| GEO World|
| US pilot inexperience contributed to Brazil air crash: report|
| Updated at: 0509 PST, Thursday, December 11, 2008|
BRASILIA: Lack of experience by two US pilots flying a private jet that collided midair with a Brazilian airliner in 2006 contributed to the deadly crash of the latter, an official report Wednesday said.
The document, by the Brazilian Air Force, blamed the US pilots and Brazilian air traffic controllers for the disaster, which killed all 154 people on board the Boeing 737 owned by the Brazilian airline Gol in September 2006.
It said the pilots, Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino, were unfamiliar with the Embraer Legacy jet they were flying.
They had just picked up the small aircraft in Sao Jose dos Campos, outside Sao Paulo, and were heading to the United States at 37,000 feet when their aircraft clipped the Boeing going in the other direction at the same altitude.
The airliner crashed into the Amazon rainforest.
Lepore and Paladino managed to land safely with their five passengers despite part of the Legacy jet's tail being sheared off.
The report was released after Air Force officers met with families of those killed on the Boeing to discuss its contents. Several of the relatives were seen leaving after the meeting in a distraught state.
"They killed my son," yelled one woman, Teresa Guedes, mother of Carlos de Souza Guedes, a 28-year-old passenger on the Gol flight.