Remember, the accident where the Embraer Legacy corporate jet collided with the Gol 737 causing the Gol aircraft to crash? Well, the Brazilians have now decided to charge the pilots of the Legacy with “endangering air safety” according to this Reuters article. This could result in up to 12 years in prison.
Now, had the pilots rammed the Legacy into a skyscraper in downtown Sao Paulo, then I would support a criminal investigation (though they’d probably be dead anyway). But this was an accident and should be handled just as all accidents are handled, through an accident investigation process.
Let’s not forgot that the latest information in this case (see my last post) points away from the pilots being at fault. Unless the Brazilians know something that they aren’t telling anyone, it would amaze me if the pilots could be proven to be criminally negligent right now. This just seems like a good excuse for the Brazilian authorities to place the blame away from their crumbling air traffic control infrastructure (or lack thereof).
It is despicable that before any investigation is complete and any cause has been determined, these pilots have been charged. I truly hope that the US gets more involved in this incident, because the American citizen pilots deserve far better treatment. The Brazilians deserve a lot worse than the Cranky Jackass award here.