North of state: court orders American pilots be interrogated
The Federal Court of Sinop sends today, to the United States courts, the interrogation of American pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino, in the trial on the crash of the Gol Boeing in the North of the state in 2006. The delay in sending was necessary due to the translation of the entire document. There are 52 questions for each one, elaborated by judge Murilo Mendes and the Prosecutors' Office, with questioning about the possible causes of the aircraft's crash which caused the deaths of 154 people, in September of 2006. Joseph and Jan piloted the Legacy jet and were going from Rio de Janeiro [sic] to Manaus, from where they would proceed to the USA. Enroute, the jet collided with the Boeing. They managed to make a forced landing in the Serra do Cachimbo mountains and the six crew members [sic] escaped unharmed.
Among the inquiries to which the two should respond are whether they analyzed the flight plan and if they were aware that the route foresaw three altitudes – level 370, level 360 and level 380, and why the aircraft always flew at level 370. The magistrate also asked what information was given to them by the São José dos Campos tower when the plan was authorized and if someone turned off the transponder during the flight, and if they perceived that it was turned off.
He also wants to know why they tried to make contact with the control center before the collision, since, before then, only one contact had been made, and also who pronounced the phrase, "I hate to have the Brazilian Air Force on our tail", and if this phrase indicates only a manifestation of disdain for the Brazilian Air Force or if it indicated a desire to free themselves of normal surveillance.
There is still no deadline for the interrogation to be concluded and sent back to the Brazilian courts. Only after this procedure, will judge Murilo Mendes continue with the testimony of witnesses, who will also be heard by means of precatory letters, since they live in other States and countries.
The entire procedure is done through the intermediation of the Ministry of Justice.
Source: Só Notícias/Tania Rauber (photo: AFP)
TAM ACCIDENT NOTE - 24/05/2008
The Air Force Command informs that the Center for the investigation and Prevention of Aeronautic Accidents (CENIPA) has still not finished the final report on the accident with the TAM A-320 Airbus, which occurred on July 17, 2007 at the Congonhas - SP airport.
It is worth emphasizing that this document does not point to those to blame for the accident, but rather to the factors which contribute to its having occurred, aimed solely at the safety of aviation activity.
Besides this, at the moment at which the investigation of this accident is concluded, the result will be released first to the relatives of the victims and, later, released to the media, without any sort of preference for specific journalists or news outlets.
Finally, it is up to the Air Force Command to lament that press professionals are broadcasting distorted information on the work still underway and falsely attributing to CENIPA responsibility for this information.
Brig Ar ANTONIO CARLOS MORETTI BERMUDEZ
Head of the AIR FORCE SOCIAL COMMUNICATION CENTER