Finger-Pointing Continues in Brazil Crash
The operator of the Embraer Legacy 600 business jet involved in a midair with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 over the Amazon jungle is blaming the accident on Brazilian air traffic controllers, according to the Associated Press. All 154 people aboard the 737 were killed when the jets collided over the Amazon jungle in late September; the seven aboard the Legacy owned and operated by New York-based ExcelAire survived. In a 154-page document sent to Brazilian federal police earlier this month and released to the AP on Saturday, the U.S. charter firm said an analysis of air traffic control transmissions and flight recorders in the Legacy "confirmed that both planes were freed by Air Traffic Control to fly at the same altitude [37,000 feet] and the same path, in opposite directions." Meanwhile, Brazil's Defense Minister, Waldir Pires, maintains that his country's air traffic control system is one of the safest in the world.
According to the AP, Pires said the collision was the fault of the ExcelAire pilots because the Legacy's transponder was not turned on or malfunctioned. Honeywell, which manufactured the business jet's transponder, has repeatedly told AVweb that there is no evidence that suggests that this equipment malfunctioned in the ExcelAire Legacy.