Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>TAM</span>

Tam, a Letter of Remembrance

Dear Tam Families,
On this day, 7/17/17, I just reread the transcript of TAM flight JJ-3054. I never knew those people aboard that plane, but I knew their families. I remember the families of these lost passengers. I remember your heartbreak and your loss. Ten years have passed. I hope you have had ten years of healing.

On this day, 7/17/2007, TAM flight JJ-3054 flew into history, taking with it all 187 passengers and crew, and twelve people on the ground. Tonight, I wanted to be that good friend who remembers the date, but not the pain. I was there with you, and I remember you were towers of strength, getting through the hardest time of all. What I hope is that time has healed your wounds, and that you can remember the music and joy that filled your loved ones lives. Remember the good things. The love. The laughter. The connection. May you continue to carry with you all the good memories. I share my heartfelt condolences to all the families. I was there with you, then. I am with you now in spirit. I will never forget.

TAM Airlines Plane Makes Emergency Landing due to Bird Strike

TAMTAM Airlines flight JJ-3548 made an emergency landing at Sao Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil, on May 20th.

The Airbus A321-200 plane, heading to Recife, Brazil, had to return after the crew reported a bird strike.

The plane landed uneventfully. All the passengers and crew members remained safe.

TAM Airlines Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Brazil

TAMTAM Airlines flight JJ-3289 had to return and make an emergency landing at Sao Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil, on April 26th.

The Airbus A321-200 plane took off for Porto Alegre, Brazil, but had to return shortly afterwards after its right hand engine ingested a bird.

The plane landed uneventfully. There were 211 people aboard at the time; all of them remained safe.

The airline arranged a replacement plane for the passengers.

TAM Linhas Aereas Plane Returns to Salvador after Bird Strike

TAMTAM Linhas Aereas flight JJ-3517 had to return and make an emergency landing at Deputado Luis Eduardo Magalhaes International Airport, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil on April 1st.

The Airbus A321-200, en-route from Salvador to Brasilia, was climbing out of runway when one of the plane’s engines ingested a bird, prompting the plane to return.

The plane landed safely.

All 108 passengers onboard remained unharmed.

Jan 18: TAM Airbus Emergency was Slow Suffocation

Image of A320 Interior
Image of A320 Interior
On January 18, 2016, a TAM Linhas Aereas Airbus A320-200 was on a scheduled flight from Brasilia to Aracaju Brazil when the pilots decided to return to Brasilia. They made a safe landing and were in the air ten minutes short of an hour. Incident investigations always take time. So it was a couple weeks later, on Feb 5th when the BEA reported this notice. (Note that the BEA is Le Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation, France’s Governmental aviation authority.) The BEA reported Brazil’s CENIPA notice why the pilots decided to return.

The Airbus was climbing. Cabin crew told the flight crew that passengers and cabin crew were suffering from significant hypoxia. Hypoxia means inadequate oxygenation of the blood, or deficiency in the amount of oxygen delivered to the body tissues. Web MD says this about hypoxia:

“When your body doesn’t have enough oxygen, you could get hypoxemia or hypoxia. These are dangerous conditions. Without oxygen, your brain, liver, and other organs can be damaged just minutes after symptoms start.”

“Hypoxemia (low oxygen in your blood) can cause hypoxia (low oxygen in your tissues) when your blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen to your tissues to meet your body’s needs. The word hypoxia is sometimes used to describe both problems. Symptoms can vary from person to person, the most common hypoxia symptoms are Changes in the color of your skin, ranging from blue to cherry red, Confusion,Cough, Fast heart rate, Rapid breathing, Shortness of breath, Sweating, Wheezing. If you have symptoms of hypoxia, call 911.”

On the Tam flight in question, the flight crew manually released the passenger oxygen masks. After returning to Brasilia, the incident was rated serious. CENIPA is investigating. CENIPA’s acronym is in Portuguese: Centro de Investigação e Prevenção de Acidentes Aeronáuticos. CENIPA is a unit of the Brazilian Air Force that investigates aviation accidents and incidents in Brazil.

The flight under investigation was JJ-3538 flown by the Airbus registered as #PR-MAA on a standard flight from Brasilia,DF to Aracaju, SE in Brazil.

Brazil investigates incident
BEA reports on BEA2016-0061
Serious incident, Brasilia Federal District, on 18 January 2016, AIRBUS – A320, PR-MAA; click to enlarge image

TAM Airlines Plane Returns to Madrid Over Bomb Threat

TAMTAM Airlines flight JJ8065 had to return and make an emergency landing at Barajas International Airport in Madrid, Spain, on December 15.

The Boeing 777 took off for Sao Paulo, Brazil, but had to return shortly afterwards due to a bomb threat.

The plane landed uneventfully. Everyone aboard remained safe.

TAM Airlines Changed Flight Number after Clairvoyant Predicted Plane Crash

TAMTAM airlines changed the number of flight JJ3720 after a renowned clairvoyant Jucelino Nobrega da Luz predicted that a plane having this number would crash.

Jucelino Nobrega da Luz told the officials that flight JJ3720, scheduled to take off from Sao Paulo to Brasilia on Wednesday, would crash on the main Paulista drag of Sao Paulo due to engine problems. He says he had also predicted the deaths of Brazilian racer Ayrton Senna and Princess Diana.

TAM airlines authorities considered it an “indispensable information”, and changed the flight number to JJ4732.

Tam Runs into Wild Winds

A TAM Linhas Aereas Airbus A330-200 was en route from Madrid to Sao Paulo when the flight sustained an episode of turbulence.

A dozen passengers were injured, and the members of the flight crew. They were hospitalized when the pilots diverted to Fortaleza. One person had a fractured spine.

A replacement flight was provided for passengers from Fortaleza to Sao Paulo Guarulhos. There were 168 passengers and 16 crew.

Tam Emergency Landing

On July 1, 2013, a TAM Linhas Aereas Airbus A320 en route from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro with 153 aboard made a landing at Rio.

While navigating the runway, the plane ran off the runway and became mired.

The Airbus A320-200 landed on Rio de Janeiro Galeao Airport’s runway 28 and veered off the runway.

An investigation is underway. No injuries were reported.

TAM Airbus Birdstrike over São Luis

photographer Charin de Silva

On Feb 21, 2013, a TAM Linhas Aéreas Airbus A319 en route from São Luis-Marechal Cunha Machado Airport to Brasilia suffered a bird strike.

Pilots returned to São Luis Airport where they made a safe landing.

The plane was taken out of service for repairs and maintenance.

Passengers reported they were terrified when they heard a huge bang from one of the engines.

The incident is under investigation by Centro de Investigação e Prevenção de Acidentes Aeronáuticos (Cenipa).

Tam Airbus Suffers Bird Strike

What: TAM Linhas Aéreas Airbus A320-214
Where: Afonso Pena Airport, Brazil
When: Dec 13, 2012
Who: 152 aboard, no fatalities
Why: On takeoff, the plane suffered a bird strike.

Pilots returned to Afonso Pena Airport in the Curitiba Metropolitan Region and made a safe landing.

Passengers disembarked safely and were provided an alternative flight.

TAM 2012

Let me give you a little history. On July 17 2007, five years ago, a Tam Airbus failed its landing at São Paulo’s Congonhas airport and stole a hundred and ninety-nine lives. There were 199 families crushed by this disaster, families crushed but not broken; who were shattered, but not weakened; who were reduced in number but not heart. They were typical families—just mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. One day they had been just like you and me, going about their daily lives and then on July 17, 2007, their lives were permanently disrupted.  They were ordinary families, and they responded in a way that plane crash victim’s families sometimes do, and that is join a group. Something in the chemistry of the group made them extraordinary.  Where alone, they were shattered, together, they were mended; where they were once weakened, together they were powerful. They bonded with each other. It is not that these bonds in any way replaced those who were lost.  It is simply that their complex shared feelings of loss, grief and anger united them, made them siblings in a kindred battle; recalibrated their lives; recast them in new roles that would allow them to band together to form a fellowship of righteousness. Their kinship was born of innocent blood spilled by carelessness and negligence gave them the right and responsibility and ability to fight carelessness and negligence in aviation. The alliance gave…gives them strength to reform —and keep reforming—aviation in Brazil.

In 2007, I interviewed the families of Tam Flight 3054, came to know all of them. I did more than hear and document their stories and learn their pain. I came to know and respect them as individuals. Their case in court ultimately triumphed; but they did not rest on their laurels.  My experience with Tam Flight 3054 was how I cam to know the group. ABRAPAVAA has continued to fight for the victims of air accidents. I have never lost contact with them.

So, although I am currently abroad working on the case of a crash that occurred off the southern coast of Africa, I was not surprised to find an email from the president of ABRAPAVAA. Sandra, President of the Brazilian Association of Relatives and Friends of Victims of Air Accidents herself lost her husband in a 1994 accident that killed 99.

The Brazilian group continues to be a watchdog over Brazilian aviation.  Sandra wrote me over a matter of concern that Tam is again putting passengers at risk. Tam and Chile’s LAN Airlines merged to form LATAM Airlines Group; TAM Linhas Aéreas completed the merger on June 22. The merger forms the largest airline in Brazil. Though it is under new ownership, it seems to be repeating an old story of poor maintenance. 

ABRAPAVAA is worried about the lack of maintenance, the risk that passengers are exposed to on every flight (lack of maintenance, ongoing unrepaired vibration problems, casual rather than immediate repairs of bird strike damage) and what makes this worse is that many of these problems are not officially reported but merely passed on word of mouth. When the flight crew just mentions problems to the mechanics, where is the paper trail? Where are the checks? Where are the failsafes? 

ABRAPAVAA fears that ignoring LATAM problems will lead to more fatal events. They wish to be proactive and find a way to get ANAC (Brazils oversight agency) to be on the alert, and monitor LATAM’s critical maintenance situations, but ANAC seems to be closing their eyes to the whole issue.  

To take no initiative will result in loss of life. What can be done?  That is a good question.

2012: Tam (Português)

Mais uma vez estamos em meados de julho. Inevitavelmente, em meados de julho, meus pensamentos se voltam ao voo 3054 da TAM. Em 17 e julho de 2007, cinco anos atrás, um Airbus da TAM não conseguiu aterrissar no Aeroporto de Congonhas, em São Paulo, e tomou-nos cento e noventa e seis vidas. O número de vidas perdidas sempre ultrapassa o número daqueles que morreram. Cada um dos 199 que pereceram tinha família, e cada família afetou inúmeras outras pessoas de forma exponencial. Pude conhecer a maioria das famílias e amei-as todas. Aprendi com elas, em especial com sua força diante das adversidades. Também penso em como o acidente me transformou, em como aprendi com as famílias que ficaram para trás, a me recompor e a seguir em frente.

Nesse dia, quero recordar essas famílias, sua graça e seus entes perdidos. Não podemos esquecer que, com seu passamento, ficou um buraco no mundo.

Espero que as famílias – meus gratos amigos – tenham preenchido e superabundado o vazio em suas vidas com algo mais. Cinco anos de vida. Espero que tenham conseguido encher esses últimos cinco anos com uma vida bem vivida. O que isso significa? Uma vida vivida em plenitude. É o que há de bom, de mau, e tudo o que existe no meio disso. Espero que essa vida bem vivida tenha preenchido as trevas com luz, e enchido o vazio com boas lembranças, cada uma digna de ser revivida, como as páginas de um bom livro.

Cada um de nós é como uma harpa com muitas cordas, sendo que cada corda e tangida por lembranças que tocam uma ou muitas notas. As cordas de nossas vidas se estendem do passado ao futuro, acordes distantes jamais vistos ou conhecidos. Cada dia nos traz acordes com novas e inéditas notas. Deixemos de lado todo arrependimento e regozijemo-nos na harmonia de nossas histórias e de nossos amanhãs. É o todo dessas notas que forma a música de nossas vidas.

Espero que, ao preencher esse vazio com nova vida, meus amigos, agora sem dor, possam lançar a rede no passado. Espero que tenham aprendido a aceitar as flores que desabrocham no inverno. Lembranças devem ser acalentadas, sendo cada qual uma joia em si mesma. Lembranças são presentes eternos de alegria que não podem ser jamais perdidos. E, assim como podemos recordar a pungente alegria de uma rosa de verão que desabrocha no inverno, podemos recordar nossos entes queridos em julho. Eu não sorrio porque esqueci, eu sorrio porque eu lembro.

2012: Tam Remembered

It is again mid July. Inevitably, in mid July, my thoughts turn toward Tam 3054. On July 17 2007, five years ago, a Tam Airbus failed its landing at São Paulo’s Congonhas airport and stole a hundred and ninety-nine lives. The casualties always number greater than those who died. Each of the 199 touched had families; and each family exponentially touches countless others. I came to know each of the families, and I loved them. I learned from them, especially from their strength in the face of adversity. What I think of too, is how that accident changed me, how I learned from the families left behind to pick up the pieces and move on.

On this day, I want to remember these families, their grace, and their lost loved ones. We cannot forget that in their passing, a hole was left in the world.

I hope that the families—my well remembered friends—have overflowed the holes in their lives with something else. Five years of life. I hope they have taken the opportunity to fill to capacity these last five years with a life well lived. What does that mean? A life lived to the fullest. It’s the good and bad and everything in between. I hope that this well-lived life has lit their dark spaces with light, and packed the emptiness with new memories, each to be revisited, like the pages of a beloved book.

We are all each a harp of many strings, each string struck by memories that play one and many notes. The threads of our lives stretch from the past to future, distant anchors never seen and never known. Each day brings us a chorus of new, and distinct notes. Let us lose all regret, and only joy in the harmony of our histories and our tomorrows. It is the wholeness of these notes that is the music of our lives.

I hope that in filling the hole with new life, that my friends can now painlessly cast the net into their past. I hope they have learned to embrace the roses in December. Memories are for us to cherish, each one a forever jewel in itself. Memories are a constant gift of joy that is never lost; and as we can remember with poignant joy the roses of summer in December, we can remember our lost loved ones in July. I do not smile because I have forgotten. I smile because I remember.

Psychotic Attacks Pilot Aboard Tam Flight

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Leandro Luiz Pilch

What: TAM Linhas Aereas Airbus A320-200 en route from Montevideo to Sao Paulo
Where: Porto Alegre
When: Feb 11th 2012
Who: 1 unruly passenger
Why: A Tam airbus was en route when a passenger intruded into the cockpit. The pilot yelled for help, and the plane veered sharply to the right. The cockpit door was open. Some reports of the incident mention that the passenger had a TAM badge. (Some Uraguan accounts say the individual was flying in the cockpit on a jumpseat.)

We don’t have a firsthand account, but secondary sources say a couple of stewardesses dragged the intruder out of the cockpit by his feet, then “The people quickly jumped on top of him, the guy fought back furiously, biting and hurting a half dozen people…in a kind of collective action they were able to immobilize him, tying him to a seat.”

Passengers talked about the incident feeling like a September 911 film.

The pilot diverted to Porto Alegre and made a safe landing. A number of passengers and possibly the two flight attendants were injured in the altercation. The passenger was taken into police custody, and he was incarcerated in the psychiatric ward of a local hospital for having suffered a “psychotic episode.”

The flight reached Sao Paulo nearly three hours late.

TAM False Start, Engine Shuts Down, Paris Return

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

What: TAM Linhas Aereas Airbus A330-200, en route from Paris to Rio de Janeiro
Where: Paris
When: Jan 24th 2012
Who: 160 passengers
Why: On takeoff, the plane developed a problem. The right engine was shut down. After suffering what sounded like a backfire to passengers, the captain announced they would be returning.

The flight crew then dumped fuel (apparently in the English Channel) and returned to the airport. Passengers were provided accommodations and were rescheduled.

Tam Airbus Diverts to Miami

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Paul Guinea

What: TAM Linhas Aereas Airbus A330-200 en route from Orlando,FL to Sao Paulo Brazil
Where: Miami
When: July 19th 2011
Why: While en route, the odor of smoke was detected.

The crew diverted the flight to Miami where they made a safe landing less than half an hour after smoke was detected.

Seven hours later, hopefully after a good inspection, the flight continued to Sao Paulo.


Estamos em meados de julho e meus pensamentos se voltam para o voo 3054 da TAM. Dia
17 teremos o aniversário da tragédia. A tragédia ocorreu em 2007, já há quatro anos, quando o Airbus teve problemas ao tentar pousar no Aeroporto de Congonhas em São Paulo. Como
pode já haver passado quatro anos? Porem o tempo passa. Foram quatro anos desde que as condições de tempo, a pista de pouso mal conservada e um dos reversos inoperante , que associados, acabaram por causar o pior desfecho possível, ceifando 199 vidas. É claro que o número de vítimas vai muito além, pois cada vida perdida levou tambem sua respectiva família junto, mudando-as de forma permanente, deixando-as órfãs.

Quando vivenciamos a perda de entes queridos, feriados tornam-se verdadeiros pesadelos, substituindo cada celebração por dor e sofrimento. Esperamos que, para todas as
famílias, estes quatro anos possam ter aliviado a comoção original. Felizmente, as famílias
uniram-se e apoiaram-se mutuamente, permitindo que os sentimentos fossem expressos e
abrandados. Em alguns dias, como nos aniversários e feriados, sentiremos suas presenças ou
perda com maior intensidade. Tentaremos todos nos alegrar com suas memórias.
Alguns familiares e amigos reunir-se-ão para marcar a data. Outros não. Alguns optarão por não lembrar a data de sua perda. Após passarem-se quatro anos para que a dor inicial arrefeça-se, aqueles que ficaram terão lutado para voltar à normalidade e, a essa altura, já terão construído novas rotinas e novas formas de enfrentar os dias e noites. Eles seguem em frente, mas já não são os mesmos. E querendo ou não, reunindo-se, eles se lembram.
Eles não lembrarão o avião ou suas eventuais falhas mecânicas, a empresa aérea ou o aeroporto. Eles recordarão seus entes queridos, cuja ausência deixou um vazio em suas vidas.

Essas são famílias visitadas por fantasmas. Elas vêm fantasmas em suas cadeiras vazias, em suas salas vazias, no assento do carona vazio, no banco do motorista vazio. Ouvem murmúrios de palavras que não foram ditas. Se tiverem sorte, vêm o rosto de seus amados em estranhos.
Um rosto que se volta, o formato da parte posterior de uma cabeça. Vislumbres pungentes
quando eventualmente o coração se alegra por um instante e então reconhece… não, não é você.
As memórias perduram. Como rosas de verão durante um inverno, elas estão sempre conosco.
Pedacinhos de memórias ficam conosco em nossos bolsos, como conchas que encontramos
na praia, tesouros para serem guardados e apreciados. Temos sorte por termos isto.
Mas temos mais do que isso. As pessoas que amamos são parte de nós. Assim como parte de
nós se foi com eles, parte deles vive em cada um de nós.

Remembering Tam 3054

In mid July, my thoughts turn toward Tam 3054. The anniversary of the crash is on the 17th. The tragedy happened in 2007, four years ago that the Airbus failed its landing at São Paulo’s Congonhas airport. How can it be four years already? But time passes. Four years since the weather, the ill-prepared runway, and the inactivated-reverser converged into the worst case scenario that stole a hundred and ninety-nine lives. Of course the number of casualties is greater than that, because each of those lost lives took down their families with them, leaving them forever changed. Leaving them.

When you have lost loved ones, holidays can become a nightmare, replacing celebration by grief and loss, magnifying sadness and pain. We can hope for the families that four years have muffled that initial response. Hopefully the families have been kind to themselves and allowed their feelings to express and ease. Some days —birthdays, holidays— we feel their presence or their loss more deeply. Let us all try to rejoice in the remembrance.

Some family and friends will be gathering to remember. Some will not. Some will have chosen not to memorialize the date of the loss. After four years for the first pain to disperse, those who remain will have fought to regain normalcy, and by now will have found new routines, new ways of facing the day and the night. They continue; but they are changed. And whether or not they gather, they remember.

They won’t be remembering the plane and its fatal flaws, the airline, or the airport. They’ll be remembering the loved ones whose absence has left a vacuum in their lives. These are families visited by ghosts. They see ghosts in their empty chairs, empty rooms, the empty passenger seat, the empty driver’s seat. They hear whispers of words not spoken. If they are lucky, they see the face of their loved ones in strangers. The turn of a profile, the shape of the back of a head. Poignant glimpses where the heart rejoices for an instant, then recognizes…no, it’s not you.

Memories remain. Like summer roses in December, they are always with us. Tidbits of memories are tucked into our pockets like bits of shell found at the seashore, treasures to be taken out and examined. We are lucky that way.
But we have more than that. The people we love are part of us. Just as part of us died with them, part of them lives on in us.

Boeing, TAM Complete Contract for Two 777-300ERs

TAM 777-300ER fleet will now consist of 12

SEATTLE, Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing and TAM Linhas Aereas today announced the Brazilian carrier ordered two additional 777-300ERs (extended range) with two purchase rights. Today’s order, valued at approximately $568 million at current list prices, brings the total number of 777s TAM has on order to 12.

“TAM continues to position itself as one of the world’s leading airlines,” said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales & Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are pleased TAM continues to choose Boeing’s 777-300ER for its long-haul fleet needs and look forward to working together with TAM as they grow their international network.”

The Boeing 777 is the market leader in the 300 to 400 seat market. It is the world’s most successful twin-engine, long-haul airplane.

“These additional airplanes will help us expand our long-haul service capability to meet the growing market demand in Brazil and beyond,” said Marco Antonio Bologna, chief executive officer, TAM Holdings.

The 777 delivers exceptional value to the airlines that fly it and is consistently ranked at the top of operator and investor polls.

“The Brazilian aviation market continues to grow at a rapid pace. The 777-300ER provides us the performance and versatility we need to develop our network competitively and capitalize on robust international traffic growth,” added Libano Barroso, chief executive officer, TAM Airlines.

The Boeing 777-300ER is 19 percent lighter than its closest competitor. It produces 22 percent less carbon dioxide per seat and costs 20 percent less to operate per seat. The airplane can seat up to 365 passengers in a three-class configuration and has a maximum range of 7,930 nautical miles (14,685 km).

Sao Jose do Rio: Tam Hits the Fence

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer BravoAlpha

What: TAM Linhas Aereas Airbus A319-100 from Sao Paulo to Sao Jose do Rio
Where: Sao Jose do Rio
When: Aug 5th 2010
Who: 137 people on board,
Why: Before touching down, the crew reported technical problems. A hundred meters before the runway threshold, they landed onto grass, damaged a perimeter fence, and had a flat, but managed to taxi to the gate. There were no injuries. An alternate plane will be provided for the next leg of the journey.

Traffic: Congonhas

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Lorenzo Costa

What: TAM Linhas Aereas Airbus A320-200 en route from Brasilia to Sao Paulo
Where: Sao Paulo
When: June 24 2010
Who: 171 people on board
Why: On approach to Congonhas, the pilot was notified of a flight leaving Congonhas, and had to maneuver according to ATC direction, then continued on to land at Congonhas. Meanwhile, one of the flight attendants landed on a passenger. No one was injured in either event.

The plane causing the evasive maneuver was an Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante.

Tam Hydraulics Failure over Sao Paulo

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Matthew I. Smith

What: TAM Linhas Aereas Airbus A330-200 en route from Sao Paulo Brazil to Buenos Aires Argentina
Where: Sao Paulo
When: Dec 1st 2009
Who: 169 passengers
Why: After takeoff, the plane experienced hydraulics failure. The crew decided to return to the airport. The Airbus landed safely, although it had to be towed from runway 09L.

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