Legacy’s Black Box Shows Brazil’s Control Tower Made a Mistake

    Transcripts from the Legacy’s black box reveal that the São José dos Campos, São Paulo, air control tower authorized the small jet’s American pilots to fly at 37,000 feet through Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas, Brazil.

    Coming from the opposite direction at the same altitude was a Brazilian Boeing 737. The collision between the two planes ended up causing Brazil’s worst ever air accident with 154 people falling to their death into the Amazon jungle.

    The new revelation published in today’s Folha de S. Paulo gives credence to Joe Lepore and Jean Paladin, the two American pilots of the Legacy, who have claimed from the start that they had such an authorization.

    The authorization from São José dos Campos, the city where the brand new Legacy was bought, was just the first in a series of mistakes that would culminate into the crash, including communication failure with the Brasí­lia tower and the Legacy’s transponder’s malfunction.

    According to the original flight plan, the Legacy should fly at 37,000 feet from São José dos Campos to Brazilian capital Brasí­lia, then drop to 36,000 feet till Mato Grosso state and from them on maintain a 38,000-feet altitude through Manaus.

    The Legacy’s black box, which is being examined by Brazil’s Aeronautical Accidents Investigation and Prevention National Center  shows, according to the Folha de S. Paulo, that the São José dos Campos air controller talked to Lepore and Paladin while authorizing them to take off.

    The recorded dialogue shows that they were told to ascend to 37,000 and keep that altitude through the Eduardo Gomes airport, in Manaus. At take off Lepore identified his aircraft and soon after indicated he had reached the 37,000 feet.

    When the controller asked him to turn on the transponder he just followed the instruction. Brasí­lia’s Air Traffic Control center, the Cindacta 1, however, says that the transponder wasn’t working when the Legacy flew over Brasí­lia.

    In the tape obtained by the newspaper, the pilots say that they hadn’t been able to contact the tower and that they would follow the orders they had received from the São José dos Campos control tower.

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    • Show Comments (22)

    • parqueantártica

      No I do not forget what I say, it is not because you say it, that things are what You say. Are you the retard here or just the usual cynical?? Act cynical as much as you like Hugo taking words without context is very honest from your caracter.

    • Hugo

      re:re:I think everyone is missing the point… clueless and cynical
      Parqueantartica, your comments a nothing less than moronic. You call me a cynic yet you seem to forget what you say.
      You say [quote]Go home then, what your doing here, gee Go back to your countries, you just don’t get it Or sink yourselves in the nearest river or canal, sea[/quote] to a foreigner in our country, yet condemns that [quote]Any Brazilian who lives abroad has something to fear don’t they due to the different treatment they get.[/quote] If you actually thought about what you say, instead of regurgitating the bullshit you hear from other idiots, you would realize that you are exactly what you criticize.

    • Gary

      Think about it
      Of course Brazilians living abroad are treated differently, as would any American or European or other national living in Brazil, it’s simply human nature. I would however, go out on a limb and say that Brazilians living in the US are treated much better than those living in other places. No matter your thoughts, America is a nation of immigrants and immigration is tolerated and in fact encouraged. I live in S. Florida where there is a huge Brazilian community, most have made decent lives here. My son plays on a soccer team where he is the only Anglo on the team, all other players are from Latin America, their parents are dentists, attorneys, tradesmen and yes laborers, but they have one thing in common, all have made better lives for themselves here than they could have made in Brazil or the other countries where they came from. We have millions of immigrants risking their lives each year, to come here and work illegally, why do ou think that is…could it be because America still offers the best opportunites to take care of ones family.? The plane crash was a terrible tragedy, while there was an expected quick rise of anti-Americanism, in the end the Brazilian authorites, surprisingly enough, conducted a professional investigation. While I am sure there are many Brazilians disappointed that the American pilots were not to blame, they should be commended for their efforts.

    • parqueantártica

      re:I think everyone is missing the point… clueless and cynical
      “No newscast or newspaper was selling the truth, just matches. And we lit them up in an instant, starting a fire of ignorant nationalism. The media did such a good job that even when the entity involved in the investigations does Brazil proud by showing some efficiency and unbiased rationality to find the truth we forget to recognize it. “

      find your place and never put others in it.

      —“Instead we keep our matches burning. Who cares about the “what if it was a brazillian pilot in the US” and what not. The day we stop excusing our problems by pointing to the problems of others will be the day we realize and voice how much better our country can and should be. “

      Who cares? Any Brazilian who lives abroad has something to fear don’t they due to the different treatment they get. Don’t be a cynical saying brazilians point the fingers to others when it comes to their problems. If is that what you bought from your Hollywood movies that’s your opinion, maybe you should listen what Brazilians authors and people say about our problems in Brazil and maybe you can stop trying to understand Brazil.

    • Hugo

      I think everyone is missing the point…
      Whenever something tragic happens people are shocked, then sad and soon infuriated. This anger looks to release itself any way possible, resulting in people looking to blame someone “blameable.” This happens everywhere, in every country or culture. It is simply human to react irrationally sometimes. But there are those whose responsibility is to be rational, in this case for the sake of justice and the truth. I would like to say that the media should play a part in this responsibility, but I’m not that naive. Today the media in our world many times lives off of infuriating, igniting irrational behavior. This plane crash is a perfect example. No newscast or newspaper was selling the truth, just matches. And we lit them up in an instant, starting a fire of ignorant nationalism. The media did such a good job that even when the entity involved in the investigations does Brazil proud by showing some efficiency and unbiased rationality to find the truth we forget to recognize it. Instead we keep our matches burning. Who cares about the “what if it was a brazillian pilot in the US” and what not. The day we stop excusing our problems by pointing to the problems of others will be the day we realize and voice how much better our country can and should be.

    • parqueantártica

      Also know that as the majority of brasileiros think and reason like me, PEOPLE here DO NOT LIKE YOU AND PEOPLE LIKE YOU!

    • parqueantártica

      I’m glad that YOU ex pat liked, that was message was for you and no one else, you know? Stop behaving cynical, dishonest bastard!

    • ex pat

      If ANYONE at all ever questioned my use of language regarding the simpletons that are endemic to this part of the world.. feel free to read the reposting below. Like I said, there are some stellar indivduals abound in Brazil, but the majorty think and reason like parqueantÀƒ¡rtica. Given all that has transpired over the last month, most of your”‘oh my god they canÀ‚´t be that stupid” queires should be confirmed below.

      ————-
      want to hear what I think Ex-pat?

      youre so alienado..

      Proof: —“Why canÀ¢€™t the two co exist?

      I’d say cynical pseudo intellectual individuals…you hide yourself writing anonymous posts with your biased dishonest (agenda) comments just for the sake of bashing people..gross

      Down with offensive gringos! You’re part of the world’s problem, stop looking exclusively to at your bellies and learn something decent in your life, stupid.

      ——–

      Inspiring isnÀ‚´t it?

    • parqueantártica

      RE:Waiting for an apology you ignorant pricks
      Hahahahahahahaha Keep on waiting, sit if you need to

      You people sound too offensive, ignorant, stupid, dishonest, cynical, brutal, sordid can’t you get it why we couldn’t care less about what your specific opinions are ?

      Go home then, what your doing here, gee Go back to your countries, you just don’t get it Or sink yourselves in the nearest river or canal, sea. It is a waste of time come across people like you.

      want to hear what I think Ex-pat?

      youre so alienado..

      Proof: —“Why canÀ¢€™t the two co exist?

      I’d say cynical pseudo intellectual individuals…you hide yourself writing anonymous posts with your biased dishonest (agenda) comments just for the sake of bashing people..gross

      Down with offensive gringos! You’re part of the world’s problem, stop looking exclusively to at your bellies and learn something decent in your life, stupid.

    • Gary

      Waiting for an apology you ignorant pricks
      Will they now charge the controllers with manslaughter? Before it was a crime when the American pilots were to blame, will it now be called an accident instead as the fault of Brazilians, have they taken the controllers passports and hid thme in Rio? What a bunch of third world ass monkeys. Duh, who would have thought, was it the fault of well trained American pilots…or of the backwoods, under educated morons in Brazils control towers. Sorry, Brazil, you still can not compare yourselves to America…perhaps Nigeria, they crashed a plane just like you last week too. I will pray for the Brazilian familes impacted by this tragedy, they are the ones who have truely suffered, but the press and the rest can kiss our red, white and blue asses!? Sorry, you don’t get the joy of bfaming America for your mess this time.

    • ex pat

      –I’m here! Never forget to read the messages left for you, I’ll bring it to you

      Valeu.

      Antarctic Park –THAT is called humanitarian reasons, care with democracy, justice and fight against the overbearing stronger “people”, those who use their truculence to put down weak people.

      No, itˢ۪s called cherry-picking or jumping on the bandwagon. I donˢ۪t see you shedding tears over anyone living in Darfur at the moment. Actually, I canˢ۪t remember the last time anyone here lamented over the situation in the Sudan. And if humanitarianism is your game, why not expend at least some of your vitriol, thought and discussion into problems afflicting Brazil? They do exist you know? And that was my point, which was obviously lost on you.

      As well, you might want to look at the URL of this site and note that it is in fact a site about Brazil. There are myriad others that can be frequented to discuss the global impacts of an (and Iˢ۪ll say this for the record) illegal war, based on lies and deceit. I agree the Iraque Bush led war is a retarded mess; I just donˢ۪t find the topic pertains to anything being discussed on this subject, site or Brazil for that matter.

      Antarctic Park –Viva Palestine!!!

      Sure. And Viva Israel, too. Why canÀ¢€™t the two co exist? Why does it have to be one or the other for some people? This is what sticks in my craw. For the Marxist leftist Latin American dork (the caveat being, not all are like this), one can only prosper at the destruction of the other. ItÀ¢€™s the antiquated, and historically flawed, revolutionary mentality. Sorry Chomsky (or should I call you Edwardo Galero?), but IÀ¢€™m far too practical to take sides on an issue where the only sensible and À¢€œhumanitarianÀ¢€Â outcome should be peaceful resolution between the two.

      Antarctic Park — Enough with your ignorance already! The imperialist countries from all times looted wealth from weaker people, while in their naiveness or economic weakness. Brazil’s history is not different from the rest of the world. Read about for a change? See how british and american twisted cleaverness has its role in the world and Brazil’s history and stop making a fool of yourself! Ughh

      Uhm, sorry. Although IÀ¢€™ll agree that the US and England have played quite footloose and fancy free — and in some cases bullied and manipulated — with other countries in past, but BrazilÀ¢€™s problems (if you really know your history) are mostly self-inflicted. If that rubs you the wrong way, so be it. If youÀ¢€™re referring to the dictatorship of 64, I recommend you seek out further investigation on the topic.

      Antarctic Park –Give a decent answer in Portuguese for a chance…

      Se quiser, mas a site esta em inglÀƒªs, nÀƒ£o? Eu vim pra cÀƒ¡ pra escrever e comunicar em inglÀƒªs. Se eu quis bater um papo em PortuguÀƒªs eu ia pra o boteco com amigos. Mas, mais importantemente, a maioria da gente que esta aqui ler somente em inglÀƒªs. EntÀƒ£o, o que vc gostaria de provar?

      Antarctic Park –what a clown this ex pat!
      Antarctic Park quoting grumpy ex pat –My hat is off to Folha de SÀƒ£o Paulo. It just goes to prove that there is rationality and media competence in this fare land. IÀ¢€™ll look forward to VejaÀ¢€™s usually stellar take on these matters this weekend.

      You donˢ۪t agree? Well then it seems that I have more respect in the Brazilian media than you. Que pena.

      You see you Chomskyite (and I really did enjoy reading À¢€œManufacturing ConsentÀ¢€Â as a kid, so donÀ¢€™t take this as too much as an insult. And contrary to what Chavez thought, I know that Noam is still alive), I have a thicker skin than most, and have given up being À¢€œMr. Nice guyÀ¢€Â when talking about issues affecting my life and my mates lives here in, as I affectionately call, À¢€œbananalandiaÀ¢€Â. Ya, I can be caustic at times, but I usually do have a point and IÀ¢€™ve given up holding my tongue because it might offend some thinned skinned nationalistic dweeb. Has it gotten me into trouble? Yup. But only with close-minded monosynaptic lost-causes that even YOU probably wouldnÀ¢€™t have round for supper. No loss.

      You cherry-pick causes like youÀ¢€™ve cheery-picked my posts, and left out the credit that I give to those that, I feel, deserve it in this country. When I say your À¢€œaverageÀ¢€Â, I could just as well be talking about Yanks, Canucks or Poms. But since this is a site about Brazil, I usually try to refrain from riffing off/on about other nations. Now if you and your minions of loosely connected grey material brethren could do the same once and a while, than maybe the discussion could take of more conciliatory tone.

      Antarctic Park — never mind answering ex pat I don’t really care what you and your ilk have to say

      Sorry, too late, you demanded responses twice, no going back.

    • ch.c.

      Similar News came at MSNBC from AP !
      “RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – The flight recorder transcript from the executive jet involved in BrazilÀ¢€™s worst air disaster shows its American pilots were told by air traffic control to fly at the same altitude as a Boeing 737 before the planes collided over the Amazon rainforest, a newspaper reported Thursday.

      Pilot Joseph Lepore was told by the tower in Sao Jose dos Campos to maintain an altitude of 37,000 feet as he flew the jet beyond Brasilia on a northwest path to Manaus, the Folha de S. Paulo quoted the transcript as saying.

      That altitude contradicted the pilotsˢ۪ filed flight plan as well as established norms, which reserve odd-numbered altitudes for southbound flights.

      The Defense Ministry was not immediately able to confirm the report, spokeswoman Flavia de Oliveira said Thursday, and wonˢ۪t have more information until air force officials return Monday from Canada, where black boxes from both planes were sent for analysis.

      Folha, Brazilˢ۪s largest-circulation daily, did not reveal how it obtained the transcript. The air force, which oversees Brazilˢ۪s air traffic controllers, has not released it to Brazilian federal police or to National Transportation Safety Board investigators.

      All 154 people aboard Gol Airlines Flight 1907 were killed when the Boeing 737 crashed into the Amazon jungle on Sept. 29 after clipping the Embraer Legacy 600 executive jet.

      The LegacyÀ¢€™s pilots À¢€” employees of ExcelAire Service Inc. of Ronkonkoma, N.Y. À¢€” were flying the Brazilian-made jet on its maiden voyage back to New York, and managed to land the badly damaged jet safely. TheyÀ¢€™ve been ordered to stay in Brazil during the investigation.

      An American lawyer for ExcelAire in Brazil said the Folha report supports the pilotsˢ۪ testimony to investigators.

      À¢€œAs weÀ¢€™ve maintained from the beginning, the pilots were cleared to Manaus for flight at three-seven-zero (37,000 feet) at the time of departure, and weÀ¢€™re confident that anyone that is able to hear the tower tapes or see a transcript of the instructions issued by the Sao Jose tower will hear the exact same thing,À¢€Â attorney Robert Torricella said.

      Series of problems
      The tower instructions may have been the first of a series of problems that led to the crash. As the Legacy approached Brasilia, the plane lost radio contact with the control tower. The Legacyˢ۪s transponder, which signals the planeˢ۪s location to the tower and other airplanes, also stopped working.

      Just what caused the failures remains unclear, but from that point on, both the pilots and the air traffic controllers lacked critical information. Controllers had no way of knowing the smaller planeˢ۪s altitude.

      Brazilian officials have insisted the Legacy should have returned to its original flight plan after losing contact with the control tower. That plan would have mostly kept the smaller jet at 36,000 feet after Brasilia, and out of the path of the 737, which was flying at its customary altitude of 37,000 feet. Instead, both planes remained on a collision course.

      But aviation experts say air traffic controller orders always take precedence over flight plans. They have also questioned why the controllers didnˢ۪t order the larger jet to change course just to be safe, since they lacked altitude information on the smaller jet.

      Ten flight controllers who were working during the collision are on paid leave from their jobs.

      Passports seized
      Brazilian officials also have seized the passports of the two pilots À¢€” Lepore, of Bay Shore, N.Y., and Jan Paladino, of Westhampton Beach, N.Y. À¢€” while the probe drags on, delayed in part by the air forceÀ¢€™s reluctance to turn over the transcript.

      The air force has explained the delay as normal under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which is designed to protect information given voluntarily to investigators.

      Torricella called on Brazilian investigators to suspend the criminal probe until the accident investigation allows for À¢€œfrank disclosure of all the facts,À¢€Â and to allow the American pilots to return home in the meantime.

      À¢€œIt is unreasonable to expect them to remain here, essentially under confinement, while what could be a lengthy accident investigation continues,À¢€Â he said.

      Meanwhile, a work slowdown by air traffic controllers has provoked severe flight delays across Brazil. The controllers have complained that they are understaffed, overworked and underpaid despite robust Brazilian commercial flight growth. “

    • ch.c.

      Furthermore……
      ….it is quite strange that some articles in this site had headlines…such as the U.S. Arrogance from David Lerer, an ex House representative…..and the US Xenophobia
      from Paulo Lima….when it is clear that Xenophobia and Arrogance came, as usual and once more, from…..BRAZILIANS !!!!!!!

    • ch.c.

      I said it….I repeated it …..over and over again….
      It did not smell good, it did not smell good !

      Why the heck the ATC refused to testify this week, they ALL sent a letter saying they ALL are under psychatric treatment….and ALL until November 13…due to the shock of the crash ?????
      Of course, this same excuse would have NOT been accepted from the US pilots, although they were the ONLY ones that were under shock….by definition !!!!!!!!!

      It is more and more obvious, bot not sure yet, that this was a cover up operation, with the Government involved, the Justice involved…..to hide the truth as long as possible…..until after the Presidential elections ! Yessssssss…..

      Hopefully :
      All the Officials of Brazil, namely Amorim, Pires, the army commanders, the President of the Brazilians Association of Pilots, and ALL those who accused time and time again the US pilots…..even before the end of the investigations….will ALSO
      OPENLY SEND THEIR EXCUSES TO THE PILOTS !

      This shitty country has demonstrated again that Brazil is a Tropical mess and a Tropical
      mud.
      They want to cheat everyone. Whatever they do wrong, they hide the truth and lie and they divert the attention and finger point OTHERS…never their own responsility and errors !

      Hopefully too , all those who openly accused the US pilots and said if proven guilty, they face up to 20 years in prison for Involuntary Manslaughter, wont change their mind by now and will ask the same treatment if the ATC will be those who commized the error !

      I really doubt it, Brazilians will either delay the judgment for years and years as they are accustomed to do when they do not want those responsbile, especially when Brazilians are involved, to go in jail !!!!!!!!!

      Brazil is the shame on this planet. Nothing works correctly and properly except :
      – Injustice….prevails most of the time !
      – Corruption….who cares when everyone is corrupted in his blood anyway ?
      – Impunity….normal for politicians !
      – Poverty, under nourrishment and hunger……normal too when they export US$ 50 billions annuallly of agricultural products !!!! Exports have a priority over the needy citizens.
      – Social and wealth inequality…..as long as politicians get their millions of US$ through
      corruptions because they are unable and not smart enough to make money in a successful and honest business !!!! Therefore no one cares !

    • parqueantártica

      never mind answering ex pat I don’t really care what you and your ilk have to say your stupid practical philosophy is just a total waste of time and Àƒ© emburrecerdor ler tudo isso. Just get a life comediants.

    • parqueantártica

      what a clown this ex pat!
      –My hat is off to Folha de SÀƒ£o Paulo. It just goes to prove that there is rationality and media competence in this fare land. IÀ¢€™ll look forward to VejaÀ¢€™s usually stellar take on these matters this weekend.

    • parqueantártica

      ex pat
      I’m here!

      Never forget to read the messages left for you, I’ll bring it to you

      arrrg ex pat
      written by parqueantÀƒ¡rtica, 2006-11-02 10:21:38

      —-“I donÀ¢€™t see why Brazilians care about Iraq. I sure as hell donÀ¢€™t see how what happens over there affects anything in this country. ItÀ¢€™s just mind numbing to see the amount of time and energy Brazilians put into this topic. ”

      THAT is called humanitarian reasons, care with democracy, justice and fight against the overbearing stronger “people”, those who use their truculence to put down weak people.

      Viva Palestine!!!

      —-“And BTW, your rant proves the stupidity of the average Brazilian voter. Like Churchill once lamented À¢€“ À¢€œif you want the best argument against democracy, just spend 5 minutes with your average voter.À¢€Â I think you can riff on this a bit and say À¢€œif you want to know why Brazil is so backwards, just spend 5 minutes with your average Brazilian.À¢€Â Or at the very least, spend a couple of minutes reading their comments on Orkut.”

      Enough with your ignorance already! The imperialist countries from all times looted wealth from weaker people, while in their naiveness or economic weakness. Brazil’s history is not different from the rest of the world. Read about for a change? See how british and american twisted cleaverness has its role in the world and Brazil’s history and stop making a fool of yourself! Ughh

      Give a decent answer in Portuguese for a chance…

    • James

      The Truth Be Told!!
      Unbiased and Fair media is pretty uncommon in Brasil. I commend Folha de Sao Paulo.
      I have to fly from Sao Paulo to Florianopolis in December on GOL. Air traffic people in Brasill..WAKE THE HELL UP!!!

    • Gary

      If true
      The Brazilian authorites should be commended if indeed the article was correct. While the Brazilian media and Brazilian youth immediatly demonstrated their expected anti-American retoric, the truth has been discovered, I have no problems with how the investigation was handled. Now Brazil, you must look at your third world air traffic control system, in fact it was not the professional American pilots who killed your citizens, but your lazy, incompetent and probably drunk controllers that should be headed to jail…of course, that will never happen.Thank God the American pilots came through OK and they were not able to murder American citizens.

    • ex pat

      ItÀ¢€™s a holiday here in Brazil. So the school’s free computers are all turned off which means most of the Brazilian punks that frequent this site are out juggling balls at street intersections instead of stinking up the net with their anti-American wit and skilled English. Fear not, theyÀ¢€™ll be back and will undoubtedly parrot whatever crafted excuse the Brazilian Minister of Truth comes up with. Or, truer to form, theyÀ¢€™ll be back with invented conspiracies of how the black boxes were tampered with in Canada under orders from George Bush.

      My hat is off to Folha de SÀƒ£o Paulo. It just goes to prove that there is rationality and media competence in this fare land. IÀ¢€™ll look forward to VejaÀ¢€™s usually stellar take on these matters this weekend.

      I just hope that after all this bumbling about the investigation will lead to safer skies and force the government to address — what is becoming more apparent as each days passes — the serious concerns and flaws of the ATC in Brazil.

    • Stephen

      Ok’ Really !
      Woops is an understatement !!! Silent days and silent nights. The ATC’s in Brazil knew the mistakes about 10 minutes after the crash..

    • Ricardo Dirani

      Woops
      I see the article is dated as of today, but still, isn’t it so silent here? I came expecting to see some serious “yankees go home”.

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