Airbus Washes Hands of Brazil’s Deadliest Air Crash

Burned wing of Tam Airbus in Congonhas, São Paulo, Brazil The Airbus that crashed in São Paulo, Brazil, last month, killing 199 people showed no sign of mechanical fault, a representative for the European aircraft manufacturer told the Brazilian Congress.

"We don't see any indication of a fault," Airbus vice-president for flight safety, Yannick Malinge, told a congressional committee, in reference to data retrieved from the plane's cockpit recorders.

On July 17, a TAM airline Airbus 320 overran the runway while landing at São Paulo's Congonhas airport, crossed a road and slammed into an airport building, exploding into a fireball.

All 187 people aboard the plane were killed, along with at least 12 people on the ground, in Brazil's worst air tragedy.

"Available data shows the aircraft's brakes functioned correctly," Mr Malinge said. But he said one of the engine's throttles was in the "climb" position.

The plane was also operating with only one of its two thrust reversers, which are used to help slow the plane upon landing.

"Evidently when there's an accident no hypothesis can be discarded," said Malinge.

Brazilian air controller Celso Domingos Alves, who authorized the Airbus 320 landing, said pilots did not report any alleged problems with the aircraft, which it has been proved had one of the engine throttles inverted.

In spite of the Airbus alleged problems, the investigation is now focused on the landing conditions in Congonhas airport, Brazil's busiest, which does not have the necessary drainage facilities in the runway.

The "human factor" (error) is also mentioned as very significant component of Brazil's worst air accident.



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