NBAA And FSF Take A Stand In Brazil Midair Aftermath

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The National Business Aviation Association and the Flight Safety Foundation reacted last week to a decision by Brazilian criminal authorities to assign criminal responsibilities to the pilots of the Legacy business jet prior to the conclusion of the accident investigation. The jet survived airborne contact, in September of 2006, with a Gol Airlines 737 that crashed, killing all aboard. Both the NBAA and FSF expressed concern that a trend toward criminalization in aviation accidents may lead involved parties to withhold key information that could otherwise improve safety. Specifically in this case, the two groups, through their presidents, expressed concern that any criminal proceedings undertaken without the benefit of information gleaned from a proper safety review would not reflect a fair or balanced view of the incident's contributing factors. NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen stated that the current course of events does not put emphasis on finding "the root causes of an accident, so that safety improvements can be made." FSF President and CEO Bill Voss added, "we are deeply concerned that the criminalization of the investigation into the tragic accident of September 2006 could have a negative impact on aviation safety worldwide."