Saturday, July 28, 2007

Verdict Is In; Investigation Continues. Notes From Last Week

More legal notes from Down the Rabbit Hole...

I'll be posting the text of the congressional report on the Sept. 29 disaster in a few days, mistranslations, distortions and all.

Meanwhile, while the two American pilots (and a couple of flight controllers thrown in for face-saving some time later) have already been criminally indicted in the courts and found resoundingly guilty in the media and in the government, it's interesting (if possibly irrelevant) to note that the investigation continues at a speedy pace in Brazil.

(Again, let me note that the National Transportation Safety Board in the United States knows exactly what happened, and is sitting on its hands pleading "procedure" while the Brazilian legal travesty continues. And the United States State Department remains, as it has been from day one, passive as the pilots are being scapegoated.)

I was sidetracked for much of last week with a family illness. Here are some notes from last week, via Richard Pedicini in our Sao Paulo bureau:,,AA1594366-5598,00.html


The Director of the Center for the Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautic Accidents (Cenipa), brigadier Jorge Kersul Filho, said that the Air Force estimates that it will finalize its investigation into the Gol Boeing accident in the period of 12 months after the date of the accident. The Gol crash occurred on September 29 of last year after colliding with a Legacy in upstate Pará.

According to him, the average time that the aeronautic investigation of this sort of accident requires, worldwide, is 18 months.

"We are trying to finish in 12 months, a length of time we consider extremely reasonable", he said. The brigadier affirmed that the information collected by the Air Force will serve only for the families [of the victims, who are suing the American pilots and their employer, ExcelAire, in an American court, because America is where the money is] to understand what happened that day.

"If the objective is to seek indemnities or guilty parties the place for that isn't Cenipa", he affirmed. He emphasized that aeronautic investigations "are completely different and independent"of criminal investigations.

[Note the delusional logic there: Only in Brazil can they justify completing a criminal investigation into the causes of an air crash while at the same time bragging that the allegedly "independent" aeronautical investigation is incomplete, though moving speedily along. If not on the aeronautical facts of the accident, what was the basis of the criminal investigation? Oh, silly me: There was desperation to quickly railroad the Americans and cover up the malfeasance of Brazil's government in operating its air-traffic system. In official Brazil, as has been said here before, nobody is responsible for anything].,,MUL76446-5598,00.html

Relatives of victims of Gol fear that authorities will "forget" accident

Angelita Rosicler De Marchi will demand more investigation into the crash of flight 1907 She want to avoid investigation of September 2006 accident being paralyzed.

Glauco Araújo of G1, in São PauloPara Angelita Rosicler De Marchi, president of the Association of Relatives of the Victims of Flight 1907, the crash of the Tam Airbus, which happened last week in São Paulo, may provoke the emptying of the investigation of the Gol Boeing accident, which fell in Mato Grosso, in September of 2006, and claimed 154 victims.

"The work is going to continue strongly for the moving forward of the investigation of the causes of the crash of the Gol Boeing. We are also following closely the investigation in to the case of the TAM. We fear that everything will be forgotten. We aren't going to let this happen", said Angelita, who took over the presidency of the association on July 14.

She affirmed that it is inevitable that there be a closeness of the association with relatives of the victims on the TAM accident. "They are the country's two largest aviation accidents, but we know, at the moment, that they happened in different manners. The Gol accident should have provoked in the country's authorities a better control of Brazilian air space, flight safely and the Brazilian aviation network to the point that a new accident would not happen."

Relatives of passengers of Flight 1907 live through drama the day after Gol Boeing accident[...] She affirmed that she does not have an idea of uniting the families in a single association. "We won't do this, this isn't our rolle. We only want them to follow paths less difficult than ours. The two accidents have completely different details."

The directors of the Association of Relatives of Victims of the Gol Accident should meet in the next few days to draft actions to make demands in the investigation of the Gol crash, which happened ten months ago on the 29th. "We still haven't defined what we will demand from the authorities. If they had not acted with carelessness, perhaps the TAM accident would not have occurred," said Angelita.

[This seems to be a blog for the newspaper's trainees.]


Airplane news desk

Igor Gielow, managing editor of the Folha's Brasilia bureau , commented to me last week that the current aviation chaos is creating a new team of journalists, those specialized in airplanes, runways, air traffic control, etc. I asked him to tell this better to the readers of Nova in Folha.

Here it is:

After the accidents [...]Discernment is needed not only to reproduce information in the newspaper, however good they may be. It's also necessary to interpret them, in the light of the suspicion of specific interests (in the case of the Gol, the arm-wrestling between the controllers and the Air Force, or also the official intention of blaming the Americans a priori, for example; in the current case, the Federal Government's terror of seeing the Congonhas runway, its responsibility, as being to blame for the accident) and also to put technical data in context.

[Italics mine]


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