More On the Sharkey Collision Fallout
Joe Sharkey was put in a unique position when he found himself in the middle of a tragic airplane collision but survived to write about it for the New York Times. The private jet he was traveling on collided with a much larger Boeing 737, yet the smaller plane remained virtually unharmed, while the larger one crashed, killing all on board.
Today, Sharkey reports on the fate of the private jet's pilots, Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, who are still being detained in Brazil. We know, "detained in Brazil" sounds like an excuse for a Carnival hangover, but this is serious. The pilots work for ExcelAire Service, a New York charter company. The plane they were flying when it collided with the Gol Airlines 737, a new Embraer Legacy 600, was meant to be delivered to ExcelAire as a new addition to its fleet.
Lepore and Paladino are holed up in a hotel in Rio (no word which one), amid rumors (refuted by Sharkey) that they were performing "illegal aerial stunt maneuvers to show off the new plane when the collision occurred." Sharkey and others suspect that Brazilians are "dragging their feet" to avoid blaming their own air traffic controllers for the tragic incident. The pilots could be detained for as long as an additional ten months, and United States investigators are not allowed to release their findings until the Brazilians do the same.
· Stuck in a Bureaucratic Jungle After Landing a Crippled Jet [NYT]
· Joe Sharkey's Harrowing Jet Tale [Jaunted]