Delegation goes to the United States to require the forfeiture of North-American pilots’ certificates Curitiba, 09/4/2010

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Delegation goes to the United States to require the forfeiture of North-American pilots’ certificates

Curitiba, 09/4/2010 - A delegation of Brazilian deputies, members of the Committee on Roads and Transportation, and representatives of the families of the victims, the assistant prosecutor Dante D'Aquino and the expert in aircrafts, Roberto Peterka, are going to Washington, DC on April 14th to require the forfeiture of the American pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino’s certificates. The visit is going to be official and was organized by the Brazilian Committee on Roads and Transportation and by the Brazilian Embassy. The delegation is going to visit the Federal Aviation and Administration (FAA) and is going to stay in Washington; and the Commission for Roads and Transport North American, DC until April 17th.

The requirement is based on a disclosure made by the jornalist Joe Sharkey, who declared in 2009 that the FAA (Federal Aviation and Administration) forfeitured the North-American pilots’ certificates, one of them for staying with the communication equipment off for 90 minutes and the other for suspision of drunkenness. After the disclosure made by the journalist, the representatives of the families got access to the forfeiture document, confirming the information. The aircraft occured on September 29, 2006, and victimated 154 people.

After the application of the penalty, the assistant prosecutor Dante D’Aquino requested the the forfeiture of the pilots’ certificates to the North-American authorities. The first requirement was made in December 2009 and there is no answer until now. This time the requirement is going to be made officially and with help from the Brazilian Government. The requirement of the families is based on a precedent set by the North-American authorities and now it seeks the penaty to the pilots involved in the aircraft.

The accident

On September 29, 2006, the 1907 Gol Airlines airplane was flying from Manaus (AM) to Brasilia (DF). At the same time, the executive Legacy jet was flying from São José dos campos (SP) to Manaus, where it would land for, in the following day, leaving to the United States. At 37 thousand feet of altitude, in the Northern region of the District of Mato Grosso, near Peixoto Azevedo city, the Legacy left wing collided with the Gol Boeing, causing damages that led to the destabilization and craft of the airplane. The 154 passengers of the Boeing died.


The North-American pilots Joseph Lepore e Jan Paladino respond to two criminal cases in Brazil. The first one is pending in the Federal Court in Sinop, District of Mato Grosso, since May 2007. In December 2008, the Federal Judge Murilo Mendes pronounced the two pilots not guilty of two conducts: neglect to adopt emergency procedures and possible failure of communication with the Cindacta (Integrated Center for Air Defence and Air Traffic Control, in Portuguese).

The Federal Prosecutors and the assistant prosecutor Dante D’Aquino appealed to the First Federal Regional Court (TRF 1, in Portuguese) against the acquittal. In January 2009, the TRF 1 revoked the decision made by the Sinop Federal Court, which had discharged the North-American pilots. With this decision, the case went back to the Federal Court in Sinop, to the Federal Judge to continue the trial.

The second criminal case against the pilots started after the aircraft expert, Roberto Peterka, at the request of the assistant prosecutor and representative of the families, D’Aquino, who asked for a technical analysis of the Legacy Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR). The skill was presented to the Federal Prosecutors and showed, based on the technical investigation, other mistakes made by the pilots, such as the non-activation of the TCAS (a collision avoidance equipment for flight safety) and navigation in an unauthorized condition, known as RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum). Both reports, which are the main reports pointed out by Roberto Peterka, who is an expert on aviation safety that has investigated over than one thousand aircrafts in Brazil and abroad, are conclusive, as they were analyzed from the information provided by the Legacy jet equipment, which cannot be altered or adulterated.

Now, the next stage is the decision of the Federal Judge Murilo Mendes (from Sinop, District of Mato Grosso) for the production of evidence or acquittal of the pilots in the second criminal case, while the first one is to be resumed with the production of evidence.

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