Possible causes of Brazilian plane crash
The Airbus 320 airplane that crashed and burned on landing in Brazil this Tuesday killing some 200 people was flying with a fault in the equipment meant to slow it down, the airline TAM said yesterday.
The plane`s right reverser, a motorized device to help slow it down on landing, was `disactivated in conditions stipulated by the maintenance manuals of the manufacturer Airbus and approved by the National Civil Aviation Agency` of Brazil, the airline said in a statement.
But TAM`s press office told Agence France-Presse that a fault in a reverser `does not jeopardize landings.`
`No prior maintenance problem had been detected` and `no mechanical problem had been recorded on July 16,` the day before the accident, according to the statement.
The crash at Sao Paulo`s Congonhas airport Wednesday was the South American country`s worst air disaster and sparked intense criticism of the airport over the safety of its airways and conditions.
None of the 186 people on board the aircraft are believed to have survived, though an official toll has not yet been given. A number were also killed on the ground when the plane ploughed across a road, crashed into a building and burst into flames.
TAM`s assurances followed a television report that said a problem with the reverser was detected on July 13 and that according to Airbus guidelines the plane should have been checked within 10 days of the discovery.
Video footage released by air authorities showed the plane hitting the runway at a greater speed than ones that landed before it.
The accident prevention official leading an investigation into the disaster, Jorge Kerul Filho, said his probe would look at `all hypotheses` relating to the crash.