Sunday, November 4, 2007

Another Fatal Air Crash in Brazil

Top: Crash site in Sao Paulo, from Estado de S. Paulo.
Bottom: From Folha Online, showing location of the accident near Campo de Marte airport in Sao Paulo.

There was another disaster today in Brazil’s notoriously unsafe aviation system, while authorities do nothing to address fundamental safety issues.

At least eight people were killed when a Learjet 35 crashed into a Sao Paulo neighborhood after taking off from Campo de Marte airport, the main general aviation airport. The jet, bound for Rio, was operated by an air-taxi company.

Initial reports were that the pilot, co-pilot and six people on the ground were killed.

It was the fourth aviation crash in a week. In three separate helicopters crashes last week, three people were killed and five were injured. In traffic-snarled Sao Paulo, helicopters are often used for routine transport.

The first accident happened Thursday in a suburb of Sao Paulo, where a helicopter carrying four people crashed in a street. A woman and a child were killed and the pilot died later.

About twenty minutes later, another helicopter crashed in another suburb. Its two passengers were not injured.

Two hours later, a third helicopter chopper crashed in Riberao Preto, about 185 miles from Sao Paulo. The three people on the helicopter are in critical condition.

Last July, a Tam Airbus 320 commercial airliner crashed at Sao Paulo’s overcrowded Congonhas Airport, killing 199. Ten months before that, a Brazilian Gol Airlines 737 and an American Legacy 600 business jet collided over the Amazon, killing 154.

Since the Amazon collision 13 months ago, Brazilian authorities have steadfastly maintained that the country’s aviation system is safe, even though international aviation authorities have said it is not.

In the Gol-Legacy crash, Brazilian military and police authorities blamed the two American pilots, who are now being tried in absentia on criminal charges, along with four low-ranking controllers in Brazil’s air-traffic-control system, which is operated by the military. In that crash, both planes were flying on a collision course at 37,000 feet under orders from air traffic control.



airWatch said...

Unfortunately, Brazilians companies insist to buy notoriously unsafe American aircrafts as those Learjets, Robinson and Bells. If it was a Embraer or Helibras, this wouldn’t have happened.

airWatch said...


I’ve made a search at NTSB helicopter accidents database and it showed me 24 accidents with 33 fatalities until July, 2007 in USA. Brazil had 4 accidents with 6 fatalities in same period although Brazil is the second country, after USA in helicopter traffic intensity. Only NY has more helicopter traffic than Sao Paulo in the world.

It seems we are far from your record.


FL400 said...

Learjet is Canadian...

Daniel said...

Hi Joe, this time, it seems it was rather a trouble with the mechanics of the Leaderjet than a failure in the "airspace system". It seems that you are slightly tending to xenophobia or addressing more irony to Brazilians ( compared to when you initially intended it as a way to criticize the pathetic situation ), which makes your opinions less pungent than they were, though you still have good analysis made here.