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Don’t Blame Us, But Blind Spots and the Americans, Say Brazil’s Air Controllers

The 13 Brazilian air traffic controllers who were on duty in the BrasÀ­lia control tower, September 29, when a shock between a Boeing 737 and a Legacy executive jet ended up causing Brazil’s deadliest air accident ever, with 154 deaths, say they have no part in the accident despite what the media or authorities might have said in recent days.

Normando Augusto Cavalcanti, the lawyer representing all of them, says his clients are unanimous in declaring two things: they are not at fault for the air accident and they all agree that there is a blind spot, where communication is very hard, in the area the collision occurred.              

Cavalcanti also revealed that the flight controllers are very upset at the congressional testimony by Air Force commander, Luiz Carlos da Silva Bueno, who told Brazilian senators, Tuesday, November 21, that a misinformation by a controller in Brasí­lia might have contributed to the crash.

According to the controllers, they were induced to error by a defective equipment. They argue that the radar showed that the Legacy was at 36,000 feet when flying through Brasí­lia. In reality the executive jet was at 37,000 feet, the same altitude in which the Boeing was flying only in the opposite direction.

As for the "blind zone," the lawyer informed, this is an old problem that has been presented in the past to the Brazilian air authorities: "The controllers had already told the Air Force about these problems," said Cavalcanti.

Contradicting Defense Minister, Waldir Pires, who has often stated that Brazil has no problem of communication in the skies, the flight controllers assert that airplanes cannot talk to control towers in the North of Mato Grosso state where the accident occurred.

This "blind zone," according to them starts 200 miles north of Brasí­lia and stretches to almost the Mato Grosso and Amazonas states border.

Once again, since the information has already appeared in the media, the lawyer stressed that the controllers at work that day were not tired or in any condition that would adversely affect their performance.

He also denied a report published in the press that the controller who was guiding the Legacy was 20 years old and had no experience. According to the lawyer, the worker in question is 27 and has 5 years of experience in the job.

After ruling out any chance that the controllers might have made a mistake, Cavalcanti said he has two possible explanations for the tragedy:  inducement to a mistake due to a failure in the communication system or an error made by the Legacy’s American pilots.


  • Show Comments (7)

  • Norman Kemble

    TO: A brazilian and jc
    I wish to thank you A brazilian and you jc for your support and confidence in me and in my position. As I have stated numerous times my concern is the accountability and responsibility of those involved in this. Part of that is letting everyone know of the involvement of excelaire in this accident. I have stated my opinions, I have stated facts and I have stated on issues and incidents with which I am knowledgeable. I really thank you both for your understanding and knowledge of the issues, the fact that both of you want no more than what I want. And the fact that both of you condemn the ugliness, hysterics and xenophobia that some people have exhibited on this issue, most unnotably ch.c and me.

    Again, thank you.

  • A brazilian

    Thanks man, the same to you. And happy Thanksgiving.

  • jc

    to Realgvp and A brazilian.
    First of all let praise both of you for your honest and constructive contributions with comments that are full of common sense but most importantly with no preconceived or superfluous bias or bulshit. Unfortunately we are becoming a minority around here…
    Concerning your question about the À¢€œhuman experiment gone bad À¢€Â Mr. Ch .c, I can tell you a few things. I have promised myself to publicly publish his name; his address and phone number within a certain time frame and things are looking good. Why IÀ¢€™m spending the money and the time doing this? Because I think this À¢€œhuman rejectÀ¢€Â has caused a tremendous amount of harm to the two cultures by exploring human dignity beyond the limits of self-healing. Assumptions are made due to the À¢€œEnglishÀ¢€Â nature of the site, but if you type ch.c search in this site and read all his comments, you will soon conclude the existence of something much deeper and darker than anything you have seen and not just related to the excel air and the tragic accident.
    I wish you both all the best.

  • A brazilian

    realgivp, I think ‘me’ might be a conjunction of things. He is a Brazil’s and Brazilians’ hater, a great xenophobic who if he gets something of his interest would keep being one, a covered xenophobic individual who takes things for granted.Also he might work , directly or indirectly, for excelAir, as an advertisement agent for example. After all the advertisers are not really interested in the truth, justice or something of this genre, all they have to care is selling, it doesnt matter if they sell a company’s anti ethic operation strategies, that doesn’t mean much. The life of people who work in the aviation field and its customers are really not that important in this case. All they have to do is avoid excelAir services when traveling…. Plus maybe he is a jealous lad. Jealous of you, realgivp. If I were a foreigner, I would be too. You’re one of the few who commented on the proceedings of this investigation showing willingness to be accountable and, more, no one here showed your guts to face what is ugly. In this case, both Brazilian and American faults. The only problem is that many foreigners do not accept that their pilots- and company for that matter- can screw up a big time in Brazil. Read the article on this same blog about American participation in Brazil’s (and Latin America) dictaroship to find out that you guys are a bit late on the news. Companies who embrace immoral methods of operations are destroying the enviroment and human life. We have to fight for what is fair and things can be good FOR E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y! America sold to the world they were the biggest democratic country. We all could learn from Americans how to question things and promote changes when things were ugly. It’s good to know we can still count on some of them. Congratulations realgivp you are a hero on this side of the world.

  • Norman Kemble

    And if me happens to show up
    Find out if that is just a pseudonynm for ch.c. Or if he works at excel. Or who of his family and friends works there. Same reasons as above. Thank you.

  • Norman Kemble

    If ch.c appears here ask him
    If he works at excelaire. And ask him if he does finally answer and says no by chance, who of his family and friends work there. Rather than face that all parties have contributed to this accident he rants on only about Brazil. He is obviously here to “protect” excel and their interests. I want to find out what happened no matter where it goes and who it implicates. That is the only way to prevent an accident like this from occuring again.

  • Rob

    Not “shock”, collision
    Just an FYI. The word used should be collision not shock. It was a collision between the 737 and the Legacy jet. Shock is what everyone in the world felt after being told of the tragedy..

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