Tue, Nov 07, 2006
ExcelAire And Honeywell Named As Defendants
the families of the crash victims of Gol Airlines flight 1907 sued
both ExcelAire and Honeywell in a US District court in Brooklyn
The suit states ExcelAire pilots -- still in Brazil even as the
investigation continues -- were flying at the wrong altitude, and
that the Honeywell-built transponder was not working. The lawsuit
specifies had the transponder installed in the Embraer Legacy
business jet been working, the airliner's collision avoidance
systems would have warned the pilots in time to avoid the mid-air
suspected of causing the crash.
The suit does not specify exactly what damages the plaintiffs
A spokeswoman for ExcelAire told the Associated Press it was
preparing a reply. Honeywell said it wouldn't comment on any
Press speculation regarding the cause of the accident has run
rampant while continued political in-fighting between
Brazil's defense and police agencies places in doubt the
veracity of any investigation.
The Brazilian defense ministry -- responsible for air traffic
control -- refuses to cooperate with the country's police forces.
Brazil's top police official has publicly accused the defense
ministry of covering up information that might incriminate
controllers handling the two aircraft the night of the
The lawsuit is apparently based on early Brazilian press reports
stating the US pilots were flying the Legacy at the wrong altitude.
Further speculation from the press had the pair turning off the
sleek jet's transponder while exploring its performance
Most recently, Brazil's Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper claims it
acquired a flight recorder transcript showing the US pilots were
flying at an altitude assigned by air traffic controllers -- the
same altitude assigned to Gol flight 1907.
That airliner crashed in the Amazon rain forest killing all 154
aboard while the Legacy landed nearby with damage to its
The US pilots were ordered by a Brazilian court to surrender
their passports a few days after the accident. They remain in
Brazil as the investigation continues.
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