FDR Confirms Legacy Flew Straight And Level

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The NTSB yesterday released "factual information" on the progress of the Brazilian government's investigation into the Sept. 29 midair collision between a Boeing 737-800 operated by Gol Airlines of Brazil and an Embraer Legacy 600 business jet owned by Excelaire of New York. The report says flight data recorder information from the Legacy jet confirms that it was flying straight and level and at a steady speed up to the time of the collision, debunking rumors that the pilots had indulged in "abnormal maneuvers." There was no indication of any TCAS alert onboard either airplane, no evidence of pre-collision visual acquisition by any flight crewmember on either aircraft, and no evidence of evasive action taken by either crew. The report notes that after takeoff, the Legacy crew was issued a number of interim altitudes during climb, all of which were read back. The flight was cleared to proceed direct to the Araxa VOR, and at 3:11 p.m. was cleared to climb to FL370. At 3:33 p.m., the airplane leveled at FL370.