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Brazilian Air Force Says It’s Premature to Blame US Pilots for Boeing Crash

In an official note,  the FAB (Brazilian Air Force) and ANAC (National Agency of Civil Aviation)  once again stated that is still too early to blame anyone for the crash of Gol’s Boeing 737-800 that fell last Friday, September 29, in the Brazilian jungle killing all 155 people aboard, Brazil’s worst air accident ever.  

The FAB-ANAC statement says that they don’t have any evidence that the collision between the Boeing and an Embraer Legacy jet manufactured in Brazil was caused by negligence of the American pilot who was taking the Legacy from its factory to the United States.  The black boxes of both airplanes are still being analyzed by experts.

Initial reports show that the Legacy pilot and his co-pilot adopted several procedures that might have provoked the disaster, including ignoring a flight plan that asked for an altitude of 36,000 feet, not responding to repeated calls from air controllers and also turning off the anti-collision control of the jet.

There are indications, however, that all the instruments started to work soon after the collision and the pilots then exchanged information with the control tower. 

Brazilian investigators say that they were not able to detect any failure in the radar or in the communication system while both planes were flying.

They have also found that the Legacy’s transponder (responsible for controlling the anti-collision equipment) was on when the jet took off from São José dos Campos, in São Paulo. 

The note in its entirety

"The Air Force Social Communication Center (Cecomsaer) concerning today’s developments in the Cachimbo region reports :

1)  The Air Force Command reiterates that there is no confirmation regarding people who might possibly be responsible for the accident. It would be premature to assign possible responsibilities or to establish any value judgment about the episode and make comments at this time since the occurrence investigations are still under way.

2) The Brazilian Air Force’s search and rescue military operation was restarted today at sunrise and weather in the region is favorable.

3) About 90 military men are in the area of the Jarinã farm to continue their work to locate and remove the victims. Another 100 military are working in Brigadier Velloso’s Test Field (CPBV), in Serra do Cachimbo.

4) This morning, an aircraft VU-9 Xingu joined the operation to provide logistic support. In total, eight aircraft, of which five helicopters, are being used today.

5) Since yesterday (October 3), a doctor, a relative of one of the victims, is overseeing voluntarily, the coroner’s work in the accident area and finding out how difficult it is to pre-identify the bodies remains. 

6) Twelve military from the Air Force Command units, among them eight doctors, members of the Health Cellular Unit, will arrive today to the CPBV with three medical modules, including a surgical center, to provide support to the teams that are working in the operation.

7) Another bulletin should be released at the end of the day with more up-to-date information on the operation under way in the area."

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