Brazilian Congressmen Told Americans Are to Blame for Boeing Tragedy

Brazilian Defense Minister, Waldir Pires, announced on Friday, November 10, that the preliminary report on the accident involving the Boeing 737 and the executive jet Legacy, which left 154 dead, in Brazil’s worst air accident ever, will be released this coming week.

"It is not going to be the final report, but I guarantee that it is going to be something very close to that," said Pires.

"It is an important instrument not only to tell who are the culprits, but especially to teach us about what happened so that we can prevent new tragedies like this one from occurring."

It’s expected that the report will emphasize the problems with the Legacy’s transponder.

The latest revelation leaked from the secret investigations being conducted by the Brazilian Air Force shows that the little jet’s transponder, which wasn’t working for some time before the collision, came back to life ten seconds after the crash between the Legacy and the Boeing.

This information was culled from the Legacy’s black box, which has been examined by Canadian technicians. For the Brazilian Investigation Committee looking into the accident the material proves one thing: that the American pilots had turned off the device, which should have prevented a collision with Gol’s Flight 1907.

Brazilian congressmen who have visited in recent days the air traffic control towers of Brasí­lia, Anápolis and Manaus to see how traffic control is done in these centers, were told in no uncertain terms by the military that there is no possibility that the accident was caused by a failure from traffic controllers, radars or communication radios.

Earlier this week, controllers from São José dos Campos, the city from where the Legacy left also refused to accept any blame for the accident even though is known that an air traffic controller there gave vague instructions to pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino. Those orders might have been interpreted as a directive for them to fly all the way to Manaus at 37,000 feet, the same altitude of the Boeing, which was coming from the opposite direction.

Military authorities have told legislators that from all the information they have gathered up to now they have concluded that the crash is the fault of the American pilots. The Brazilian Air Force is convinced that Lepore and Paladin deliberately turned off the Legacy’s transponder. The American pilots, however, have denied turning off the transponder or doing air acrobatics as they also have being accused of.

In their talks with the legislators the Air Force insisted that the Brazilian skies are completely covered by radar and radio communications and entirely secure for flights. The military dismiss statements of foreign and Brazilian pilots who say there are blind spots in several areas of the country mainly in the Amazon region.

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