Brazilian authorities have continually blamed ExcelAire pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino for a midair between their Legacy 600 and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 over the Amazon Jungle, alleging that the crew didn’t follow an approved flight plan and had somehow disengaged the Legacy’s transponder. The U.S.
Embraer Legacy 600
Embraer introduced a beefed-up Legacy Executive jet at the NBAA Convention last month. In a series of just-completed improvements started early this year, the Brazilian airframer has boosted range with added fuel capacity, higher engine thrust and enhanced aerodynamics. Carrying eight passengers, the corporate Legacy can now fly up to 3,250 nm nonstop at Mach 0.74–an almost 5-percent increase over the original 3,100-nm range.
The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) late last week called on the Brazilian government “to return to agreed international standards and principles in the investigation” of the midair collision of a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 and an ExcelAire Embraer Legacy 600.
Worldwide deliveries of turbine business airplanes in the first quarter plunged more than 24 percent, to 201 units, compared with the 266 units shipped in the first quarter last year, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, which now reports deliveries of non-U.S. as well as U.S. manufacturers.
Brazil’s Embraer again revealed its flair for the dramatic during last month’s Regional Airline Association convention, when it flew the first Embraer 170 prototype from its flight test site in São José dos Campos to the company’s new heavy maintenance facility at Nashville International Airport. The 70-seat jet, now scheduled for certification during next year’s first quarter, has completed more than 100 flight test hours.
New York-based ExcelAire (Booth No. 405) announced it has added three Gulfstreams to its fleet, bringing the total number of aircraft it operates to 18. The company will be adding a Gulfstream GIII, G450 and GV to the fleet, as well, which includes a Bombardier Global Express, five GIIIs, a GIV-SP, two Embraer Legacy 600s and a number of Hawkers and Learjets.
A Brazilian judge asked ExcelAire pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino to return to Brazil to testify at the August 27 beginning of the trial on criminal charges, but according to Joel Weiss, their U.S. attorney, the two pilots did not return to Brazil to testify. Both pilots were held for 71 days in Brazil after the midair between the Embraer Legacy 600 they were flying and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 in Brazil last September.
Embraer’s first Phenom 100 lands at the company’s main facilities at São Jose dos Campos, Brazil, following a certification test flight on August 6. The aircraft made its first flight on July 26, and certification is expected in the second quarter of next year.
The date is fast approaching for two ExcelAire pilots to testify about the midair between the Embraer Legacy 600 they were flying and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 in Brazil last September. A Brazilian judge has asked ExcelAire pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino to return to Brazil to testify at the August 27 beginning of the trial on criminal charges. Four air traffic controllers were also indicted, and their testimony is due on August 28.
An FAA safety alert cautioning Embraer Legacy pilots against resting their foot on a footrest near the instrument panel because they might inadvertently put the transponder into standby mode has the aviation world scratching its head.