Down in One Piece
(but the cow died)

30/08/2002 - 14h58
The Pilot of the TAM F100 was skillful, say the inhabitants of Birigui about the local forced landing.
The pilot of Fokker 100 of the TAM that today made a landing forced in a grass of Birigui (518 km to the northwest of São Paulo) was "sufficiently skillful", in the opinion of businessman Maurício Longuini Barber, inhabitant of the city.
Barber, who sent photos of the aircraft to the "Online Leaf" , said that he did not have access to the place where the airplane stopped, but confirms that the pilot was sufficiently experienced to prevent an accident.
Maurício Longuini Barber
Fokker 100 that it made landing forced in Birigui

"The region is full of mountains, of peaks, but he chose an

Click images below for higher resolution format

 open, ample area", said.
The commander of the aircraft was identified as Captain Soter.
The Fokker 100 that made the flight 3804 Guarulhos set down on a grass field of the Taquari quarter, in Birigui, at 1100h. The aircraft had taken off from São Paulo at 09h48, with 24 passengers on board.
According to Vivaldo Donizete Coast, first-aid attendant from Birigui, four passengers - two men and two women had been taken care of with light contusions and some aches and bruises in the body. All have recovered well.
Fragments of landing gear and tyres were spread around in the pasture. A cow had been run over and later died.
To Antonio Carlos Simaro, commission agent-assitente of the Seccional de Araçatuba, the pilot said informally that fuel exhaustion provoked the incident. TAM informed the authority that the aircraft took off full and that the causes of the subsequent loss are being investigated.

Two Brazil TAM Jet Planes Make Emergency Landings
August 30, 2002 02:26 PM ET

By Carlos A. DeJuana

SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - Two Fokker-100 jets belonging to Brazil's TAM airline made separate emergency landings on Friday in the same state, one at a farm and another in a city airport, although no one was seriously hurt.

The first mid-sized Fokker-100 jet landed in a grassy field a short distance from a farmhouse near the town of Aracatuba, 325 miles northwest of the city of Sao Paulo.

Television images showed the white-and-red plane had been banged up and its tail-end had been partly torn. Small pieces of the plane littered a cow pasture.

TAM said in a statement none of the 24 passengers on board were seriously hurt, although four were treated for light scrapes and sprains.

Passenger Jose Jorge Rezende told Globo television the landing had been rough.

"The plane was ruined. The wheels were torn off, it was ripped up on the inside, pieces of the plane flew off. And a cow was killed ... or at least it's almost dead," he said.

TAM later confirmed another Fokker-100 was forced to land at the international airport of Viracopos in the city of Campinas, which lies about 60 miles northwest of Sao Paulo, without any landing gear. None of the 42 passengers were hurt, TAM said.

Globo reported the plane made the emergency landing after it had hydraulic problems with its landing gear. It skidded 440 yards on a runway on which emergency crews had sprayed foam.

TAM, Brazil's second-biggest airline, said it was sending teams to investigate the cause of both accidents and that both planes had maintenance check-ups in July.


The mishaps follow a series of accidents involving TAM's 108-seat Fokker-100s and come as the company struggles through a tough period for the Brazilian airline industry, which has seen its dollar-based fuel and parts costs skyrocket the past two years due to a sharp depreciation of the local currency.

Maintaining Fokker planes became even more expensive after the Dutch manufacturer went bankrupt in 1997. TAM is in the process of replacing them with new Airbus and possibly locally made Embraer jets.

"There's not an abnormal history of problems (with the Fokker-100s), but they are expensive and you have to keep feeding them," said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of the Teal Group, a Washington-based aerospace consulting group.

In Brazil's last major air disaster in 1996, a TAM Fokker-100 jet crashed shortly after take-off from Sao Paulo, killing all 96 aboard and two people on the ground.

On April 3 the door of a TAM Fokker-100 fell off after take-off, but the plane turned around and landed safely. In September 2001, one passenger was sucked out of a TAM Fokker-100 and three were injured in a forced landing after a loss of cabin pressure.

TAM said the first plane was flying from Sao Paulo to Campo Grande, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul state in the center of South America. The second plane was flying to Sao Paulo from the coast city of Salvador in Bahia state.

September 1, 2002 - Brazil Plane Crash Leaves 24 Dead

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - A twin-engine plane crashed while trying to land in heavy rains in a northwestern Brazilian city, killing 24 people, airport employees said Saturday.

The Taxi Aereo Rico Airline plane was carrying 31 people when it crashed at about 10 p.m. on Friday near the city of Rio Branco. Eight passengers survived the crash, but one - federal legislator Ildefonco Cordeiro - died on the way to a hospital, said Islai Bandeira de Oliveira, a flight attendant with the carrier.

Cordeiro's wife, Arlete Cordeiro, was killed in the crash, de Oliveira said.

Gislane Phalup, a nurse at the city's hospital, said most of the survivors were badly injured and still under intensive care.

The plane was just a mile from the Rio Branco airport when it crashed, the GloboNews television channel reported on its Web site.

``The rain was heavy and the plane fell in a bushy area, making the rescue more difficult,'' she said.

The Brasilia turboprop plane was on a regular regional flight within the Brazilian state of Acre. Rio Branco, the state capital, is about 50 miles north of the Bolivian border.

Earlier Friday, two Brazilian jetliners on domestic flights made emergency landings within 40 minutes of each other, airline and aviation officials said.

Both planes were Fokker 100s belonging to Brazil's second-largest airline, TAM.

The first plane, with 24 passengers on board, landed on a farm near the city of Birigui, 285 miles northwest of Sao Paulo, after the pilot detected a leak in a fuel tank.

TAM's press office said four passengers suffered minor bruises.

The second plane, with landing gear problems, made an emergency landing at the Viracopos airport, 60 miles northwest of Sao Paulo. Airport officials said none of the 42 passengers was hurt.

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