Brazilian Controllers Not Talking


Air traffic staffing in Brazil is down because the 10 controllers who worked in Manaus and Brasilia on the day of the crash have been taken off duty to undergo psychiatric treatment. They were scheduled to testify before investigators this week, but said they cannot talk until after Nov. 13, when their treatment is complete, according to The Associated Press. Controllers across Brazil yesterday enacted a “work-to-rule” campaign to protest the situation. The controllers say they were already overworked, understaffed and underpaid, and now they are coping with even less staffing and that the new airspace rules are too much. In the last week, news analyses have increasingly questioned the role of ATC in the crash, while earlier reports tended to focus on the American pilots of the Legacy jet. The two pilots, Jan Paladino and Joe Lepore, are still in Brazil and their passports are being held by police. A lawyer for the pilots has said they were flying at an altitude that had been assigned to them by ATC at the time of the collision, according to The New York Times. The lawyer has also said the pilots are being detained illegally and should be allowed to return to the U.S.