NTSB: Radio And Radar Contact Sporadic

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The NTSB reports very detailed information about the interactions between both flight crews and ATC throughout the flight. In the last two-way communication, the Legacy crew reported that it was at FL370. ATC acknowledged and instructed the crew to "ident." Radar indicates that the ident was observed. After that, radar contact was sporadic and both the crew and controllers attempted radio contact, but they never connected. Controllers never asked the jet crew to change altitude, and the crew never requested an altitude change. Examination of the wreckage indicates that the left winglet of the Legacy (which includes a metal spar) likely contacted the left wing leading edge of the 737. The impact resulted in damage to a major portion of the left wing structure and lower skin, ultimately rendering the 737 uncontrollable. Additional 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 work is expected to take 10 months.