General Big North:
Courts await pilots' answers on accident for 3 months
July 28, 2008 - 00h01
More than three months ago the Federal Court of Sinop sent to the North American courts the questions for American pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino, in the trial on the crash of the Gol Boeing, in 2006, in the North of Mato Grosso, and there is still no confirmation if both were heard, or have even been cited. Só Notícias learned that Federal judge Murilo Mendes is waiting for a situation report on the case to know if the questioning has taken place. However, sources informed that there is no deadline for the procedure to be realized, which should make the Brazilian courts wait.
During the first half of the year, the document containing 53 questions for each of them, elaborated by the magistrate and the Prosecutors' Office, was sent to the United Stated. The questions try to elucidate the possible causes of the collision with the Gol Boeing, which resulted in the death of 154 people, in September of 2006, the second worst accident in the history of Brazilian aviation. The representatives of Brazil want to know, for example, if the two analyzed the flight plan and if they were aware that the course foresaw altitudes [NT: there is no "three"] - level 370, level 360 and level 380, and why the aircraft always flew at Level 370.
Lepore and Paladino piloted the Legacy and were on their way from Rio de Janeiro [sic] to Manaus, from where they were to go onward to the United States. En route, the jet collided with the Boeing, which crashed in an Indian reservation in Peixoto de Azevedo. Both managed an emergency landing at Serra do Cachimbo, and the six crew members [sic] escaped unharmed.
Mendes also asks what information was given to them by the tower in São José dos Campos when it authorized the flight plan and if someone turned the transponder off during the flight, and if they perceived that it was turned off.
The other four indicted in the case, controllers Jomarcelo Fernandes dos Santos, Lucivando Tibúrcio de Alencar, Leandro José Santos de Barros and Felipe dos Santos Reis, who were at work on the day of the accident, were already heard last September during a hearing in Sinop.
Source: Só Notícias/Leandro J. Nascimento
O ESTADO DE S.PAULO
As of yesterday, Cenipa had registered 38 deaths, more than the 31 registered all year in 2005; military blames scrapping, which Anac denies
About 11 months after the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac) in an official report decreed the end of the aviation crisis, after the two worst accidents in history, the Center for the Investigation and Prevention of Aviation Accidents (Cenipa) alerts that the country still has grave problems in the sector. Just this years, 38 deaths have occurred - more than the 31 registered in all of 2005 (before the crisis).
Cenipa further made a worrying prediction: Brazilian civil aviation is heading towards having, at the end of this year, the largest number of aviation accidents since 1994. The projection is found in statistics from the first half of the year, released on Friday. At the current rate, according to the airmen, there will be up to 15% more accidents recorded than in 2007. Up to the 25th, there were 56 accidents: 46 with airplanes and 10 with helicopters. The majority of these disasters involved smaller planes, generally those used in what is called general aviation (air taxis and business jets) and agriculture (planes used on farms).
In the evaluation of military sources heard by O Estado, the rising number of accidents is a direct result of the scrapping of the inspection sector of the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac). "All you need to do is analyze the history, year by year, to perceive that this significant increase happened during the transition from DAC (the Department of Civil Aviation) to Anac", affirmed an officer who works in the investigation and prevention of aeronautic accidents. "The inspection does exist, but it is clearly inefficient".
In 2002, the extinct DAC spent R$ 28.3 million to regulate the aviation sector. Four years later, when Anac took over DAC's role, R$ 7.4 million was spent to inspect a market at least 50% larger. Up to August of last year, the agency said it had 645 inspectors, a quantity practically equal to 2003, a year in which DAC issued a report warning of the sector's shortcomings.
The tendency of aeronautic accidents to increase began after 1999, when the lowest number in recent history was reached, with 50 cases. From 1999 to 2005, the average stayed at 60 accidents per year. Although 20% above the best level, the number is better than the average of 114 yearly occurrences recorded curing the decade of the 1990s.
The continual declining sequence was broken in 2006. That year, the number of aviation accidents in the country (67) had already been the decade's second highest, behind only 2001, when Cenipa recorded 68 disasters. Last year, the increase was even higher: 99 cases. It was in the last two years that Brazil recorded its two worst aviation accidents - that of the TAM Airbus (199 dead) and the Gol Boeing (154 victims).
WITHOUT CAUSE AND EFFECT
Anac denies that there is a direct cause and effect relationship between accidents and eventual failings in regulatory work. In a note, the agency's press office informed that private planes are inspected once a year "in an indirect manner", that is, through authorized mechanics' workshops.
Besides this, every six years Anac holds a direct general inspection of aircraft, required for extending the Certificate of Airworthiness. This year, according to Anac, 234 inspections were performed at the country's five largest airports. The so-called Operation Correct Time also involved the maintenance centers of the major Brazilian airlines. Besides this extraordinary inspection, the note said, the agency keeps up the routine inspection work at the airlines.
Anac recognizes, however, that the workforce of inspectors is below the international average, "but this does not interfere with with work of inspection." In August, more than 200 specialists in Civil Aviation Regulation will be sworn in.
Were recorded by Cenipa up to July 25 of this year.
60 per year
is the average number of crashes from 1999 to 2005
formed the regulatory force of the National Civil Aviation Agency, up to August of 2007
were performed by the Agency this year
is the time for the general inspection of aircraft, required for the revalidation of the Airworthiness Certificate