"Insufficient Evidence" To Take Revocation Action In Mid-Air
The FAA has denied a request from two Brazilian congressmen to
revoke the pilots licenses of two U.S. pilots who were involved in
an accident in Brazil in 2006.
Joseph Lepore of Bay Shore, NY, and Jan Paladino of Westhampton
Beach, NY, were flying an Embraer Legacy jet over the Amazon when
it collided with a 737. The larger airplane went down in the
jungle, killing all 154 people on board.
The FAA sent a letter April 27th saying there was "insufficient
evidence" to take a revocation action against the two pilots.
The Associated Press reports that Brazilian Congressman Milton
Monti released a statement Wednesday saying he was "deeply unhappy
and surprised with the negative response given by the (FAA)." Monti
said Brazilian Authorities had given the FAA "irrefutable proof"
that the Legacy pilots were negligent and incompetent. Monti said
the decision was an "affront to Brazilians and to the victims'
families," and that he would appeal to the Intermerican Court of
However, the pilot's attorney, Joel Weiss, said the FAA acted
appropriately. He said that the request was "utterly partisan," and
that the pilots "violated no rules whatsoever."
Weiss contends that Brazilian air traffic controllers put "two
competent flight crews on a collision course." However, a Brazilian
Air Force report from 2008 indicates that the Legacy pilots may
have inadvertently disengaged the airplanes collision avoidance
system and transponder.