Controller Sentenced over 2006 Brazil Midair

 - November 29, 2010, 10:44 AM

A Brazilian air traffic controller was given a 14-month suspended sentence last month in the 2006 midair of a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 and an Embraer Legacy 600. The collision sent the airliner into the Amazon forest, killing all 154 aboard, while the business jet managed an emergency landing at a military airbase. A military court found Air Force sergeant Jomarcelo Fernandes dos Santos had failed to note the disappearance of the Legacy’s transponder signal, failed to direct the pilot to make a frequency change, did not heed the altitude level on the airway and turned the flight over to his relief without alerting him of the irregularities. Four other controllers were absolved. Dos Santos and another controller still face charges in federal court in Sinop, as do the two American pilots of the Legacy, Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino.