Brazil’s Federal Police Blames Pilots for Midair

 - May 10, 2007, 12:05 PM

Brazil’s Federal Police has concluded that ExcelAire Legacy pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino were responsible for the September collision with a Boeing 737-800 operated by Gol Linhas Aereas. The pilots are accused of negligence in the collision, which resulted in the death of all 154 people aboard the Boeing. Attorneys representing the ExcelAire pilots in Brazil characterize the Federal Police announcement as premature and the result of political pressure. “There are still many issues to be resolved and many questions that remain unanswered,” said an ExcelAire spokeswoman. Lawyers for the pilots could not comment on specific content of the Federal Police report because it has not yet been made available to the public. The collision has prompted seismic activity in Brazil’s ATC system, resulting in a controller strike last month. A parliamentary commission is currently investigating the ATC system, which is run by the Brazilian military.