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Condi Needs to Stand Up and Tell These Mooks to Give Us Back Our Boys

Something (surprise!) quickly swept under the MSM news rug as unimportant dust is a deadly Brazilian in-air plane crash, the worst in that country’s history, between a commercial carrier and a private charter. The private plane’s pilots–two New York guys–are currently under a house arrest situation, while, it seems, the local powers scrabble together a case to hang the accident around their necks… and our State Department ain’t doing a damn thing to stand up for these guys.

But the facts that have dribbled out show the NY pilots should, at least, have their visas returned and allowed to come home for Christmas, and then, well, let the chips fall. They were flying a Brazil-built plane; they were operating under Brazilian rules…. It seems their only crime was “Piloting While American.”

Air traffic controllers believed an executive jet was flying at a lower altitude when it collided with a commercial airliner over the Amazon, killing 154 people in the country’s worst air disaster, Brazil’s air force commander told a Senate committee Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Luiz Carlos da Silva Bueno said flight controllers believed the plane was flying at 36,000 feet, although it was actually at 37,000 feet _ the same altitude at which Gol Airlines flight 1907 was flying.

Not so fast…

Transcripts suggest that air traffic controllers at another tower may have authorized the executive jet to fly at 37,000 feet, which would mean the two towers suffered a communications breakdown.

Which points the blame right at that general’s ass:

The Brazilian air traffic controller who was monitoring the Legacy executive jet that collided on September 29 with a Boeing 737 killing all 154 people aboard wasn’t prepared for the job and had been just rushed into the position by insistence of the military brass, against the objection of his instructor who didn’t agree with the arrangement.

This new piece of information is being published today, November 23, by the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, which says that the Brazilian Air Force authorities’ insistence in approving new flight controllers due to the serious lack of staff may have led to Brazil’s worst air tragedy ever.

The controller in charge of the Legacy, which was piloted by two Americans, says the newspaper, after interviewing other flight controllers from Brasília, had little hands-on experience and had received his certification earlier this year, well after his class’s colleagues.

Their current incarceration should be absolutely unacceptable to anyone collecting a paycheck in the United States State Department:

Originally accused of causing the collision by flying at the wrong altitude and refusing to change their height, the two pilots were cleared earlier this month when recordings from the air traffic control tower in Sao Paolo showed that the Legacy had in fact been cleared to fly at 37,000 feet (11,300 metres) – the same height as the jetliner.

But there remain some outstanding issues, including suggestions that the Legacy turned off the aircraft’s anti-collision and communications systems.

Both air traffic controllers and the pilots of the Legacy have in the past insisted that they tried to communicate with each other and were unsuccessful.

That means there is evidence that the technical/communication infrastructure installed by the Brazil military in charge of airflight control was, at least, seriously fucked up.

A lawyer for Lepore and Paladino argued that the continued holding of their passports was an infringement of the pilots’ liberty.

The investigation (into the accident) will not be prejudiced if the pilots leave the country,’ said attorney Jose Carlos Dias, who was hired by the Legacy’s operating firm, ExcelAire.

The pilots ‘are absolutely interested in being cooperative with the process of the investigation,’ Dias said, adding that the US and Brazil had an extradition treaty in the event that the two US pilots should be charged with a crime.

If the Brazil invetigators wish to speak with these guys, no one in the United States–under treaty–can deny them such access, nor can a legitimate claim to have the pilots returned for possible judicial proceedings be encumbered. The plain fact to my eyes is that they want TO HANG THE AMERICANS, to allow their military–who are in charge of Brazil’s sky–to duck their deserved indictment.

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