Sunday, October 01, 2006

Midair collision said to cause Brazil crash

Several days ago, a Boeing 737-800 aircraft operated by Brazilian airline GOL, crashed into a remote area of Brazil's Mato Grosso state. The plane was on a scheduled flight from Manaus to Brasilia. All 149 passengers and six crew perished in the accident.

It is believed that the airliner was involved in a midair collision with an Embraer Legacy 600 business jet, resulting in the crash. The Legacy was damaged in the collision, but was able to make an emergency landing.

According to a Reuters report:
The crash appeared to have been caused by a collision between the Boeing and a small executive jet, the aviation authority ANAC said in a statement.

The executive jet, a Legacy 600 made by Embraer and owned by Excel Airways (sic), made an emergency landing at Cachimbo airforce base on Friday with five passengers on board, none of whom was hurt.

Its black box was being examined at Embraer's headquarters at Sao Jose dos Campos in Sao Paulo state. The Gol plane's black box has not yet been found.
Another article, on, elaborates further:
A Legacy jet that was flying in the area at the time of the crash made an emergency landing after the passengers and crew felt a jolt, said Leonardo Mota Neto, a spokesman for Brazil's airport authority. A photo of the Legacy posted on Brazil's civil aviation agency's Web site shows the tip of one wing missing.

"The commission's initial conclusion is that there was a collision between the Legacy jet and the Boeing plane," Denise Abreu, director of the civil aviation agency, which set up a commission to investigate the crash, told reporters in Brasilia last night. "It's not yet possible to say if the collision was because of equipment failures or pilot error."

Data from the black box of the Legacy, which was made by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA, helped investigators reach their conclusion, Abreu said.
CNN is reporting that all seven passengers and crew aboard the Legacy were Americans.
Police questioned the seven passengers and crew aboard the executive jet, which had been headed to the United States. The passengers, all Americans, included Joe Sharkey, a journalist for The New York Times.

The seven said they felt a bump, the plane shook and the pilot took manual control for the landing, Globo reported.

The New York Times reported that Sharkey sent an e-mail to his wife saying: "Neither of the pilots can understand how a 737 could have hit us without them seeing it."

Authorities have not given a definitive cause for the crash, and the investigation was continuing. Officials have said the investigation could take at least three months.
Sources: First bodies recovered from Brazil plane crash - Reuters AlertNet
Brazil Inspectors Say Boeing Had Midair Collision -
Recorders support midair collision -

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