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Pilots Skip Brazil Hearings Regarding Mid-air
ExcelAire pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino were no-shows in São Paulo, Brazil, August 27 as court hearings began regarding the mid-air collision involving their Embraer Legacy 600 and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737. The Legacy landed safely at a military field but the airliner crashed in the Amazon, killing all 154 people aboard and creating a national furor over aviation safety. The ExcelAire pilots and four air traffic controllers were indicted in the incident.
According to Joel Weiss, the pilots' U.S. attorney, they are willing to testify in the proceedings, but only in accordance with Brazil/U.S. treaties that allow the accused to testify from their home country. If the judge does not accept this, his decision will be appealed, Weiss said.