A320 Crash In Brazil Prompts Calls For Change

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Thousands of runways around the world have inadequate overrun safety areas, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations said on Wednesday, a day after a TAM Airlines Airbus A320 crashed in Brazil, killing at least 189 people. The crew had been trying to land on a wet runway at Sao Paulo Cagonhas Airport, and took off again when they were unable to stop. The airplane cleared the airport fence and a highway but crashed into a gas station and a building before exploding into flames. The 6,362-foot runway has often been criticized as too short. Runway-end safety areas should be established at all airports with airline operations, IFALPA said, with an overrun space at least 800 feet long or an arrestor system that could halt an errant aircraft. This week's crash is now the worst air disaster ever for Brazil, superseding the death toll of 154 in last September's crash of a Gol Airlines 737 that collided in midair with an Embraer Legacy business jet. The NTSB has sent a team to Brazil to assist in the investigation.