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Travel Safety Update.

Nov 27, 2006

Air France, Airbus

French prosecutors appealed on Tuesday against a court ruling that cleared six people including an air traffic controller for a 1992 Air Inter (was a unit of Air France at the time of the crash) plane crash that killed 87 people in the eastern city of Strasbourg. Families of the victims have also appealed against the ruling earlier this month, which found Airbus and Air France liable for damages. The six defendants in the criminal case -- a former air traffic controller, four former managers from the civil aviation authority (DGAC), Air Inter and Airbus Industries, and a former Air Inter deputy director general -- were cleared after pleading not guilty to manslaughter. Prosecutor Pascal Schultz told reporters the decision to appeal followed the appeal by families. A long investigation failed to single out one particular reason why the Air Inter Airbus A320 crashed into a mountain as it approached Strasbourg Airport on January 20, 1992. Only nine people survived the crash. The investigation suggested a range of possible factors which might, together, explain what caused the crash. These included the quality of guidance the plane was given to direct it towards Strasbourg and the composition of the crew. Nov 22, 2006

Air Ivoire

An Air Ivoire plane en route to the Ivory Coast from Paris was diverted to Marseille Airport on Thursday after authorities received a bomb threat, the airport said. Security forces spent several hours searching the aircraft but did not find any device and eventually gave the pilot clearance to take off again in the evening. The 42 passengers were evacuated from the plane when it touched down in Marseille and the airport was briefly closed to air traffic. Nov 23, 2006

Gol, Boeing, Embraer

Gol 737-800/ExcelAire Legacy 600 accident investigators released a report last week indicating that the Legacy pilots, who have been detained at a Rio de Janeiro hotel since the September collision, attempted to contact Brasilia air traffic control 19 times in the 8 min. prior to the crash without success. The report was translated from Portuguese by Newsday and indicates that ATC and the aircraft lost contact with each other repeatedly during the 54 min. before the collision but does not address accusations that the Legacy pilots shut off their radio and/or transponder. Ground radar lost contact with the smaller aircraft 18 min. prior to impact. A partial message from Brasilia ATC came through 3 min. before the crash and records showed the Legacy pilots attempted to call seven times before the crash, according to Newsday. Nov 21, 2006

Gol, Boeing, Embraer

In the Gol 737-800/ExcelAire Legacy 600 accident efforts to have the two Legacy pilots released continue. The head of the Brazilian government's investigation told Reuters that the pilots should be freed but that it was up to the courts. The International Federation of Air Line Pilots Assns. released a statement calling on Brazil "to expedite the conclusion of an independent technical investigation," saying that there "is no valid reason for the continued detention of the...pilots" and insisting that "Brazilian authorities immediately return" their passports. "Thus far, only contradictory facts, rumor and unsupported allegations have been forthcoming from Brazilian government officials," IFALPA said.

Nov 21, 2006

Gol, Boeing, Embraer

In the Gol 737-800/ExcelAire Legacy 600 accident report did not say if the Legacy was ordered to descend to 36,000 ft. from 37,000 ft., as some claimed initially. The aircraft collided at the higher altitude. A Brazilian air force spokesperson said that an analysis of the recordings had not been completed. Nov 21, 2006

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Nov 13, 2006
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Date:Nov 27, 2006
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