NBAA, Pilot Union: Let U.S. Pilots Go

 - December 5, 2006, 5:52 AM

NBAA and the Allied Pilots Association, the union representing 13,000 American Airlines pilots, have added their voices to the growing international call to bring home the two U.S. pilots who continue to be detained in Brazil after the September 29 midair between their Legacy 600 and a Gol Airlines 737 (see page one). On November 20, NBAA sent a letter to the president of Brazil calling for the immediate return of the two pilots. “It is clear there was no intentional wrongdoing in this case,” the letter states. “Preventing the pilots from returning to the U.S. is neither appropriate nor beneficial to the investigation.” The Allied Pilots Association is asking the “U.S. government to express to Brazilian authorities the need to permit the two pilots to return to their homes, as well as the importance of conducting the accident investigation in accordance with ICAO Annex 13,” rather than as a criminal case. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Brazilian military late last month testified in Congress and admitted that the collision occurred during a shift change and that the controller who was finishing his shift gave incorrect information to the controller who was taking over.