Brake Failure, Pilot Panic in Brazilian Jet

Frantic cockpit transcripts point to mechanical error in crash that killed 200
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2007 7:29 AM CDT
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire Wednesday, July 18, 2007, at the site where a TAM airlines commercial jet crashed in Sao Paulo. The plane with as many as 170 people aboard crashed and burst into...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Panicked pilots of a doomed Brazilian plane are heard struggling to control the aircraft speeding down a rain-slicked runway in transcripts  of a cockpit tape released yesterday. "Slow down! Turn, turn, turn!" screams the co-pilot. "I can't," says the pilot. "Oh my God! Oh my God!" The plane crashed, killing 200 people.

Transcripts suggest that failure of the aerodynamic braking system or pilot error may have contributed to the crash. That takes some heat off the Brazilian government, under fire for chaos in its air transport system and failure to upgrade the problematic runway. "That is the classic aircraft accident. Not just one thing caused it, but rather a cascading series of events," said one safety expert.