Tribute paid to victims of 2007 TAM plane crash

A total of 199 people died in the biggest airplane accident in the

Published in 17/07/2017 - 16:18 By Flávia Albuquerque reports from Agência Brasil - São Paulo

Acidente com avião da TAM no aeroporto de Congonhas completa 10 anos

After landing, Airbus A320-233 lost control on the wet runway due to heavy raining, slid into the grass, hit a wall, and crossed Washington Luís Avenue at 178 km/h, subsequently running into a gas station and a TAM Express building.Milton Mansilha/Agência Lusa

Relatives and friends of the 199 victims of the accident that took place ten years ago at the Congonhas Airport involving TAM (now LATAM) flight JJ3054, gathered today for a tribute at the July 17 Memorial Square, in São Paulo.

The crash is still regarded as the biggest accident in the history of Brazilian commercial aviation. The airplane left the Salgado Filho Airport, in the southern city of Porto Alegre, headed for Congonhas, in São Paulo, with 187 people on board.

After landing, Airbus A320-233 lost control on the wet runway due to heavy raining, slid into the grass, hit a wall, and crossed Washington Luís Avenue at 178 km/h, subsequently running into a gas station and a TAM Express building. In addition to passengers and crew members, 12 people died on the ground.

Among the occurrences reported to have taken place, the pilots are believed to have unintentionally moved one of the throttles to “idle” and left the other on “climb”. The plane's computer system understood the pilots were attempting to go up.

The report also recounts that there was no sound alarm to warn the pilots about the wrong throttle positions and that the pilots had been poorly trained: their theoretical training comprised interactive computer courses only.

Dario Scott lost his daughter Thaís Volpi Scott, who would be 24 years old today. He hopes that the July 17 Memorial gains the support of city authorities. “It's holy ground for us, as the 199 victims were cremated here. To fill this place with life and manage to finish the construction works is our wish, along with having the community keep the spot busy so we can start bringing life and our thoughts to this place,” he said.

Charges

Three people were held accountable for the accident: former National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) Denise Abreu, TAM former vice-President for Operations Alberto Fajerman, and TAM Safety Director Marco Aurélio dos Santos de Miranda e Castro.

Prosecutors had sought the conviction of the three to 24 years in jail; in May, 2015, however, a federal court in São Paulo ruled their acquittal. In July this year, the case was submitted to an appellate court.

In addition to being the father of a victim, Dario Scott leads AFAVITAM, an association formed by family members and friends of the crash victims. He hopes Brazil's Prosecutor-General files a new appeal, as he argues that everything ascertained so far proves the aircraft was put at risk.

Parentes das vítimas do acidente com o voo 3054 da TAM

Relatives and friends of the 199 victims of the accident that took place ten years ago at the Congonhas Airport involving TAM (now LATAM).Elza Fiuz/Agência Brasil

Recommendations

In a note, LATAM Airlines states that the report put together by the Aeronautical Accidents Investigation and Prevention Center (CENIPA), of the Brazilian Air Force, lists 24 recommendations directed at the company as prevention measures—all of which have been adopted, including stepping up training programs for both new and experienced pilots.

The Congonhas Airport has also undergone changes. Among the efforts made to boost safety on the runway is the reduction in the number of permits for landing and take off to 33. Before the accident, the airport had no set limit, and it could total 38 per hour.

Also forbidden were landings and takeoffs when the systems that increase brakeage performance are out of operation. Runways have now been given grooves to make braking easier.


Translated by Fabrício Ferreira


Fonte: Tribute paid to victims of 2007 TAM plane crash

Edition: Denise Griesinger / Nira Foster

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