Replaces Defense Minister In Response To TAM Accident
It's not clear why he
chose to go public with this information one week after the worst
airline disaster in Brazil's history... but just after
swearing in a new Minister of Defense Wednesday, Brazilian
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made a public confession: he's
afraid of flying.
"Every time the doors shut on an airplane, I surrender my fate
to God because I'm in the hands of a pilot who is a human being, of
a (flight) controller who says when I can stop and go; and I'm at
the mercy of an ultramodern machine, but a machine nevertheless,
and of the weather, which man is not always able to control," he
The admission came after he swore in after Nelson Jobim as a
replacement for ousted Waldir Pires as defense minister in an
attempt to mend his country's turbulent airways and, perhaps, his
own tarnished image. As ANN reported, a TAM
Airline A320 skidded off a rain-slicked runway at Congonhas airport
in Sao Paulo and crashed into a gas station and terminal, killing
nearly 200 people
Lula ousted Pires in the political fallout from the July 19 TAM
Airways accident. The defense ministry is in charge of air safety,
according to Agence France-Presse.
Brazil's president vowed to do "whatever it takes" to resolve
the nation's aviation crisis, according to the Associated Press
"From now on, it's necessary to do what needs to be done, spend
what needs to be spent, to reassure Brazilian families. The only
thing we can't promise is that there will be no more accidents. But
there will be tranquility," Silva said.
Lula's government has been the target of an increasing amount of
criticism for not having taken action to prevent such
"I'm scared of flying in an airplane. I confess this in public
because it's not shameful to admit we're afraid," Lula said.