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Brazil Blames Airbus Manufacturer for Brazil’s Air Tragedy

Brazilian brigadier Jorge Kersul Brazil's Air Force blamed Airbus for the recent tragedy in the São Paulo Congonhas airport which killed 199 people. "The accident will most certainly trigger a major war between the world's main manufacturers because this is the third Airbus accident originated in a mechanical failure," said Brigadier Jorge Kersul Filho, head of the Cenipa, Brazil's Air Force Air Accidents Research and Prevention Center.

According to Kersul, the accident originated in a blocked speed reverser in one of the turbines which impeded the landing aircraft from slowing and stopping at the end of the runway. Instead it kept running and crashed into one of the TAM airline support buildings killing all aboard and people on the ground.

"The manufacturer should have already addressed the issue to avoid new accidents of this kind," Brig Kersul is quoted by the daily newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.

On Sunday, Brazil's leading magazine Veja published that the reason for the accident was a human error, from the pilot, who did not activate the (non operational) reverser turbine lever and caused the aircraft to accelerate on the runway.

Brigadier Kersul recalled that previous to the São Paulo tragedy similar accidents with Airbus occurred in Philippines in 1998 and in Taiwan in 2004.

However the Brazilian press does establish a difference in circumstances since the Congonhas airport is virtually in the middle of São Paulo surrounded by residential and commercial buildings, which increased the consequences of the tragedy.

Mercopress

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  • Show Comments (21)

  • No Name

    Ric
    From everything we have herd about this accident, your scenario seems entirely plausible. Along with everything else, the perfect storm. Yikes, I’m never flying on an airbus again. Thanks for spelling it out! Regardless I still beileve that plane should never have been allowed to land at Congonhas under those conditions. So I guess holding the manufacturer responsible is not as ridiculous as I thought. 😮

  • No Name

    Joao
    Your English is fine. Just retorting on your comment on my spell checking abilities. My statement was in reference to the ridiculousness of what the article said. Your response made it sound like you were ok with one thruster being out but that both thrusters out would be unacceptable ( break vs. breaks). Writing sometimes can be misinterpreted. Especially when two different languages building sentance structures come into play.

    The audacity of blaming the manufacturer in this situation is typical politics as usual in Brazil. Astounding! I realize we all agree.
    😉

  • No Name

    Jo Jo
    Oh there’s the American thing again. I could berate you for your broken English writing Joao…
    “but is totally unacceptable” correction “but it is totally unacceptable” emphasis on the word it
    “You should better your spelling skill” Correction “you should better your spelling skills… skills should be plural my friend
    THANKS God but Thank God …where did I say that? I said for Christ’s sake….Its a figure of speech…
    (i did spell guess wrong)
    So, that aside, for a plane with one reverse thruster out, landing on a notoriously short runway, that is rain soaked and has poor drainage, in the middle of a heavily populated area is totally acceptable? OOOOOOOOKKKKKKKK! I don’t think I’m going to be taking spelling lessons from you or what constitutes a safe ride.
    😛

  • No Name

    Unreal!
    Oh its the MANUFCTURERS fault that Tam let that plane fly in an airport in the rain, on a runway that was too short and slick without a functioning reverse thruster. What did the President of Infraero write this article? With his middle finger up? Oh yea that was Lula’s assistant. The president of Infraero said Brazil would fix its airspace problems by “cutting their own flesh”. Giess he is waiting for the other shoe to drop. Or the third shoe I should say…

    Cars, boats, trains busses etc are mechanical dua. Sometimes they break down. That doesn’t mean its OK to drive your car with no breaks, and blame Toyota for Christ’s sake. 🙁

  • Ric

    Factors
    Many factors were involved in this accident. But I personally believe that the main factor is the design of the Airbus. There are seven computers, four from one manufacturer and three from another, perhaps to prevent a virus problem, which has been discussed at length.

    Some military planes are totally computer controlled, mainly because they are unstable in all modes, which is necessary for high performance. But they have ejection seats for all occupants.

    The flying public is not aware that the Airbus 320 and others have no mechanical back up connections from the cockpit to the engines nor to the control surfaces.

    The Boeing 777 is computer controlled but overrideable, the Airbus are not.

    The spoilers will not deploy until microswitches on both main gear tell the computer that the plane is on the ground. The brakes will not work until all main gear tires are rotating at some value over 70 knots.

    It seems possible to me that if the right throttle was set at some point ahead of idle power, the computer got confused. The computer said, “No, you donÀ‚´t want brakes, spoilers. YouÀ‚´re trying to take off”. The computer is supposed to be smarter than the pilot.

    Also the engines will start to spool up in a fraction of a second, but wonÀ‚´t begin to do so until the computer is sent the message that all the reversor buckets are retracted. That takes at least another five seconds.

    I will always believe that the main culprits are those on the original design team. As the fleet gets older the mishaps will increase. They should have figured that out in the airshow accident in France years ago. They were low and slow and tried to accelerate and climb out and the computer refused to respond to pilot input because it was programmed that way. The computer thought they were landing.

    As a friend of mine at Microsoft says, “computers are stupid”.

    This afternoon I was flown almost a thousand miles on a TAM A320. I know the odds are against me being on the next one that goes down. But had I bought the ticket myself it would have been on an airline that doesnÀ‚´t fly Airbus.

  • Simpleton

    Non comments
    Couldn’t find the MMEL for the A320. A300-600/A310 requires an inoperative thrust reverser to be deactivated.

    Based on the CVR replay reported, the crew was aware of the deferred maintenance issue before the attempted touch down. Lack of ground effect spoilers or partial inop seems to have been implied and some issue with throttle lever angle sensing was mentioned someplace else earlier regarding data from the FDR. All related some how? If you can’t drop the lift with the spoilers you can’t get the main gear braking effect maxed. They did or didn’t sucessfully get the operative thrust reverser to deploy (which has arming dependancy on throttle lever angle)? If they didn’t get engine reversing or didn’t / couldn’t try due to the config, speed, runway effects / conditions what’s left is a go around attempt which either didn’t get commited to at all / early enough and or wouldn’t have succeded anyway.

    Depending on the wheels / brakes installed, it appears on the A300-600 / A310 at least, those can be inop / deactivated one per side or in opposing pairs as deferred maintenance as well – wonder what the TAM logs say about these / last inspection date / last repair or service?

  • João da Silva

    I just want you all to appreciate the obscene gestures made by Maro Aulelio Garcia towards the Brazilians in general and to the victims and their kith and kin of the TAM accident.This is what we get paying all our taxes. I was trying to reply to the article of Cristovam Buarque,but it does not permit any comments!

    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sXdHXNfoNs&mode=related&search=[/url]

  • João da Silva

    To:Brazilian Dude
    [quote]I won’t even comment on this ridiculous,pathetic cover-your-ass maneuver by Osamo Bin Lula through his proxies… [/quote]

    Dude, dont do it.Please do continue commenting!

    What intrigues me is the speed with which the investigations are being conducted and the involvement of Legistlative and Executive powers in pressurizing the Air Force to give the transcripts of the Black Boxes to the CPI to be analysed and the contents made public. Never before there was a pressure to make the data public before the full investigations are concluded. First, TAM ackowledged that there was a problem with the starboard thrust reverser and M.A. Garcia and his assistant were relieved and made the now infamous obsecene gestures. Then Veja put the blame on the pilots,based on leaked info from the black boxes. Now, there is an attempt to put the blame on the Airbus! Somehow it gives me an impression that the Government wants to tirar c* da reta, real fast.

    btw, not many people wants to talk about the role of Carlos Wilson as the President of INFRAERO and his filling up that entity with his own chronies who “pintaram e bordaram” nor how Brig.PereiraÀ‚´s hands were tied when he assumed the Presidency last year.

    The latest news is that the Directors of ANAC (4 of whom got medals even before the fire was completely extinguished) dont want to quit.

    You know Dude, I have a strange feeling that within the next 10 days, it will be proved that it was not really the responsiblity of the government,but somebody else (most probably the dead pilots, whose bodies,btw, have not been found yet). Some military personnel would be fired. But, the political chronies of Lula in ANAC and INFRAERO will continue to be in their jobs. In a monthÀ‚´s time, Congonhas will come back to operating at full steam (or after the grooving work is completed).

    Any comments from you and others?

  • bo

    [quote]written by Brazilian Dude, 2007-08-01 03:12:12
    I won’t even comment on this ridiculous,pathetic cover-your-ass maneuver by Osamo Bin Lula through his proxies…
    I will, however, lament the fact that a large portion of the population will swallow this xenophobic swill with gusto, just as they did in the case of the American pilots…. [/quote]

    Right on the mark there dude! But it’s starting to get too ridiculous for even the dumbest of fools to deny.

    [quote]Please, can someone put Lula, Marta Suplicy (sp?) and that idiot (obscene gesture) and all the politicians on a plane, on a wet day, to Congonhas, on TAM air tickets, without the reverse thrusters and heavy loaded jet?[/quote]

    Now that’s a good idea!!! Ever see the movie Erin Brockovich?

    [At the meeting with the PG & E lawyers]
    Ms. Sanchez: Let’s be honest here. $20 million dollars is more money then these people have ever dreamed of.
    Erin Brockovich: Oh see, now that pisses me off. First of all, since the demur we have more than 400 plaintiffs and… let’s be honest, we all know there are more out there. They may not be the most sophisticated people but they do know how to divide and $20 million isn’t shit when you split it between them. Second of all, these people don’t dream about being rich. They dream about being able to watch their kids swim in a pool without worrying that they’ll have to have a hysterectomy at the age of twenty. Like Rosa Diaz, a client of ours. Or have their spine deteriorate, like Stan Blume, another client of ours. So before you come back here with another lame ass offer, I want you to think real hard about what your spine is worth, Mr. Walker. Or what you might expect someone to pay you for your uterus, Ms. Sanchez. Then you take out your calculator and you multiply that number by a hundred. Anything less than that is a waste of our time.
    [Ms. Sanchez picks up a glass of water]
    Erin Brockovich: By the way, we had that water brought in especially for you folks. Came from a well in Hinkley.
    Ms. Sanchez: [Eyes the water warily and sets the glass back down] I think this meeting is over.
    Ed Masry: Damn right it is.

  • Shelly

    That Figures
    OSAMO Bin Lula, 😀 😀 😀 . I wrote a message to one of the passengers–the NY reporter, actually I said from the beginning of the cover-our-ass maneuver, that I did not believe the Americans to be at fault. The hate campaign made by MULA government was horrendous. Also, Rede Globo and other news were just covering up the whole thing and probably were told what to say and do. Unfortunately, we’ll see more accidents and the family members will be the one’s suffering. Please, can someone put Lula, Marta Suplicy (sp?) and that idiot (obscene gesture) and all the politicians on a plane, on a wet day, to Congonhas, on TAM air tickets, without the reverse thrusters and heavy loaded jet?

  • Brazilian Dude

    That figures…
    I won’t even comment on this ridiculous,pathetic cover-your-ass maneuver by Osamo Bin Lula through his proxies…
    I will, however, lament the fact that a large portion of the population will swallow this xenophobic swill with gusto, just as they did in the case of the American pilots….

  • shelly

    Darn French!
    I guess people cannot blame Uncle Sam for this one 😀 For God’s sake, when this government will stop blaming other people for their absolute failure to invest in good roads, air and space monitoring, etc? The Brazilian government likes to blame the poor sods that work long hours and earn peanuts! Fucking unbelievable.Grown up SOB~

  • João da Silva

    [quote]Oh there’s the American thing again. I could berate you for your broken English writing Joao…
    “but is totally unacceptable” correction “but it is totally unacceptable” emphasis on the word it
    “You should better your spelling skill” Correction “you should better your spelling skills… skills should be plural my friend
    [/quote]

    Ah, when I was of your age, I used to spell better and not to confuse “No Break” and “No Brakes”. Where is the world coming to? We Brazilians have to learn English from young American ladies!

    Jokes apart,you missed some of the comments made by many of our friends,including mine regarding the accident. All of us have been coming out with the same questions you put forth and some like Forrest have given alternative suggestions too.My point is that Congonhas should have never ever been used as a Hub,for it is right in the middle of a concrete jungle with high rises and short runway. The main runway where the plane landed was short, incomplete and without suffecient “Escape” space. Besides, we did predict that it was going to happen and the greed and the indifference claimed over 200 lives. I have flown A 320 and it is too big a plane to risk landing on a wet and short runway,especially without grooving and right among the high rises.The defense rests.

  • forrest Brown

    ban them all
    if brasil builds such a good plane they should protect there skyes and ban all non made in brasil planes
    like they do computers , cars , and other big ticket items .

    OR WE COULD TRY TO HERE ONE SAY IT WAS OUR FAULT
    and we have a lot of work to do to fix our air space .

    try this GEN you will feel better for it and earn the respct of thoes whom can think for themselves

    still have not seen or hurd one laywer trying to sue any one over this .
    but know with the brasilian goverment saying it was the fault of the french
    think EUROS in the bank

  • João da Silva

    AES
    [quote]The protestation of the Brigadier that it is France’s fault is comical, transparently foolish and speaks of his qualifications to be in such a position of responsibility.
    [/quote]

    When in doubt,put the blame on Americans,French,Chinese,Indians,Thais,Mongolians and for that matter all the members of U.N.

    Havent you learnt it yet, AES,my friend? 🙁

  • aes

    According to Kersul, the accident originated in a blocked speed reverser in one of the turbines which impeded the landing aircraft from slowing and stopping at the end of the runway.

    The accident originated in the decision to operate the plane with known non functioning vital systems, (air brakes) in an airport where the only way such a plane could safelly land on a wet, unfinished, too short a runway was if it had operating reverse thrusters.

    The protestation of the Brigadier that it is France’s fault is comical, transparently foolish and speaks of his qualifications to be in such a position of responsibility.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]That doesn’t mean its OK to drive your car with no breaks,[/quote]

    It is perfectly alright to drive your car with NO BREAK,but is totally unacceptable to drive with no BRAKES. You should better your spelling skill .btw,it is not THANKS God,but Thank God. Gee, the American ladies are depending too much on Spell checkers these days.Shame on ya all. 😉

  • Jay Glenn

    UNAIRWORTHY
    In America the FAA requires that an aircraft with a system inoperative be grounded as À¢€œUNAIRWORTHYÀ¢€Â (REVERSE THRUSTERS)

  • ch.c.

    ALLEI…LULA !
    He fly far…..after having had a barrel of ethanol !
    NNNNo no, not a barrel of ethanol for the plane engine, but for Lula daily personal consumption !

    Could be that Ethanol will replace CachaÀƒ§a as the Brazilian Alcohol !

  • João da Silva

    Brazil Blames Airbus Manufacturer for Brazil’s Air Tragedy
    I knew the French were resposible and it was so obvious from the beginning and ya all didnt believe me.Now the French can join the Americans as the villains for all our tragedies and no more French bread nor French wine for me.Well done for the French.

    Thank (S) God, we dont have to change the name of French Fries into Freedom Fries. We have our own name “Batatas Fritas”.

    The Brazilian Airline companies and the government should boycott Boeing and Airbus and look for some Chinese made Jumbo jets.Also, Lula should return the Aero Lula to Airbus,because I heard his plane is a modified version of Airbus 320. Why should he fly it, especailly when he suffers from fear of flying?

  • ch.c.

    What a bunch of crooks….these Brazilians !!!!!!
    Part of Reuters News, that appeared yesterday on Yahoo :
    “TAM Linhas Aereas had acknowledged the reverser, which helps to slow down the plane on landing, had been broken, but said the aircraft was safe to fly like that.”

    IF YOU KNEW THAT THE REVERSER WAS BROKEN……..WHY WAS IT DECLARED…….SAFE TO FLY ??????????

    Did you spend the money for maintenance….for your corruption practices ?????

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