Legacy Midair Pilots Still in Legal Jungle

 - January 27, 2010, 5:08 AM

American charter firm ExcelAire and pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino remain entangled in Brazilian legal battles more than three years after the Sept. 29, 2006, midair over the Amazon jungle between their Embraer Legacy 600 and a Gol Airlines 737-800 that resulted in the deaths of all 154 aboard the airliner. A Brazilian federal appeals court last month overturned the summary dismissal of negligence charges against the American pilots, while upholding complete dismissal of charges against two controllers and reducing charges against two others. The pilots again face those charges, linked to communications failures, along with other charges that were never dismissed.