Like Two Planes Crashing In The Night

Having a mind like a steel puddle, visions of two planes crashing are the last thing on our brains when we fly.

Traveling readers with more active imaginations should read Joe Sharkey’s first-person account of surviving the impossible: a mid-air collision between the Embraer Legacy 600 jet he was flying on and a Boeing 737.

Somehow, not only did the 13-person corporate jet successful crash land on a runway in the jungle over Bolivia, but the much larger plane with 155 people did not.

Obviously, it’s an Embraer marketing ploy. Really, the depths these companies will stoop to for a publicity event.

Colliding With Death at 37,000 Feet, and Living” [NYT]


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    Hmm… I don’t know that I’d look at it with such a suspicious eye. Its a pretty amazing story.

  2. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    …corporate jet successful crash land…

    I’m glad to hear that it successful crash landed.

  3. Triteon says:

    I thought all planes were equipped with proximity alarms. Though, that’s not much help if indeed a part of the 737 broke off and hit the corporate jet.

  4. Ben Popken says:

    It really is quite a story. I say without a trace of snark that it made my eyes well. That could just be the half-liter of coffee, though.

  5. Pelagius says:

    Amazing story! I hope those pilots get a nice Christmas bonus from Embraer.

  6. It does seem very odd… Did they consider that maybe the 737 had some sort of difficulty beforehand, and perhaps a piece of it just flew off and hit the jet? That seems more likely to me given the jet passengers experience.

  7. LTS! says:

    All aircraft are equipped with TCAS (Traffic Alert Collision Avoidance System).

    In any event, there was a special on Innovation (shown on our PBS) about this airline crashes that discusses the history of systems like TCAS.

    It’s a tad old but still concerning and certainly won’t increase your desire to fly.

  8. DeeJayQueue says:

    I’m more interested with the circumstances that led these 2 planes to be on the same planes (he he) of airspace at the same time. Who wasn’t paying attention and flying at the wrong altitude?

  9. acambras says:

    Doesn’t it seem a tad cynical to assume that the NYT article is all an Embraer PR ploy? Now if Embraer started using it in ads (not that jet manufacturers run commercials) — trumpeting their safe landing to the jet market, that would be tacky.

  10. Triteon says:

    I say without a trace of snark that it made my eyes well.
    My god, the article can heal!

  11. Pelagius says:

    if Embraer started using it in ads

    It could be like those old Timex ads – an Embraer is flying along then * BANG * whacks into a Boeing. The Boeing goes down in flames while the Embraer continues to toodle along. Close with “Embraer Jets: Take a slammin’ and keep on jammin'”

    Or maybe not.

  12. martatuga says:

    The plane crash and the death of 155 people has been making headlines in Brazil since last Friday, whereas it has received surprisingly little attention here in the US.
    There seems to have been human error, since both planes were flying at the same altitude – 37.000 feet – in collision course.
    The rule is that aircrafts flying from North to South use odd-numbered routes, for instance 35.000 or 37.000 feet (Boing 737), and those flying from South to North use even-numbered routes, as 36.000 or 38.000 (Legacy). ( – in Portuguese)
    Either the pilots didn’t follow the flight plan or the air traffic controllers didn’t do their job right.
    They have found both black boxes of the 737, so we’ll have to wait and see.

    (Sorry guys, don’t really know anything about planes/crashes, but I have been reading on this the whole morning and wanted to share what I gathered.)

  13. Paula says:

    They still don’t know if the TCAS’s malfunctioned, or one of them was turned off. It looks like the two planes really hit each other, though, it wasn’t just a piece of the Boeing that hit the corporate jet.

    The prevailing theory is that the small jet changed its route without warning anyone, the air controllers missed it at first and when they tried to warn the pilots they couldn’t get through because the coverage is bad in the Amazon. Still doesn’t explain why the TCAS’s didn’t work though.

  14. Well. Would a plane that small HAVE this TCAS? I suppose we can check their website…


    Yep. TCAS 2000. And this concludes my being a dork.