The Brazilian air force (FAB) has released photographs of the Embraer Legacy 600 business jet that collided with a Gol Linhas Aereas Boeing 737-800 on Friday killing 151 passengers and crew on board. The air force has begun its investigation into the case of the crash and has retained the Embraer aircraft.
The aircraft (N600XL, pictured below) was on its delivery flight to the new owner, Excelaire, and was scheduled to land at Embraer's facility in Manaus to refuel. Following the collision, the Legacy 600 landed at the Cachimbo air force base. The FAB says the aircraft, which has a damaged wing from the impact, is under enquiry at Cachimbo and that the crew will undergo a debrief. The images show that the left winglet on the aircraft has been sheared off.
The flight data recorder of the Legacy has already been taken for analysis, the air force adds. The enquiry comission is composed of members of the defence ministry's aeronautics command and the Brazilian civil aviation authority, ANAC.
According to FAB reports, the collision occurred in the Serra do Cachimbo region, in the state of Pará, northern Brazil.
“Embraer has offered to cooperate with aeronautical authorities in any way possible in the investigations of the cause of this accident. To that end, a team of company technicians is preparing to leave for the region,” the manufacturer says in a statement.
The FAB has also released images of the crash site, 30km (19 miles) east of the village of Peixoto de Azvedo, in the state of Mato Grosso (below).
Operating as flight 1907, the 737 (PR-GTD) departed Manaus at 15:35 Friday en route to Brasilia, but disappeared from radar at 17:00. The aircraft was received new from Boeing on 12 September and had only 200h on it.
Several aspects of the flights’ operations have yet to become clear, including the altitude at which the aircraft were operating, the status of the jets’ collision-avoidance systems and the air traffic control circumstances.
Gol says that the 737’s captain, a former Transbrasil pilot, had accumulated 14,900h with 3,900h on type. The first officer had amassed a total of 3,850h.
Brazil’s ministry of defence, aeronautics command, says the wreckage of the aircraft appears to be spread over an area of 20km2 (7.7mi2), among dense forest and in a region of difficult access for rescue teams – those first to the crash scene had to parachute from a Brazilian search-and-rescue aircraft.
“The flight recorder equipment of the Gol aircraft has not yet been found,” says the defence ministry.
Brazilian authorities have established crisis-management posts in capital Brasilia and Cachimbo. Several military transport aircraft have participated in the effort to locate the wreckage, and rescue personnel have been clearing landing areas for helicopters. Recovery teams have begun transporting victims of the accident to Cachimbo.