“Let me be straight with you. What I'd rather have is an airplane. We just had a third kid. I don't like flying commercial. I like to take my family to Hawaii. When I go east, I'd like to have pilots I know. ”
Brazilian Midair Crash Spawns Lawsuits
Two lawsuits have been filed in the aftermath of the September 29 midair collision between an ExcelAire-owned Embraer Legacy 600 and a Brazilian Gol Airlines 737-800. The Legacy landed with no injuries to its seven occupants, but the 737 crashed, killing all 154 aboard. Both lawsuits have been filed against U.S. charter operator ExcelAire, the two pilots flying the Legacy and avionics manufacturer Honeywell. The Legacy had been purchased from Embraer and was being flown to the charter operator's headquarters at Long Island MacArthur Airport.
An attorney for the two pilots, who at press time were still being held in Brazil, expressed confidence that they will be exonerated. A statement from Honeywell said the company is "not aware of any evidence that indicates that the transponder on the Legacy was not functioning as designed or that Honeywell was responsible for the accident." An ExcelAire statement called civil lawsuits "premature."