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Archive for Thursday, October 5, 2006

Pilots’ passports seized in crash probe

October 5, 2006

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— Two American executive jet pilots were ordered by a judge to stay in Brazil while authorities investigate whether they caused a midair collision with an airliner that crashed into the Amazon, killing all 155 people aboard.

A Brazilian newspaper reported that the pilots' Legacy jet, which was carrying seven Americans, disobeyed an order by the control tower to descend to a lower altitude just before coming into contact with Gol airlines Flight 1907.

Federal police said Wednesday the pilots could be charged with manslaughter if investigators determine they were responsible for the crash.

A judge in Mato Grosso state ordered federal police to seize the passports of pilot Joseph Lepore, of Bay Shore, N.Y., and co-pilot Jan Palladino, of Westhampton Beach, N.Y., "as a result of the doubts surrounding the case and the emergence of indications that the accident was caused by the Legacy," the Justice Department said.

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