Still under the impact of the tragedy occurred last Tuesday (17), TAM addresses the public once again to offer clarifications. TAM rigorously complies with all the technical maintenance and operations specifications of its fleet, guaranteeing its absolute commitment to safety, one of its salient commandments (“More important than the customer is safety.”)
With respect to published news related to the thruster of the Airbus A320 PR-MBK, which carried out flight JJ 3054, the company informs as follows:
1) TAM President Marco Antonio Bologna and Technical Vice-President Ruy Amparo answered questions on this issue during a press conference held on Wednesday, July 18. Therefore, the information that the right thruster of said aircraft was deactivated—a procedure carried out in accordance with the Manuals from the manufacturer, Airbus, and approved by the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC)—was public since the day following the accident (7/18).
2) Modern airplanes, such as the Airbus A320, include in their certifications a great number of redundancies in their basic systems in order to raise their safety and operational efficiency levels.
3) The manuals of the aircraft’s manufacturer (MEL - Minimum Equipment List), approved by French and Brazilian authorities, provide with a high level of specificity the necessary configuration for the aircraft to perform each type of flight safely and absolutely within the expected operational conditions (meteorology and runway).
4) In accordance with the policy of transparency that guides the company’s management, TAM makes available on its websites ( www.tam.com.br and www.taminforma.com.br ) copies of the certified manuals that clearly show the complete legality and safety of a flight performed with a deactivated thruster.
5) Also available on its websites is a copy of the log book that clearly shows, including the signature of the dear Captain Kleyber Lima, the absence of any technical problem that may have affected the operation of the flight on its takeoff from Porto Alegre.
6) It also shows the statement issued by Airbus, the aircraft’s manufacturer, attesting to the normalcy of a flight with one or even two deactivated thrusters.
7) TAM further notes that all landing performance calculations made by the manufacturer and which are used as an operations guide by any airline company for aircraft of the size and technology of the A320 are made depending exclusively on the hydraulic brake system of the plane.
8) The MBK aircraft joined the TAM fleet in 2006, and had 26,320 flight hours. The last line check, or check-A, was performed on June 13, 2007 and the last structural check, or check-C, on November 27, 2006, and was due again in July 2008.
9) The investigations of the accident are under the responsibility of the Aeronautical Command through the National Center for the Investigation of Aeronautical Accidents (CENIPA), which has already sent the “black boxes” (Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder) to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), in Washington D.C., for the reading of the data corresponding to flight JJ 3054.
At present, in addition to lamenting the tragedy, TAM shares the pain of the families and friends of the victims among passengers and its staff. The company reaffirms its formal commitment with the efforts to reduce the painful consequences of the accident, including a strong effort to continuously follow-up on the communications process from the company to the public.