Friday, July 4 2008
Relatives of Flight 1907 victims suffer defeat in USA
The relatives filed lawsuits in the USA against the manufacturer of aircraft parts and against the Legacy
Liege Albuquerque - O Estado de S. Paulo
MANAUS - Relatives of the victims of the Gol 1907 accident, which happened on September 29, 2006, suffered their first defeat in the North American courts. In a sentence handed down on the 2nd, judge Brian M. Cogan considered that the United States courts are not a convenient forum for the suits in the Gol case. The relatives had brought suit in the USA against the manufacturers of aircraft parts and against the Legacy, owner of the jet (sic) which collided with the Gol Boeing 737. An appeal against the decision is still possible.
The final report on the causes of the accident with the Gol Boeing 737-800 and the Legacy jet, which happened on September 27, 2006, points to a series of human failures as the determining factors in the tragedy which left 154 dead in the north of Mato Grosso. While the aeronautic investigation does not mention guilty parties, the logical conclusion is that that the sum of the errors committed by the Brasilia (Cindacta-1) controllers and by the American pilots of the Legacy, Joseph Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino, led to the collision between the aircraft.
The document, which has already concluded the investigation stage and is now in the phase of final conclusions, discards flaws or breakdowns in the communications equipment, in the transponder, (the set of antennas which establishes contact with ground radar) and in the jet's anticollision system (TCAS, in the English abbreviation). No evidence was found that radar coverage in the area of the accident had an influence in the tragedy - removing the suspicion of a "black hole" in the region.In technical language, avoiding value judgments, the report details the collision's "contributing factors". It relates that the Americans failed to take the appropriate measures for communications failure, such as typing code 7600 into the transponder. In the face of the technical data, it is probable that the commission will decide to only indicate hypothesis, such as a typing error or the incorrect pressing of some button.
Paladino and Lepore also did not question the Cindacta-1 controller about the divergence between the flight plan requested - 37,000 feet from São José dos Campos (SP) to Brasilia and, then, 36,000 feet to Manaus - and that supposedly authorized - 37,000 feet during the entire route. With this, the Legacy came to fly against traffic in airway UZ6, entering on a collision course with the Boeing.
It's from that instant on that the air traffic controllers' conduct becomes preponderant for the tragedy. On losing contact with the LEgacy, they should have programmed into their consoles five alternate radio frequencies, which wasn't done, according to the examination done on the equipment. This determination and the safety recommendations issued in the last few months by the Center for the Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautic Accidents (Cenipa) suggest a flaw in the controllers' training. Everything leads to believe that they did not know how to act in these cases.
(Bruno Tavares, of O Estado de S. Paulo, collaborated.)