Saturday, November 18, 2006

Brazil: Warning systems failed in midair accident

The two American pilots involved in Brazil's worst air disaster are still stuck in Rio, but now an Associated Press article posted on the Airport Business website says that "Warning systems failed on both an executive jet and a commercial airliner before the two planes collided..."

Brazil's Col. Rufino Antonio da Silva Ferreira, President of the Commission of Investigation of the Air Force, is quoted in the article. He said that neither crew saw the other plane coming. "No one saw anyone," he said. "No one tried evasive action."
Ferreira said he had not interviewed the air traffic controllers and was waiting for a technical report on the condition of the transponders, devices that signal a plane's presence and altitude.

The two American pilots were interviewed and were "cooperative," Ferreira said. The U.S. pilots

The U.S. pilots union and their international umbrella federation released a statement calling for the release of the two.

"Thus far, only contradictory facts, rumor and unsupported allegations have been forthcoming from Brazilian government officials," the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations, which represents more than 100,000 airline pilots in more than 95 countries, said in a statement.

The federation "calls on the Brazilian authorities to expedite the conclusion of an independent technical investigation into (the crash) ... and that these pilots be allowed to return to their homes forthwith."
Ferreira also noted that the investigation could take 10 months to conclude.

Source: Brazil Probe Says Warning Systems Failed in Midair Crash - Airport Business

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