazilian counterparts, lending any support for the credibility of the investigation?
The NTSB have released this press release (http://www.ntsb.gov/Pressrel/2006/061122a.htm)

Smurfjet
22nd Nov 2006, 20:39
From the above NTSB link.
Between 3:51 pm and 4:26 pm, there were no attempts to establish radio communications from either the crew of N600XL or ATC. At 4:26 pm the CINDACTA 1 controller made a "blind call" to N600XL.

How can the first attempt at 4:26 pm from the CINDACTA1 controller be a 'blind call'?

lomapaseo
22nd Nov 2006, 20:45
The NTSB have released this press release (http://www.ntsb.gov/Pressrel/2006/061122a.htm)

Thank you for the link. Now we may compare the press releases from Brazil with this summary.

bubbers44
22nd Nov 2006, 21:59
Seven attempts by Legacy to contact ATC with no response within about 3 minutes before the crash per the NTSB report after a frequency change they couldn't understand should confirm this investigation should go on without the pilots being detained for possible criminal charges. Are the ATC people involved with this investigation also restricted from leaving the country? I hope Brazil does the right thing and let the pilots go home to their family while this long investigation takes place.

FlyingRabbit
22nd Nov 2006, 23:14
Funny how this almost seem to look like two sides each one rooting for the other party to be the guilty one. I am not in anyway linked to aviation (apart from being the occasional pax), but common sense tells me it´s very unlikely that only one of all the players involved on this tragic event will pick up the guilty tab. So yes, probably ATC played an important role, as well as the Legacy pilots, maybe even the Gol plane for all we know. I don´t mind speculation (this IS a rumour network afterall), but some people go way out of the acceptable, imho. Wait and see, folks. And no, I do not believe in guilty parts in an event like this, pretty much everybody is a victim in one way or another.

Living in Rio myself, I can assure our Spanish friend that there are not 200 million Brazilians waiting for the first sight of the Legacy guys to mob on them. It is almost a consensus here that these guys should go home immediately, unless they´re still playing some sort of role on the investigation (which I don´t think they are). But I agree, the image of Americans being held hostage in some military-driven Banana Republic in South America is too tempting to be ignored.:rolleyes:

broadreach
22nd Nov 2006, 23:37
Flying RAbbit

....there are not 200 million Brazilians waiting for the first sight of the Legacy guys to mob on them. It is almost a consensus here that these guys should go home immediately...

Agree entirely.

lomapaseo
From my reading the Brazilian preliminary report and the NTSB one are the same.

bubbers44
23rd Nov 2006, 01:35
OK, then who has the power to release these pilots?

Omykron
23rd Nov 2006, 03:24
OK, then who has the power to release these pilots?
Brazilian STF/STJ (Supreme Federal Court/Supreme Justice Court... Guess is something like to the supreme court in USA).

Good Morning,
Last week I wrote to the rep's of the two pilots being held against their will. Won't you join me in writing the Brazilain President this week?

IF the president could read..... :} (yes, Lula is the "functional illiterate" in Brazil. He hates to read.)


- Argentina have a high level of corruption.
Being Brazilian, I just have one thing to say about the quote.
roflmao :}

just for notes.
Brazilian Flight Rules for Comm Fail, that investigators want to know why were not followed "by the book":
Follow, according to the flight plan clearance, until the clearance boundary and, if this is not the desired airfield, continue the flight according with the flight plan presented.
Adjust your flight to arrive over the basic radio-aid in destination airfield/airport at the estimated time to arrive in flight plan, or in the limit of 30 minutes after.ATC
Pertinent information will be supplied to the other aircraft in the vicinity of the position vain of aircraft with comm fail.
As soon as possible that the ATS have information about aircraft with comm fail, at his jurisdiction, the ATS will provide information about the flight in comm fail to the ATS in the flight plan.the investigators want know what happened during the shift exchange, and why they did not make an alert to the GOL's 737 of the aircraft in comm fail, with unknow altitude, and squawk off.

vapilot2004
23rd Nov 2006, 04:23
OK, then who has the power to release these pilots?

The Brazilian civil authority.


With the authorization given to the NTSB to release this report, we can see that the Brazilian government finally took heed of the US Dept of State's call for action.

Latest back channel news (rumours, rumours) from Washington suggests the men will be processed out of Brazil's civil system. Possibly within days.

threemiles
23rd Nov 2006, 07:55
unless they´re still playing some sort of role on the investigation

They can play this role even when they are home. There was never any reason to keep them.

agusaleale
23rd Nov 2006, 09:10
It is almost a consensus here that these guys should go home immediately, unless they´re still playing some sort of role on the investigation (which I don´t think they are). But I agree, the image of Americans being held hostage in some military-driven Banana Republic in South America is too tempting to be ignored.:rolleyes:


If that´s right, then the public opinion in Brazil would go in one direction, in order to release the pilots. The public opinion is very important sometimes in a process like this, becasue it would assure enough pressure to the people who decide about releasing the pilots, that thery are doing right.

What do you think if the same tragedy happened, but instead of being americans the pilots of the Legacy, they where from, let´s say, Venezuela.
Do you think that they were going to stay for such a long time detained in Rio?

agusaleale
23rd Nov 2006, 10:13
http://www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/7565/53/
Don't Blame Us, But Blind Spots and the Americans, Say Brazil's Air Controllers
Written by José Wilson Miranda Wednesday, 22 November 2006
The 13 Brazilian air traffic controllers who were on duty in the Brasília control tower, September 29, when a shock between a Boeing 737 and a Legacy executive jet ended up causing Brazil's deadliest air accident ever, with 154 deaths, say they have no part in the accident despite what the media or authorities might have said in recent days.
Normando Augusto Cavalcanti, the lawyer representing all of them, says his clients are unanimous in declaring two things: they are not at fault for the air accident and they all agree that there is a blind spot, where communication is very hard, in the area the collision occurred.
Cavalcanti also revealed that the flight controllers are very upset at the congressional testimony by Air Force commander, Luiz Carlos da Silva Bueno, who told Brazilian senators, Tuesday, November 21, that a misinformation by a controller in Brasília might have contributed to the crash.
According to the controllers, they were induced to error by a defective equipment. They argue that the radar showed that the Legacy was at 36,000 feet when flying through Brasília. In reality the executive jet was at 37,000 feet, the same altitude in which the Boeing was flying only in the opposite direction.
As for the "blind zone," the lawyer informed, this is an old problem that has been presented in the past to the Brazilian air authorities: "The controllers had already told the Air Force about these problems," said Cavalcanti.
Contradicting Defense Minister, Waldir Pires, who has often stated that Brazil has no problem of communication in the skies, the flight controllers assert that airplanes cannot talk to control towers in the North of Mato Grosso state where the accident occurred.
This "blind zone," according to them starts 200 miles north of Brasília and stretches to almost the Mato Grosso and Amazonas states border.
Once again, since the information has already appeared in the media, the lawyer stressed that the controllers at work that day were not tired or in any condition that would adversely affect their performance.
He also denied a report published in the press that the controller who was guiding the Legacy was 20 years old and had no experience. According to the lawyer, the worker in question is 27 and has 5 years of experience in the job.
After ruling out any chance that the controllers might have made a mistake, Cavalcanti said he has two possible explanations for the tragedy: inducement to a mistake due to a failure in the communication system or an error made by the Legacy's American pilots.

FlyingRabbit
23rd Nov 2006, 11:16
What do you think if the same tragedy happened, but instead of being americans the pilots of the Legacy, they where from, let´s say, Venezuela.
Do you think that they were going to stay for such a long time detained in Rio?

Yes, I think so. This has nothing to do with the fact that they are from USA. Any foreigner would be in the same situation. Well, maybe not on a 5-star hotel, but they´d be here anyway. Ridiculous, but unfortunately true.

55yrsSLC_10yearsPPL
23rd Nov 2006, 12:38
I do not wish for anyone to be found guilty nor am I knowledgeble enough to comment on the Brasilian legal system - I just wish to understand the correct SOP applicable when I am being carted through the sky.

Either of two things should have happened if I read the below rules and the NTSB statement:


The flight announces being at the waypoint and askes for FL 360 as per flight plan - receives approval and sinks to FL 360
The flight calls with a request for FL 360, receives no reply and sinks to FL 360 seven minutes later as per ICAOOnly Transatlantic rules deviate from the ICAO procedure inasmuch as present flight level must be maintained in the absence of ATC clearance for an other FL.

ICAO Annex 02 - Rules of the Air , 3.6.5.2 Communication failure.
3.6.5.2.2 If in instrument meteorological conditions or when the pilot of an IFR flight considers it inadvisable to complete the flight in accordance with 3.6.5.2.1 a), the aircraft shall:

a) unless otherwise prescribed on the basis of regional air navigation agreement, in airspace where radar is not used in the provision of air traffic control, maintain the last assigned speed and level, or minimum flight altitude if higher, for a period of 20 minutes following the aircraft’s failure to report its position over a compulsory reporting point and thereafter adjust level and speed in accordance with the filed flight plan;

b) in airspace where radar is used in the provision of air traffic control, maintain the last assigned speed and level, or minimum flight altitude if higher, for a period of 7 minutes following:
1) the time the last assigned level or minimum flight altitude is reached; or
2) the time the transponder is set to Code 7600; or
3) the aircraft’s failure to report its position over a compulsory reporting point; whichever is later, and thereafter adjust level and speed in accordance with the filed flight plan;

London Mil
23rd Nov 2006, 13:03
55........ I read it the same. How does a pilot know whether he has been under a radar or non-radar service?

Regardless, I can see the queues of lawyers from here. :uhoh:

aardvark2zz
23rd Nov 2006, 13:15
b) in airspace where radar is used in the provision of air traffic control, maintain the last assigned speed and level, or minimum flight altitude if higher, for a period of 7 minutes following:
1) the time the last assigned level or minimum flight altitude is reached; or
2) the time the transponder is set to Code 7600; or
3) the aircraft’s failure to report its position over a compulsory reporting point; whichever is later, and thereafter adjust level and speed in accordance with the filed flight plan;

Were all the reporting points between Brasilia and the impact point compulsory ??

A310driver
23rd Nov 2006, 14:18
600XL passed BRS level at 370 as previously cleared and in radar contact with Mode C reporting working
ATC had info at that time that A/C was at 370 not 360
At 4:53 ATC had no confirmation of altitude of 600XL other than last mode C report NW of BRS which indicated 370
600 XL could not have realized it was in "lost com" situation until sometime after 4:53 as it heard ATC call at that time and tried to confirm freq with 7 callback atempts.
Collision occurred at 4:56 54.
What am I missing here???
If ATC believed that 600XL was supposed to be at 360 and the only information it had showed that the flight was still at 370 passing BRS based on Mode C, what was its duty in terms of Gol flight given its assessment of a lost com situation, and no report of an altitude change by 600XL? 660XL was cleared to remain level at 370 unless cleared otherwise by ATC or in the event of lost com provisions of rules. Any requirement for 600XL to change level without a clearance/instruction from ATC kicked-in only after ITS realization of lost com....which had to be sometime after 4:53. Collision occurred at 4:56 long before end of any 7 minute window.

ORAC
23rd Nov 2006, 15:01
According to the controllers, they were induced to error by a defective equipment. They argue that the radar showed that the Legacy was at 36,000 feet when flying through Brasília. In reality the executive jet was at 37,000 feet I wonder if that was a 3D height - and what the specification is of the radar that provided the data....

threemiles
23rd Nov 2006, 15:14
A few more inputs about responsibilities from ICAO PANS Doc 4444 Air Traffic Management

4.11.1.3 Under conditions specified by the appropriate
ATS authority, flights may be exempted from the requirement
to make position reports at each designated compulsory
reporting point or interval. ....
Note.— This is intended to apply in cases where adequate
flight progress data are available from other sources, e.g.
radar (see, Chapter 8, 8.6.4.4), and in other circumstances
where the omission of routine reports from selected flights is
found to be acceptable.
4.11.1.5 If a position report is not received at the
expected time, subsequent control shall not be based on the
assumption that the estimated time is accurate. Immediate
action shall be taken to obtain the report if it is likely to have
any bearing on the control of other aircraft.

Rule on position information and reporting when under
radar

8.6.4.1 An aircraft provided with radar service should be
informed of its position in the following circumstances:
...
8.6.4.3 Whenever practicable, position information shall
relate to positions or routes pertinent to the navigation of the
aircraft concerned and displayed on the radar map.
8.6.4.4 When so informed (//i.e. a radar position information was passed on,
the author//), the pilot may omit position
reports at compulsory reporting points or report only over
those reporting points specified by the air traffic services unit
concerned, including points at which air-reports are required
for meteorological purposes. Pilots shall resume position
reporting when so instructed and when advised that radar
service is terminated or that radar identification is lost.

Interruption or termination of radar service

8.6.7.1 An aircraft which has been informed that it is
provided with radar service should be informed immediately
when, for any reason, radar service is interrupted or
terminated.
AIRCRAFT RADIO TRANSMITTER FAILURE
8.8.3.1.1 If two-way communication is lost with an
aircraft, the radar controller should determine whether or not
the aircraft’s receiver is functioning by instructing the aircraft
on the frequency so far used to acknowledge by making a
specified manoeuvre and by observing the aircraft’s track, or
by instructing the aircraft to operate IDENT or to make code
changes.
Rules in Brazil may be locally adjusted, that can be found under the Jeppesen country information tab

bubbers44
23rd Nov 2006, 15:16
Legacy checked in with Brasilia at 1551 at FL370 and Brasilia acknowledged. Mode C was lost at 1602. No attempt was made to contact Legacy until 1626. Impact was at 1657. Lots of questions.

Ct.Yankee
23rd Nov 2006, 17:07
I find it hard to believe that this is a professional pilot's forum and most seem to accept that two of our fellow professional colleagues are be held against their will and the ICAO rules to protect the incompetence of the local ATC, military and local government agencies!!
Most anyone who has flown through Brazilian airspace can attest that it's not exactly fully capable of up to date performance. ( the self serving ATC job actions speak well for their incompetence )
The world's pilot professionals should feel threatened by the actions of Brazilian politicians!
Those two fellow professionals that are incarcerated by Brazilain politicians need our support!!

Omykron
23rd Nov 2006, 17:23
Were all the reporting points between Brasilia and the impact point compulsory ??UZ6 Waypoints 'till crash
BRS (Brasilia) VOR S15° 52.42' W048° 01.28'
TERES S12° 28.54' W051° 22.09'
NABOL S10° 33.67 W053° 11.76'
the crash is 10,8nm from NABOL.
NABOL is the Fix where the change of ACC occurs.

I wonder if that was a 3D height - and what the specification is of the radar that provided the data....
the primary radar gives a clue of altitude (I guess is absolute altitude) and is miss to use this way to measure altitude in a RVSM airspace.

According to FDR, those are the time that the N600XL tried to make contact, in UTC.
16h54min16
19h54min40
19h55min00
19h55min43
19h56min41
19h56min53
19h55min16
19h56min54 - collision time (GLO1907 FDR and N600XL FDR hour)

jondc9
23rd Nov 2006, 17:24
ct. yankee

and how should we support them? a boycott of brazillian airspace...I pledge not to fly to brazil or through their airspace till the boys come home.

earlier in this thread some of us who recalled the athens/swissair travesty mentioned it.

A LONG time ago when I had a chance to make a choice about where I flew, I made the choice...and my hat is off to ATC in Canada and the USA. I flew to Mexico Once and I thought it was not a fun situation.

I am relatively sure that the other first world aviation countries are fine too ( NZ, AUS, Japan, UK etc)


the IFALPA has made statements trying to hlep these two pilots despite the fact that neither pilot is a member of an IFALPA group. Thought the copilot seems to be a furloughed American Airlines pilot (APA, NOT ALPA)...I will bet this...when he does get recalled to American , he will try to fly only in the USA.

A310driver
23rd Nov 2006, 19:31
Further to my earlier post....................
If you start with 600XL crossing BRS at 15:56 LT, level at 370, after having just reported into CINDACTA (less than 5 minutes earlier) at 15:51 where it reported level at 370 and note that the ATC record indicates that Mode C continued(reporting 370) until 30nm NW of BRS at 16:02 at which time secondary radar was lost but primary continued, it is clear that all systems were normal up to this point.

At this time there would be no expectation that 600XL would descend to 360 because(1) the pilots had no way of knowing the Mode C was lost and (2) the condition triggering reversion to a flight plan altitude rather than an assigned altitude is loss of communications not loss of altitude reporting. Furthermore, the crew had every reason to believe it was still in "radar contact" and therefore not expected to make position reports.

CINDACTA made no attempt to contact the aircraft until 16:26 (one call) which was not received by 600XL. At 16:48 600XL began calling ATC(12 attempts) At 16:53 the CINDACTA controller called with a frequency change. 600XL received one or more of these transmissions but it was at least partially unintelligible (asked for clarification of frequency change assignment) and its reply was not received by ATC.

At this point, 600XL has heard a response to its calls(or would have every reason to believe that it was in response to its calls started a few minutes earlier) but it is not completely readable. It's now later than 16:53; Do we have lost communications yet??

Impact was recorded at 16:56:54.

The principal problem here is clear.

Let the pilots go home for some cold turkey today; the rest of the turkeys are somewhere else.

JJ Cruz
23rd Nov 2006, 19:53
Hi folks!

Since I noticed most contributors know nothing about the Brazilian legal system, I hop I can help you.
I am an aeronautical engineer from Sao Jose dos Campos, where the Legacy was designed and made. I also have intense contact with lawyers since I run a real estate business here. I am sure I can explain many doubts regarding the Legacy pilots passports seizure and release.

From the date of the crash, the Air Force organ in charge of aircraft accidents investigation started to do its work. It follows ICAO guidelines and it is a technical investigation, not a criminal one.

At the same time, state police (Brazil has several states, as the US), state prosecutors, the federal police (the Brazilian FBI) branch in Mato Grosso state and federal prosecutors based in Mato Grosso state started their own criminal investigations and asked state and federal judges in Mato Grosso state to seize the pilots passports. Both judges issued the order to seize the passports while the criminal investigations are pending.

Some weeks later, the state judge asked a higher court about the criminal investigation jurisdiction. This court ruled that this is a federal investigation and the state authorities dropped the case.

So now there are 2 investigations: the technical one, carried out by the Air Force (under the Department of Defense) and a criminal one, carried out by the federal police and the federal prosecuters.

The federal police is an organ under the Department of Justice. In theory, they could be stopped by political pressure. In the other hand, the federal prosecutors have independence from the executive branch of the Brazilian Government and the Department of Justice and they will continue to push for the pilots accusation.

Of course, the federal judges are not under the executive branch control, including the Department of Justice.

So, what are the options for the pilots? Their attorneys have to appeal to a higher court. They did it once and they lost. Now they are trying another movement and they may succeed. I think they will say to the court that Brazil is part of international aggreements that descriminalize aeronautical accidents.

By the way, the Air Force has tried to legally block the criminal investigation arguing that Brazil is part of international aggreements that descriminalize aeronautical accidents. It did not succeed so far and it was ordered to give all the available data to the federal police and prosecutors.

One way of action to release the pilots is to put the Brazilian Air Force and the Department of Defense at the pilots side, to testify for their release in court.

400drvr
23rd Nov 2006, 20:17
CT Yankee,
Your post is right on the money. I find it hard to believe that a professional pilot would do anything that would put the safety of his flight or the safety of others at risk knowingly.

JJ Cruz
23rd Nov 2006, 20:50
It was said here and elsewhere that only the LI pilots were "punished" so far and the traffic controllers passports were not seized.

The fact is that the traffic controllers are military, so they are not free to leave the country without permission.

In the eyes of the Brazilian justice they are being equally treated because they are all free to come and go inside the country (and it is a big country) and they are all not allowed to leave.

By the way, the traffic controllers were put on leave since the accident, they already hired lawyers and they blame the American pilots. The families already founded an association and it blames the pilots and the Union. I can remember a 1989 Varig accident over the Amazons where the pilots were sentenced to 4 years due to negligent behavior after 2 or more years of discussion...

In the present case, it is obvious that the ATC was incompetent, the control systems failed, the Legacy transponder failed and the pilots did not do their homework. They did not know the radio frequencies, they did not know the differences between Brazilian and FAA regulations regarding to loss of comm procedures and -- most of all -- they did not study the flight plan. If they studied the flight plan before they took off, they would know that the airway from Brasilia to Manaus has 2 ways and they would know that if they enter this airway in the wrong altitude they can hit something. That's the point, in the prosecutors point of view, that makes them chargeable of involuntary manslaughter.

The prosecutors will show this to the judge in 30 or 60 days and the pilots may be formally charged. I really don't know how the prosecutors will do, but the judge gave them much less time to reach a conclusion than it will take to the technical investigation to finish (10 months from the date of the crash).

Scurvy.D.Dog
23rd Nov 2006, 20:59
The clues were provided pages ago….. why wont some of you people think before typing! I find it hard to believe that this is a professional pilot's forum and most seem to accept that two of our fellow professional colleagues are be held against their will …. The first lesson here (as has been demonstrated time after time post accident and incident) .. is that NO official or connected individual (including politicians and agency representatives) should make ANY speculative comment UNTIL firm discovery of facts are made (FDR/CVR/RADAR etc) and are known! …. Whoever that agency buffoon was that said (in the days after the accident) the Legacy was changing altitude before the collision (obviously only looked at the vertical Primary data return jumping all over the place) … had they done the appropriate and professional thing from the outset and waited until FDR and CVR data confirmed or debunked that assumption the two Legacy pilots would likely already be at home … where they should have been immediately it was apparent (FDR/CVR) they had not done anything other than that which would be reasonably expected, irrespective of TXPDR/COMM management!
The basic premise here being that a system that is ‘potentially’ prone to deactivation/standby/mismanagement caused by a crew attempting to ‘indent’ is quite probably not the best design ergonomically in the first place! .. is that the crews fault? … in any event, it is only one possible factor and surely not a sufficient cause to hold them in Brazil!
.
…. Regarding ATS, the clues have already been posted here …. consider these hypothetical’s:-
.
- Regular comm.’s black spots
- Regular Radar (SSR and/or Prim) short term outages
- Less than optimum staff resources
- New equipment and procedures
- A data label (visible to both sectors) that is showing something like ???_360 for some time
- Cross sector silent coordination (electronic data handover … no voice)
.
.. and then add factors such as:-
.
- Normalised deviation
- A shift change
- Fatigue
.
… some, none or all may in the end have played a part in this tragedy (I do not know yet .. do any of you?), and yet people post things like.. and the ICAO rules to protect the incompetence of the local ATC, ….the differences between ICAO and US practices may or may not be relevant to crew mindset and this accident! … from what I have read it is by no means an attempt to ‘protect’ anyone, rather examine why those rules did not save the day (along with TXPDR/TCAS, ATS, and Avionics)!
.
.. have any of you looked at aircraft systems and thought:- why is it doing that? or did I hear that? or I didn’t input that? ….. have any of you realised something AFTER the FACT? … stones and glass houses!!
.
….. the penchant for individual blame is ill-informed and despicable! the self serving ATC job actions speak well for their incompetence….self serving .. really … I would have thought your safety was their prime concern ….. Bloody hell, 12 Controllers (if what has been posted here is correct) are under the pump with this investigation, are you or your colleagues satisfied they are not distracted or otherwise affected by this? … do you want them separating you at the moment? …. Ho do you suppose the Brazilians pluck that many controllers out of thin air to fill in and maintain the service? .. it is not rocket science! … your veiled accusation of industrial rather than safety being the driver for traffic metering is a puerile insult …. who dictates resource levels? … coalface ATC’s or Management??
.
I repeat, Air Traffic Controllers and Pilots are not in the business of making negligent mistakes! … unless and until it can be established that the ATS system did not inadvertently lead the ATC staff into believing (potentially misleading visual queues or the like) that separation existed when clearly it did not, then any accusatory comment is nothing more than emotive rubbish!Those two fellow professionals that are incarcerated by Brazilain politicians need our support!! … absolutely agreed! …. People are rightly up in arms about the Legacy crew’s predicament …. have a thought though for the Brazilian ATC’s who could individually, (by ill-informed comment here and elsewhere) wrongly face the wrath of grieving countrymen and women!! .. who is in greater potential danger??? :( The world's pilot professionals should feel threatened by the actions of Brazilian politicians! …. and the worlds ATC professionals have similar empathy and concern for the coalface ATC’s involved! :ugh:
.
.. isn’t it heartening to see members of our two professions .. seemingly wanting to hang the other! :mad:
.
…. Neanderthals!!! :hmm:

A310driver
23rd Nov 2006, 21:01
Seems to me you should stick to real estate as you obviously do not know anything about ATC or the ICAO rules and your attempt to characterize the pilots actions relative to these requirements are sophmoric.

filejw
23rd Nov 2006, 21:09
A310driver
JJ Cruzu understanding is of ATC rules is preschool more than anything.

ATC Watcher
23rd Nov 2006, 21:10
most of all -- they did not study the flight plan. If they studied the flight plan before they took off, they would know that the airway from Brasilia to Manaus has 2 ways and they would know that if they enter this airway in the wrong altitude they can hit something. That's the point, in the prosecutors point of view, that makes them chargeable of involuntary manslaughter.
.


This factis not entirely correct : in a Radar environment ATC can use all levels at his disposal tactically , opposite direction included. We do this all the time in Europe. So if the pilots did not know they were in Radio comm failure ( which I beleive they did not know ) then They did nothing wrong by staying at 370. They were not expecting to " hit something" as you put it.
If they knew they were in Comm failure at some point, , this becomes another matter.

It is still the duty of ATC to provide separation , and why it did not work here is of considerable interest to all of us. Nobody involved intended to have or to provoke an accident. There must be many other factors to cause this collision than not studying a flight plan carefully.

JJ Cruz
23rd Nov 2006, 21:16
It is a shame, but our Secretary of Defense is Mr. Waldir Pires.
He is an old politician in his 70s or 80s... He is clueless about defense, air space control or anything regarding his position.
So he is the preferred target of any journalist because he is a sure source of embarrassing remarks... Every day he makes a new one... Most of them start with "I did not know that..."...
He was the only Brazilian authority that blamed the LI pilots from the start, excepting the criminal prosecutors of course.
At least he is not related to the criminal investigation and even the organs under the Department of Defense seem not to pay attention to him.

Dear A310driver and filejw

What a warm welcome!

Cannot you be less hot bloodied? Or, instead, more specific in your critics?

I am not explaining technical issues. These are for you, plane drivers! I am sure there are lots of ATC errors, but these faults will not automatically let the Legacy pilots free.

I am just explaining some developments of the case in a legal point of view. For the judge and the prosecutors, this case is just like one where someone drives a car and runs over another person... It is involuntary manslaughter...

(yes, I quit engineering years ago!)


Nobody involved intended to have or to provoke an accident. There must be many other factors to cause this collision than not studying a flight plan carefully.

I agree 100% with you.
The question is if the court will.
Even in the US, you can be declared guilty of manslaughter when you kill without intention or when you act in some way that can harm people. Criminal prosecutors may not see the extensive chain of events that lead to any air crash. That's not their job. They just want to charge someone guilty...


If they knew they were in Comm failure at some point, , this becomes another matter.


Yes, they knew they were in radio comm failure...
Did you read the preliminary report?
http://www.ntsb.gov/Pressrel/2006/061122a.htm

Omykron
23rd Nov 2006, 22:29
So he is the preferred target of any journalist because he is a sure source of embarrassing remarks... Every day he makes a new one... Most of them start with "I did not know that..."...
Cruz, você está falando do lula e seu bordão nacional, não do Pires! Ele só remenda o Lula :}

Cruz, you are talking about president Lula and his classical word... not Pires! :}

JJ Cruz
23rd Nov 2006, 22:35
From airdisaster.com...

Let's get this story straight. What we nickname "government" is really the executive branch, meaning the president and all the Ministries. The executive branch also heads all military and police forces and is the only branch that can exercise foreign policy. Now, it was a judge, attending a request from the district attorney, that ordered retaining of the passports. The judicial branch is totally independent of the "government" (as you would expect in any modern nation) and not even the president can touch it's sovereign powers. Let's say this again, it was not the Air Force, nor the police, nor any "government" authority that requested the pilots be in Brazil. Even Defense Minister has said they don't need the pilots in Brazil. And I think Rufino said it again during the preliminary report.

And despite Sharkey's best attempts to make you think the pilots were grabbed, mugged, tortured, arrested and locked up in a cell deep where no judge can see, it remains a fact that their passports were retained through due process. They are not arrested, being charged, on house-arrest or had any other civil rights trampled. They're not even suspects. It's the equivalent of "don't get out of town" that you hear in the movies. They are free to go wherever they want as long as they don't leave Brazil.

While you may not agree with the judicial interference that's how a healthy system works, through due process. Let the lawyers handle it, it has nothing to do with politics or foreign policy.

agusaleale
24th Nov 2006, 00:35
It was said here and elsewhere that only the LI pilots were "punished" so far and the traffic controllers passports were not seized.

The fact is that the traffic controllers are military, so they are not free to leave the country without permission.

In the eyes of the Brazilian justice they are being equally treated because they are all free to come and go inside the country (and it is a big country) and they are all not allowed to leave.

By the way, the traffic controllers were put on leave since the accident, they already hired lawyers and they blame the American pilots. The families already founded an association and it blames the pilots and the Union. I can remember a 1989 Varig accident over the Amazons where the pilots were sentenced to 4 years due to negligent behavior after 2 or more years of discussion...

In the present case, it is obvious that the ATC was incompetent, the control systems failed, the Legacy transponder failed and the pilots did not do their homework. They did not know the radio frequencies, they did not know the differences between Brazilian and FAA regulations regarding to loss of comm procedures and -- most of all -- they did not study the flight plan. If they studied the flight plan before they took off, they would know that the airway from Brasilia to Manaus has 2 ways and they would know that if they enter this airway in the wrong altitude they can hit something. That's the point, in the prosecutors point of view, that makes them chargeable of involuntary manslaughter.

The prosecutors will show this to the judge in 30 or 60 days and the pilots may be formally charged. I really don't know how the prosecutors will do, but the judge gave them much less time to reach a conclusion than it will take to the technical investigation to finish (10 months from the date of the crash).

The case you coment with the Varig flight happened when a pilot entered a 270 deg heading into the flight computer, instead of 027deg and the aircraft had to make a forced landing in the jungle due to fuel exhaustion.

If that´s true, then don´t expect the Legacy pilots be freed within the next couple of years.
I think it´s time for any kind of international pressure to assure the freedom of the pilots.

caos
24th Nov 2006, 00:53
Yes, they knew they were in radio comm failure...
Did you read the preliminary report?
http://www.ntsb.gov/Pressrel/2006/061122a.htm

From NTSB report:
"Between 3:51 pm and 4:26 pm, there were no attempts to establish radio communications from either the crew of N600XL or ATC. "
Dont confuse with what happened before 3:56 pm :
"At 3:56pm the Legacy N600XL passed BRS level at FL370. There is no record of a request from N600XL to the control agencies to conduct a change of altitude, after reaching flight level 370. The airplane made calls, but there is no communication in which it requested a change of flight level."

A310driver
24th Nov 2006, 01:06
For a real estate guy who just signed-up today and who provides no qualifications in his profile and whose claims to fame appear to be that he lives in the same area where Embraers are made and that he used to be an engineer you certainly have a lot of opinions about things aeronautical/operational/technical.

Suggestion: You appear to be knowledgable about the Brazilian legal and political systems and have offered some very good insight.. Why don't you restrict your comments to those areas and leave the questions as to whether there was a Comm failure (from a regulatory point of view) and when that might have occurred (from a regulatory point of view) and whether airways are "two-way", to others on this thread who are knowledgeable in these subject matters......in which have demonstrated that you are not?

caos
24th Nov 2006, 01:09
Being Brazilian, I just have one thing to say about the quote.
roflmao :}

http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2006
Accepted worldwide :ugh:

methow
24th Nov 2006, 01:55
"They did not know the radio frequencies, they did not know the differences between Brazilian and FAA regulations regarding to loss of comm procedures and -- most of all -- they did not study the flight plan.

The radio frequencies are printed on the charts, so are lost comm procedures. In any case, one maintains the last altitude assigned when communications are lost... so what is your point?

Bottom line is the US pilots have testified, they have cooperated, and they should be let go. The Brazilian press, in cooperation with government officials have conspired to inflame and prejudice the public.

The Brazilian press has also gone out of their way to interpret explanations from US pilots commenting on the accident and to mischaracterize statements made by pilot unions in the US in such a way as to breed anti-pilot sentiment in Brazil. Now that US corporations and pilot unions have gone on record calling for the release of the US pilots in Brazil, perhaps the US government will take a more active role and get Paladino and LePore back home.


Denis

Dagger Dirk
24th Nov 2006, 03:21
As I understand it there are likely two facets of the collision that can be explained - and which would explain the collision's setup. However there are still some data gaps. Perhaps somebody can fill those in.
#1 - The Legacy Crew
The Legacy's transponder, according to Honeywell, was not amongst those KNOWN to be liable to quit to standby if the code change wasn't completed within 5 seconds. However the dual RMU-850 (Radio Management Unit that's part of the Primus 1000 digital avionics suite) has a known anomaly. The RMU control panel’s been narrowed down as a possible cause for the Legacy transponder (and TCAS) dropping off line unnoticeably – due to crew error (switchology) - and perhaps poor design?
.
The RMU has six keys on the side of the digital screen, along with a tuning knob. Two keys are used to program the plane's VHF comms radio, two are for the transponder, and two are for the collision avoidance system, or TCAS. Investigators are looking at whether the American pilots of the Legacy may have hit the wrong combination of keys, which would place the transponder in standby mode. It is known that the transponder on the Legacy was not operating before the collision but began working just afterward, when the pilots again urgently sought to re-establish comms and squawk Mayday.
.
The American pilots had used this model and similar RMUs for years, making a keying mistake unlikely unless they were distracted and mashing RMU buttons while urgently trying to re-establish radio contact with controllers.
.
The RMU's usually come in a dual configuration (i.e. one for each pilot). It's not known whether mutual interference is possible – i.e. if being simultaneously button-pressed by both pilots. Families of some of the GOL victims are alleging in a lawsuit filed in New York that the ExcelAire pilots improperly operated the RMU, accidentally placing the transponder in standby mode, and then compounded that error by "failing to take note of a warning light." If the transponder is ineptly switched to standby, the only warning of that to the pilots is a non-distinctive green light that reads "TCAS OFF". The lawsuit is also directed against Honeywell and argues that the key that puts the transponder into standby is located too close to another button pilots use to IDENT the aircraft for controllers (i.e. identify via a magnified blip) . If a line key is inadvertently hit twice, instead of once, for a function, then the transponder will revert to standby mode.
.
.
#2 - Brasilia Controllers
I have heard that the Cindacta-1 controller wasn't concerned about any height conflictions after the Legacy's transponder return was lost, simply because of another tag on their Thales screens that's generated by primary height-finding radar (that spelt out a height around the expected FL360, per flt pln) - and the factor put forward by Pprune Radar (see below). I'm a little unclear about this height-finder aspect. Is that a ground-based radar that's capable of generating a target height or is it an automated feed from one of the AEW&C Embraers that the Brazilian Air Force allegedly flies around the clock? Or is it either/both? How would/could its use for separation be authorized? Posts #460 & #823 refer.
.
From Pprune Radar post (#443)
Perhaps the investigation will reveal that the Brasilian ATC guys were basing the separation on the Legacy filing a FPL level at least 2000' away from that of the B737, and ICAO time parameters had been met such that they expected the Legacy to now be at that level, having followed published RT Failure procedures in an ICAO contracting States airspace ??
http://www.fab.mil.br/imprensa/midia/fotos/fotos/R99b.jpg

threemiles
24th Nov 2006, 12:12
How would/could its use for separation be authorized?

These systems are not mentioned in Doc 4444 Chapter 8 (Radar services, Separation) which is the base for civil international air traffic management and therefore the answer is "never". The only authorized system that can substitute a verbal altitude report by the pilot is - under certain prerequisites - a Mode C or Mode S transponder.

The 3D radar use is intended to uncover and follow drug flights crossing the Northwest border of the country.

JJ Cruz
24th Nov 2006, 14:29
Cruz, você está falando do lula e seu bordão nacional, não do Pires! Ele só remenda o Lula :}

Cruz, you are talking about president Lula and his classical word... not Pires! :}

Mr. Pires has learned with his boss to use the same excuses... After denying all evidences, now Mr. Pires says that he did not know the presence of black spots in the Amazons and that he was not aware of any work overload regarding the traffic controllers.

For a real estate guy who just signed-up today and who provides no qualifications in his profile and whose claims to fame appear to be that he lives in the same area where Embraers are made and that he used to be an engineer you certainly have a lot of opinions about things aeronautical/operational/technical.
I read this thread since the first day and, yes, I have signed up yesterday. I got my degree in aeronautical engineering in 1987 and worked for an Embraer subsidiary developing flight simulation software for 3 years, when I started my own business developing image processing software. Some years ago, I started another business in construction and real estate.Suggestion: You appear to be knowledgable about the Brazilian legal and political systems and have offered some very good insight.. Why don't you restrict your comments to those areas and leave the questions as to whether there was a Comm failure (from a regulatory point of view) and when that might have occurred (from a regulatory point of view) and whether airways are &quot;two-way&quot;, to others on this thread who are knowledgeable in these subject matters......in which have demonstrated that you are not?
I am sorry if I was misunderstood. My comments express what I think the prosecutors are going to show in court, if they charge the pilots. I don't have a formed opinion about their culpability.

The radio frequencies are printed on the charts, so are lost comm procedures. In any case, one maintains the last altitude assigned when communications are lost... so what is your point?
As far as I know, Brazilian regulations state that one sticks to the cleared flight plan when communications are lost. This would be a major difference between American and Brazilian regulations. The final report is going to discuss this point.Bottom line is the US pilots have testified, they have cooperated, and they should be let go. The Brazilian press, in cooperation with government officials have conspired to inflame and prejudice the public.
The federal judge that has jurisdiction over the crash site region seized the passports by request of the public prosecutor's office. The court has no formal information regarding the accident until now and it gave 30 or 60 days to the prosecution to prove its point.Meanwhile the pilots attorneys are trying to get the passports back appealing to higher courts.The public and media attention has shifted towards the traffic controllers since they staged strykes fearing the investigations and many control errors surfaced.The Brazilian press has also gone out of their way to interpret explanations from US pilots commenting on the accident and to mischaracterize statements made by pilot unions in the US in such a way as to breed anti-pilot sentiment in Brazil.
Yes, I agree with you. The Secretary of Defense inflamed the media, but now he is the one under fire.
Now that US corporations and pilot unions have gone on record calling for the release of the US pilots in Brazil, perhaps the US government will take a more active role and get Paladino and LePore back home.Any pressure on the executive branch of the Brazilian government is misguided because the Justice (and not the executive branch) decided to keep the pilots in Brazil.The pilots attorneys applied for a writ of habeas corpus and it is going to be examined in the next days. Since Brazil is the land of impunity, they have a good chance to be freed.

vapilot2004
24th Nov 2006, 19:55
Now that US corporations and pilot unions have gone on record calling for the release of the US pilots in Brazil, perhaps the US government will take a more active role and get Paladino and LePore back home.
Denis

Please see my post here (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showpost.php?p=2981278&postcount=810). We can thank pressure from pilot's unions our Congress and folks here who took the time to write letters for the step up to action here.

Our State Department has been and continues to pursue this matter diplomatically and progress is being made - note the Brazilian government approval of the NTSB release a few days ago.

Let us not forget, that had this accident occured within the UK or the US, both nations may have held a crew during the preliminary stages of investigation. This is within a sovereign power's rights under international treaty.

broadreach
24th Nov 2006, 22:26
The Brasilia ATC people directly involved were interviewed by the Federal Police (FP) yesterday 23rd, and FDR/CVR tapes/transcripts have been handed over by the accident investigation body CENIPA, for analysis by FP. Mr Sayao is on “sick leave” and his place in the interviews has been taken by a man who’s director of FP flight ops (yes they have aircraft) and a pilot himself. Which sounds like good news. Legacy crew have yet to be re-interviewed, don’t know when but soon.

The media’s digging in the aftermath of the collision has unearthed airprox reports previously secret or of restricted access. Including one in October between a Gol 737 and a TAM F100 near GIG where the aircraft passed within “60.96 metres” of each other (not sure I want to know how that accuracy is established). And many others. Airforce media types now marching out stats showing how airprox incidents have fallen over the years and accident/fatality rates are way above world averages.

Delays blamed on ATC’s post-collision procedures continue at 25-35% of all flights. Forecasts for the holiday season (mid Dec through end Feb) range from “no problem” to “chaos”.

Worries over the impact on tourism and the economy in general are mounting. Mr Pires, the Defense Minister, is rumoured to be on the way out. 67 new controllers admitted to ATC ranks today - not sure how many are recalled retirees. Airforce reported to have decided to implement offsetting (!).

The quality of this thread has improved through more technical input and deteriorated through personal insults. Readers can surely come to their own conclusions regarding the posts and those who can’t, well there’s a button to exclude them. The Gol/Legacy accident has served to bring local ATC problems – real or imagined – out in the open, with resulting improvements downstream (a la Reagan or otherwise) and it seems to be challenging the global status quo regarding adequate separation. I doubt whether there will be any great revelations before the final report in mid-2007. The more immediate issue is what happens to the Legacy crew. Hopefully home in time, at least, for Christmas.

ChristiaanJ
24th Nov 2006, 22:45
...the aircraft passed within “60.96 metres” of each other (not sure I want to know how that accuracy is established).... Especially, since it was "within"... might have been 60.95 metres?

Of course it's the usual red flag for a technological imbecile with a pocket calculator, since 60.96 / 0.3048 = 200 .... i.e. 200 feet. :ugh:

(1 foot = 0.3048 metres)

A310driver
25th Nov 2006, 01:31
Yes it is unfortunate that the personal digs find their way in here but the problem stems from statements, postulations and conclusions offered up by persons who do not have a clue as to what SOP's and REGS are all about when it comes to air traffic control...and that is what this is all about. One remains collegial in discourse with peers who have the expertise to discuss the topic at an intelligent level even though they may have differing opinions; this is not the case on this thread where many commenters should be sitting on the sidelines "listening" where, maybe, they could learn something instead of confusing the issues with random noise emanating from a total lack of knowledge, training, or experience in the subject matter.

FlyingRabbit
25th Nov 2006, 12:26
Yes it is unfortunate that the personal digs find their way in here but the problem stems from statements, postulations and conclusions offered up by persons who do not have a clue as to what SOP's and REGS are all about when it comes to air traffic control...and that is what this is all about. One remains collegial in discourse with peers who have the expertise to discuss the topic at an intelligent level even though they may have differing opinions; this is not the case on this thread where many commenters should be sitting on the sidelines "listening" where, maybe, they could learn something instead of confusing the issues with random noise emanating from a total lack of knowledge, training, or experience in the subject matter.

I wholeheartedly agree with this. Perhaps it is time to create two different threads here. One for the accident itself, where only pilots and ATC people should state their opinion; the other for the presence of the Legacy guys here, where only people with at least a vague idea of how Brazil works would actually say something. Because from what I´ve seen so far, the ideas of one group on the subject of the other till now has been laughable at best.

ExSimGuy
25th Nov 2006, 12:43
Yes, the "personal snipes" don't help. I'm mostly sitting on the sidelines since page one (due to having little to constructively add), trying to analyze the info posted, and trying to sort out the "good from bad". Please let's keep to facts and "intelligent informed propositions".

Good luck to both the pilots and atcos involved - I'm sure they all did their best to avoid a disaster like this, and either outside forces, accidental mistake, or sheer "Murphy" caused it. US and Brazil should be most concerned,and fix it to prevent a repetition - not to find someone to blame.

mikemd80
25th Nov 2006, 14:18
As reported today in Newsday (NY):
The Long Island pilots detained in Brazil since they were involved in a midair collision almost two months ago are expected to be questioned soon by the federal police handling a criminal investigation, while the aviators wait for an appellate court to hear their motion seeking the return of their passports.
Meanwhile, a Brazilian newspaper reported that the air traffic controller who was monitoring the Embraer Legacy executive jet flown by Joseph Lepore of Bay Shore and Jan Paladino of Westhampton Beach was new in his position and was considered unqualified by his instructor. It was also reported that Gol airlines Flight 1907, which crashed with the loss of all 154 aboard after the collision at 37,000 feet, normally flew at 41,000 feet for its route southeasterly from Manaus. But the flight plan for the plane that day specified 37,000 feet, which is also normally reserved for flights going that direction.
The families of the American pilots flew to Rio de Janeiro this week to stay with them for the holiday at the hotel where they have been in self-imposed seclusion since the crash. Ellen Lepore and her 8-year-old son, Michael, and 3-year-old daughter, Nicole, made the trip with Melissa Paladino. It was the second trip for the wives and the first for the Lepore children.
The visit followed last week's refusal by a federal judge in Mato Grosso State to reconsider his decision made after the crash to confiscate the pilots' passports. Lawyers for ExcelAire of Ronkonkoma then filed a habeas corpus appeal with a federal appeals court. While the head of that panel declined to overturn the lower court ruling on his own, the full court will hear the case, possibly next week.
Brazilian newspaper O Folha de San Paulo reported that the controller monitoring the Legacy on Sept. 29 was rushed into the position at the insistence of military officials, who run the control system, over the objection of his instructor. Other controllers told the paper that the controller had little hands-on experience after receiving his certification earlier this year because of a lack of controllers.
There are civil and criminal investigations of the collision going on in Brazil. The federal police are doing the criminal probe and authorities have said the American pilots could face involuntary manslaughter charges if found to have caused the impact. International flight safety organizations have protested the criminal investigation, saying that international law calls for accident studies to be done by civil authorities.
I work with these men and enough is enough. They need to come home NOW! It has become very apparent that this has become a case of CYA. I'm certain that there is some people in the military worried about losing their stars as well as the confidence of the Brazilian people, but there is no longer any excuse to attempt to put blame to the pilots. Just curoius if any of the controllers have been threatened with 154 counts of man slaughter? I doubt it!:=

JJ Cruz
25th Nov 2006, 18:09
Newsday coverage of the pilots detention is the most accurate and balanced among all American sources. It impresses me how the Newsday journalists have being able to understand and communicate the major developments of the case to the American people. The worst coverage, unfortunately, comes from the NYT journalist Joe Sharkey, whose texts are filled with "anti-Brazilianism" and absurd expressions like "secret investigation", "detained by the military / government" and other nonsenses.

It has become very apparent that this has become a case of CYA. I'm certain that there is some people in the military worried about losing their stars as well as the confidence of the Brazilian people.

The usual technical investigation is carried out by an organ of the Air Force (please read previous posts). And, yes, the air safety organizations and the people in the military don't want a civilian criminal investigation: they don't want to have their people or even the pilots charged. The Air Force tried not to cooperate with the criminal investigation, denying access to recorded data and to the traffic controllers. The access was granted only after an order from the federal court that seized the pilots passports. That is why it took 2 months to interview the air controllers, whose attorneys are trying to blame everybody else (pilots, the industry and the Union).

Just curoius if any of the controllers have been threatened with 154 counts of man slaughter?

The civilian criminal investigator from the federal police (the Brazilian FBI) who works with the public prosecutor's office has not discarded this possibility. From the latest developments, I think it is possible he will consider the pilots victims of bad orientation from the air controllers. His report will decide the pilots future, if they don't get their passports back in the next days after applying for a writ of habeas corpus.

JJ Cruz
25th Nov 2006, 18:30
We can thank pressure from pilot's unions our Congress and folks here who took the time to write letters for the step up to action here.

Our State Department has been and continues to pursue this matter diplomatically and progress is being made - note the Brazilian government approval of the NTSB release a few days ago.

Despite Mr. Pires embarassing remarks, the Brazilian government has already expressed several times it has no reason to keep the pilots in Brazil.

The NTSB advisory is a translation to English of the Brazilian preliminary report and it was approved by both countries. It helps to minimize allegations of "secret investigation" from parts of the American media.

The pilots passports release depends on the Brazilian justice only. Of course, the prosecutors and the victims families will try to press the court for charging someone...

JJ Cruz
25th Nov 2006, 19:08
International flight safety organizations have protested the criminal investigation, saying that international law calls for accident studies to be done by civil authorities.

I found an error in this Newsday article. The problem is not that the criminal investigation is carried out by civil or military authorities. The flight safety organizations object to the very existence of the criminal investigation. By the way, the criminal investigation is already being carried out by civil authorities (federal police and federal public prosecutors). The military are in charge of the technical investigation only.

FlyingRabbit
25th Nov 2006, 19:29
I work with these men and enough is enough. They need to come home NOW! It has become very apparent that this has become a case of CYA. I'm certain that there is some people in the military worried about losing their stars as well as the confidence of the Brazilian people, but there is no longer any excuse to attempt to put blame to the pilots. Just curoius if any of the controllers have been threatened with 154 counts of man slaughter? I doubt it!:=

How hard can it be to understand something so simple?? For the umpteenth time: the military has nothing to do with keeping these guys in country. Let me try again, in case you haven´t heard: THE MILITARY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH KEEPING THE LEGACY PILOTS IN BRAZIL!!!!! Clear now? Gee, i hope some people here read their manuals better than they´ve been reading this thread.:ugh: :ugh: :ugh:

agusaleale
25th Nov 2006, 22:45
http://www.airdisaster.com/forums/images/icons/icon1.gif Brazil's Air Control Chief Fired, Air Supervisor Charged with Cover-Up
Brazil's Air Control Chief Fired, Air Supervisor Charged with Cover-Up
Written by Rodolfo Espinoza
Saturday, 25 November 2006
After watching the country's air crisis from a distance while his Defense Minister, Air Force commander and flight controllers digladiated and brought Brazil's commercial aviation to its knees, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva decided to intervene in the chaos.

And started by firing Paulo Roberto Cardoso Vilarinho, the Air Space Control Department (Decea) chief, the man in charge of all the air traffic control centers in the country. The cleaning up included the Decea's second in command, vice-director major brigadier Ailton dos Santos Pohlmann.

While there is talk in Brasília that Defense Minister Waldir Pires is next in the line of sacking he is still being backed by the government since the firing decision published in the Diário Oficial (Daily Gazette) this Friday, November 24, sported his signature.

Vilarinho's decision to quarter Brasília's controllers preventing them from leaving the control tower for days when they staged a work-to-rule campaign, earlier this month, coupled with his opposition to a bigger role for civilians in the Brazilian air controlling structure made his continuance in the post untenable. Flight controllers have been staging a not so-silent rebellion against him.

To temporarily fill up the two vacated positions were chosen major-brigadier Paulo Hortênsio Albuquerque Silva, the chief of the Third Comar (Regional Air Command) and major-brigadier Ramon Borges Cardoso, who was serving as chief of cabinet for Air Force commander, Luiz Carlos Bueno, another man who has been at odds with the Defense Minister.

Minister Pires and just-fired Vilarinho have something in common though: both agree that the Brazilian air space has no blind spots. Something that the air controllers vehemently dispute.

In testimonies given the Federal Police in the last few days 13 flight controllers insisted that Brazil not only has a blind zone, it has what they called a "blind, deaf and mute" zone in the Amazon, an area in which no contact is possible between the control tower and airplanes.

On another aerial front, the Military Justice's general prosecutor, Giovanni Rattacaso accused the president of the Air Traffic Controllers Brazilian Association, Wellington Rodrigues, of promoting "terrorism" in order to hide mistakes made by air controllers in the case involving Brazil's worst air accident ever, the collision between a Boeing 737 and a Legacy executive jet, that resulted in the death of the 154 people inside the Boeing.

Rattacaso is in charge of investigating the investigations being made by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) on possible mistakes made by their own personnel, since air control in Brazil is an attribution of the FAB.

According to Rattacaso, Rodrigues was the Cindacta's 1 (Brasília's Air Control Center) supervisor on September 29, the day the Boeing tragedy occurred, but he wasn't at his post at the time of the accident.

Rattacaso says that he has reason to believe that the work-to-rule campaign unleashed just before the All Souls Day holiday (November 2), was planned by Rodrigues to "divert the attention from his conduct in the case, imputing the accident to an air control system mistake." And adds: "He is involved in this case and there is also evidence that he is guilty."

Rodrigues says in his defense that the day of the accident he was only working as instructor of novice air controllers and vows to sue the prosecutor for what he calls groundless charges.

JJ Cruz
25th Nov 2006, 23:20
Brasilia is burning...

mikemd80
26th Nov 2006, 00:05
How hard can it be to understand something so simple?? For the umpteenth time: the military has nothing to do with keeping these guys in country. Let me try again, in case you haven´t heard: THE MILITARY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH KEEPING THE LEGACY PILOTS IN BRAZIL!!!!! Clear now? Gee, i hope some people here read their manuals better than they´ve been reading this thread.:ugh: :ugh: :ugh:



I don't give a rat's :mad: who is responsible for keeping the pilots in Brazil!! Just so I'M clear! What is going on in Brazil is absurd, and with each day it becomes more apparent that the major causes in the accident are the direct result of inadequacies in the ATC system. Lack of controllers, lack of controller experience, lack of radar, lack of comm. capability, and so on. Meanwhile, two VICTIMS of slander and libel holed for two months, 3000 miles from home. Maybe instead of ridiculing people on this thread, you should better focus your energy, and start sending off emails to the local politicians and judges with lots of those :ugh: :ugh: :ugh: at the end of them to get those men home!:*

FlyingRabbit
26th Nov 2006, 01:09
I don't give a rat's :mad: who is responsible for keeping the pilots in Brazil!! :*

well, you should. Barking up the wrong tree will not help these guys one bit. := If you really want to help them, please get your facts straight before doing so.

And yes, for all it´s worth, I have written several letters to different newspapers stating how ridiculous this is becoming and how these guys should have been released quite a while ago.

caos
26th Nov 2006, 01:53
I don't give a rat's :mad: who is responsible for keeping the pilots in Brazil!! Just so I'M clear! What is going on in Brazil is absurd, and with each day it becomes more apparent that the major causes in the accident are the direct result of inadequacies in the ATC system. Lack of controllers, lack of controller experience, lack of radar, lack of comm. capability, and so on. Meanwhile, two VICTIMS of slander and libel holed for two months, 3000 miles from home. Maybe instead of ridiculing people on this thread, you should better focus your energy, and start sending off emails to the local politicians and judges with lots of those :ugh: :ugh: :ugh: at the end of them to get those men home!:*
mikemd80,
You, like international pilot that I suppose you are, should respect and follow the existent legality in other countries and obviously their procedures (part of the risk of your job).
One or several flaws of the ATC's don't exempt the pilots of having made errors, and like an accident is recognized, it is product of a series of errors.
The pilots are not the victims, they participated actively in an accident that it cost the life to 154 people, they are active actors of this tragic collision. Yes mister, here there is dead, and where there are deads there is a criminal investigation, away of the aeronautical investigations to avoid repetition of this type of accidents.
A good judicial system will never be allowed to press for e-mails or political, maybe the most near and reasonable it is an agreement among the 2 governments to guarantee the concurrence of the pilots in the event of being required in the future.
Unfortunately for the pilots, the extradition agreement among USA and Brazil is limited by what the Federal Public Ministry said November 24 to the Federal Regional Tribunal in relation to the refund of the passports and the application of habeas corpus. The Federal Regional Tribunal is free of considering what was said by the Federal Public Ministry.
" For MPF, "the period excess for the conclusion of the investigation doesn't justify, by itself, habeas corpus, owing the excess to be purposeless or unjustified, what is not the case of the solemnities in the face of the complexity of crop of the technical proof". Other argument that consists of the opinion is that "the treaty between Brazil and United States doesn't revoke the Convention for Repression of Illicit against the Safety of the Civil Aviation." "
Lepore and Paladino have a very good lawyer team who know the Brazilian judicial system very well.

I can feel your anger and impotence, I know are not beautiful words but are real words.

JJ Cruz
26th Nov 2006, 12:13
In a legal point of view, one condition that difficults the release of the pilots' passports is that the extradition treaty between the US and Brazil is limited to convicted prisoners. So, if they are freed now and convicted later (improbable, but possible), there is no way for the Brazilian justice reaching them.

JJ Cruz
26th Nov 2006, 12:43
I don't give a rat's :mad: who is responsible for keeping the pilots in Brazil!! Just so I'M clear! What is going on in Brazil is absurd, and with each day it becomes more apparent that the major causes in the accident are the direct result of inadequacies in the ATC system. Lack of controllers, lack of controller experience, lack of radar, lack of comm. capability, and so on. Meanwhile, two VICTIMS of slander and libel holed for two months, 3000 miles from home.

You ought to know who is responsible and the mechanics of the legal process if you want to blame someone or take some action.

They may be victims of slander and libel, but their roles in the collision is not clear yet for the civil authorities in charge of the criminal investigation because it has been difficult to get information from the aeronautical investigation. The judge gave them 30 or 60 days more to reach a conclusion. That's only the due process of law...

JJ Cruz
26th Nov 2006, 13:58
As expected, the public prosecutor's office (Procuradoria Regional da República da 1ª Região) positioned against the release of the pilots passports last Friday.

It is an expected move because the prosecutors' job is to charge someone. Basically, they want to use the time already granted by the lower court to gather evidences from the aeronautical investigation. The prosecution also mentions in its statement the Illegal Acts Against Civil Aviation Safety Convention (Convenção para Repressão de Ilícitos contra a Segurança da Aviação Civil) signed by Brazil in Montreal in 1989. I read the covention and it is quite clear to me that the pilots behavior cannot be qualified as criminal, at least not in the convention terms.

The habeas corpus will be analyzed in the next days in Brasilia by the Regional Federal Court (Tribunal Regional Federal da 1 Região), against former decision of the Mato Grosso state Federal Court (Justiça Federal de Sinop -- MT).

A310driver
26th Nov 2006, 22:28
I apologize in advance, but I have not read through all the posts.

Have I missed something here or is there an absence of posts from Brazilian pilots commenting on the subject?? There seems to be no lack of other, mostly aeronautically uninformed, people from Brazil posting all kinds of stuff from legal opimions to politics.

FlyingRabbit
26th Nov 2006, 23:22
I apologize in advance, but I have not read through all the posts.
Have I missed something here or is there an absence of posts from Brazilian pilots commenting on the subject?? There seems to be no lack of other, mostly aeronautically uninformed, people from Brazil posting all kinds of stuff from legal opimions to politics.

A310

I apologize. I too miss the input of Brazilian pilots in here. I thought that, even as a humble aeronautically uninformed person living in Brazil, I would be able to contribute a bit on the condition of the American pilots here in Rio. I was definately wrong. I shall leave this discussion to the aeronautically informed, even though clearly uninformed about everything else that happens in Brazil. People here now are free to keep on thinking that the military is holding them in jail to save face and that there are 200 million angry Brazilian waiting to mob on these poor guys. Have fun.

bubbers44
26th Nov 2006, 23:27
I think the pilots from Brazil know what their ATC system is like and would rather not comment. We have flown there and know once at 24 N Southbound once you get past Cuban airspace Cenemar is good now but as you go further south things deteriorate. Haven't flown these routes in over three year but don't expect much has changed.

Rippa
26th Nov 2006, 23:52
I apologize in advance, but I have not read through all the posts.
Have I missed something here or is there an absence of posts from Brazilian pilots commenting on the subject?? There seems to be no lack of other, mostly aeronautically uninformed, people from Brazil posting all kinds of stuff from legal opimions to politics.

A310,

That is why I didnt post anymore...and it is pointless to do so if some of the participants of this forum thinks that they know how things work down here, after flying in a couple of times...

FreeJoe&Jan
27th Nov 2006, 03:53
They may be victims of slander and libel, but their roles in the collision is not clear yet for the civil authorities in charge of the criminal investigation because it has been difficult to get information from the aeronautical investigation. The judge gave them 30 or 60 days more to reach a conclusion. That's only the due process of law...

Neither are anyone else's roles clear, but it is only the two of them that have had any action taken against them. That isn't due process. That's discrimination against foreigners.

FreeJoe&Jan
27th Nov 2006, 04:04
The pilots are not the victims, they participated actively in an accident that it cost the life to 154 people, they are active actors of this tragic collision.

They might be victims of the same problems that caused the deaths of 154 people. Just because they were involved does not mean they were at fault. If they were not at fault, then they are victims and are being victimized again.

Yes mister, here there is dead, and where there are deads there is a criminal investigation, away of the aeronautical investigations to avoid repetition of this type of accidents.

If I understand what the pilot organizations are saying, criminal investigations make it more likely that accidents will happen again because people are less willing to speak to accident investigators and tell the truth.

A good judicial system will never be allowed to press for e-mails or political, maybe the most near and reasonable it is an agreement among the 2 governments to guarantee the concurrence of the pilots in the event of being required in the future.

The newspapers say that there is such an agreement in place.

For MPF, "the period excess for the conclusion of the investigation doesn't justify, by itself, habeas corpus, owing the excess to be purposeless or unjustified, what is not the case of the solemnities in the face of the complexity of crop of the technical proof". Other argument that consists of the opinion is that "the treaty between Brazil and United States doesn't revoke the Convention for Repression of Illicit against the Safety of the Civil Aviation.

I don't understand that. Is that saying that because proof is complex they should remain stuck in Brazil? If that is what that means, then whatever happened to the need to prove something before taking away someone's liberty?

Lepore and Paladino have a very good lawyer team who know the Brazilian judicial system very well.

I sure hope so.

ATC Watcher
27th Nov 2006, 07:20
There is new confidential information circulating among ATC circles since a few days that are not very kind to the Brasilian FAB and the way they run their business in Brasilia ACC that could explain the recent top bosses dismissals.

I was told the Brazilian media will run the info in the next days.

The info also is no good for Embraer and Honeywell .
I wonder what the certification authorities ( FAA, EASA ) will do , as heir position will become untainable should another Embraer with Primus is involved in another collision , especially if a large number of US or European citizens are among the victims.

As for the people involved ( the two pilots and the 12 Controlers ), as this seem to be the way this topic is going now, the new info should be good for them.

Olindaguy
27th Nov 2006, 12:06
Some further news and technical explanations regarding the Braziian mid-air that occured on September 29, 2006:
http://www.ifatca.org/press/251106.pdf

caos
27th Nov 2006, 13:18
Some further news and technical explanations regarding the Braziian mid-air that occured on September 29, 2006:
http://www.ifatca.org/press/251106.pdf

IFATCA statement coincides fully with that said by an experienced 20 years Controller from Cindacta 1 to a TV media yesterday, in relation to flaws and problems of operation of the equipments used by them.
The Controller also says that a blind point exists in the area of the accident that is known by them.
Source in portuguese:
http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/Brasil/0,,AA1364609-5598-295,00.html

RatherBeFlying
27th Nov 2006, 14:55
From the IFACTA statement:In the case of the Legacy coming from Sao Paulo, in the south of Brazil, and proceeding north to Manaus, there was a need to change from an odd level (FL 370) to an even level, being FL 360. When passing over Brasilia VOR (farol de navegação) the software of CINDATCA-1 did automatically change the second altitude indication to 360 (from 370) on the aircraft label shown on the radar screen. However, the flight was still flying at FL 370 and was not cleared down by ATC to FL 360 as shown on the label. Information we have gathered tells us that this “discrepancy” happens several times a day and is a “common scenario” for ACC Brasilia. Of course the situation is not that dramatic when all runs well and according to the book. In these cases when scanning the radar screen, controllers will notice the discrepancy (sometime later), issue a proper descent clearance and so correct the situation.Having spent a few decades in software design, my first rule has always been to involve the end users (those at the coalface end). More typically software systems are mandated from on high and the end users get training in how to work around the imperfections rather having the system properly designed in the first place.

I suspect some engineering type (licensed only to drive cars) thought it would be a dandy idea to change cleared levels according to the filed flight plan to save the coalface folks a few keystrokes.

Programmers aspire to make the world a better place by coming up with bright ideas to make the users' lives easier. To complete the job, they have to run said bright ideas by the users to get rid of the bad ones.

lucaberta
27th Nov 2006, 15:16
Programmers aspire to make the world a better place by coming up with bright ideas to make the users' lives easier. To complete the job, they have to run said bright ideas by the users to get rid of the bad ones.

how true! Me wonders if the clear allegations made by IFACTA in their statement, if confirmed, will prompt any reviews and possible changes in the ATC systems HMI in other parts of the world too (I tend to believe there will be some at least in Brasil, unless proven wrong... it's called blood response).

I keep hearing from friends ATCOs about the issues they face on a daily basis, and little to nothing is done to remediate the situation.

Is this due to the military legacy in the ATC business worldwide? Once upon a time (?), the lower ranks in front of the screens were commanded to do their job, and keep their mouth shut. Could it be that now ANSPs could finally put their military legacy behind their back and invest in their people with more qualification and motivation, and hopefully the possibility to give constructive feedback to the equipment vendor?

Ciao, Luca

ORAC
27th Nov 2006, 15:35
Is the same software/HMI used by both the military defence controllers, who need the 3D data, and the civil AT controllers?

A310driver
27th Nov 2006, 16:34
The IFATCA apparently has some "inside" information that has not previously been released from official sources. This information tracks with my earlier posts...and those of others... that 600XL was never cleared to any level other than 370, the altitude at which the collision occurred.

The question then for the crew of that aircraft is "should they have descended to a different level(360) on their own volition"" after passing BRS. The answer to that question appears to be founded solely in the lost communications regulations. While not having information as to whether Brazil has an exception to ICAO(differences), the ICAO requirement is quite clear. After the aircraft becomes aware that it is in a lost comm situation it must squawk 7600 while maintaining previously cleared course and altitude for 7 minutes and then maintain flight planned parameters. The seven minute window starts with the selection of code 7600(and is obviously intended to give ATC time to make necessary adjustments to other aircraft given the impending change, in altitude, for example, by the NORDO aircraft). In this case, the data indicates 600XL attempted several calls to ATC and after a few calls heard a transmission from ATC directed to it which was partially unreadable. It then attemted several more transmissions to clarify frequency change instructions which apparently were not heard by ATC. The collision occurred 3 minutes later. Whether the timing of the ATC call was serendipitous or in response to hearing the call from 600XL is not clear. It is also not clear whether the 600XL crew had come to the definitive conclusion that a lost comm situation existed but even if it had at this point 3 minutes prior to impact, the rules would have had it maintain 370 until a time well past the actual time of impact.

While the IFATCA statement and comments delineate the possibility of long standing ATC problems with equipment implementations and communications coverage and, further that the controller on duty may have been improperly briefed(believing that flight was at 360) when coming on duty, ATC procedures should have caught the fact that the last confirmed altitude (370)of 600XL verbally occurred just prior to crossing BRS (why wasn't flight instructed to maintain 360 after crossing BRS which was to occur literally in a few minutes ?) with mode C/S altitude reporting being available and showing 370 for some 40 miles after passing BRS. The apparent display of a calculated level of 360 not withstanding, should not the Gol flight have been advised of opposite direction traffic at 360 unconfirmed and NORDO..... if not given a separation vector or climb instructions?

As to equipment failures or poor man/machine interfaces or inadvertent improper operation of equipmnent(none have been eliminated as contributing factors), the ICAO Rules and ATC procedures are(should be) designed to be fail-safe and provide proper alerts/actions to prevent such occurrences.

Also, there has been no mention of the communications with the Gol flight during this period. Had they been on same frequency as 600XL would not they have heard its calls to ATC which (with good phraseology and use) may have included level /position information in its transmissions? Since it is likely that they were not, should there be a procedure/practice in remote areas with possibly less than adequate communications which would assure that aircraft approaching each other at a closure rate of M1.7 would be monitoring the approaching sector frequency if a common frequency is not in use (so that the a/c crews would be aware of other traffic)?

georgecrock
27th Nov 2006, 16:42
Events sequence for EMB-145 Legacy N600XL and Boeing 737-800 GOL Flight 1907 Crashed in Brazil on September 29th, 2006 at 16:56:54 GMT-3.

Flight Plan presented to ACC - BR ( Brasilia Area Control Center ) via SBSJ - Sao Jose dos Campos AIS room.

Legacy's crew received Flight Plan CLEARANCE from ACC-BR via Sao Jose dos Campos TWR Air Traffic Controller.

That's the Legacy FPL route detailed:
N0452 F370 DCT PCL UW2 BRS/N0456 F360 UZ6 TERES/N0449 F380 UZ6 MAN DCT

Legacy's pilots received CLEARANCE to CLIMB UP and Maintain FL 370 to Manaus as CLEARED by ACC-BR.

Official Preliminary Investigation Report:
Take Off time: 17:51 (GMT-3) on September 29th, 2006
Legacy N600XL TOC ( Top of Climb ) 37.000 feet: 18:33 (GMT-3)

I am very intrigued with 42 minutes to climb up to 37.000 feet.

Compulsories Fixes along Airway UW 2 :
BCO VOR( 23º 24.4’S, 46º 26.1’W )
BGC VOR( 22º 57.’S, 46º 34.2’W )
PCL NDB ( 21º 50.15’S, 46º 33.94’W )
Track 006º from PCL NDB (415 ) to BRS VOR ( 115.90 )
KERBO INT ( 21º 06.2’S, 46º 44.2’W)
ARX VOR (19º 41.3’S, 47º 03.6’W )
VALDI INT ( 18º 03.8’S, 47º 28.5’W )

Last VHF Contact with ACC-BR 18:51 (GMT-3) before BRS VOR
( 15º 52.4’S, 48º 01.3’W )

At least for twice after leveled off Legacy plane on Flight Level 370 Legacy's pilots had Communications with ACC-BR before they have lost radio contact with ACC-BR.

At 18:51 (GMT-3) Legacy's pilots called Brasilia Center and received these instructions from Brasilia Area Control Center’s Air Traffic Contoller:

Controller - N600 squalk identification, maintaining flight level 370, under radar surveillance.

Legacy - Roger. ( that was the last radio contact ).

The plane overflown BRS VOR at 18:55 ( GMT - 3 ) and it should step DOWN to Flight Level 360 as filed.

Next Compulsory Fix to be flown it should be TERES ( 12º 28.54’S, 51º 28.09’W ), distance 282 NM from BRS VOR on airway UZ 6 centerline, Track 334º. The next TERES Compulsory Fix where Legacy's pilots should CLIMB UP to Flight Level 380 as filed in original Flight Plan, but overruled by LAST Brasilia ACC-BR Controller AUTHORIZATION ( "Maintaining Flight Level 370") on last radio contact.

Legacy aircraft had lost communications with Brasilia Area Controle Center after 18:51 (GMT-3).


Captain Joseph Lepore and co-pilot Jan Paladino affirmed they tried for many times ( listed time in Preliminary Investigation Report present 12 times calls to be exactly ) to make VHF radio contact with Brasilia Area Control Center without success. They have claimed never turned down VHF radio volume and, they did not desengage the Autopilot for any reason after take off, and they felt insulted by some newspaper accusing them by turned off the TRANSPONDER .

The distance, on airway UZ 6, from Compulsory Fix TERES to Brasilia Area Control Center boundary is 157 NM ( NABOL Compulsory Fix ), heading 334 degrees. The next boundary is Manaus Area Control Center.

The distance from MAN VOR to Brasilia Area Control Center boundary ( NABOL Compulsory Fix ) is 610 NM.

Airway UZ 6 from Manaus VOR to Brasilia VOR has 1049 NM.

The collision took place on a point 29 NM after NABOL Compulsory Fix, within Manaus Area Control Center, near Air Force Base - SBCC - RESTRICTED area, at 19:56:54 ( GMT - 3 ).
This area is RESTRICTED to overflight from 18.000 feet until UNLIMETED airspace.

Airspace from BRS VOR to MAN VOR is RVSM area ( Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum ).

The question is:
Why ever didn't Manaus ACC Controller and/or Brasilia ACC Controller put Boeing 737-800 GOL1907 under RADAR VECTORING to keep the plane from COLLISION?

Boeing 737-800 GOL1907 Departure from SBEG was at 18:35 ( GMT - 3 ).
It reached FL 370 at 18:58 GMT-3.

After Legacy plane has overflown BRS VOR at 18:55 ( GMT - 3), Brasilia ACC Air Traffic Controller had 61 minutes and 54 seconds to coordinate with Manaus ACC Air Traffic Controller to ALERT and DIVERT Boeing 737 Flight GOL1907 to a CROSS-TRACK route parallel 10 or 20 miles to airway UZ 6 centerline.

Official Preliminary Investigation Report has many conflicting informations:

Preliminary Investigation Report informs a Collision Point at 10º 44’S, 053º 31’ W, but this point will be plotted to the RIGHT of airway UZ 6 centerline.

Investigator has said Boeing 737-800 GOL 1907 was maintaining Track 155º ( that is in accordance with airway UZ 6 centerline ) and AFTER Collision Point the aircraft ( Boeing GOL 1907 ) took Head 130º and fallen onto the ground 3.3 NM from Collision Point.

That’s meaning LEFT turn.

Investigator has said Collision Point was plotted "approximately 20 Kilometers = 10,7 NM from NABOL Compulsory Fix" within Manaus Area Control Center – Amazonic Center.

Leagacy’ speed was 460 Knots Ground Speed according Radar Data Tag on Flight Level 370 since TOC = Top of Climb, so we can easily calculate the TERES, NABOL and Collision Point right time.
BRS VOR overflight at 18:55 GMT-3.
Distance BRS VOR to TERES Compulsory Fix 282 NM.
Distance TERES to NABOL Compulsory Fix 157 NM ( ACC-BR boundary ).
Collision Point at 19:56:54 GMT-3.

We have calculated 3.9 minutes ( 3 minutes and 54 seconds ) from NABOL to Collision Point and a distance 29 NM on airway UZ 6 centerline.

Correct geographic coordinates for Collision Point are 10º 12’ 5.42" S, 53º 33’ 17.05" W.

There are something cloudy in this Preliminary Investigation Report.

A310driver
27th Nov 2006, 19:59
Not sure where all this data comes from.. You need to identify source.

A quick read notes several problems/errors which may in part be due to linguistic short-comings or translation.

No comment until source of this information is known.

ATC Watcher
27th Nov 2006, 20:15
Georgecrock : joined the forum today and no info on your profile and already asking questions.
Lawyer by any chance ?

As A310driver said, no coments unless we know the source of your information.

But if you go through the 45 pages of this thread you might have by now a pretty good idea of what happenned, or more accurately , what did not happen.

threemiles
27th Nov 2006, 20:21
I don't think there is anything new in there, all said before and speculative. http://www.pprune.org/forums/showpost.php?p=2974761&postcount=757

10º 44’S, 053º 31’ W
10º 12’ 5.42" S, 53º 33’ 17.05" W

TAS is not Ground Speed and cannot be taken to calculate a position in the range of a few inches (=seconds) :lol:.

When taken from the powerpoint presentation the coordinates had the usual layman's decimal point/degree error, i.e. they should be 10.44S 53.31W, which equals something like 10°26'S 53°18.6' and is almost exactly on the centerline.

Nothing cloudy.

Lawyer greetings.

Graybeard
27th Nov 2006, 23:18
Greetings, all. I just joined, after slogging through all the posts in this thread. Some of what follows goes back to posts in the first days after the tragic accident, and may no longer be especially pertinent.

TCAS Climb Inhibit: TCAS is strapped (in the aircraft wiring or other method) to know the max altitude which the plane can achieve 1500'/min. rate of climb, for 30 seconds. TCAS assumes needing only 700' of climb or descent to avoid collision. JonDC9, your DC-9 has no limitation below its service ceiling. On the Other Hand, a 747-200 with more than 27 degrees flaps down is inhibited from a climb command. That should be covered in ground school.

The pair of 747s that were almost guided into a collision over Asia about ten years ago was caused by a KAL 747-200 that had been retrofitted with Allied Signal or Honeywell TCAS (they were separate then), and the installers wrongly used Gillham code for altitude input. The AD requiring TCAS specifically stated the most accurate source of altitude be used, which would be the DADC in the 747. There is no monitoring of Gillham code, so a broken wire or miswire results in altitude reporting error with no monitor. Even the synchro air data in the DC-9 autopilot has monitored output.

There are a number of causes for a transponder to stop squawking, if indeed that's what happened. There is a suppressor line that ties the transponders, TCAS R/T and both DME together on a party line. When any of the units transmits, its suppressor signal shuts off the other receivers. Unless someone has addressed that recently, a failure in any of the units will cause the TCAS and active transponder to go quiet. This could have happened in either plane.

Early on, suppressor cables sometimes had intermittent open connections, and a transponder would reply to its own TCAS, creating a red target right over own airplane, and lots of spurious TCAS Advisories. It was a nuisance, to say the least.
GB

OVERTALK
28th Nov 2006, 06:51
Graybeard said There are a number of causes for a transponder to stop squawking, if indeed that's what happened. There is a suppressor line that ties the transponders, TCAS R/T and both DME together on a party line. When any of the units transmits, its suppressor signal shuts off the other receivers.

Can you elaborate upon this please Graybeard?
TCAS R/T: means the TCAS verbal directives?

Both DME? Where does DME come into it?

JJ Cruz
28th Nov 2006, 12:08
I know most pilots would rather stick to purely technical comments, but there is a demand for information about how things are done in Brazil. So, I am back to the educational posts...
Neither are anyone else's roles clear,...The civil public prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation precisely to determine everyone's roles.
... but it is only the two of them that have had any action taken against them...Since the air traffic controllers are military, they have residence in Brazil and they are not allowed to leave the country without permission. That's why the prosecution did not ask for their passports' seizure.
... That isn't due process. That's discrimination against foreigners.Brazilian constitution prohibits discrimination against foreigners and the pilots have full access to the Justice. Unfortunately, the US does not grant the same rights to foreigners anymore, not only in case of terrorism, but also in case of illegal immigration.

Graybeard
28th Nov 2006, 12:15
Graybeard said

Can you elaborate upon this please Graybeard?
TCAS R/T: means the TCAS verbal directives?

Both DME? Where does DME come into it?
Sorry: R/T = Receiver/Transmitter, or Transceiver. It's also called a TCAS Processor. R/T is the part of consequence here.

Next time you're doing a preflight, take note of the DME and transponder antennas. In most cases they are identical. That's because they operate on similar frequencies in the 1.0 GHz range. The suppressor line connects the two transponders, the TCAS unit, and the two DME transceivers all onto a single line. The line sits near 0 volts. When any of the 5 units transmits, it raises the suppressor line to above 18 volts, commanding the other units to shut off their receivers during that brief portion of time, to avoid interference one with another.

If one of the units fails, and keeps the suppressor line high, the other units will be deafened, so to speak, while not causing any failure indication on the flight deck. The DMEs will show loss of signal, however. This is a rare failure, but possible.

If the suppressor line is disconnected at one or more places, there will be interference between units. Only a few DME frequencies will cause interference with the transponder and TCAS, on their 1030 MHz and 1090 MHz frequencies. A suppressor line disconnect between the active transponder and the TCAS will cause the TCAS to see own transponder and go crazy. That failure has been hidden in later TCAS units, but the interference is still there, and performance will be degraded.

The likelihood of an open line is probably significant in brand new airplanes. I've had to troubleshoot MD-80s where the phased TCAS installation was incomplete before bankruptcy, and when the plane was put back in service, the suppressor cable was overlooked.

What does R/T mean to you, Radio Transmissions?

If you're further interested, somewhere there is a list of DME frequencies paired with VOR frequencies. Any decent DME installation or overhaul manual should have it. If there's no other explanation for the apparent transponder failure on the Legacy, this would be worth exploring.

GB

lucaberta
28th Nov 2006, 13:45
TCAS R/T: means the TCAS verbal directives?

Both DME? Where does DME come into it?

TCAS, transponders, and DME use frequencies which are very near to each other, in the 960 to 1240 MHz range, thus the suppression signal is used to avoid having the other onboard receivers on the same band being "blinded" by the radiofrequency burst emitted by the unit which is transmitting.

Ciao, Luca

arcniz
28th Nov 2006, 14:59
IFord says:
The best advice for a foreign pilot involved in an accident in a country where juridical investigation takes precedence over the technical one would be to get out as fast as possible (if feasible).

While this is hardly a new concept - sailors, merchant traders and other seasoned travelers have exercised the 'escape' option for millennia - it may not be the best advice for professionals with careers in a world-wide system that is highly visible and well-covered by international law and practice.

Prematurely quick departure from the scene (and country) of an accident tends to support presumptions of guilt in connection with the events. This is a great simplifier for folks nearer to the cause who would like to 'delegate' as much blame as possible to the foreigners. In many legal systems, 'flight from justice' is a serious crime in its own right, so it is a reliable way to become a criminal - without much hope of mounting any successful defence , even when not guilty of any other offence.

ATC Watcher
28th Nov 2006, 15:15
Thanks a lot JJ Cruz for your continuous legal information. I find this extremely interesting.

As I do know very little about legal processes, let me ask a blunt question to our US lawyers friends in this Forum :

If a couple of Forgein pilots ( does not matter which nationality here) were taking delivery of a Business jet in the Continental US and got involved in a collision where 150+ US citizens would have died, would those 2 forgeiners be allowed by the US Judicial System to leave the US freely ?

This is not provocation, just a request for genuine information, that perhaps could help cool down some posts here.

caos
28th Nov 2006, 15:53
Thanks a lot JJ Cruz for your continuous legal information. I find this extremely interesting.

As I do know very little about legal processes, let me ask a blunt question to our US lawyers friends in this Forum :

If a couple of Forgein pilots ( does not matter which nationality here) were taking delivery of a Business jet in the Continental US and got involved in a collision where 150+ US citizens would have died, would those 2 forgeiners be allowed by the US Judicial System to leave the US freely ?

This is not provocation, just a request for genuine information, that perhaps could help cool down some posts here.

" The pilots are not likely to return home before investigations are finished, international criminal defense experts say.

"If the shoe were on the other foot, you could bet we'd keep them here until we were finished with the investigation," said Sylvia Royce, former chief of the Justice Department's international prisoner transfer program.

Royce said the Brazilian government is acting within reason, compared with American standards for detention. "Every country wants to hold on to people they think are involved in a crime," Royce said. "
Source: here (http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-usair214985130nov21,0,6312278.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-print)

Btw, I'm not a lawyer.

ORAC
28th Nov 2006, 16:07
You better believe, we have 3 British bankers who were extradited from the UK and can't get permission to leave the USA. And it could be a couple of years before the case comes to court.

And not only wasn't anyone killed, they didn't even commit a crime under UK law. :suspect:

fyrefli
28th Nov 2006, 16:28
whatever happened to the need to prove something before taking away someone's liberty?

As you give your location as the USA, and given extraordinary rendition and Guantanamo as but two examples, do you not feel on slightly dodgy ground asking that question?

Of course the pilots should be released on the undertaking they'll return if required but I think we can do without the naive indignation.

Cheers,

Rich.

mm_flynn
28th Nov 2006, 16:49
You better believe, we have 3 British bankers who were extradited from the UK and can't get permission to leave the USA. And it could be a couple of years before the case comes to court.
And not only wasn't anyone killed, they didn't even commit a crime under UK law. :suspect:

I think there is a difference between people extradited having been charged with a crime (i.e. the British Bankers) vs. the question of detaining (in the sense of not being allowed to leave the country) people for an investigation. I believe that in the US, if a criminal investigation were launched related to an aviation incident, then the investigating agency could request a court to have the people involved detained as material witnesses. However, I doubt very much if an incident of this nature would be criminally investigated in the US.

There is a separate issue of whether or not under international guidelines there should be any criminal investigation at all. As far as I can see, beyond the lurid initial allegations there is nothing in this incident that it would be appropriate to resolve criminally. In particular, there is now a racing certainty that a wide range of tactical errors, omissions, technical faults, design faults, and organisational issues will have all been factors in this terrible accident. My view, is that everyone - the travelling public, people of Brazil, pilots, ATC, etc - would be better served with an NTSB/AAIB style investigation (as the Brazilian Air Force is currently undertaking) than a criminal investigation.

patrickal
28th Nov 2006, 17:01
My view, is that everyone - the travelling public, people of Brazil, pilots, ATC, etc - would be better served with an NTSB/AAIB style investigation (as the Brazilian Air Force is currently undertaking) than a criminal investigation.

Perfect point. How can there be a criminal investigation without the technical one being concluded first? At the same time, suppose the pilots were released to the US governmnet with the agreement that they would be extradited IF the technical investigation concluded that gross negligence or worse was the primary cause of the accident. In this way, they are not held against there will for the entire duration of the technical investigation, but could be returned if called for. After all, if we can get Great Britain and other countries to extadite criminals to us, why should we not be willing to do the same?

JJ Cruz
28th Nov 2006, 19:26
If I understand what the pilot organizations are saying, criminal investigations make it more likely that accidents will happen again because people are less willing to speak to accident investigators and tell the truth.The Brazilian Air Force endorses your position. A criminal investigation makes the aeronautical investigation much more harder, they say.The criminal investigation was started by public prosecutors in the state of the collision, and they are not linked to the aeronautical authorities. The prosecutors are independent and they cannot be stopped by the government. They can be stopped by the court that has jurisdiction over the case if the court does not accept the charges they are expected to bring.... maybe the most near and reasonable it is an agreement among the 2 governments to guarantee the concurrence of the pilots in the event of being required in the future.</b></p>
The newspapers say that there is such an agreement in place.I haven't heard about such an agreement here in Brazil...It would require a presidential decree (medida provisória) approved by the Brazilian Congress. I can be wrong, but it seems impossible to me.For MPF, &quot;the period excess for the conclusion of the investigation doesn't justify, by itself, habeas corpus, owing the excess to be purposeless or unjustified, what is not the case of the solemnities in the face of the complexity of crop of the technical proof&quot;. Other argument that consists of the opinion is that &quot;the treaty between Brazil and United States doesn't revoke the Convention for Repression of Illicit against the Safety of the Civil Aviation.</b>


I don't understand that. Is that saying that because proof is complex they should remain stuck in Brazil? If that is what that means, then whatever happened to the need to prove something before taking away someone's liberty?I have already explained it in a previous post...MPF is the Brazilian acronym for Ministério Público Federal, or Federal Public Prosecution Office.The higher court that is analyzing the habeas corpus filed by the pilots' attorneys requested a formal statement from the Federal Public Prosecution Office about the passports release. Of course, the prosecution wants to use the time already granted by the lower court to keep investigating the case and to keep the pilots in Brazil. The prosecution statement that you read above came out last Friday. Now the higher court will have to choose between the pilots' attorneys arguments or the prosecution arguments.Similar provisions do exist in the US...

caos
28th Nov 2006, 19:45
Some people are not reading previous posts.
Please at least read last 5 to 10 pages.

flugholm
28th Nov 2006, 20:27
AIN reports these interesting developments:

>Brazilian ATC Chief Replaced
>In the wake of the September 29 midair in Brazil between an Embraer Legacy 600 and a Gol Airlines 737 and the subsequent disruptions in ATC services that have caused major delays in commercial aircraft operations in the country, the president of Brazil replaced the chief of its air traffic management system. According to Brazil’s largest newspaper, O Globo, “The removal was one of the ways for alleviating the tense relationship between the Air Force and military and civilian controllers.” [...]

(Source: http://www.ainalerts.com/ainalerts/ )

JJ Cruz
28th Nov 2006, 20:33
Perfect point. How can there be a criminal investigation without the technical one being concluded first? At the same time, suppose the pilots were released to the US governmnet with the agreement that they would be extradited IF the technical investigation concluded that gross negligence or worse was the primary cause of the accident. In this way, they are not held against there will for the entire duration of the technical investigation, but could be returned if called for. After all, if we can get Great Britain and other countries to extadite criminals to us, why should we not be willing to do the same?

I agree that a criminal investigation before the technical investigation final report is quite out of place. The lower court, however, ruled that the passports are seized until the end of the criminal investigation and it gave just 60 or 90 days to the public prosecutors show their results. So I believe they are not expected to wait until the end of the technical investigation. One interesting point (and don't ask me why) is that the pilots' attorneys waited 40 days before they filed the first request to take their passports back. In the first 40 days they just decried the situation in the media... There is a cooperation agreement between the US and Brazil but it does not include extradition of Brazilian citizens to the US and vice versa.

JJ Cruz
28th Nov 2006, 20:45
That could be the reason why they are held captive in Rio then.
Nothing to do with investigation, better with political issue.
The first press releases in Brasil talked about stunts, deliberately switching off of transponder and radio, non compliance with radio failure rules on the part of the two american pilots.
And wasn't exactly the normal layman talking but generals in charge of ATC or civil aviation authorities.
The best advice for a foreign pilot involved in an accident in a country where juridical investigation takes precedence over the technical one would be to get out as fast as possible (if feasible).

I am sorry about my comment about the US, Ford. It doesn't help and it was out of place.

barit1
28th Nov 2006, 20:54
Perhaps the ultimate point - whether we like it or not:

What is happening to airline revenue for operators in Brazilian airspace? Are the bottom lines of those dependant on Brazilian ATC suffering?

Whether euros, durhams, dollars, or cruzeros, the local currency can speak very loud in a situation such as this.

caos
28th Nov 2006, 21:17
Perhaps the ultimate point - whether we like it or not:

What is happening to airline revenue for operators in Brazilian airspace? Are the bottom lines of those dependant on Brazilian ATC suffering?

Whether euros, durhams, dollars, or cruzeros, the local currency can speak very loud in a situation such as this.
Today is considered a daily prejudice of US$ 1.8 millions (R$ 4 M).

arcniz
28th Nov 2006, 21:41
For all the folks in the U.S. who are so full of outrage that one of their own can be detained 'indefinitely' by some provincial judge in a rural province of Brazil, please 'get real'.

Within the U.S. there exist a great many - at least, say, 10,000- municipal, county, superior court and administrative law judges, magistrates, Justices of the Peace, game wardens, building inspectors, rangers, and other special and multi-function officials who can legally 'seize' your person and have you held in considerable legal discomfort on their say-so for extended periods of time, from days to months, at least. Many of these have authority in their specific jurisdiction which is quite strong, so their actions cannot be reversed without an orderly series of procedures.

Of course there are habeas corpus and appeal rights and due process and all that, but the restraint put upon you by authority X will often require only a showing of 'proper cause' for your continued retention under legal process until the next hearing or court date.And the next and the next. "Material witness" is but one of the nominal categories under which persons (who might flee) can be held - for good reasons clearly stated on the record - until investigations are complete.

If caught in such a snare, the more one struggles to break loose, the more aggressively the original authority must (and generally will) charge you to legally keep you in place until they are good and ready to let you go. Even though the individual officials may wish you no harm, THEIR responsibilities to the system must be satisfied first, before your personal needs and interests become a great priority. So, if they are determined to follow a particular course, the effect of struggling too much with them will be to run through a lot of expense and frustration and possibly to compel the authorities to charge you prematurely with violations of far greater seriousness than might otherwise be the case, if the investigative cycle and related internal political gyrations were just allowed to run their course.

(The foregoing is not Legal advice, but is somewhat in the nature of practical advice.)

caos
28th Nov 2006, 21:45
28/11/2006 - 20h10m

FEDERAL POLICE RECEIVES TRANSCRIPTION OF BLACK BOX OF LEGACY

The police officer of the Federal Police Renato Sayão received on this Tuesday (28) the transcription of the black box of Legacy, jet that reached a Gol Boeing in September 29 of this year. Sayão is the police officer that presides the inquiry on the aerial accident, that it caused the 154 people's death. According to him, there are indications of communication flaw between the pilots of Legacy and the aerial control of Brasília and also of human flaw.

The period for the Federal Police to give the report to the Federal Justice finishes on December 13.
http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/Brasil/0,,AA1367559-5598-295,00.html
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

28/11/2006 - 19h04m
FLIGHT 1907: PF SHOULD HEAR PILOTS OF LEGACY NEXT WEEK

The Federal Police intend to hear the North Americans Joe Lepore and Jean Paul Paladino next week, pilots of the executive jet Legacy that collided with Gol Boeing on September 29. According to the police officer Renato Sayão, that investigates the causes of the accident, the depositions will be decisive to define the pilots' situation. The passports of both are apprehended until the relative facts of the accident are clarified.

Before hearing the pilots, Sayão hopes to interrogate the controllers of flight of Manaus that were of duty in the day of the accident. Thirteen flight controllers were already heard: the one of São José dos Campos (SP) and Brasília. Sayão should conclude next days the analysis of the transcription of the dialogues recorded by the black boxes of the airplanes.

Sayão hopes to pick all of the depositions until December 13, when he finishes the period of the inquiry. Because there are still several aspects of the investigation pendants, the police officer doesn't discard to ask to the Justice the extension of the period to conclude the inquiry.
http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/Brasil/0,,AA1367448-5598,00.html
----------------------------------------------------------------
Legacy transponder is now in USA at Honeywell's laboratory.

broadreach
28th Nov 2006, 23:21
ATC Watcher

I’m intrigued by your post #869 which, I presume, is closely linked to the strongly worded IFACTA statement referred to in Olindaguy’s post #870.

Might it also be that your rumour source has picked up news to the effect that Brazil ATC will soon be releasing their own document regarding local deficiencies? If so let’s hope it’s unemotional and can be backed up by proof, not just adding fuel to the fire.

Something else surfaced today though in Globo’s evening news. Airforce documents signed by the recently dismissed director general of ATC, brigadier Vilarinho, and one of his deputies, sent early this year and purportedly describing the sorry state of equipment/staffing, need for emergency investment etc. The immediate assumption might be that they leaked the documents themselves. Maybe. But plenty of other people would have seen them.

What I find surprising is that none of the media have picked up on the IFATCA release, much of which I believe was based on a visit of their reps to Brasilia ATC shortly after the accident. Perhaps they’re just waiting for Brazil controllers’ document.

Barit1, good question re bottom line. As CAOS says, the airlines are talking about a R$4mio/day (US$1.8mio/day) loss. But I think that’s only for the public; the media always wants to know what it means in numbers so that’s what’s been trotted out. Downstream, when you combine the current self-flagellation in the media, Joe Sharkey’s blog, negative publicity radiated through travel agents (and not just about the Gol/Legacy accident), it is a disaster in the very visible making. In the wake of Varig’s semi-demise Gol and TAM have been building up their fleets and routes as fast as they can. If I remember correctly, as at last month Gol had another seven or eight new 737s to be delivered by year end, just in time for the December-February holiday season in a record year for Brazilian disposable income.

The general public, well assisted by the media, seem to be absorbing the implications for the holday season, despite official assurances to the contrary. Air reservations are down, bus reservations are up, hotels are moaning and the highway police are preparing themselves for a particularly bloody season as that disposable income is spent on surface as opposed to air transport.

Infraero, the airports authority, are still informing of delays over 15m, 30m and 45m on their website (in a previous post I had said they substituted 14m delays for 45m, wrong, apologies, and what they’ve done increases transparency, hats off to Infraero). I get the impression that special attention is being paid to keeping the Brasilia-Sao Paulo and Brasilia-Rio flights on time, at the expense of those to/from more outlying regions. I’ve kept a close eye on the site just for personal reasons, seeing how children and grandchildren were doing.

Anecdotal but perhaps revealing: yesterday I had to cancel a return trip on Gol, CGH-BSB-CGH. This morning a lady from Gol phoned to ask why I’d cancelled. It certainly wasn’t the first time I’ve cancelled a flight but it’s the first time someone’s called to ask why. I assured her it wasn’t for fear of ATC but that I’d had to apply all my efforts to trying to keep the apartment dry during yesterday’s particularly violent thunderstorm! As it happened my erstwhile flight arrived and departed right on time.

agusaleale
28th Nov 2006, 23:22
http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/Brasil/0,,AA1367572-5598,00.html
28/11/2006 - 20h11m - Atualizado em 28/11/2006 - 20h33m
APÓS DEPOR, PILOTOS DO LEGACY PODERÃO VOLTAR AOS EUA
The newspaper says that the wait of the american pilots is reaching to an end.
Renato Sayao, delegate of PF, informed today that the pilots are going to declare next week and after that they will be released and will return to USA.
The traduction of the conversation of the black boxes of the legacy, even the dialogues between pilots, is considered fundamental in order to establish the degree of culpability of pilots and ATCos.
Sayao informed that after the declaration, the pilots would return to USA, and that this country has legal cooperation agreements with Brasil; also that american justice will be notified about the process, and, in the future, if necessary, they could declare in USA.

These are very good news!!

caos
29th Nov 2006, 00:09
Finally a white thrills for the pilots of returning with their families.

A310driver
29th Nov 2006, 01:59
All that you say is true.
One problem .....you are talking about the commission of a crime and a person is detained whilst one determines whether said person can be charged with said crime.


What pray tell is(was) the crime committed here?

FreeJoe&Jan
29th Nov 2006, 03:08
1. The civil public prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation precisely to determine everyone's roles.

2. Since the air traffic controllers are military, they have residence in Brazil and they are not allowed to leave the country without permission. That's why the prosecution did not ask for their passports' seizure.

3. Brazilian constitution prohibits discrimination against foreigners and the pilots have full access to the Justice. Unfortunately, the US does not grant the same rights to foreigners anymore, not only in case of terrorism, but also in case of illegal immigration.

1. I don't know that I agree with that. The investigations started and were about the Legacy pilots. My understanding is that the civil public prosecutors can't prosecute ATC anyway because they are military.

2. See #1. I don't believe the prosecution can take action against the controllers. But, if the military decided to investigate crimes by ATC, it didn't happen for quite a long time. The truth is that no one should be criminally investigating in this matter--whether directed to the Legacy pilots or ATC. Both are victims of the same systemic problems.

3. What the US does or does not do doesn't matter and this isn't about terrorism or illegal immigration. What is legal in Brazil? Apparently, people on here that have read the convention that the prosecutor uses to keep them in Brazil say that it doesn't apply (and, interestingly enough, it is a convention on terrorism). So, what law allows Brazil to take their passports and keep them in Brazil?

FYI to all--O Globo says that the federal police now is saying that they will be free to leave after giving statements. It also says that, if there are ATC crimes, the federal police turns the matter over to the military.

FreeJoe&Jan
29th Nov 2006, 03:14
" The pilots are not likely to return home before investigations are finished, international criminal defense experts say.

"If the shoe were on the other foot, you could bet we'd keep them here until we were finished with the investigation," said Sylvia Royce, former chief of the Justice Department's international prisoner transfer program.

Royce said the Brazilian government is acting within reason, compared with American standards for detention. "Every country wants to hold on to people they think are involved in a crime," Royce said. "
Source: here (http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-usair214985130nov21,0,6312278.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-print)

Btw, I'm not a lawyer.


Not trying to start anything here and I think there is too much Brazil versus US going on here anyway. It shouldn't be about that. I just don't think that is true or relevant. The question has to be whether the laws in Brazil allow them to be kept there.

Does anyone here know the law in Brazil to say whether it even allows them to be held in this way?

FreeJoe&Jan
29th Nov 2006, 03:25
1. The Brazilian Air Force endorses your position. A criminal investigation makes the aeronautical investigation much more harder, they say.The criminal investigation was started by public prosecutors in the state of the collision, and they are not linked to the aeronautical authorities. The prosecutors are independent and they cannot be stopped by the government. They can be stopped by the court that has jurisdiction over the case if the court does not accept the charges they are expected to bring.

2. I haven't heard about such an agreement here in Brazil...It would require a presidential decree (medida provisória) approved by the Brazilian Congress. I can be wrong, but it seems impossible to me.

3. I have already explained it in a previous post...MPF is the Brazilian acronym for Ministério Público Federal, or Federal Public Prosecution Office.The higher court that is analyzing the habeas corpus filed by the pilots' attorneys requested a formal statement from the Federal Public Prosecution Office about the passports release. Of course, the prosecution wants to use the time already granted by the lower court to keep investigating the case and to keep the pilots in Brazil. The prosecution statement that you read above came out last Friday. Now the higher court will have to choose between the pilots' attorneys arguments or the prosecution arguments.Similar provisions do exist in the US...


1. Thanks for that explanation. It makes sense. It is sad that prosecutors started a criminal investigation. It has caused problems for the accident investigation. I saw one newspaper report mentioning the belief that the controllers got their stories together before testifying. Whether or not that is true, that is what a criminal investigation can cause.

2. The federal police mentions it in the media today. There is some convention or treaty that affords each country the right to get help from the other with criminal investigations. They don't need to hold the pilots and can get their statements in the US.

3. Thanks again for the explanation. The question is why would the prosecution be fighting it if the police can get statements from the pilots while they are in the US, as the federal police says?

FreeJoe&Jan
29th Nov 2006, 03:36
As you give your location as the USA, and given extraordinary rendition and Guantanamo as but two examples, do you not feel on slightly dodgy ground asking that question?

Of course the pilots should be released on the undertaking they'll return if required but I think we can do without the naive indignation.

Cheers,

Rich.

What do those have to do with two people not engaged in or suspected of terrorism or not illegally in a country? Why should they have to agree to return to Brazil? Is there a law that requires that?

I admit indignation, but I'm not so sure about naive.

Nothing personal, but I'd rather someone show the law in Brazil that allows these guys to be treated this way instead of using off-base US examples. If what has happened to them is right, it has to be because there are laws that permit it--not because it might happen somewhere else.

ATC Watcher
29th Nov 2006, 08:28
Broadreach :

Might it also be that your rumour source has picked up news to the effect that Brazil ATC will soon be releasing their own document regarding local deficiencies? If so let’s hope it’s unemotional and can be backed up by proof, not just adding fuel to the fire.

No, the info was pure technical : it was mostly about range of radars and VHF radio transmitters , and the operation of the Honeywell Primus 1000.
All these more or less confirmed by the IFATCA Statement.

I am also surprised that IFATCA's statement has not received more publicity in the Brazilian Media.

Both FAB and Embraer/Honeywell are not keen on having too much info being mediatized I guess.

threemiles
29th Nov 2006, 09:59
ATC Watcher, as you have some insight into Thales systems and we have disputed about this already, can you confirm that:

the "cleared flight level" portion of the label

- can change to the "flight plan level" without a controller's intervention
- does not change its color or font when this occurs, nor there is any other hint (like a succeeding marker or letter)
- this is by design??

Thanks.

ATC Watcher
29th Nov 2006, 14:09
can you confirm that:
the "cleared flight level" portion of the label
- can change to the "flight plan level" without a controller's intervention
Thanks.

Yes in some cases

does not change its color or font when this occurs, nor there is any other hint (like a succeeding marker or letter)


Apparently no.

- this is by design??

Yes.

Note that I have not seen this feature in any other Thales system, so I guess it must be a local specification, You have to understand that ATM manufacturers like Thales make ATC core systems ( the engine of a car if you like ) but that the HMI specifications (where to put the speedometer, what info you show to the driver, in which color, etc) this is generally requested by the client.

The fact that the cleared level becomes automatically the PLN ( or more accurately the requested level ) is not dangerous per se , and even can be useful in some cases as this is done is other ACC systems ( not built by Thales ) as exit, or pre set co-ordinated level .

What is very curious to say the least is the fact that there appear to be no visual difference between manual and auto input. But this is not the cause of the collision, just a (very) small contributing factor that could have helped the controller detect the discrepancy .
The filling of the mode C by vertical raw radar would appear to be far more important in this case. And is not a Typically Thales feature I can tell you .

arcniz
29th Nov 2006, 15:48
All that you say is true.
One problem .....you are talking about the commission of a crime and a person is detained whilst one determines whether said person can be charged with said crime.
What pray tell is(was) the crime committed here?

The crime is 'Technology gone wrong'!

Otherwise calm and reasonable people who see their loved-ones unexpectedly taken forever by unseen and difficult-to-comprehend circumstances well may wish to hold SOMEONE responsible for their loss. Ciphers and recordings, like the twisted machinery, cannot be held responsible in any emotionally meaningful way. The persons closest to the circumstances are convenient candidates. And the persons next-closest, etc.

The grinding slowness of legal process is not without purpose. From passing time gradually comes acknowledgement of the saddest truths and a softer edge on even the deepest sorrows. Anger slowly evolves to resignation, allowing reason to once again guide the further outcomes of a tragedy like this.

It is a human thing. Odd, perhaps unreasonable, but very human.

I also very much desire the release of the Legacy pilots. Perhaps that could have come sooner, but perhaps not. The legal system in Brazil seems to be working, at a deliberate pace, to provide an affirmative resolution to the disaster and accompanying political and civil crisis. Far better a bit of time in secure detention than a messy lynching in the plaza, or something similar in time following.

You may wish to recall the aftermath of the Überlingen tragedy, where months after the fact a desperately grieving parent traveled a long distance to murder the ATCO closest to the events.

barit1
29th Nov 2006, 15:57
Not unlike a hospital radiation-related death in the news 20 years ago.

The timing for the dosage was controlled by computer, but the equipment operator was too fast a typist. Although the display showed the correct dosage, the patient received a 10x dose.

The programmer had never anticipated anyone could type that fast.

The systems designer never specified a data-entry speed range.

Who is to blame? :(

(The answer: He with the deepest pockets)

broadreach
29th Nov 2006, 22:20
Media’s quoting Mr Sayao as saying the Legacy crew will be enroute home “by 13 Dec”. Perhaps earlier, as soon as they’re interviewed by the Federal Police.

Additional workload on crews during the ATC slowdown. ANAC (the air transport regulatory agency) has been asked to investigate violations of hours worked, and rostering. Back to Barit1’s question re the impact on airlines. What happens to rostering and scheduling when very tight networks like the Gol or TAM ones are subjected to the unexpected restrictions recently encountered in Brazil? What to to when the only way to get a relief crew to a place 700 miles from the nearest base is tomorrow’s scheduled flight and it’s doubtful that one will be on time? The crew may be tired but they’d rather get back to their bases by tonight even if it’s a few hours over regs. One more downstream cost: fines or sanctions against the airlines for violations of working/standby/etc hours.

Transparency. Yesterday I apologised for incorrect information regarding Infraero’s posting of flight time delays. Premature; as of today all flight delay information is on the ANAC site which only shows those over one hour. Still 16% of total flights, including cancellations.

Omykron
30th Nov 2006, 05:01
Does anyone here know the law in Brazil to say whether it even allows them to be held in this way?
This is what a criminal lawyer told me:

Since the pilots are under a criminal investigation, they can not leave the country without authorization of a judge.
But this do not mean that they (pilots) can not leave where they are (Rio de Janeiro).
They just can not leave Brazil.
This could happen with a Brazilian. And in some cases, the person can not leave the city without a judge authorization.


I am also surprised that IFATCA's statement has not received more publicity in the Brazilian Media.
Since IFATCA did not blame anyone, in clear words, Brazilian Media just did not give a ****.
This is typical here in Brazil. :sad:

Scurvy.D.Dog
30th Nov 2006, 14:32
ATC Watcher and arcniz ….. alas ….. my heart burns!
… Peter was fatally stabbed to death on his doorstep in front of his family for doing his job :{ ….. hideous :mad: :{ !! You may wish to recall the aftermath of the Überlingen tragedy, where months after the fact a desperately grieving parent traveled a long distance to murder the ATCO closest to the events....... the same, or similar must NOT occur :sad: … particularly when it appears ‘ATC soldiers' (civil and/or military) are quite possibly victims of circumstance! :mad: :sad: :{ (resources, equipment, technology etc) ….. pawns in the Technological and Political game of circumstance??? :( :uhoh: :sad:
.
Air Traffic Controllers and Pilots are not in the business of knowingly killing people!
.
….. PLEASE, DO NOT VENT YOUR ANGER ON THEM !!! .... ask yourselves :uhoh: ... HOW and WHY?? :sad: :uhoh:
.
.. we all grieve for the souls lost! :{ :{

agusaleale
30th Nov 2006, 16:13
ATC Watcher and arcniz ….. alas ….. my heart burns!
… Peter was fatally stabbed to death on his doorstep in front of his family for doing his job :{ ….. hideous :mad: :{ !!...... the same, or similar must NOT occur :sad: … particularly when it appears ‘ATC soldiers' (civil and/or military) are quite possibly victims of circumstance! :mad: :sad: :{ (resources, equipment, technology etc) ….. pawns in the Technological and Political game of circumstance??? :( :uhoh: :sad:
.
Air Traffic Controllers and Pilots are not in the business of knowingly killing people!
.
….. PLEASE, DO NOT VENT YOUR ANGER ON THEM !!! .... ask yourselves :uhoh: ... HOW and WHY?? :sad: :uhoh:
.
.. we all grieve for the souls lost!

For sure nobody is in the business of killing people, but ocassionally happens.
Every day on roads, and of course that drivers are not going around trying to kill people, but it happens.
I leave the conclusions for you...:hmm:

Tarq57
30th Nov 2006, 19:40
ATC Watcher and arcniz ….. alas ….. my heart burns!
… Peter was fatally stabbed to death on his doorstep in front of his family for doing his job ….. hideous !!
Quote:
You may wish to recall the aftermath of the Überlingen tragedy, where months after the fact a desperately grieving parent traveled a long distance to murder the ATCO closest to the events.

I've felt strongly about this for a long time. As I'm sure many have. The media did a profound job of reporting the collision in all it's gory detail, and utterly failed to follow up on the true circumstances. (Sent a filthy email to the BBC at the time actually - no reply.)
Follow up reporting might not have made any difference in this case, the poor relative was clearly crazy with grief, and perhaps beyond objectivity.
But it might have.

Scurvy.D.Dog
30th Nov 2006, 22:17
For sure nobody is in the business of killing people, but ocassionally happens.
Every day on roads, and of course that drivers are not going around trying to kill people, but it happens. ... yes ... they are called ACCIDENTS! ... unfortunately, road deaths are not always accidents! ... thank goodness Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers are held to much much higher standards than your average motorist! :uhoh: I leave the conclusions for you... ... 'some' of the conclusions are pretty clear in my mind! ... and you?
.
Mark,
.
Agree 100%

FreeJoe&Jan
1st Dec 2006, 04:13
This is what a criminal lawyer told me:

Since the pilots are under a criminal investigation, they can not leave the country without authorization of a judge.
But this do not mean that they (pilots) can not leave where they are (Rio de Janeiro).
They just can not leave Brazil.
This could happen with a Brazilian. And in some cases, the person can not leave the city without a judge authorization.


Thank you for that response.

I think that probably summarizes the circumstances that exist now. I don't think that is the every day law.

Normally, I would guess that there needs to be a law that allows a court to prevented someone from leaving the country. It has to be something more than that a criminal investigation is happening because those can take a long time, etc.

The real question is what is required for a Brazilian court to prevent someone from leaving the country? There have to be rules in Brazil before you can take away someone's freedom. What are those rules and do they apply here? To me, that's the real question.

agusaleale
1st Dec 2006, 10:51
... yes ... they are called ACCIDENTS! ... unfortunately, road deaths are not always accidents! ... thank goodness Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers are held to much much higher standards than your average motorist! :uhoh: ... 'some' of the conclusions are pretty clear in my mind! ... and you?
.
Mark,
.
Agree 100%

Also agree.
Anyway, you still have to find something or somebody to blame, for two reasons.

The main one is assure that it never happens again.

The obvious second is assigning responsibilities for insurance purposes...

Omykron
2nd Dec 2006, 19:18
I guess this has become a dead topic while two pilots cool their jets in Brazil waiting for someone to figure out if a crime was committed ...after two months you would think the rule books could have been read to see what violation of criminal law took place.
I said once, I say again. They are suspects of involvement in a plane crash.

The Brazilian Code of Aeronautics, do not allow any prosecutor to use a preliminary (or final) report of a plane crash to charge anyone, and do not allow that pilots be charged of murderer in a plane crash.

They had they passports held by justice until the CENIPA investigators and to the prosecutor have the information needed to understand what happened in 09/29/2006. Or this is what the media says.

I think you didn´t read the post properly. Nobody spoke about arrest, simply not freedom. Do you think people in Cuba are arrested?
They can move around the country, they can go anywhere in Brazil, but cannot leave before they have accomplished the right of defend themselves.


Now lets see the things in another scope.
If a small business jet get involved with the crash of an US (we can change to UK, France...) aircraft, in US (we can change to UK, France...) soil, and the pilots of the business jet are from another country. Do you really think that if they (authorities) have suspect of something went wrong, and the crew can help in the crash investigation, that they can go away and never comeback?
I mean, do you really think that a Judge will let this happen? Would YOU let this happen?

frimm
2nd Dec 2006, 20:34
Also agree.
Anyway, you still have to find something or somebody to blame, for two reasons.

The main one is assure that it never happens again.

The obvious second is assigning responsibilities for insurance purposes...


Well speaking as a non-aviation person.......

I thought there was an accident investigation taking place. I thought that accident investigations were supposed to try and understand why an event happened, and how to prevent it happening again. I did not realise that they apportioned blame...

With regard to insurance companies they can argue in court and horse trade to their hearts content....... after the accident investigation is completed.

Just my take on it..

Frimm

A310driver
2nd Dec 2006, 20:39
Your years of experience and seasoning are showing......

So now we have it...they are suspected of doing something (not sure what it is, or how that something affected this incident) but they are suspects and that is enough to hold them against their will.

Enlightening.

E1405
2nd Dec 2006, 21:42
Your years of experience and seasoning are showing......

So now we have it...they are suspected of doing something (not sure what it is, or how that something affected this incident) but they are suspects and that is enough to hold them against their will.

Enlightening.


You seem to be one of those guys who want to change the world… so romantic. :ugh:

Please, come back to reality: the US government has nothing to say about the Brazilian procedures on this case.:=

Transcript from yesterday's State Department press briefing, deputy flack Tom Casey presiding:

QUESTION: Do you have any update for us on the condition of these U.S. pilots that are in Brazil that were part of that crash a couple of months ago? Any update on their condition and what the U.S. might be doing to expedite their release or assist them in any way?

MR. CASEY: Well, I don't think that there is a lot new that I have to offer you on this. This is the case of several U.S. pilots that are not charged with anything and not under arrest but have been asked to remain in Brazil while Brazilian aviation officials look at the circumstances surrounding the collision of a couple of aircraft. We have continued to be in touch through our consular officers with the individuals themselves and with their family members. We're certainly in regular contact with the Brazilian Government about that case. We do want to see them conclude the investigation in a way that certainly respects their normal legal and regulatory procedures. But in terms of movement on that, I'd have to refer you to the Brazilian authorities.

QUESTION: Do you have information about the U.S. attempts to get them sent over to the United States?

MR. CASEY: Well, again, this is something that's proceeding in accordance with Brazilian laws and practices and our main message to the Brazilian Government is we want to make sure that they are treated in accordance with the laws and the standards that Brazil has.

QUESTION: And just one final follow-up? Do you feel that they are being treated within their norms of international and Brazilian law at this point?
MR. CASEY: My understanding at this is point is that this investigation and the activities surrounding it are proceeding as we would expect them to, but again I don't have any real specifics to offer you. You really have to talk to the Brazilians about the details of that investigation.

vapilot2004
2nd Dec 2006, 22:48
Our State Dept has been in contact with the Brazilian government regarding the Legacy pilots detention within the country. According to back channel DC rumours, they are to be released soon - after processing through the legal system there.

My reporting of the rumoured interval being 'perhaps days' appears to be closer to weeks in reality. :O

Progress is being made. Public opinion and many in the political and business community within Brazil would like our guys to be returned home ASAP too.


But what on earth is wrong with wanting to change the world?

MJ, when it is for the better, not a :mad: thing. :OK:

FreeJoe&Jan
3rd Dec 2006, 05:04
I said once, I say again. They are suspects of involvement in a plane crash.

They are not suspects of involvement in a plane crash. They were involved in a plane crash. They just were lucky enough to survive.

The Brazilian Code of Aeronautics, do not allow any prosecutor to use a preliminary (or final) report of a plane crash to charge anyone, and do not allow that pilots be charged of murderer in a plane crash.

Well, tell that to the prosecutor because, ever since the judge ordered the crash investigators to give everything in the investigation to the police, the police and prosecutors probably are using it.

They had they passports held by justice until the CENIPA investigators and to the prosecutor have the information needed to understand what happened in 09/29/2006. Or this is what the media says.

I want to know the law in Brazil that says that you can take a passport until you figure out what happened, especially when that can take months. I doubt that it exists.

They can move around the country, they can go anywhere in Brazil, but cannot leave before they have accomplished the right of defend themselves.

Defend themselves from what? I thought everyone was just trying to figure out what happened. Are they guilty until they prove that they are innocent?

Great. So, they can go anywhere they want in Brazil. That probably would be okay--for a Brazilian, who can go home, go to work, go visit friends. Not so good for someone that doesn't live there and doesn't want to be there.

Now lets see the things in another scope.
If a small business jet get involved with the crash of an US (we can change to UK, France...) aircraft, in US (we can change to UK, France...) soil, and the pilots of the business jet are from another country. Do you really think that if they (authorities) have suspect of something went wrong, and the crew can help in the crash investigation, that they can go away and never comeback?

That's not true. The crash investigators already have said that their being in Brazil has nothing to do with the crash investigation. This isn't about help. It is about blame.

I mean, do you really think that a Judge will let this happen? Would YOU let this happen?

I really think that a judge should follow the law. If it was up to me, I hope that I would follow the law.

broadreach
3rd Dec 2006, 13:56
There's a translation of an interview of the ATC on duty here:
http://www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/7624/53/

Graybeard
3rd Dec 2006, 15:56
Maybe it's been too subtle for you all to notice, but there has been a change in the tone of the Brazilian media. It's gone from "The Boeing was hit," to "the aircraft collided."

The press are generally prejudiced toward airlines, and against general aviation if there is a conflict. After all, who are the major advertisers?

The Pacific Southwest Airlines 727-200 that overran a 172 over San Diego in 1978 is a prime example. Everywhere in the press, the airline talked about their 727 being hit by the 172. Newsweek or one of those even went so far as to show an illustration of the 172 overtaking and crashing into the 727 from behind.

The scenario was repeated when a Piper Cherokee collided with an AeroMexico DC9-30 over Los Angeles. "The airliner was hit."

GB

barit1
4th Dec 2006, 00:32
...
The Pacific Southwest Airlines 727-200 that overran a 172 over San Diego in 1978 is a prime example. Everywhere in the press, the airline talked about their 727 being hit by the 172. Newsweek or one of those even went so far as to show an illustration of the 172 overtaking and crashing into the 727 from behind.

The scenario was repeated when a Piper Cherokee collided with an AeroMexico DC9-30 over Los Angeles. "The airliner was hit."

GB

Same thing applied to a DC-9 (Allegheny?) and PA-28 at Shelbyville IN in the early 70s. I had to call up a radio talk show and point out "that a bicycle cannot run down a Greyhound bus". :rolleyes:

Just found a brief#: DCA70A0004

E1405
4th Dec 2006, 14:20
Brazilian Authorities Backtrack and US Pilots Are Threatened with Jail
(http://www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/7625/53/)



Two hours of conversations (http://www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/7625/53/) by two American pilots between themselves and with the air control towers in São José dos Campos, in the interior of São Paulo and in Brazilian capital Brasília, might decide in the next few days if the pilots of the Legacy executive jet can go back to the US, ending their virtual house arrest, or if they will be taken to prison.
The transcription of the dialogues in English have been translated into Portuguese and a team of experts is expected to start today the analysis of the material.
They will be looking for hints that Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino acted in an irresponsible or criminal way that ended up causing Brazil's worst air accident ever with 154 dead.
Anonymous testimonies published by the Brazilian media have painted a picture of failing equipment in the control center and less than professional behavior by some air controllers (http://www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/7625/53/).
All this information, however, hasn't changed the fact that the Brazilian authorities consider the American pilots their main suspect. The analysis of the conversations may mean the difference between declaring Lepore and Paladino innocent or guilty of gross negligence or even criminal malice.
Federal police chief Renato Sayão, who is in charge of the investigation, had indicated last week that the interview with the pilots would be just a pro-forma, bureaucratic act and that the Americans would be free to leave soon after their testimony.
He has changed considerably his tone, however. "If it can be proved that the pilots deliberately engaged in dangerous behavior, like turning off the transponder, disobeying control tower orders or changing the flight altitude on their own initiative, they will not escape indictment for felonious homicide."
If they are found innocent or if there is an indictment for involuntary manslaughter the American pilots, whose passports have been confiscated since the beginning of October, will be able to leave immediately to the US.
In case they are indicted for felonious homicide, however, the Brazilian Justice may order their temporary arrest and they will be in jail while the inquiry's fact finding goes on.
"This is a very serious crime," says Sayão, "carrying from 8 to 24 years of jail time."
People close to the investigation say that after close to two months of probing, the Brazilian Federal Police seem inclined to indict the two American pilots.
According to Sayão, the transcript shows a dialogue between the two pilots, right after the collision with the Boeing 737, which is very "revealing." But he refused to tell what he heard.

E1405
4th Dec 2006, 14:27
Folha de São Paulo – December 4th
LEONARDO SOUZA
(translated by www.brazzil.com)


Federal police must blame pilots, radars and controllers

Inquiry must conclude that a factors sum caused the collision between Gol Boeing and Legacy

According to the police, flight plan should have been followed and Legacy wrong altitude realized by the operators; "blind area" would be other cause.

The Federal Police inquiry about the collision between Gol plane and the little jet, on September 29, lead to blame several involved in the accident, including flight controllers and Legacy crew, besides stressing the existing failures in the Aeronautics radar systems.

The marshal responsible for the case, Renato Sayão, considers that there was not a simply failure neither a unique guilty, but a series of "causal vectors" that led to the collision between both planes.

The Legacy pilots should have followed the flight plan or insisted in contacting the control center of Brasília, when overflying the city, to change altitude.

After leaving São José dos Campos, Legacy followed at 37 thousand feet until colliding with Boeing in Mato Grosso, disrespecting the flight plan that foresaw a descent at 36 thousand feet after Brasília and ascent to 38 thousand feet little before the collision. The jet pilots allege that they received authorization to fly at 37 thousand until Manaus.

According to depositions seized by the Federal Police, one of the flight controllers did not realize that the system automatically corrected the virtual flight plan of Legacy when it passed by Brasília, showing foreseen altitudes and not the real.

The Legacy transponder, a tragic coincidence, was inoperative at that moment and the data about its altitude was taken from the system.

One of the controllers that was on duty in Brasília on the day of the accident, affirmed that he did not request Legacy to change its altitude because he thought the little jet was at 36 thousand feet, as foreseen in the flight plan, and "because there was not other traffic in the proximities". Gol Boeing, however, flew in opposite direction.
A third factor is that the Aeronautics radars system present failures in the region between Mato Grosso and Manaus, where there are "blind areas."

In short, according to the Federal Police, the accident would not have occurred if:

1 - Legacy crew had respected the flight plan or insisted in contacting Brasília's Center;
2 - The flight controllers had detected that Legacy flew at a different altitude than the foreseen in the flight plan. Thus, without even managing to get in touch with the little jet, could have warned Gol Boeing so that it could have diverted of the route;
3 - If there were not "blind areas" between radars, the flight controllers could have detected that the little jet was not flying at the foreseen altitude.

broadreach
4th Dec 2006, 20:41
The media’s attention has shifted entirely away from the Legacy crew onto ATC. Not transferring the blame onto individual controllers, rather directing it at the opaque military system within which they work. The controllers directly involved have all been interviewed by the accident investigation body and by the Federal Police, and are now giving “anonymous” interviews to the press, including television. If there’s a PR company or person working with the ATC peoples’ lawyers, they’re doing a superb job. Some very damning comment is being aired regarding equipment failures or obsolescence, understaffing, a continuing “black hole” for comms and radar between Brasilia and Manaus, including video of radar screens showing aircraft disappearing from the screen. Statements like “It’s a time bomb; it’s exploded once and it will happen again” do tend to catch the eye.

The airforce’s PR consists of denials of the media’s and interviewees’ claims, calling them an alarmist smear campaign. FAB (Brazilian airforce) and ANAC (Brazil’s CAA) statements say the ATC situation is returning to normal and that there is no work-to-rule. Flight delays do seem to be slowly subsiding although it’s difficult to judge now that “delay” means anything over an hour as opposed to anything over 15 minutes.

An independent analysis might conclude that the traveling public realise that it’s the delays that have become normal. It might also observe that emergency measures such as rerouting of flights away from Brasilia control, extending the Congonhas (São Paulo’s downtown airport) curfew from 23:00 to 01:30 and imposing a curfew on general aviation, are all having an effect. It would probably find neither those measures, nor the airlines’ difficulties with rostering, hubbing/feedering and maintenance schedules, “normal”.

Dissent within the airforce over the ATC head’s dismissal and the (civilian) defense minister’s interference in airforce affairs is now very public.

The papers have it that Mr Sayao, the Federal Police man in charge of the criminal investigation, is about to bring charges of manslaughter against both the Legacy crew and ATC, in which case the crew will be given back their passports. Next few days will tell.

It will all make an interesting case study in governmental crisis management - how not to do it.

ORAC
4th Dec 2006, 22:26
The papers have it that Mr Sayao, the Federal Police man in charge of the criminal investigation, is about to bring charges of manslaughter against .... the Legacy crew ..... in which case the crew will be given back their passports. :confused: :confused:

ironbutt57
4th Dec 2006, 22:30
And given the apparnt defienciencies in the ATC system....run...and dont look back..

broadreach
4th Dec 2006, 23:52
Orac
Don't be :confused: manslaughter is the closest I could get, as opposed to homicide. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but (if the press rumours are to be believed) the public prosecutor, Mr Sayao, is taking the path of least resistance and attributing culpability to everyone. That's his job or at least he thinks it is within the judicial system. Once that's done and the Legacy crew are enroute home it will be a lawyerfest for the next few years.

ironbutt
Yes, up to a point. Good example of how counterproductive criminalisation of accidents can be.

vapilot2004
5th Dec 2006, 00:19
There well be another hearing regarding the Legacy pilots in Brazilian court on 5 Dec 06. (Tuesday)

Wish them luck!

Richard_Brazil
5th Dec 2006, 14:42
Greetings. I am not a pilot. I'm not a lawyer, either.

The newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo today published an article with the title "Brasília Controller Admits Errors". It's online, in Portuguese, at http://txt.estado.com.br/editorias/2006/12/05/cid-1.93.3.20061205.21.1.xml

The print edition included extracts from the testimony, which of course aren't copyrighted and can be posted here.

In the Brazilian legal system, the witness speaks to the police investigator or the judge, who dictated to the scribe or the court reporter. So it's all third person: "the deponent said" and so forth. My translation is a bit stilted, but it's quite close to the original.

There is a link a few posts above to brazzil.com and a translation of part of the interview with the controllers in last weekend's edition of Época magazine. brazzil.com is missing the last page of that article, and the interview seems to have been under the close control of the controllers' lawyers.

Here are the stretches of testimony O Estado chose to extract:

Jomarcelo dos Santos

"In reference to the console [the control desk] he was working on, and in the period in which the aircraft N600XL [Legacy] was under his control, the quantity of traffic controlled by the declarant was considered tranquil and there was no specific factor which could take his attention in relation to air traffic control."

"He received a message from the aircraft, and instructed it to activate the identification mode on its transponder."

"That this communication had taken place when this aircraft was 50 nautical miles to the south of Brasília [about 90 Km] and that the aircraft also gave the level it was at, that is, at 370 and no observation by the declarant was made, because it was in accordance with its flight plan."

"That after its passage through Brasília he made no contact with the aircraft, to determine that it descend from level 370 to level 360, becasue, as well as splitting his attention among other traffic, when he observed the radar visualization of the aircraft the indication he saw was that it was already flying at level 360, in accordance with the flight plan."

Lucivando Tibúrcio

"That when he appeared to relieve his comrade, which happened about 16:15, he took over the console that was occupied only by 3S Jormarcelo and, on taking over, also remained without an assistant for a period of about 10 to 15 minutes.

"That when he took over the position and did the traffic check with 3S Jormarcelo, as to N600XL the declarant observed and asked his predecessor about the aircraft's altitude, having in view that there was an indication of two levels on the corresponding electronic strip, which were level 360 and also level 380, receiving as a response that the aircraft was maintaining level 360."

"That, therefore, he understood that as to this traffic, everything was normal and routine [...] But that the initial observation of the aircraft plot did not leave the declarant certain in respect to whether or not the transponder was functioning."

"As measures taken in light of this suspicion [that the Legacy 's transponder was not functioning] he attempted to enter into contact with the aircraft, that he did not obtain any reply in his attempts to communicate, and he affirmed having made an approximate number of five to eight attempts."

"That at this moment [shortly before the Legacy's collision with the Gol Boeing] it did not even have a plot on the radar, because this is a non-radar area, nor bilateral communication with the aircraft, because it is an area with a high degree of deficiency, of frequency, that is, an area that is blind, deaf and dumb."

agusaleale
5th Dec 2006, 18:13
http://oglobo.globo.com/pais/mat/2006/12/05/286902765.asp

The justice determined that the passports of Legacy pilots should be returned in 72 hs.
Federal Justice tooks the decision that the Federal Police must return the passports to the legacy pilots in that time. According by the Regional Federal Tribunal of 1st Region (federal District), this time is enough for the Legacy pilots to be heard by Federal Police.

A310driver
5th Dec 2006, 19:15
That's the best news on this thread in many a day. Hopefully the Police can finish their business in the next two days and our guys can head back home...and maybe the investigation will be returned to the rightful agency in Brazil.

Thanks for the update.

RatherBeFlying
5th Dec 2006, 20:16
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Brazil-Plane-Crash.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
Free Registration requiredRIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- 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.

Federal judge Candido Ribeiro said Tuesday there were no legal grounds for restricting their movements.

However, the two must agree to return to Brazil for any further inquiry and judicial action, the court said.

''At departure, air traffic control cleared the Legacy to Manaus at 37,000 feet,'' Torricella [the pilots' lawyer] said at the time. ''Absent a contrary clearance by air traffic control, the Legacy was required to remain at that altitude.''

broadreach
6th Dec 2006, 01:46
Good news re the Legacy crew.

But the ATC mess continues. Cindacta 1, the Brasilia ATC centre that controls the greater part of Brazil's traffic, began the day with a 45-minute comms blackout, apparently recovered and then continued with similar problems throughout the day. To the extent that by 20:00 LT all departures from Congonhas (except the Santos Dumont shuttle), Brasilia and Belo Horizonte were cancelled.

A310driver
6th Dec 2006, 16:46
It's awfully quiet from Brazil today........


Does anyone know what is happening with aircraft?? Is it released for repair and return to service?

Brat
6th Dec 2006, 22:49
Just arrived back from Sao Paulo this afternoon. Over 100 flights cancelled many more delayed due as yet unexplained ATC blackouts Brasilia. Wonder if its a work to rule by ATC staff?

bubbers44
7th Dec 2006, 01:00
I just want to see the verification that they are out of country.

broadreach
7th Dec 2006, 02:16
Brat
Count yourself lucky. The problem yesterday (5 Dec) was attributed to comms software in Cindacta1, Brasilia which, as they handle a large proportion of Brazil's ATC, had a domino effect on flights throughout the rest of the country. International flights, at least those to/from the north, have been less affected although I believe intra-regional (Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay) ones have.

Today's been devoted to getting yesterday's pax, many of whom slept on the granite floors of departure lounges, to their destinations. Tomorrow (7 Dec) more of the same, and so forth.

The comms software breakdown has nothing to do with ATC work-to-rule, say the airforce. Naturally, given events of the last two months, some doubt persists.

A310driver
No news in the media. It would be in the hands of the insurers now anyway, wouldn't it. I'd guess Embraer have quietly assessed the damage and arranged for repairs to be completed in situ, or at least to have parts ready, regardless of who's paying.

bubbers44
In the present context of ATC chaos the Legacy crews' continuing presence in Brazil is, at the very least, profoundly embarrassing; the sooner they're away home the better.

bubbers44
7th Dec 2006, 03:04
Thanks Broadreach, I think we will need him back with our airline soon. I have been trying to see what our airline procecedures are and can't find any reason to hold him.

vapilot2004
7th Dec 2006, 07:55
From the Long Island section of Newsday:

L.I. pilots held in Brazil crash cleared for takeoff

BY JOHN LAUINGER and JONATHAN LEMIRE
DAILY NEWS WRITERS

A pair of Long Island pilots detained in Brazil for months after the worst airline disaster in the South American nation's history are coming home.
Joseph Lepore, 42, and Jan Paladino, 34, are expected to return to the U.S. on Saturday after a Brazilian court ordered the release of their passports, allowing the pilots to leave Brazil for the first time since the Sept. 29 collision that killed 154 people.

"I don't even know how excited I am yet," said Lepore's 8-year-old son, Michael, outside his Bay Shore home yesterday.

Lepore and Paladino have been secluded in a Rio de Janeiro hotel while Brazilian officials investigate whether the seven-person ExcelAire corporate jet they were piloting caused Gol Airlines Flight 1907 to plunge into the Amazon.

"The Lepore and Paladino families obviously are very pleased with the court's ruling and are hopeful that it brings Joe and Jan one huge step closer to a long-overdue permanent homecoming," said Robert Torricella, the pilots' Miami-based lawyer.

The pilots have agreed to return to Brazil for further inquiry as part of the agreement that returned their passports, Torricella said.

The two men could still face manslaughter charges, though recent developments in the investigation appear to indicate that the ExcelAire jet was following the instructions of air traffic controllers in the moments before the deadly collision.




:ok:

ORAC
7th Dec 2006, 15:44
SAO PAULO, Brazil, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Air traffic in Brazil has been chaotic since a Boeing 737 crashed on Sept. 29, exposing major problems in the country's aviation system and forcing the temporary shutdown of three airports amid its worst-ever aviation crisis. The accident took place when the Boeing, operated by Brazilian carrier Gol Linhas Aereas <GOL.N>, and a business jet collided in mid-air. The jet landed safely at a remote Amazon airstrip but the Boeing crashed nearby, killing 154 people.

Since the crash, the deadliest in Brazilian history, air traffic controllers have organized work slowdowns to protest poor pay and long hours, bringing air travel to a near-halt several times in the last two months. Controllers have said their work load increased after the crash, with some saying they sometimes handled as many as 20 flights simultaneously. The aviation crisis has also led to accusations of sabotage by disgruntled controllers, prompting Brazil's Congress to call a special session for next week to address the situation.

The crisis came to a head on Tuesday night, when officials were forced to temporarily shut down three major airports and cancel dozens of flights because of an apparent equipment failure that caused controllers to lose contact with planes. "There has never been a day like this in Brazilian aviation," said Milton Zuanazzi, the aviation authority chief. Officials blamed the breakdown on a technical glitch. But aviation experts questioned that explanation, saying the collapse may have been the result of sabotage by controllers who feel they are being made scapegoats for the Gol crash. "There is no doubt that this was intentional," said Franco Ferreira, a retired Air Force colonel and aviation expert, on Wednesday in a radio interview.

Dozens more flights were delayed or canceled again on Wednesday, angering travelers around the country. In Brasilia, passengers protested the delays by donning red clown noses and blowing whistles as they waited in long lines. Delays and cancellations have become commonplace since the Gol crash, prompting an avalanche of criticism of Brazil's civil-aviation system, which is run by the military. With air travel in Brazil growing at a double-digit pace, critics say the government has not done enough to keep up with demand.

As the crisis heated up late last month, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva fired the commander of the air traffic control system. But the situation has worsened, bringing calls for the resignation of Defense Minister Waldir Pires. Pires is scheduled to go before a congressional panel next Wednesday to discuss the crisis.

Airlines are concerned that the situation could discourage travelers from flying. "If things stay like this, traveling by plane is going to be like going to the dentist," said Marco Antonio Bologna, the chief executive of Brazilian airline TAM, recently.....

Brat
7th Dec 2006, 16:13
Thank you ORAC merely confirms what a TAM captain was saying to me as I left...having sat at the dentists for about eight hours. Not that I was not very grateful to have been able to get out you understand Broadreach.
Hope the pilots got out, they had just had ten straight days of rain in Rio prior to some sunshine for the last couple over the weekend so a bit gloomy weather wise on top of what they have already been going through.

Richard_Brazil
7th Dec 2006, 20:25
It's awfully quiet from Brazil today........
Does anyone know what is happening with aircraft?? Is it released for repair and return to service?

There's a lien against it, and a court order preventing it from leaving the country. Both brought by relatives of Gol passengers.

Assuming the plane is financed, the bank would have prior claim, and the orders should be easy to nullify.

As to investigation of the accident, the transponder has already been sent to the U.S. I assume that means whatever needed to be checked before it was removed has been checked. But I don't know.

Halfnut
7th Dec 2006, 22:52
This comes under the catagory of things that make you go hummmmmm:

http://www1.airliners.net/open.file/1098899/L/

caos
7th Dec 2006, 23:27
PILOTS OF LEGACY WILL TESTIFY IN SÃO PAULO; PF SHOULD ACCUSE THEM
(PF = Federal Police)
The Federal Police said on this Thursday (07) that the pilots of Legacy Jan Paladino Joe Lepore will be heard at 8:00 in this Friday (8) in the headquarters of the superintendency of the Federal Police in São Paulo. The police officer Ramón Almeida da Silva, who presides the case, should accuse them with base in the article 261 of the penal code, for they have exposed to the danger the safety of the air traffic.

Until the night of this Thursday still remained doubts in relation to the modality of the qualification of the crime - if it would be guilty or deceitful. Everything indicates that it will be guilty, in other words, the pilots didn't have the intention of causing the accident and either to cause the 154 people's death that was on board of Gol Boeing flight 1907, on September 29, that was shocked in the air with the jet.
http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/Brasil/0,,AA1379668-5598-295,00.html

A310driver
8th Dec 2006, 01:33
Is there someone out there who understands Portugese and has a command of the English language that can provide a more accurate translation of the O Globo article?? Looks like there are missing words and nuances that (can) completely alter the meaning of what has been said (should for could, guilty ??)

vapilot2004
8th Dec 2006, 03:06
While efforts by all are appreciated, I agree with you 310, I have yet to see a properly translated Portuguese to English text on this entire thread. :ugh:

caos
8th Dec 2006, 03:52
While efforts by all are appreciated, I agree with you 310, I have yet to see a properly translated Portuguese to English text on this entire thread. :ugh:
A310 and vapilot,
Sorry for the translation but it is a plain translation of what the article says in the way the journalists write.
Things are not totally clear for pilots tomorrow, looks like Federal Police wants them to stay in Brazil.
Yes, the article say "should accuse..."
About the word "guilty" take it as manslaughter charges.
Maybe the article at this link can clear a little more how things are going now,
http://www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/7641/53/
Note that the police officer now is Ramón Almeida da Silva and not Mr. Sayao who was in charge of most of the investigation.

A310driver
8th Dec 2006, 06:27
That's a good link you provided and makes clear what the prosecutor is trying to do....

Too bad for the pilots..just when I thought that they were going to be released. One scenario is that the prosecutor is trying to get publicity while implying blame on the pilots but knowing that the higher court has set a deadline for their release after considering the law and the same set of facts.

Thanks for your efforts.....I am glad that I do not have to attempt to translate english into portugese......that would be a bad scene.

broadreach
8th Dec 2006, 11:09
Lepore and Paladino arrived in Sao Paulo this morning and are being interviewed by the Federal Police now. When that's over they are expected to proceed to GRU and leave Brazil.

I've felt from the beginning of this affair that Mr Sayao was in for the publicity, and I suspect his superiors are of the same opinion, which might go some way to explaining why he's not conducting the interviews.

And. I'd recommend some caution with the Brazzil article; it seems to me just the teeniest bit slanted. One might apply the same scepticism of their coverage of the Federal Police as is normally applied to journalists' knowlege of aviation matters.

A310driver
8th Dec 2006, 11:37
Good advice regarding the article

Halfnut
8th Dec 2006, 14:23
More things that make you go hummmmmmm:

http://www.sizes.com/society/corruption_index.htm

For the updated list:

http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi

agusaleale
8th Dec 2006, 16:00
http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/SaoPaulo/0,,AA1380435-5605,00.html
Depois de seis horas, terminou o depoimento dos pilotos americanos Jan Paladino e Joe Lepore na Superintendência da Polícia Federal de São Paulo. Foi o primeiro depoimento dos dois à PF. Paladino e Lepore, que conduziam o jato Legacy que se envolveu no acidente com o Boeing 737-800 da Gol em 29 de setembro <http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/0,,IIF661-5598,00.html>, começaram a depor por volta das 8h15 desta sexta-feira (8) na sede da superintendência da Polícia Federal de São Paulo. Os dois já têm os passaportes nas mãos e estão liberados para voltar aos Estados Unidos.
Paladino e Lepore deixaram o prédio da Polícia Federal, na Zona Oeste da capital, em uma van do consulado dos Estados Unidos, e se dirigiram ao Aeroporto Internacional de Cumbica, em Guarulhos, na Grande São Paulo.

After 6 hours, the declaration of the legacy pilots finished. It was the first declaration at the Federal Police. Paladino and Lepore began to declare at 8:15. They received both passports and are free to return to USA.
They left the building of the Federal Police, in a SUV from the American Embassy, and were transported to the International Airport of Guarulhos.

A310driver
8th Dec 2006, 16:12
does this mean that they were not charged with any crime at this time and merely made statements?????

Would appreciate update on when the wheels leave the ground and any other info as to when they are expected back into the US.

agusaleale
8th Dec 2006, 16:21
does this mean that they were not charged with any crime at this time and merely made statements?????

Would appreciate update on when the wheels leave the ground and any other info as to when they are expected back into the US.


Last news:
http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/SaoPaulo/0,,AA1380482-5605,00.html
I think they are being accused of involuntary homicide. Charges are based on article 261 of penal code, for puting in jeopardy the air traffic. They still can answer to those charges in liberty.

spagiola
8th Dec 2006, 17:23
From CNN: American pilots charged in Amazon jetliner crash (http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/americas/12/08/brazil.pilots.ap/index.html)
Summary: "Brazilian federal police on Friday charged two New York pilots involved in a collision that killed 154 people with exposing an aircraft to danger."
However, the two pilots did get their passports back and left the country. They are supposed to return for trial.

caos
8th Dec 2006, 17:24
Last news:
http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/SaoPaulo/0,,AA1380482-5605,00.html
I think they are being accused of involuntary homicide. Charges are based on article 261 of penal code, for puting in jeopardy the air traffic. They still can answer to those charges in liberty.
Right,
- they stayed in silence during the 6 hours of the interrogation (under the lawyers' instruction) and only they will speak in the trial.
- they were accused of exposing in danger the security of the air traffic (article 261 of the penal code).
- the pilots were in freedom and they will travel today to USA.

caos
8th Dec 2006, 19:02
Would appreciate update on when the wheels leave the ground and any other info as to when they are expected back into the US.
They are flying to USA now in another Legacy. :ok:
http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/SaoPaulo/foto/0,,6588161,00.jpg

A310driver
8th Dec 2006, 20:51
The news that the pilots have been released is good ....very good.

The news that they have been charged criminally is bad ....very bad.

This should be a wake-up call to all pilots flying internationally especially those flying to/in Brazil.

Should we now expect that similar charges will be laid against the ATC folks on duty and the honchos who ran(or were supposed to run) the ATC organization, even at the very top??? I expect the answer is "no" because they are part of the military and exempt from civil prosecution(or something like that).

Good show Brasilia!

caos
8th Dec 2006, 21:45
The news that the pilots have been released is good ....very good.

The news that they have been charged criminally is bad ....very bad.

This should be a wake-up call to all pilots flying internationally especially those flying to/in Brazil.

Should we now expect that similar charges will be laid against the ATC folks on duty and the honchos who ran(or were supposed to run) the ATC organization, even at the very top??? I expect the answer is "no" because they are part of the military and exempt from civil prosecution(or something like that).

Good show Brasilia!
The investigation has not finished, the federal police has term up to December 13 to close the investigation, but they already announced that they will request another extension.
If some ATC is charged, will surely be passed over to the military justice and I doubt that some of the big boys will be processed (they are usually fired or transferred).
Now it is everything in the lawyers' hands; process that will last years.
Lepore and Paladino said that in the USA they will make a sworn declaration, that it can be used for the trial in Brazil.

The charge against them is for negligent behavior in the conduction of the airplane.

Police officer Ramon Almeida da Silva said:
"exist in the solemnities elements of proofs and indications that point that these pilots acted with negligence and their conducts were causes of the accident, but we cannot say although they are the only cause".

....." The decision of accusing them felt with base in elements of existent proofs in the investigation, that point the lack of the pilots' necessary cares , expected and demandable during the accomplishment of a flight.

The investigations still were not finished, and other conducts will also be able to be pointed as causes of the accident."

arcniz
8th Dec 2006, 22:10
Seems like the authorities in Brazil are gradually backing away from the legal penalty approach, but being slow about it in deference to their internal politics. One can imagine that it helps un-blame the officials and government-employed parties involved in ATC ops if the blame is 'shared' with these very visible pilot outsiders for the time-being.

At some point the authorities will likely determine there is 'not sufficient evidence' to conduct a successful trial, thereby backing out for the last and final step while maintaining some atmosphere of ambiguity as to which parties are actually at fault. **

Not very satisfying for the pilots, but far better than the firing squad.


** and if not, I am sure the flying fraternity will chip in to help send an army of fast-talking, hard biting lawyers there from Philly, DC, Dallas and SF to ream the accusers out as American litigators so skillfully can do.

AN2 Driver
9th Dec 2006, 06:35
The news that the pilots have been released is good ....very good.
The news that they have been charged criminally is bad ....very bad.
This should be a wake-up call to all pilots flying internationally especially those flying to/in Brazil.
Should we now expect that similar charges will be laid against the ATC folks on duty and the honchos who ran(or were supposed to run) the ATC organization, even at the very top??? I expect the answer is "no" because they are part of the military and exempt from civil prosecution(or something like that).
Good show Brasilia!

Indeed. Not a very good show recently, looking at severe delays out of Brazil and the recent ATC breakdown. Do I see a power struggle here?

Good the pilots are out of the country. Maybe it might be a good idea for those who don't really need to fly there to stay out...

agusaleale
9th Dec 2006, 08:50
http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/story?id=2707598&page=1

Criminalizing Aviation Accidents Only Assures Repeats

Dec. 7, 2006— On the clear, late afternoon of Sept. 29 , two sophisticated jets approached each other along an airway known as UZ6. Their combined speed was in excess of a 1,000 miles per hour. Both were at 37,000 feet over the Amazon jungle, and neither set of pilots were aware of the other.
No alarms went off. No air traffic control warnings were given. And no rules were broken because both crews had climbed to their assigned altitude.
In a micro-second, the left, upturned "winglet" of the brand-new Embraer Legacy 600 business jet sliced into the left wing of the Boeing 737. The Embraer's pilots knew only that an explosive force of some sort had rocked them, and that they now had a marginally controllable airplane.
For the pilots of the commercial airline flight known as Gol 1907, however, the situation was far worse. Their essentially new Boeing 737 was becoming uncontrollable. As the business jet they'd hit limped toward an emergency landing, the 737 impacted the dense forest below. All 137 people aboard died.
Within hours of the crippled business jet's safe landing at an airfield just north of the collision point, the Brazilian government began investigating the accident with a painfully obvious emphasis on finding someone to blame, rather than finding an explanation for the tragedy.
The passengers and owner of the damaged Embraer 600 — held and questioned for 36 hours — were eventually released.
But even as another arm of the Brazilian government began to suspect that the crash had been nothing more than a tragic accident and not a result of any purposeful or negligent act by either set of pilots, an overzealous prosecutor was asking a Brazilian court for authority to confiscate the U.S. passports of the two American pilots.
In the weeks afterward, Brazilian authorities confronted the truth — that their own air traffic controllers had made a massive human error by placing the two jets at the same altitude in opposite directions along the same airway.
Yet no effort was made to present that evidence to the court and release the crew. Instead, the two American pilots — both personally devastated over the loss of the 737 — found themselves threatened with prosecution for 137 counts of manslaughter.
Beyond the outrage that Brazilian officials have richly earned, Brazil's willingness to criminalize an aviation accident also dealt a serious blow to aviation safety worldwide. Why? Because most air accidents result from unintended human mistakes, and the only way we find out about such mistakes, and give ourselves the chance to change our human systems in order to prevent further incidents, is by asking surviving crew members to speak openly.
But, if telling the truth about your own errors may land you in prison and ruin your life, who in their right mind would rush to give a prosecutor information that could be used against you? The result is that the mere threat of criminal prosecution for mistakes made in the cockpit (or the maintenance hangar or the control tower) utterly shuts down the flow of vital safety information we need.
When a pilot flagrantly disregards rules or procedures or instructions and knowingly puts his or her passengers and the public below at risk, it's "pilot error."
When a pilot fails because he or she is human — failures such as starting a takeoff on a runway clearly too short to sustain flight (such as in Lexington, Ky., earlier this year) — the problem is "human error." The two are markedly different.
Human error problems account for more than 85 percent of all aviation accidents. Disasters often result from pilots being imperfect, making mistakes despite their best efforts. Blaming humans for being human is at once absurd and wholly ineffective in preventing accidents.
The best way to prevent the same human errors from happening in the future is to understand everything we can about how the system supported the error, and then change that system to safely absorb such errors.
Criminal prosecution of pilots for making human errors only shuts down the flow of information we need to get even safer; it does nothing to prevent recurrences.
This does not mean that a pilot who purposefully does something unsafe (such as drink and fly) should not be held criminally liable. Subjecting such fringe-element airmen to prosecution in no way worries the 99-plus percent who would never do such things.
But equating human mistake with crime, as some nations have tried to do too often over the years, is a trend that must be stopped cold.
As the internationally respected Flight Safety Foundation said just this week in a joint resolution issued in response to Brazil's outrageous behavior: "…criminal investigations and prosecutions in the wake of aviation accidents can interfere with the efficient and effective investigation of accidents and prevent the timely and accurate determination of probable cause and issuance of recommendations to prevent recurrence." (http://www.flightsafety.org/pdf/resolution_10_06.pdf)

ATC Watcher
9th Dec 2006, 10:12
Excellent article , except for one small part :

In the weeks afterward, Brazilian authorities confronted the truth — that their own air traffic controllers had made a massive human error by placing the two jets at the same altitude in opposite directions along the same airway.
Yet no effort was made to present that evidence to the court and release the crew.

Talking about " massive human error" made by their " own controllers" " placing" aircraft at same altitude, calling this " evidence" to be presented in court, etc.. does nothing to advance his point on decriminilisation of accidents .:hmm: ( especially since I do not think anybody knowingly "placed" the Legacy at the same altitude as the 737 )

He also conviniently forget the failure of the Legacy transponder and the the fact this this remained unoticed by the crew.

Based on what I have read so far, I think people, both Controllers and Pilots have been put into a situation by sofware traps , both in the ground by an ATC system full of VHF and radar coverage holes and automatically changing things , and in the air by an avionic suite prone to failures and errors difficult to spot..

Focussing on the individual people involved ( the controllers and the pilots) is perhaps human, but the real issues are in the design of systems that leave individuals in a position to eventually make errors. Change the individuals, the chances are the same errors would have been made.

The FSF statements are far beter phrased, and we should all support this. criminalisation of accidents, and incidents reporting is a disgrace that will set things back decades if Political spheres do not stop it.

M609
9th Dec 2006, 11:09
They are supposed to return for trial.

I think "supposed" is the operative word here. No way they are returning...... :uhoh:

vapilot2004
9th Dec 2006, 12:04
Good news regarding Mr. Lepore's and Mr. Paladino's returning home. :ok:
I knew this day would come (oh ye of little faith.)

Flight Safety link to resolution on criminalization of aviation accidents here. (http://www.flightsafety.org/pdf/resolution_10-06.pdf) ABC news link was incorrect.

I think "supposed" is the operative word here. No way they are returning......

Unless the US State department becomes directly involved (as in the back-channel efforts for their release), the pilots would be compelled to return in accordance with international agreements signed between the US and Brazil, should the Brazilian government request.

barit1
9th Dec 2006, 12:19
Excellent article , except for one small part :
Talking about " massive human error" made by their " own controllers" " placing" aircraft at same altitude, calling this " evidence" to be presented in court, etc.. does nothing to advance his point on decriminilisation of accidents .:hmm: ( especially since I do not think anybody knowingly "placed" the Legacy at the same altitude as the 737 )
He also conviniently forget the failure of the Legacy transponder and the the fact this this remained unoticed by the crew...


...but on 08 Oct, I said: You'll forgive, perhaps, my insolance in asserting that "Air Traffic Control" is a misnomer. Obviously ATC has no mechanical or electronic control of an aircraft, but has the responsibility to provide a path clear of hazards to the aircraft's destination, and provide appropriate communication.

ATC also has alternate procedures for loss of contact with an aircraft. If a flight "goes dark" for whatever reason--intentional or not--it becomes a hazard to other aircraft, and ATC must follow those contingency procedures...

Richard_Brazil
9th Dec 2006, 13:04
I spend several hours yesterday on the steps of the Federal Police superintendency in São Paulo chatting with the reporters while the pilots were inside. I got a copy of the official press release, and was one of about twenty who attended the very brief press conference afterwards.

When the police accuse someone here, the word in Portuguese is "indiciar". That is almost invariably mistranslated to English as "indict", which is far more serious, a criminal charge made by a prosecutor or grand jury. I spoke with the correspondents for Reuters and AP to try to keep a mere mistranlation from elevating what Jan and Joe's friends and neighbors read, into something more serious than it is.

The charge may not have been correctly described in any of the papers. The article is "placing a vessel or aircraft in danger"; the official press release does refer to paragraph 3, which is specifically about causing damage to a vessel or aircraft. Formally, I think, they were charged with having damaged the Boeing.

Also, there have been references to judicial cooperation between Brazil and the United States, when something is a crime in both jurisdictions. I do not know if there is American law that criminalizes "placing a vessel or aircraft in danger", and I don't know if the charge was deliberately chosen based on that. I am not a lawyer.

Here's a link to video, showing the police chief, and even the cavalry - yes, the cavalry - keeping the press from the van with the pilots:

http://gmc.globo.com/GMC/1,,2465-p-M598792,00.html

A couple of peculiar things were not covered in the press. There was an extraordinary long delay in preparing the press release, a single page that says very little. The press conference was very formalized, done only on the condition that it would be a formal statement with no questions afterwards. And that indeed was how it was done. There were not even any declarations "off the record" afterwards; I followed the reports from the principal paper to the press secretary's office to check on that. The "off the record" declarations are usually the most dangerous.

The fact that no questions were allowed may be linked to no answers being possible. While the police chief did say that "negligence" rather than "imprudence" was the reason, nothing in the press release gives a clue as to what act or failure to act resulted in the charge.

There is a line in the press release about "other conducts may be identified as other causes of the accident", the oral statement made it clear that that refers to "other people". While previous newspaper reports have said that when the inquiry is finished (it will be extended for at least another month, and probably monthly thereafter until the Air Force accident report is finished) there may be additional charges against the pilots, that was not even mentioned, must less emphasized, in the press release.

The Federal Police moved the location of the depositions on Thursday at least three times, and newspaper reports laid that to concern about the pilots "physical safety". Then they moved it to Brazil's largest city, at 08:00 AM, and kept them there for six hours, after announcing the place and time the night before.

Protests? Picket lines? Bereaved relatives of accident victims calling for American blood? How many you ask, from the families of 154 dead, in a city of eleven millions. Let me check my notes here. Ah, there it is, a total of zero.

This of course did not make the papers.

The stampedes to get pictures of them leaving were rather amusing. There were several of these, some accidental, some set off on purpose by older photographers just to see the young ones panic.

One reporter volunteered that his paper was going to send him to New York on the same plane as the pilots, and several others concurred.

The reporters treated with the greatest respect by their colleagues were Kleber Tomaz of the Folha, and Marcello Godoy of O Estado.

Godoy quoted penalties for a number of articles from the Criminal Code from his head, including Article 261, under which the pilots were charged, and which is obscure. He also quoted by heart article and paragraph numbers from ICAU regulations, and said, "When you change heading, you change flight level".

If his coverage is unsympathetic, at least he got badly sunburnt during his hours on the steps.

The pilots flew back on a chartered flight, on another Legacy. That it was another Legacy did, in several online news sources and probably on broadcast news, push the "accused" from the subheadline, farther down into the coverage.

The police chief, the delegado, would certainly be carded if he tried to drink in New York. He is presiding over the inquiry while his superior is on vacation. But there were other policemen there, including some from the Federal Police department that deals with civil aviation. These must, by necessity, have many more years of experience than he does, and a deep knowledge of the subject under investigation, of which he can have only a layman's grasp, having been in charge of this since Monday. And he's from the countyside, suddenly in the big city, and on the other side was an ex-Minister of Justice, and the national press encamped en masse on the staircase. He can't have been having a great day.

I'm not sure if this in entirely appropriate for this pilots' rumour network - I'm not a pilot, and this is first-hand. But I appreciate what I have been able to learn on the accident from reading the many pages of posts from very knowledgable people here, and thought some might be interested in this.

Danny
9th Dec 2006, 15:02
Thank you Richard_Brazil, our PPRuNe reporter at the scene. Your assistance and oblique perspective is greatly appreciated. :D

A310driver
9th Dec 2006, 17:40
The primary function of ATC is to assure positive separaton of aircraft in a manner that makes safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace.

The Legacy was cleared to maintain FL 370.

Several minutes before crossing BRS it checked in with ATC reporting level at 370. ATC acknowledged and confirmed flight level and advised "radar identified/contact". At this point, all systems are apparently normal and there is no requirement from a regulatory or procedural standpoint for the Legacy to change level; in fact, quite the opposite, as at this time, the aircraft would only be permitted to change level on direction from ATC regardless of flight plan request.

ATC data indicates that approximately 11 minutes after this communications exchange, at point well beyond BRS, the secondary radar/beacon return from the aircraft ceased. The ATC system apparently inserted and displayed a bogus level of 360 presumed to have been derived from either flight plan data or interpolation of primary radar data. In any case, where was ATC for the next half-hour before an attempt was made to contact 600XL which had descended to FL 360 without a clearance (according to ATC displayed data)? The single attempt by ATC to contact the aircraft at this point with no contact should have set-off all kinds of alarms/proccedures if ATC then determined that the Legacy was in NORDO status, primary returns only.

With opposite direction traffic assigned the same level as last assigned to the Legacy and the latter now assumed to be NORDO as a primary target only, would not the proper procedure been an all out effort to advise the next sector and any known conflicting traffic of this situation? At a minimum, the GOL flight should have been advised that they had converging traffic last assigned 370, assumed to be at 360 but unconfirmed; more appropriately, the GOL flight should have been assigned a new level which would not conflict with either 360 or 370 and/or given a separation vector(it apparently was in radar contact).

Whether there were equipment issues aboard the aircraft and/or in the ATC facilities(for example,symbology alerting to loss of ModeA/C) or in communications coverage/performance is significant only in the context of their roles as contributing factors. The breakdown of basic, elementary ATC procedures and situational awareness are at the root. PROVIDE POSITIVE SEPARATION.

The earliest time that the pilots could be assumed to have been aware of a problem was literally moments before the collision; ATC had nearly an hour to recognize and do something...anything...about the problem and certainly, after the failed attempt to communicate 30 minutes before impact, abnormal situation procedures should have been set in motion.

KC135777
9th Dec 2006, 18:41
"...Dias called the police decision "biased" and "discriminatory," and said police were simply "looking for someone to blame for the crime." ..."
_____________________________________________________________

Well, I guess that just about sums it up! :yuk: :mad:

"...placing the aircraft in danger..." ? YGBSM?!

caos
9th Dec 2006, 22:54
http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/Brasil/foto/0,,6593027,00.jpg

http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2006/WORLD/americas/12/09/brazil.crash.ap/story.pilots.ap.jpg

CSilvera
10th Dec 2006, 02:40
Thank you for posting that long over due photo.

caos
10th Dec 2006, 12:58
http://gmc.globo.com/GMC/1,,2465-p-M599306,00.html

Slats One
10th Dec 2006, 16:33
Forgive me - for I am a lowly silent member. But for only my second post, can I add that on this thread, it's time some of you read Band of Brothers by Ernest Gann. Susbtitute one country for another and one military scenario for another, and much will be clearer. Sadly its how the non-system works in some places....

What surprises me ( as an ex Africa flyer) is how come this happened in Brazil before it happened in Africa. Fate is the hunter - to coin a phrase....

jondc9
10th Dec 2006, 17:58
Slats 1

you are quite right..."band of brothers" does come into play in this situation.

another book that also touches on the same subject is one called, "the crowded sky".

barit1
10th Dec 2006, 19:48
It will be no surprise to some ppruners that Gann's one of my favorite authors, and that Band of Brothers is a favorite work. Slats One has planted it right on the numbers. :ok:

alemaobaiano
11th Dec 2006, 09:39
More things that make you go hummmmmmm:
http://www.sizes.com/society/corruption_index.htm
For the updated list:
http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi

And the relevance of this is? Has there been the slightest hint of corruption in relation to this investigation? Incompetence, possibly. Unreasonable press releases, certainly. CYA attitudes, happens everywhere. Corruption?

Things may not have happened the way our US members wanted it to, but it happened according to Brazilian law and accident investigation procedures, however dumb that may be to some. Now that the two pilots are home perhaps this accident investigation can be concluded in peace and quiet and we can find out why this happened, and hopefully prevent a recurrence of another TCAS aided collision.

jondc9
11th Dec 2006, 11:33
TCAS aided collision?

Wino
11th Dec 2006, 12:59
Actually this wasn't a "TCAS Aided" collision. We have seen those where tcas moved aircraft towards each other. We have also seen where tcas wasn't followed correctly and THAT caused a collision (not the tcas itself).

But in this case tcas did nothing, and as such had no part in the collision. What happened in this case is that it appears at the flight levels Brazilian ATC cannot function on its own without a net...

TCAS shouldn't be necesary in the flight levels. IT is, and required of course... But in this case TCAS didn't cause the accident, or induce a change of plans on the controller. It just didn't correct someone else's error. BIG difference.

And the charging the crew with not assertaining whether the Transponder was working is assenine. Again, that is more of a controller's resposibility. In many cases there is NO WAY to verify in the cockpit, unless you want me calling ATC every 30 seconds and asking. "What altitude do you show us at?"

As to there effect on air safety. If I witnessed a crash in Brazil, or had knowledge of a cause I wouldn't say a word till I left the country, in light of what happened here. NOT something you want if you are trying to make your sky safer... It simply wouldn't be worth the risk that I might be locked up or forced to stay in the country.

Cheers
Wino

arcniz
11th Dec 2006, 16:06
Wino says:
Actually this wasn't a "TCAS Aided" collision.

Perhaps a wordsmith could call it a "TCAS-abetted" collision.

Many would agree that the presumption of having working TCAS causes some actions to be taken and others not... i.e. different rules of practice when TCAS is in the game.

If the ATC had known TCAS could not / would not resolve a conflict between opposing aircraft on the airway, they might have been quicker to vector the in-contact Gol aircraft slightly so as to cut a wider swath from the airway centerline where the Embraer was expected to be.

And if the folks in the Legacy had realised they were more than ordinarily vulnerable to traffic conflicts, due to the inop TCAS and inop radar surveillance, they might have offset their own track a teensy bit to the right of airway center to allow for 'contingencies'.

Similarly, the GOL crew might have been more inclined to enquire about opposite direction traffic if they knew there was no TCAS umbrella and realised that the adjacent ATC regions did not share or forward opposing traffic information in a timely manner.

DingerX
11th Dec 2006, 16:59
TCAS is a failsafe system. When a failsafe engages, that means the normal system has failed.
Design-wise, you do not run the normal system on the assumption that the failsafe will "fill in the gaps"; the failsafe is not part of the system. Nor do you go against a failsafe in favor of the (failed) normal system.

So, no, philosophically one should never operate ATC on the assumption that "TCAS will save my bacon if I'm wrong". That is counting on failure.

And yeah, sending folks to jail isn't going to make the skies any safer. It'll just increase stress, turnover, and ultimately accidents.

A310driver
11th Dec 2006, 17:38
Perhaps,perhaps, perhaps...................................

TCAS is a supplementary system...a safety enhancement .......and when it works (including the pilot interface) it gets the job done; there have been some notable cases where a lot of bacon was saved.

It is not a substitute for ATC.

Perhaps the ATC controller should have coordinated with the adjoining sector to advise of the situation. Perhaps the ATC equipment should have been configured to prominently display/flag loss of Mode C as it is in the US implementations. Perhaps ATC should have instituted lost comm actions 30 minutes before impact considering the failed attempt to communicate, lost secondary radar and mode C, and intermittent primary returns

Regardless of TCAS status, known or unknown, basic ATC procedures must always be followed and it appears that they were not in this case.

agusaleale
11th Dec 2006, 18:57
take a look at this article
http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/193965-1.html

barit1
11th Dec 2006, 20:16
TCAS is a failsafe system...

More to the point, it is one of several layers of separation redundancy.

ATC is first, but it relies on functioning transponders. TCAS also relies on two functioning transponders.

Transponders can "go dark", in a stealthy manner, removing both layers of protection. "Common-point failure" is the lingo. :ugh:

There is another available level of separation redundancy, namely track offset, that has been discussed thoroughly in this forum. Some pilots think it's great. Some ATC think it's "unprofessional" and reflects poorly on their - ummm - "control".

The proof is left to the student.

Silberfuchs
11th Dec 2006, 20:36
The 'fake' photo on the email circuit are in fact 2 frames of footage from the American TV series called "Lost"

More info here: http://www.snopes.com/photos/accident/brazil737.asp

RatherBeFlying
12th Dec 2006, 01:19
There is a deeper software problem.

How is it that when the Legacy was cleared to Manaus at FL370, the flight plan was not amended with FL370 to Manaus?

If that had happened the radar target on the scope would have been showing 370 all the way to Manaus, at least until ATC intervened with a new altitude.

That most likely would have clued in the controller(s) in charge of the sector that they needed to change somebody's altitude.

It's not a TCAS-aided collision, it's an ATC software-aided collision.

grumpyoldgeek
12th Dec 2006, 01:36
TCAS is a failsafe system. When a failsafe engages, that means the normal system has failed.

I beg to differ with you. The classical definition of a failsafe system is one that fails safe. For example, RAIM GPS where the integrity of the information is constantly monitored and a warning is issued if the information is corrupt or invalid.

caos
12th Dec 2006, 01:48
There is a deeper software problem.

How is it that when the Legacy was cleared to Manaus at FL370, the flight plan was not amended with FL370 to Manaus?

Legacy was never cleared at FL370 to Manaus, it is attributed to the São José dos Campos controller an error in the communication.

Today Federal Police said that at least 3 controllers had important responsability in the collision (1 of São José dos Campos and 2 from Brasilia).

A310driver
12th Dec 2006, 02:10
au contraire mon ami


The Legacy was initially cleared to Manaus to maintain FL 370. No element of its clearance instructed it to do otherwise.

The controllers should have amended the clearance when 600XL checked-in just a few minutes prior to crossing BRS to either "cross BRS at and maintain 360" or "after BRS descend to and maintain 360' or just plain descend to and maintain 360". As previously noted, the obligation for 600XL to descend on its own to 360 materializes only after IT determines that a lost comm .situation exists.

caos
12th Dec 2006, 02:33
au contraire mon ami


The Legacy was initially cleared to Manaus to maintain FL 370. No element of its clearance instructed it to do otherwise.

The controllers should have amended the clearance when 600XL checked-in just a few minutes prior to crossing BRS to either "cross BRS at and maintain 360" or "after BRS descend to and maintain 360' or just plain descend to and maintain 360". As previously noted, the obligation for 600XL to descend on its own to 360 materializes only after IT determines that a lost comm .situation exists.
désolé mais...
From preliminar report:

" At 3:56pm the Legacy N600XL passed BRS level at FL370. There is no record of a request from N600XL to the control agencies to conduct a change of altitude, after reaching flight level 370. The airplane made calls, but there is no communication in which it requested a change of flight level. There is also no record of any instruction from air traffic controllers at Brasilia Center to the aircraft, directing a change of altitude. "

This should be the exactly point of why Federal Police stablish "important responsability" to the Controller of SBSJ and was mentioned in the media several days ago.

amitiés

RatherBeFlying
12th Dec 2006, 03:08
According to the reports, the clearance to Manaus at FL370 was relayed to the Legacy by the São José dos Campos controller. Until otherwise informed, I have to expect he was passing on what center had told him.

Right now, it looks to me that the filed flight plan was amended by center (as centers do with great frequency) without amending the active flight plan in the computer so that the radar display would maintain the amended cleared altitude to Manaus.

Halfnut
12th Dec 2006, 03:32
An interesting synopsis of the whole twisted affair can be found at:

http://joesharkeyat.blogspot.com/

prometheusracer
12th Dec 2006, 08:28
Interesting, but unfortunately extremely biased:(

DingerX
12th Dec 2006, 08:33
I beg to differ with you. The classical definition of a failsafe system is one that fails safe. For example, RAIM GPS where the integrity of the information is constantly monitored and a warning is issued if the information is corrupt or invalid.

Point taken. To be precise, TCAS is a fail-safe function of the ATC system, designed to ensure that when ATC fails in a certain way, it does so with the least damage possible.
It is not really a redundancy, since that would imply providing the same functionality. TCAS does not ensure separation, it helps prevent collision.

That part of the Legacy story is clear: Transponder (and TCAS) and Radio were not operational. The crew may have made an error, but it wasn't a gross error (as in "hey, let's join the 410 club! better switch that off!).

ATC's job is to maintain separation. No contact was made with the Gol flight. The most charitable reading of the events is that the folks down at the ATC were so caught up in trying to resolve the communication issue that they failed to maintain separation.

As an analogy: a large aircraft tries to take off with flaps and slats up, with disastrous results. The takeoff configuration horn turns out to be INOP. Do you blame the maintenance guy last touched it, or the flight crew that didn't pay attention to the checklist?
Would you arrest any of them?

A310driver
12th Dec 2006, 14:59
Thanks for the quotations and updates.

Looks like it came from the police or some other non-aviation entity because of the quote regarding the fact that the Legacy did not request a level change.

The Legacy was cleared to maintain FL370. That's it. It was under no obligation nor would it have beeen expected to request a different level after passing BRS(at which time it was under radar surveilance with an ATC acknowledgement that it was maintaining 370).

The real failure of ATC in this situation is not that it could not effect a change or confirm the level of 600XL, but its failure to assure that the GOL flight (or any other conflicting traffic in its sector or adjoining sectors) was properly informed of the situation so that appropriate adjustments(heading/level)could have been made on a contingency basis.

Halfnut
12th Dec 2006, 15:47
Interesting, but unfortunately extremely biased:(

….and where would one go to find unbiased accurate reporting in this whole torrid affair?

Halfnut
12th Dec 2006, 17:19
The following letter was sent to the CAL CEO and the National Officers at ALPA.

Gentlemen,

On Saturday December 9th First Officer Doug Marotta and I were honored to represent Continental Airlines and the Airline Pilots Association in welcoming back fellow pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino.

Doug and I were graciously invited by ExcelAire Service CEO and President Bob Sherry to join more than two hundred family members, friends and colleagues to welcome back Joe and Jan. We all waited for the Embraer Legacy, the same type of aircraft involved in the mid-air collision, which carried Joe and Jan from Brazil at ExcelAire’s hanger at Long Island MacArthur in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

This was truly an experience both Doug and I will remember for the rest of our lives. We participated and witnessed a very emotional homecoming, one that left very few with dry eyes. After Joe and Jan were so emotionally greeted, a press conference began. Afterwards we all enjoyed a catered lunch in the ExcelAire hanger.

Doug and I had the opportunity to talk at length with both Joe and Jan. We told both of them how very proud we all were, not only of their heroic landing of a severely damaged aircraft in the middle of the Amazon jungle, but also of how they handled themselves for the next seventy days of virtual incarceration in an extremely hostile environment. We expressed that they both represented the very best of professional aviation. Joe and Jan expressed sincere gratitude for all of the assistance provided by ALPA and their fellow peer pilots. I told them ALPA isn't just about negotiating and enforcing contracts, a big part of ALPA is pilots helping pilots.

We were also able to talk extensively with three individuals who were primarily responsible for Joe and Jan’s safe return. Mr. Robert Torricella , Joe and Jan’s Miami attorney, who was nothing short of amazing. He more closely resembled a friend of Joe and Jan’s with a life long bond than anything like the normal attorney-client type of relationship.

Robert, incredibly, spent seven of the ten weeks Joe and Jan were held captive in Brazil in the same hotel suite at the JW Marriott in Cabana Beach in Rio. The only reason he left their side was when it was absolutely necessary to return to the United States to attend to their defense. Robert told us he ate the same food, slept at the same time and constricted himself to the same physical and mental limitations as Joe and Jan. Sometimes that meant eating dinner at two in the afternoon or two in the morning as Joe and Jan’s body clock changed. He recalled one two-week period in which the three of them remained in one suite with the curtains closed never opening the door.

Robert stated that there would be no way he could ever express his gratitude to the staff at the JW Marriott Cabana Beach. He said that whatever Joe and Jan needed the staff bent over backwards to accommodate. This included clearing out the entire 17th floor by moving guests immediately out and providing security upon Robert’s request because the hotel was being infiltrated by the Brazilian paparazzi. When Joe and Jan needed to go outside, the staff secured the roof and provided security to allow Joe and Jan to get much needed fresh air. They also provided decoy cars out of the hotel to the Federal Court house for the media to follow when it was needed to safely and securely move Joe and Jan to other locations.

Robert asked me to forward to all of you that if there is any way in the future it would be possible you for you to provide business to the JW Marriott Cabana Beach, including booking airline crews for layovers, he would sincerely appreciate it.

Mr. Robert Sharkey, a reporter for the New York Times and fellow mid-air survivor on the Legacy, accurately documented the entire seventy-day ordeal. During this time period, there wasn't a day that he didn't update his blog at www.joesharkey.com or write an article in order to continue to keep media attention on this terrible injustice and help provide a medium for the huge support for so many, not only New York residents, but for people from all over the world.

Mr. Bob Sherry made sure every base was covered to bring home his two employees. His company paid $75,000 for the Legacy charter because he was very concerned about Joe’s and Jan’s safety and didn't want the two of them to spend a minute longer in Brazil than they had to. Even though this was Jan’s first trip with his company he was treated like he had been an employee with many years of longevity.

Bob wanted to make sure everyone understands that even though Joe and Jan are home the battle is far from over. Joe and Jan are still criminally charged and face extradition back to Brazil. The precedent of criminalization of US pilots flying abroad is significant and he asks that ALPA and Continental continue to use their political muscle to make sure this terrible injustice never happens again to anyone else. Bob also wanted everyone to know that U.S. Representative Peter King (NY) was the only politician to get involved and play a significant role in Joe’s and Jan’s return. Despite the many requests for assistance and many personal calls Bob had placed to New York Senators Clinton and Schumer pleading for help, never once did either of them take a moment to respond.

Thank you, everyone, for your significant assistance helping bring my new friends Joe and Jan safely back home. As stated in a sign a little girl was holding at the welcome home celebration, “you are the best holiday gift ever”.

I wish you and your families a safe and happy Holiday season.

Sincerely,

Captain Jayson Baron

A310driver
12th Dec 2006, 17:53
First cabin all the way........this goes a long way to keeping the matter on a professional level. During this period of further investigation, analysis, retrospection and finger pointing, ALPA and the AAL unit should keep the heat on as the well being of its members flying to places like Brazil is now in serious doubt. Also, in all of this we would all do well not loose sight of the primary victims here...the passengers and crew lost on the GOL flight (and their families) for whom there will be no joyful homecomings but whose losses will pave the way for major changes in the system that failed them.

caos
12th Dec 2006, 19:56
Thanks for the quotations and updates.

Looks like it came from the police or some other non-aviation entity because of the quote regarding the fact that the Legacy did not request a level change.

The Legacy was cleared to maintain FL370. That's it. It was under no obligation nor would it have beeen expected to request a different level after passing BRS(at which time it was under radar surveilance with an ATC acknowledgement that it was maintaining 370).

The real failure of ATC in this situation is not that it could not effect a change or confirm the level of 600XL, but its failure to assure that the GOL flight (or any other conflicting traffic in its sector or adjoining sectors) was properly informed of the situation so that appropriate adjustments(heading/level)could have been made on a contingency basis.
That report comes from the Preliminary Report of the Brazilian Aeronautics Investigators after they got the CVR of the Legacy and the records of all ATC's involved (not the police), you can also find it at NTSB
http://www.ntsb.gov/pressrel/2006/061122a.htm .
This point was the first of a serie that cause the collision.
Legacy crew have the right to think they were cleared FL370 to Manaus, but ATC says that this comunication was only to clear FL370 up to Brasilia, of course was a mistake from SBSJ ATC the way they talked to the Legacy's crew (something like .... FL370, Manaus)

handypilot
12th Dec 2006, 20:03
Interesting, but unfortunately extremely biased:(My guess is that you would be biased to someone who saved your life!