Judge Promises Verdict Soon in Brazil Midair Trial

 - April 30, 2011, 8:50 AM

A Brazilian judge heard testimony last month, via video link, from the two American pilots of the Legacy 600 that was involved in a midair with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 over the Amazon jungle in September 2006. The airliner crashed into the Amazon, killing all 154 aboard, while the Legacy pilots managed to land their damaged twinjet. Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, who both fly for Long Island, N.Y.-based ExcelAire, face charges under the Brazilian criminal code that they unintentionally caused the endangerment of an aircraft through negligence. Their testimony and that of the two controllers also charged in the case, one already convicted by a military court, was the last step before closing arguments. The judge promised a verdict by the end of last month.