Radar Failure in Brazil
A radar outage from 11:15 p.m. Friday to 2:30 a.m. Saturday, caused by an electrical problem, forced planes heading to Brazil to return to their points of origin and make unscheduled landings.
The nation has had chronic problems with delays and cancellations on domestic flights over the past 10 months but this is the first radar outage.
Sao Paulo’s Mayor Gilberto Kassab said that building a new airport could take between five and 10 years and is not a priority.
Officials mistakenly sent part of the plane’s fuselage to the United States, thinking it was the flight recorder.
The real flight recorder had been located and would be sent to Washington for analysis.
The radar outage occurred when a short circuit cut off electricity during routine maintenance in the jungle city of Manaus. Power was restored by 1:30 a.m. Radar coverage was working again an hour later.
The ailing industry has not recovered from months of work slowdowns by air traffic controllers protesting precarious working conditions. holes in the country’s radar coverage, antiquated equipment and flight controllers with only rudimentary knowledge of English.