Brazil Court Finds U.S. Pilots Guilty in Fatal Midair

Discussion in 'Other Airlines | South America' started by jbcarioca, May 17, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jbcarioca
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    Brazil Court Finds U.S. Pilots Guilty in Fatal Midair
    American pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino, whose Legacy 600 collided with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 over the Amazon in September 2006, were found guilty yesterday of failing to verify the functioning of the transponder for over an hour by Brazilian federal judge Murilo Mendes. The judge commuted a sentence of four years and four months into community service to be performed in the U.S., and he also suspended the pair’s pilot licenses. It is yet unknown whether the Brazilian sentence is even enforceable in the U.S. Lepore and Paladino were found innocent of five of the six charges against them, including failing to follow the flight plan, turning off the transponder and not reacting correctly to a communications failure. Additionally, the judge discarded allegations that the TCAS was never on during the flight, and that the pilots falsely affirmed that the Legacy was authorized to fly RVSM. Judge Murilo issued identical verdicts for pilot-in-command Lepore and copilot Paladino, saying pilots bear equal responsibility for safety. The pilots will appeal the verdict. All 154 aboard the Gol 737 perished in the accident, while Lepore and Paladino were able to land their crippled jet at a Brazilian military airport.
    http://www.ainonline.com/airshow-co...guilty-in-2006-fatal-midair-29710/?no_cache=1
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    Have these guys been in Brazil since he accident or for their trail? Have they already spent time in jail in Brazil?

    If the judge can prevent them from flying or flying internationally by suspending the licenses, this could provide an incentive for them to complete the community service. OTOH, if the FAA licenses pilots who are US citizens, it could decide to ignore the court or hold its own inquiry if it hasn't already done so.
     
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  3. jbcarioca
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    They have spent no time in brazil nor have they been in jail. Then Brazil courts obviously have nop jurisdiction to suspend US licenses. Whether they choose to do the community service or not will be interesting. One imagines their careers are intact. They were convicted on only one minor count, probably much les than they thought likely, particularly since all the other possible pilot culprits are dead. .
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    If Brazil anticipated a trial, why were the pilots allowed to leave right after the accident? Was there ever an attempt at extradition? (This might be tough because it would be pretty rare for a pilot to face trial after an accident in the US unless alcohol were involved.)
     
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  5. jbcarioca
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    The US pilots allegedly left by obtaining emergency duplicate passorts, their other ones having been confiscated. I suspect we may never know exactly the sequence of events.
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    This sounds familiar now; the US embassy/consulate helped them to leave the country, perhaps with the excuse that the passport is US government property and no one else can confiscate it. However, officials in Brazil apparently let them leave on the new passports or did they escape overland to some other country and fly home that way?
     
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  7. jbcarioca
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    Nobody knows exactly but the assumption is that they flew directly from Brazil.
     
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  8. MSPeconomist
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    Strange that there's no record anyone can find. Is the implication that they used an assumed name and bribed their way onto a commercial plane? If so, it doesn't sound good for the TSA secure flight nonsense.
     
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  9. jbcarioca
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    I have no idea. Your speculation is as good as anybody else might make.
     

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