Cockpit voice recordings from the Embraer Legacy that collided with the Gol Airlines 737 over the Amazon last September indicate that the two business-jet pilots were very much aware of their position and altitude, despite earlier reports to the contrary. The transcript shows the Legacy crew checked in at their assigned altitude of FL370 at 1850Z.
Embraer Legacy 600
Cessna and Eclipse are about to feel some Brazilian heat. The first Phenom 100 very light jet being assembled at manufacturer Embraer’s São José dos Campos factory is scheduled for its first flight next month.
As the first three Phenom 100s slated for the certification program are being completed at the main São José dos Campos plant, Embraer is putting into place a multi-site production strategy for the Phenom program.
NBAA, the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) heavily criticized a decision by Brazilian police investigators to recommend criminal prosecutions of ExcelAire pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino in connection with last September’s midair between a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 and Embraer Legacy over the Amazon jungle.
Honeywell has gone on the record as saying that the transponders aboard the Embraer Legacy involved in September’s fatal midair with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 were working properly at the time of the accident.
To inaugurate its newest aircraft type, fractional provider Flight Options is offering a reduced hourly occupied rate for customers who sign up for shares in the Embraer Legacy. For the first 24 months of the 60-month contract, the share owner will pay an hourly rate of $1,990, comparable to that of a Hawker 800XP. At the 25th month, the rate reverts to the regular $2,485 per hour.
Embraer technicians were scheduled to begin final assembly of the Phenom 100 very light jet (VLJ) prototype in preparation for the jet’s mid-year first flight as this issue went to press. The jet is being built at Embraer’s Botucatu facility in Brazil, but final assembly will take place at the plant in São José dos Campos.
Embraer’s corporate aviation division is preparing to present the business case for one or more new aircraft programs, with the hope of getting a development green light from the Brazilian group’s top management before the end of June.
Embraer is now in the final flight-test phase of the certification process that will raise the service ceiling of the Legacy business jet from FL370 to FL410. Certification of the twinjet’s new ceiling will coincide with deliveries of aircraft starting next spring. A Service Bulletin will be made available upon request to current Legacy owners to upgrade their aircraft to the higher ceiling.
Embraer this spring expects to complete certification that will increase the service ceiling of the Legacy business jet from FL370 to FL410. Later this year, Embraer will introduce an optional Chelton data system that will boost the Legacy’s high-speed connectivity from the current 128 kbps to 432 kbps. A new cabin LED lighting system and pleated mechanical window shades are also scheduled to be integrated into the Legacy later this year.
Four Embraer Legacy Executive twinjets have joined Cleveland-based fractional operator Flight Options to provide owners with a large-cabin aircraft to supplement the company’s Challenger 601 and Gulfstream IV fleets, as well as allowing Hawker 800XP owners to upgrade. The Legacy Executive is an eight- to 13-passenger business jet version of the Brazilian manufacturer’s ERJ-135 regional jet.