Airline Pilots Groups Call for Release of ExcelAire Pilots

 - December 15, 2006, 10:51 AM

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and its international umbrella group, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA), are calling for the release of the two American corporate pilots who are still being detained in Brazil pending the investigation of the September 29 midair collision between their Embraer Legacy 600 and a Gol Airlines 737. “Thus far, only contradictory facts, rumor and unsupported allegations have been forthcoming from Brazilian government officials,” said the group. “To date there has been no indication from the Court, which has retained the passports of the ExcelAire pilots, that it has made any objective assessment of the circumstances surrounding the event.” The Federation also noted that there are internationally agreed procedures enshrined by treaty that allow countries to pursue appropriate criminal prosecutions against citizens of another state if sufficient evidence can be presented to show that an internationally recognized crime has been committed. “As a result, the Federation demands that the Brazilian authorities immediately return the passports of the Excelaire pilots and that these pilots be allowed to return to their homes forthwith.”