Brazilian theories on the Gol crash and the treatment of the US pilots

Brazil‘s blog forums are buzzing, if you can read Portuguese, and there appears to be a concerted opinion forming.

The topic of interest is the fatal crash of Gol Lihnas A駻eas flight 1907. Indeed, type in “V 1907″ into a blog search engine such as and a multitude appear, such as those from Varanda Cuibana, As M痊imas do Joe Baloo, O Blog do Barretto and the well-read Primera Clase.

Among the postings you’ll find lots of detailed official-looking diagrams of the mid-air collision, all purporting to be from sources within the accident investigation (one example pictured below).
Gol 737 collision diagram

These show the wingtip of the Legacy scoring the underside of the 737-800′s wing, forcing part of it to shear off, causing a death spiral of just less than 2min. This is close to the theory of most informed observers, including Flight (although clearly there are many unanswered questions).

Yet dig deeper and there is quiet a conspiracy theory being developed among some posters. I’ll let you go and find it yourself, rather than risk libel on these global corporatation-owned pages.

But needless to say, the Brazilian public is upset at the tragic loss of close to 160 passengers over dense jungle.

But there is anger at the US response to the detention of the two Exelaire pilots in command of the Embraer Legacy 600. The Legacy pilots have had their passports confiscated pending military investigation into the crash and could face manslaughter charges if found to be to blame.

While the Brazilian press is remaining neutral, the online community is baying for blood. Someone has to pay the price, and all the better if it’s a yanqui, they reason.

Brazilians have long been outraged that the post 9/11 security arrangements force them to apply for a visa, along with visitors from the developing world. So when US congressman Steve Israel (Dem-NY) said he was to raise the issue of the pilots’ treatment at the hands of the Brazilian authorities with US foreign affairs supremo Condoleezza Rice ahead of her South American tour, bloggers went into overdrive. The fact that Rice expressed support for the Brazilian authorities was overlooked in the wave of paranoia that saw Os Gringos going into bat to free their hero pilots in the face of a “third world regime” (in the minds of the majority of bloggers). Media in the USA was far less jingoistic in the main than the bloggeristos made it out to be. 


Inconsistency also plagues the blogs. Different reports had the Amazon Two either locked up in a military prison or ensconced in a plush Rio de Janeiro hotel.

Worst were the horrific pictures purporting to those of the victims posted on many sites. The provenance of the photos is unchecked, but they are designed to shock the USA into reversing its perceived campaign to free the pilots.

The main US blog presence, meanwhile, has not been opinion or Brazil-bashing, but the sensitive, descriptive blogs of the journalists onboard the Legacy, principally those from the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Explore the Brazilian blog jungle at your peril.

One Response to Brazilian theories on the Gol crash and the treatment of the US pilots

  1. Marcelo 10 May, 2007 at 5:26 am #

    The federal police of Brazil ended the case.
    Two guilted : the air control, and legacy pilots..

    I suppose that both of them would not face their responsabilities.., this is not the country of justice.

    What would happen if brazillian pilots have been charged at US?

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