Video shows Brazil jet was too fast

Airline admits aircraft was flying with faulty equipment meant to slow it down.

    The search goes on for the charred
    remains of victims [EPA]
    The footage raised the possibility that pilot or mechanical error instead of a wet and short runway was to blame.
    Aircraft fault

    Brazil's aviation crisis

    September 29, 2006 -

    All 154 people on board a Boeing 737-800 owned by Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes are killed when it crashes in the Amazon after colliding with a corporate jet.

    November 1 - Air traffic controllers stage work "slowdowns", saying they were unduly blamed for putting the two jets on a collision course and to protest against strenuous labour conditions and low salaries.

    December 22 - Brazil's government orders air force transport jets to ferry civilians after TAM Linhas Aereas abruptly grounds six aeroplanes during peak travel season.

    February 8, 2007 - Brazil's airport authority says it will overhaul the main runway at Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport, the country's busiest, because of fears some aircraft could skid off its short landing strips.

    March 30 - The airport authority suspends all departures across the country after about 100 air traffic controllers walk off the job over working conditions and safety concerns.

    June 25 - President Lula says order has been restored after the government sacked 14 air traffic controllers.

    And as the search went on for charred remains late on Thursday, the airline admitted the aircraft was flying with a fault in the equipment meant to slow it down.
    TAM said the Airbus-320's right reverse thruster, a device to help slow it down on landing, was deactivated "in conditions stipulated by the maintenance manuals of the manufacturer Airbus and approved by the National Civil Aviation Agency" of Brazil.
    But TAM's press office said a fault in a reverse thruster "does not jeopardise landings".
    "No prior maintenance problem had been detected" and "no mechanical problem had been recorded on July 16", the day before the accident, TAM said.
    The statement came after Brazil's Globo TV aired a report saying an unidentified problem in the right reverse thruster emerged four days before the crash and was under investigation by the authorities.
    Video footage
    The video footage released on Thursday seemed to show the Airbus-320 taking off again after touching down and travelling down the runway and flew just above cars on a road in rush hour traffic before slamming into a building on Tuesday night, killing all 186 people aboard and at least three people on the ground.
    It was Brazil's worst air disaster and the worst anywhere involving an Airbus A-320, according to the aviation analysis website
    Brigadier Jose Carlos Pereira, president of the national airport authority Infraero, said on Thursday that he was perplexed by the video and that an analysis of the black box soon may explain why the jet went so fast after touching down.
    "Something went wrong during landing," he said. "For some reason, the plane did not slow down. Something happened and the pilot, for some reason, accelerated the plane."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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