US Pilots Association Says Brazil Air Authorities Made Terrible Mistake

The damaged Legacy that collided with Boeing 737 The Allied Pilots Association (APA), which representing the 12,000 pilots of American Airlines, has issued a statement concerning the recent decision by a Brazilian federal judge to indict two pilots from the United States who were involved in a mid-air collision over  the Brazilian Amazon last year.

On September 29, 2006, Gol Airlines Flight 1907, a Boeing 737, went down with the loss of all 154 aboard following a mid-air collision with an Embraer Legacy 600 operated by ExcelAire Service of Ronkonkoma, New York.

The ExcelAire jet piloted by American pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino landed safely at a remote military airfield.

"Criminalizing the accident investigation process," reads the APA statement, "establishes an extremely unfortunate precedent and is a terrible mistake. Accident investigations should be conducted based on widely accepted International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13 guidelines, rather than as a criminal proceeding.

"The goal of any accident investigation should be to determine the accident’s cause to prevent a recurrence. Criminalizing an investigation will almost certainly have a chilling effect on the willingness of involved parties to be forthcoming with critical information.

"Accordingly, we urge the Brazilian authorities to rethink their approach to determining the cause of this tragic accident."

Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association – the largest independent pilot union in the U.S. – is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.

The association represents the 12,000 pilots of American Airlines, including 2,688 pilots on furlough. The furloughs began shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Also, several hundred American Airlines pilots are on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. American Airlines is the nation’s largest passenger carrier.


  • Show Comments (13)

  • Its all about economics

    To Athina Onassis
    I’d say its not about race or nationality

  • AES

    Link to the 134-page document, in Portuguese [PDF]

  • AES


  • AES National Transportation Savety Board Washington D.C.
    History of flights:

    The Legacy N600XL departed SBSJ at about 2:51 pm. The filed flight plan included a routing via the OREN departure procedure to Pocos beacon, then airway UW2 to Brasilia VOR (BRS), airway UZ6 to Manaus. The cruise altitude was filed as FL370, with a planned change to FL360 at BRS, and to FL380 at the TERES navigational fix, approximately 282 miles north of BRS.

    After takeoff, N600XL was issued a number of interim altitudes during climb, all of which were read back. The flight was cleared to proceed direct to Araxa VOR (on airway UW2), and at 3:11 pm was cleared to climb to FL370. At 3:33 pm, the airplane leveled at FL370.

    At 3:35 pm, the Boeing 737 departed Eduardo Gomes airport, requesting FL370 as a cruise altitude, and a routing via UZ6 to BRS. The airplane reached FL370 at 3:58 pm. There were no anomalies in communications with or radar surveillance of the Boeing 737 throughout the flight.

    At 3:51 pm, an air traffic controller in the Brasilia ACC (CINDACTA 1) instructed N600XL to change frequencies to the next controller’s sector. The crew of N600XL reported in on the assigned frequency that the flight was level at FL370. ATC acknowledged and instructed the crew to “ident” (flash their transponder). Radar indicates that the ident was observed. This was the last two-way communication between N600XL and ATC. At this time the airplane was approximately 40 nautical miles south of BRS.

    At 3:56pm the Legacy N600XL passed BRS level at FL370. There is no record of a request from N600XL to the control agencies to conduct a change of altitude, after reaching flight level 370. The airplane made calls, but there is no communication in which it requested a change of flight level. There is also no record of any instruction from air traffic controllers at Brasilia Center to the aircraft, directing a change of altitude.

    When the airplane was about 30 miles north-northwest of BRS, at 4:02 pm, the transponder of N600XL was no longer being received by ATC radar. A transponder reports a unique code, aiding radar identification, and provides an accurate indication of the airplane’s altitude. Additionally, the transponder is a required component for the operation of Traffic Collision Avoidance System equipment, commonly called the TCAS system.

    Between 3:51 pm and 4:26 pm, there were no attempts to establish radio communications from either the crew of N600XL or ATC. At 4:26 pm the CINDACTA 1 controller made a “blind call” to N600XL. Subsequently until 4:53 pm, the controller made an additional 6 radio calls attempting to establish contact. The 4:53 call instructed the crew to change to frequencies 123.32 or 126.45. No replies were received.

    There is no indication that the crew of N600XL performed any abnormal maneuvers during the flight. Flight Data Recorder information indicates that the airplane was level at FL370, on course along UZ6, and at a steady speed, until the collision. Primary (non-transponder) radar returns were received corresponding to the estimated position of N600XL until about 4:30 pm. For 2 minutes, no returns were received, then returns reappeared until 4:38 pm. After that time, radar returns were sporadic.

    Beginning at 4:48 pm, the crew of N600XL made a series of 12 radio calls to ATC attempting to make contact. At 4:53, the crew heard the call instructing them to change frequencies, but the pilot did not understand all of the digits, and requested a repeat. No reply from ATC was received. The pilot made 7 more attempts to establish contact.At 4:56:54 pm the collision occurred at FL370, at a point about 460 nautical miles north-northwest of BRS, on airway UZ6.

  • AES

    transponder unit, had a history of defects and were essentially used parts installed on a new jet.”
    [url][/url]EMBRAER/HONNEYWELL (sic)

    Component where the transponder and part of the Legacy’s radio system are installed presented defect in another plane, was sent to Honneywell for repairs and later installed in the Legacy
    ExelAire was not informed by Embraer that the equipment had already been used and presented defects
    An inspection by Embraer itself showed that the systems were “connected incorrectly”, giving rise to suspicions that other systems might also have defects
    The meteorological radar failed during the test phase

    Negligence by Cindacta-1 (Brasilia) in failing to note the incompatibility between the real altitude and that indicated in the system
    Negligence for not having contacted the jet to determine a change of altitude to 36,000 feet on passing Brasilia
    Negligence for not warning Cindacta-4 (Manaus) and the aircraft in the same area, such as the Boeing, as soon as the transponder ceased functioning

  • Roberto H

    Mid-air collision / Legacy N 600 XL vs. Boeing 737-800 GOL Airline
    What kind of pilots can turn OFF their airplane`s Transponder and, worst, fly in wrong Flight Level?. Flying WEST pilots must maintain WEST FLIGHT LEVELS and FL 370 ever was an EAST FLIGHT LEVEL. If not, you are flying like in a Russian rulet.
    Fault of Brazilian Controllers are a lack of attention of what the Legacy was doing and not alerting the pilots that they were flying in a wrong Flight Level. NTSB release A -07 -35 through -37 says that ATC Transponder was OFF for some reason.
    Don`t blame Brazilian Controllers for a Pilots GROSS MISTAKE. I blame implementation of RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum) for this disaster, because the brand new equipments in both airplanes were maintaining them EXACTLY at FL 370, and one of that aircrafts was flying in a wrong airspace. American Pilots….Please, Think before talking. You were not there.

  • justasking

    November 21st, 2006 at 4:32 pm


    Thanks for submitting this request to me, but I donˢ۪t know how much I can do. Can you send me a picture of yours, so that I can publish it on this site in order to know whether other people do see the same similarity? What is your actual nationality? Where are you living now? And how did it become that you were working for T Roussel agency (do you have proofs?) and that you met Cristina Onassis? Do you remember anything more specific?

    It is an evidence that trying to get in contact with her through À¢€¦ Roussel, will do nothing but perhaps even severely À¢€¦ put your life in danger! There are many millions behind and states behind the millions. If the money goes somewhere else than À¢€¦ provided, it may have mortal consequences. (They donÀ¢€™t joke these people.) On the other hand, if you donÀ¢€™t have other states interested in claiming were it even a false paternity (perhaps herself) in order to get the due percentage, I see little meaning in putting your life in danger À¢€¦

    November 21st, 2006 at 5:03 pm

    Stats November 21 & ref 20, skstats À‚« Stats today

    [À¢€¦] Athina Onassis [À¢€¦]

    November 23rd, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    With permission, I hope À‚« Stats today

    [À¢€¦] Athina Onassis [À¢€¦]

    December 4th, 2006 at 8:10 pm

    Thanasis L.

    I would appreciate any and all information regarding Athina OnassisÀ¢€¦I have found some interesting photos of her Mother and Grandfather . I was a bodyguard each time her Mother or/and Grandfather Aristotle Onassis touched ground in New York CityÀ¢€¦Before and after his wedding to Jackie OÀ¢€¦Also was with her uncle Mr. Konialidis and Gratsos in new York City, hiring, for cash under the table, some of the New York CityÀ¢€™s finest (DetectivesÀ¢€“during Serpecu movies times Knapp CommissionÀ¢€“)..
    I am the one that had the fight while her Granfather Onassis was coming out of the movie with Jacki O. attacked by Paperazzis on 57th street Manhattan. The Press wrote that Jackie did Jiu-Zitsu, FALSE, so the paperazzi had a settlement for damages when I punched one of the camera men À¢€¦Still have Photos availableÀ¢€¦

    December 4th, 2006 at 10:34 pm


    Elinas eisai? What do you think of the comment of the parisian model? You think it could have any grain of truth in it? If you have pictures available, IÀ¢€™ll fix them on the site, if you like!

    December 8th, 2006 at 6:42 pm


    Slightly À¢€˜censoredÀ¢€™ e-mail from posting above Thanasis, answering to the question what he thought of the comment above. (Censored xxx)

    À¢€œI personally escorted Christina while in the xxxx on fifth Avenue, Manhattan,NYC. I went to lunches with her, banks, trips with her. At no time ever she acted in a disrespectful manner. She may have had a few disappointments in life just like every human on this planet. We all make mistakes during our lifes path. This xxx , so called model, xxx À¢€“should be ashame to even post this untrue statement. She was not a whore. I dont even believe he met her or he was there unless he provides valid proofÀ¢€“photo which I would test hightech screening if photo is valid.

    Captain Thanasis
    I am not being protective of Christina but having spent time with her I dont believe him.À¢€Â

    January 16th, 2007 at 3:34 am

    gene Carrier

    I was a coulture Model for Christian Doir , The dior show of Janurary or 1984 .
    They keep tapes of shows like these À¢€¦.. i donÀ¢€™t like your name calling either .
    I am not affraid or anything so I may post a photo .
    The truth is it was the 80À¢€™s and I did just recently read the book of Christina and some more peices came together for me .
    Challening the estate or the will is not my intension but if I need to to get recognition as the real father then I have been considering this only to try to get in touch with a long lost daughter .
    There was the time that I heard about Christinaˢ۪s death and it did take me back to the times in Paris 1984.

    just that the book had said about the weight treatment and the timing for her exiting treatment and the timing of the party was perfect .
    Now imagin that you where her and what better way to see if the treatment was successfull that to have Thierry throw a party where Christina was the only female at this party with 25 of ThierryÀ¢€™s madolsÀ¢€¦À¢€¦À¢€¦..
    Now what do you have to say about this point . À¢€¦À¢€¦.
    I have a lot more matteral and I will have to dig into my file À¢€¦.

  • justasking

    is there any DNA on Athina and Thierry Roussel
    I found this online and want to know if its true ……

    Io believe this …

    Could it be possibleÀ¢€¦.
    Athina Onassis

    I was a model in 1984 and working for Thierry Rousellˢ۪s agency called First Models in Paris .
    Thierry had a party one evening and I and 25 other male modeks were invited to this party ,,, strangly enough there was only one girl at this party and her name was Chritine À¢€¦À¢€¦À¢€¦À¢€¦.

    second draft

    Hello ,
    I was at a party in 1984 thrown by Thierry Roussel The owner of First Model Agency in Paris . Christina
    Onassis was the only female there at this party along with 25 male models from ThierryÀ¢€™s agency À¢€¦ In paticual was one male model that connected with Christina Onassis at that party . I believe that this male model is the real father of Athina Onassis and not Thierry roussel.
    I am wondering if Thierry and Athina have ever had a DNA test and I would bet money that no test have ever been done .. She doesn;t have blue eyes like Thierry and the face the eyes and the teeth and smile look exactly like this male model that connected with Christina at Thierryˢ۪s party ..
    I believe what the rest of the would believes about Thierry and thats he married Christina for her money . maybe he set it up to marry her with reasons like that a woman of her stature should not have a baby out of wedlock or that it would be good for the child to have a father À¢€œHIM À¢€Â as the father once she found out she was pregnant À¢€¦À¢€¦Since her tragic death and the mystery surronding her death this could be one of the secrets to the Onassis heir À¢€¦À¢€¦À¢€¦..
    Is there a way to get this message to Athina ???
    I would like her to know since she has had so many problems with Thierry and it might set her free from her bad past with him , especially if it trues out that a DNA would prove that Thierry is not the real Father of Athina .
    You may conact me at this email address if you want to know who the real father of Athina Onassis is .
    Thank You So Much,
    Robbie Sr.

    Posted by: ROBERT SR. | 02/13/2006 at 08:06 PM

    I have kept another secret for all these years ,, I was that model in 1984 in Paris and worked for Thierry RousselÀ¢€™s Model Agency À¢€œFirst Model AgencyÀ¢€Â and he had a party one night and there were 25 of us male models and only one female there , her name was Christine and only one model had an affair with her and yes that model was me À¢€¦À¢€¦Turns out that Thierry married Christine Onassis and Christine had a child Athina Onassis ,, À¢€œThe poor little rich girlÀ¢€Â was the tittle people gave her À¢€¦..Funny thing is she looks alot like me too hair line ,Eyes , eye brows and also the teeth À¢€¦.. Recently I searched her and found out she paid Thierry 84 or 100 million dollars to go away ? Was that some sort of seattlement ,,, why would she do that if he was her real father ???Could she have found out something that the rest of the world does not know ?? All I am saying is that she does not look like Thierry Roussel and have told a couple of people this story and they all say the same thing , that they never thought she looked at all like Thierry as well.I have been in contact with an author named Alexis and this person has assured me that they have been forwarding my emails to the Roussel family ,It has been four weeks and still no answer yet .I told them that I would also volenteer for DNA testing and I am waiting for them to respond to me . i hope that she is really my daughter and that one day soon we would meet .I have so much to say to her À¢€¦

  • João da Silva

    To:Athina Onassis
    [quote]brazilian currency is REAL since 1994 not CRUZEIRO!!! Wake up!

    Thanks Athina for reminding ch.c about this fact. He is so mule headed that he forgets some essential details of the Brazilian economy many times.

    [quote]What if the embraer airplane pilots were brazilian, arab, russian, pakistani, french, north corean, iranian? What would u say? (POOR PILOTS!!!) [/quote]

    A relevant question on your part. But you have to remember that the Flight crew of Gol 1907 were Brazilians and I didnt hear about our members of CPI paying tributes to them, the cabin crew or the passengers.

  • Athina Onassis

    brazilian currency is REAL since 1994 not CRUZEIRO!!! Wake up!

  • Athina Onassis

    what if it have happened to american airlines airplane with 154 americans on board on american territory?
    What if the embraer airplane pilots were brazilian, arab, russian, pakistani, french, north corean, iranian? What would u say? (POOR PILOTS!!!)

  • ch.c.

    Brazil government are full of crooks, cheaters and liars.
    Their INJUSTICE dept people are named by those in the government.
    Thus how could they be different ?
    THEIR LATEST VERSION OF THE ACCIDENT BEING : the pilots realizing they were lost in the Brazilian skies… of them decided to take a nap !
    Their next version will most probably find out that it was not one but the two of them….deciding to take a nap !

    Also just look at the brazilians who had one of their family member in the plane. Many are suing the american pilots…..BUT NONE are suing the Brazilian government and/or the ATCs.
    They knew they have absolutely no chance to get 1 old cruzeiro from those really responsible, and therefore decided to “find” the american pilots guilty, curiously well before the end of the investigations.

    If that is not a scam, blessed by their government, what is it ?????

    The best answer would be to avoid going to brazil and boycot them.

    Because if one wants to avoid problems in Brazil, avoiding their country is certainly the wisest and most simple decision !

    Jean Charles Menezes family does the same ! Curiously NOT 1 FAMILY is suing the Brazilian government, for the hundreds of innocents killed by their police forces……ANNUALLY !!!!!!!

    Brazil is A Fourth World Country and they prove it….daily !

  • doggydaddy

    Deaf Ears
    Don’t think the Brazilians give two hoots about what the assoc has to say! Sad !

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