quinta-feira, 31 de março de 2011

Pilot of Legacy that collided with Gol plane affirms he is innocent

Pilot of Legacy that collided with Gol plane affirms he is innocent

In summary, Jan Paul Paladino says that the 2006 accident was provoked by a series of errors, but reaffirms that he is not to blame for any of them

Almost five years after the accident involving a Gol airplane and a Legacy jet in 2006, in which 154 people died, the courts start to question the Americans who piloted the business jet.

Judge in Brazil, defendant in the United States - it was the first time that this has happened: an international interrogation by videoconference with the defendant in freedom. From Long Island, in the state of New York, was Jan Paul Paladino, one of the pilots of the Legacy, which in 2006 collided with a Gol plane. The Boeing was flying from Manaus to Brasilia and collided with the Legacy business jet, which was going the other way. The Gol plane crashed in the north of Mato Grosso. In all, 154 people died.

In the interrogation, the American pilot said that he had never piloted a Legacy, but had been trained in an professional center and had already piloted an identical model, the Embraer 145. “I was trained for a month in Houston, Texas, in the Legacy training program. The training consists of 75 hours of ground classes and 25 hours in the simulator", he said.

According to the Air Force, the collision was caused by errors by the controllers and inexperience by the pilots. The inquiry says that the transponder, equipment which helps identify the aircraft to ground control and to other planes in flight, was turned off during the trip.

Jan Paul Paladino said that he had no information that the equipment was turned off, neither from the control tower nor from the aircraft's control panel, which showed no warning. The prosecution also alleges that the transponder was turned back on after the collision, but Paladino denies that he or the other pilot had turned the equipment back on.

It was eight hours of interrogation. Jan Paul Paladino responded to questions from the judge, the prosecution, and the defense. In summary, the pilot says that the accident was caused by a series of errors, but reaffirmed that he was not to blame for any of them. On leaving, he declared that he was innocent as that he was satisfied to have the opportunity to provide new clarifications about the accident.

Today is the day that Joseph Lepore, the other pilot of the Legacy, will be interrogated. The judge said that he will give a verdict in the case before June.

Legacy pilot is heard by Brazilian judge via videoconference

Legacy pilot is heard by Brazilian judge via videoconference

FROM SÃO PAULO

One of the American pilots of the Legacy jet involved in the accident with the Gol Boeing in 2006, killing 154 people, is being heard since the start of this Wednesday afternoon by a Brazilian federal judge via videoconference.

Jean Paul Paladino's testimony began about 12:20. He is in New York (USA) and is being heard by Federal Judge Murilo Mendes, who is at the Ministry of Justice's Department of Asset Recovery and Legal Cooperation.

According to the Ministry of Justice, this is the first time the Brazilian courts hear testimony by international videoconference. Tomorrow, starting at noon, should be heard the testimony of the other pilot, who was also on the aircraft, Joseph Lepore.

At the end of last year, the trial that investigates the accident was divided in two: one for the pilots -- accused of "an attack against the safety of air transport" -- and the other for the air traffic controllers, accused for errors that contributed to the collision of the aircraft. The goal was to accelerate the judgment of the Americans.

Last week, the Federal Court in Sinop (MT) received the translations of the sworn testimony of the defense of the pilots, who live in the USA. The judge had determined that they too be heard by videoconference, but the lawyers requested that they send their testimony in writing.

PROTEST

The Association of Friends and Relatives of Victims of Flight 1907 held protests in the cities of São Paulo, Porto Alegre and Brasília, simultaneously. The protests began around noon and consisted in distributing pamphlets and showing banners asking that the pilots be found guilty.

The association's press secretary said that there is also a protest underway at the door of the Federal courthouse in Long Island, in New York, where the testimony is taking place.

Tomorrow, the protests should happen again, during the testimony of pilot Joseph Lepore in the same cities where it took place today, and in Manaus as well. .

On the 20th, relatives of the victims protested in front of the Marriot Hotel in Rio, where American president Barack Obama was staying.

Currently, Paladino is working for American Airlines, and Lepore continues at air taxi company ExcelAire, owner of the Legacy.

ACCIDENT

The accident revealed the fragility of Brazilian air traffic control. The matter also set off the opening of CPIs (Parliamentary Commissions of Inquiry) and investigations by the Federal Police and the Air Force, which concluded that the Legacy's transponder --anticollision equipment - was turned off during the flight.

quarta-feira, 30 de março de 2011

North American pilot denies responsibility for collision with Gol plane

North American pilot denies responsibility for collision with Gol plane

Brasília - In almost seven hours of testimony, North American pilot Jan Paladino denied today (March 30) that he was responsible for the failure of the anticollision equipment of the Legacy jet which collided with a Gol plane and provoked the deaths of 154 people in 2006. The pilot, who is in Nova York, was heard by Federal judge Murilo Mendes by means of videoconference.

Paladino and Joseph Lepore, who also piloted the business jet, are accused of having taken off with the anticollision system turned off and of not having activated the transponder, a device which informs the aircraft's position to air traffic control and to other aircraft.

In his testimony, Paladino recognized that the had never piloted a Legacy plane before the day of the accident, but he denied that he had turned on the anticollision equipment only after the collision. The pilot reiterated that, at no time, did the aircraft's equipment indicate any error, and specifically not the transponder.

The pilot also affirmed that he received from the Brazilian controllers orientation to continue at 37,000 feet, the altitude at which the Gol was, coming in the opposite direction.

"I had no personal involvement with the causes of the accident. I know that there are various barriers to keep this kind of accident from happening, but that day they all failed. No pilot could have foreseen the series of problems that happened that day", Paladino said.

For prosecutor Analícia Ortega Hartz, Paladino's testimony was marked by contradictions and attempts to shift all responsibility for the accident to the Brazilian air traffic control system. “The accusations remain: That the TCAS (anticollision system) was turned off and that the pilots did not notice that it was turned off, that there was a communications failure and that the pilots knew that this failure meant activation a code which would turn on the transponder and they were negligent”.

The defense lawyer for the North Americans, José Carlos Dias, said that the pilots are also victims of the accident and that they should not be blamed for the tragedy. "They are survivors, they never imagined that this tragedy would occur. I don't have the slightest doubt but that it was the error of the Brazilian air traffic control system that was the major cause of this tragedy. This became very clear today.”

Tomorrow (March 31), federal judge Murilo Mendes will hear the Legacy's other pilot, Joseph Lepore. The testimony will also be via videoconference. It is the first time that the pilots testify to the Brazilian courts.

Legacy pilot testifies by videoconference about Flight 1907

Legacy pilot testifies by videoconference about Flight 1907

Jan Paladino is in New York and is answering Brazilian judge's questions.
Testimony by Joseph Lepore is scheduled for this Thursday, Mar 31.

Victims' relatives demonstrate on Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo

North American pilot Jan Paul Paladino, who is in New York, began to testify to the Brazilian courts at noon this Wednesday (Mar 30), via videoconference. He is answering questions put by Federal judge Murilo Mendes - who is in Brasilia -, responsible for the trial which investigates the aviation accident involving the Legacy jet and the Gol Boeing, in September of 2006, which had 154 victims. This is the first time the pilot speaks ot a representative of the Brazilian courts.

Paladino and Joseph Lepore were the pilots of the Legacy jet, which collided with the Gol plane. They are accused of the crime of an attack on Brazilian aviation safety, which has a of 1 to 5 years of prison. Lepore should be heard, also by videoconference, this Thursday.

According to the association, the first questions asked of the North American pilot dealt with his training, such as courses taken and specialization while an aviation professional. He said that he had never piloted a Legacy before the accident.

Relatives of the victims, who watched the videoconference, in Brasilia, had to leave the hearing room because of emotional manifestations. They watched the rest of the hearing in a room with projections of the videoconference images. At some moments, pilot Paladino said he was not understanding the translation of the Brazilian judge's questions.

After an hour and a half of hearing, a ten-minute recess was called.

American pilot denies having turned off device which could have avoided collision with Gol plane, in 2006

Pedro Peduzzi
Agência Brasil Reporter
Brasilia

North American pilot Jan Paul Paladino confirmed that he had never piloted a Legacy business jet, made by Embraer, before the accident which resulted in the deaths of 154 people who were aboard a Boeing belonging to Brazilian Gol airline, in 2006. The pilot denied that he only turned on the anticollision equipment moments after the collision, over the Amazon Forest, with the Brazilian airliner.

Paladino, however, guaranteed that he had piloted planes operationally similar to the Legacy, The affirmation were made today, March 30, during his testimony via the videoconferencing system of the Department of Asset Recovery and International Legal Cooperation (DRCI) of the Ministry of Justice.

To the substitute federal judge of the Single Court of Sinop (MT), Murilo Mendes, the pilot reiterated that, at no time, did the airplane's equipment show any kind of error, especially of the transponder, the device which shows the aircraft's position to air traffic control and to other aircraft. The accusation alleges that the pilots had turned off the transponder moments before the accident and turned it back on after the collision.

“There was not, on my part, any voluntary act to turn on the transponder, or to turn it back on", the pilot said on affirming that he did not know the reason that the device was turned on seconds after the collision.

30/03/2011 - 13h22

Legacy pilot is heard by Brazilian judge via videoconference

FROM SÃO PAULO

One of the American pilots of the Legacy jet involved in the accident with the Gol Boeing in 2006, killing 154 people, is being heard since the start of this Wednesday afternoon by a Brazilian federal judge via videoconference.

Jan Paul Paladino's testimony began about 12:20. He is in New York (USA) and is being heard by Federal Judge Murilo Mendes, who is at the Ministry of Justice's Department of Asset Recovery and Legal Cooperation.

According to the Ministry of Justice, this is the first time the Brazilian courts hear testimony by international videoconference. Tomorrow, starting at noon, should be heard the testimony of the other pilot, who was also on the aircraft, Joseph Lepore.

At the end of last year, the trial that investigates the accident was divided in two: one for the pilots -- accused of "an attack against the safety of air transport" -- and the other for the air traffic controllers, accused for errors that contributed to the collision of the aircraft. The goal was to accelerate the judgment of the Americans.

Last week, the Federal Court in Sinop (MT) received the translations of the sworn testimony of the defense of the pilots, who live in the USA. The judge had determined that they too be heard by videoconference, but the lawyers requested that they send their testimony in writing.

PROTEST

The Association of Friends and Relatives of Victims of Flight 1907 held protests in the cities of São Paulo, Porto Alegre and Brasília, simultaneously. The protests began around noon and consisted in distributing pamphlets and showing banners asking that the pilots be found guilty.

The association's press secretary said that there is also a protest underway at the door of the Federal courthouse in Long Island, in New York, where the testimony is taking place.

Tomorrow, the protests should happen again, during the testimony of pilot Joseph Lepore in the same cities where it took place today, and in Manaus as well. .
On the 20th, relatives of the victims protested in front of the Marriot Hotel in Rio, where American president Barack Obama was staying.
Currently, Paladino is working for American Airlines, and Lepore continues at air taxi company ExcelAire, owner of the Legacy.

ACCIDENT

The accident revealed the fragility of Brazilian air traffic control. The matter also set off the opening of CPIs (Parliamentary Commissions of Inquiry) and investigations by the Federal Police and the Air Force, which concluded that the Legacy's transponder --anticollision equipment - was turned off during the flight.

quinta-feira, 17 de março de 2011

IATA: Urgent Changes Needed For Brazilian Aviation

IATA: Urgent Changes Needed For Brazilian Aviation

Country Preparing To Host FIFA World Cup, Olympics

In a statement released Wednesday, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) praised Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's strategic focus on aviation, and urged a quick follow-up with critical reforms to improve the industry's competitiveness. Preparations to host the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics make urgent progress necessary.

"President Rousseff recognized the power of air transport to drive long-term gains in the quality of life in Brazil in her inauguration speech. Her intention to create a ministry-level Civil Aviation Secretariat is an opportunity to achieve change. IATA is eager to use our global expertise to play a collaborative role in delivering on the President's expectations with a strategic plan focused on competitiveness," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO. Bisignani made his remarks in a speech at the British Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paulo, with Government nominations for key aviation posts imminent.

Bisignani highlighted five areas for change:

Infrastructure and Regulatory Framework: "The INFRAERO model, which controls 94% of Brazil's airports, is broken. Terminals at 13 of the top 20 airports cannot cope with current demand. Sao Paulo, which handles 25% of Brazil's traffic, is in a critical state with insufficient capacity and services that do not meet global standards. Concessions could be a way forward. But they must be accompanied by transparent, robust and independent economic regulation supported by effective industry consultations," said Bisignani.

IATA supports ANAC's continued role in overseeing airports. "ANAC's proposed high level framework for airport regulation is mostly in line with IATA's recommendation and ICAO's principles. But four important changes are critical to shore-up Brazil's competitiveness. First, ATAERO must be abolished. This 50% surcharge on fees contravenes ICAO principles. Second, we need greater transparency and assurances that there will be no cross-subsidization among airports. Third, the solution to insufficient capacity must not be peak hour pricing. Efficiency gains and infrastructure development are the way forward. And finally, the 70% increases for international carriers as a result of a fee recalculation are not acceptable. Charges must come down, not go up. If these four issues are not resolved, the benefits of concessions will be lost," said Bisignani.

Fuel Pricing: Brazil must follow-up on the 2009 elimination of the $100 million PIS/COFINS fuel tax by addressing the Petrobras import parity pricing policy. A recent study concluded that Petrobras is over-pricing jet fuel by $400 million annually. "There is no justification that Brazil's jet fuel prices should be 14% more expensive than in the rest of the region. Brazil produces 80% of its fuel needs from its own refineries. It makes no sense to peg prices to the Houston market and include all theoretical costs for importation-including transport. It is destroying the competitiveness of Brazilian aviation," said Bisignani. Globally, fuel averages at 29% of an airline's operating cost but for Brazil's airlines, it is 37%.

Air Traffic Management: IATA urges Federal Government support for DECEA's improvement efforts. "Airlines have invested in avionics to support more efficient flying. But the infrastructure on the ground, does not match our capabilities in the air," said Bisignani. Specifically, IATA is encouraging the implementation of more efficient operating procedures, known as RNAV and PBN, to increase capacity and efficiency in both Sao Paulo and Rio. Moreover, IATA is encouraging the Department of Airspace Control (DECEA) to adopt a process for continuous improvement based on analysis of performance data against agreed performance targets.

Environment: Aviation is united and committed to improving fuel efficiency by 1.5% annually to 2020, capping net carbon emissions from 2020 with carbon neutral growth, and cutting net emission in half by 2050 (compared to 2005). Governments, through ICAO, have agreed to find a global approach on economic measures related to CO2 emissions. "Aviation is the only global industry with a global plan-by industry and by governments. Brazil must support the global approach. That means stopping plans by Guarulhos City to impose environmental taxes that are counter-productive to global efforts. And the Government should follow-up on the leadership of TAM's sustainable biofuels test flight by creating the fiscal and legal framework to support a sustainable Brazilian biofuels industry," said Bisignani.

FIFA World Cup and the Olympics: "Brazil's airports will not be capable of successfully hosting the FIFA World Cup or the Olympics without major changes. Time is running out for major infrastructure projects. We are concerned that Sao Paulo's Terminal 3 is being planned without industry consultation. Whatever is achieved, we will need to make the current infrastructure work much harder with better processes. One simple solution is for all airport stakeholders-ANAC, INFRAERO, customs, immigration, public health and agriculture-to institutionalize cooperation. Airlines could bring solutions to improve terminal operations and reduce congestion, including IATA's Fast Travel standards for implementing self-service technology, and e-freight to improve cargo handling efficiency. These solutions exist today and can deliver major improvements," said Bisignani. IATA also encouraged ANAC to add a new dimension to its safety oversight by adopting the IATA Operational Safety Audit as a requirement for all airlines operating to Brazil.

Aviation is important to Brazil's economy. It drives travel and tourism which supports 9.1% of GDP and over 8 million Brazilian jobs. Aviation has grown by an impressive 10% annually since 2003. The Brazilian domestic market is the fourth largest in the world after the United States, China and Japan. But with 13 million international passengers it ranks 37th, completely disproportionate to Brazil's economy which is the world's eighth largest.

FMI: www.iata.org

domingo, 6 de março de 2011

VEJA : Infraero deixou de investir 440 milhões de reais em 2010

VEJA : Infraero deixou de investir 440 milhões de reais em 2010

Empresa culpa entraves em licitações por gasto de apenas 59% do orçamento

A Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuária (Infraero) deixou de investir 440 milhões de reais ao longo do ano passado, mesmo com os aeroportos do país à beira de um colapso. Do orçamento previsto para a Infraero em 2010, de 1,085 bilhão de reais, foram executados apenas 59%, ou 645,6 milhões. Na prática, deixou-se de investir em segurança nas pistas de pouso, modernização e ampliação de terminais em um período marcado por atrasos e cancelamentos de voos.

Levantamento da entidade Contas Abertas mostra que o investimento apenas parcial dos recursos é uma tradição da Infraero ao longo dos últimos quinze anos. Em 2008, a empresa usou apenas 17% do previsto, ou 398,7 milhões, em valores corrigidos pela inflação. O ano em que a Infraero utilizou um porcentual mais alto do orçamento previsto (98%) foi 1999. Os valores, no entanto, foram mais baixos: 125,7 milhões de reais.

Segundo o estudo, entre 1995 e 2010, a Infraero investiu nos aeroportos 4,3 bilhões de reais. O orçamento para o período somou 8,9 bilhões, ou seja, só foi gasto 48% do previsto. Isso significa que, nesse período, a empresa deixou de investir mais de 4,6 bilhões de reais.

Apesar do uso parcial dos recursos, o valor aplicado pela empresa em 2010 foi o segundo maior desde 1995. A maior marca registrada foi em 2006, de 733,8 milhões de reais. Nesse ano, o choque entre um avião da Gol e um jato matou 154 pessoas na região Norte do país. Além da imprudência dos pilotos do jato, falhas na cobertura de radares e desatenção de controladores de voos foram apontados como causas do acidente.

Por meio da assessoria de imprensa, a Infraero informou que pretende realizar os 2,2 bilhões previstos para 2011. Segundo a empresa, a execução orçamentária de 2010 foi frustrada por problemas em licitações, como questionamentos judiciais ou falta de interessados nas concorrências abertas.