Brazil: Boeing Tragedy’s Relatives Blame Legacy Pilots for the Gravest Mistake

Relatives of the victims of the Gol’s Boeing 737-800 accident in Brazil, which killed 154 people, believe that the American pilots of the Legacy executive jet made the "worst mistake" leading to the collision between the two planes.

According to their reasoning, the small jet’s pilots should have complied with the original flight plan regardless of any communication failure with the air traffic controllers.

It was Luciana Siqueira, public relations for the Flight 1907 Family and Friends Association, who revealed what’s in the mind of those related to the victims of Brazil’s worst air accident ever.

Luciana told reporters that the relatives already knew that there had been communication problems between the flight controllers and the Legacy pilots, Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, as the Brazilian Air Force commander, brigadier Luiz Carlos Bueno admitted on Tuesday, November 21, during a congressional hearing.

"We already knew about a communication error at the start of the flight. But even with the improper instruction, the Legacy pilot could have corrected this during the flight, following the flight plan," said Siqueira.

She added that the families are going to wait for the investigation’s results on the controller’s mistake to decide if they’ll sue the Brazilian government, which is responsible for the air control in the country.

"If this can be established, we will file a lawsuit against the Union. I think that all of this has to be investigated, but this doesn’t absolve the Legacy’s pilots from all blame. An experienced pilot knows that he has to frequently communicate with the tower. But he remained almost an hour without communication. It is too much time," the family’s representative said.

During a Senate public hearing, brigadier Bueno informed that a wrong piece of information from a primary radar may have led Brasí­lia’s controllers to believe that the Legacy was flying at the right altitude, which should have been 36,000 feet when passing through the Brazilian capital.

While the radar showed that the jet’s altitude was 36,000 feet the plane was really at 37,000 feet, the same altitude the Boeing coming from the opposite direction was flying. The pilots of the Legacy lost all communication with the control tower a little before reaching Brasí­lia.



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