A Federal Court in Brazil today ordered the release of the passports of the two U.S. pilots of the Embraer Legacy 600 involved in the September 29 collision with a Gol Airlines 737 over the Amazon. The Federal Regional Court of the First Region of Brazil said that it had unanimously agreed to return the passports of Joseph Lepore, 42, of Bay Shore, N.Y., and Jan Paladino, 34, of Westhampton Beach, N.Y. effective in 72 hours.
Less than one day after a joint letter from the NBAA and several other associations was sent to Brazilian prosecutors thanking them for their part in getting the “criminal authority” to release two U.S. corporate pilots, Brazilian federal police on Friday charged the two airmen with “endangering air safety” in the September 29 collision of their Embraer Legacy 600 with a Gol Airlines 737.
The NTSB is sending investigators to Brazil to assist in the investigation of the September 29 midair between a Boeing 737 and an Embraer Legacy 600. NTSB senior investigator William English will serve as the U.S. accredited representative, accompanied by two Safety Board investigators and representatives from the FAA and Boeing.
Boeing 737-8EH and Embraer EMB 135BJ Legacy 600, Peixoto Azevedo, Brazil, Sept. 29, 2006–Legacy N600XL, operated by ExcelAire, was involved in a midair collision with GOL Flight 1907, a Boeing 737, at about 37,000 feet. The Embraer landed at Cachimbo Air Base; none of the seven people aboard was injured. The 737, en route to Brasilia, crashed in the jungle and all six crew members and 149 passengers were killed.
I write this on October 15, my 60th birthday. I have tried not to be flippant about any aspect of this story. I am unceasingly aware that my astonishing luck to be alive today coincided with the horrible fate of 154 people who plunged to their deaths on September 29.
Brazilian authorities held two U.S. pilots in connection with the September 29 midair collision that caused a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 to plunge into the Amazon jungle, killing all 154 on board and beginning a harrowing ordeal for the business jet crew from Long Island.
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