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Report in Brazil Says Jet Crash Saved a School

November 03, 1996|From Times Wire Services

RIO DE JANEIRO — The last words of the pilot of a jetliner that crashed into a Sao Paulo neighborhood were "I'm sparing the school," TV Globo reported Saturday.

Brazil's largest private television network said it talked with an Aeronautics Ministry official who listened to one of the flight recording devices of TAM Flight 402, which crashed Thursday, killing all 96 people on board and six on the ground. The victims included three Americans.

Pilot Jose Antonio Moreno, talking to airport control, intentionally veered away from a school packed with more than 1,000 students, TV Globo quoted the official as saying.

The plane failed to gain altitude and slammed instead into a residential neighborhood, spilling burning jet fuel.

The Aeronautics Ministry said the plane's two flight data recorders are being sent to the United States for analysis. A final report on the cause of the crash is expected in about three months.

Also in TV Globo's hourlong report on the crash, airport engineer Antonio Bueno said airport engineers reported they ran down the runway to try to stop the accelerating jetliner after spotting the right engine turbine's reverse thrust mechanism--used to brake the plane on landing--activate.

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