A federal judge in Brazil on Tuesday ordered the government to return the passports of two U.S. pilots who have been forced to stay in that country following the midair collision between a Embraer Legacy business jet and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737.
Brazilian authorities had seized the passports, preventing the pilots from leaving, while a criminal investigation into the accident proceeded. But the federal judge Candido Ribeiro said there were no legal grounds for restricting the pilots' travel. But the court said the two Americans must agree to return to Brazil for any further inquiry or judicial action.
Both AOPA and the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) had appealed for the pilots' release.
December 5, 2006