Human error behind Brazil crash that killed politician

SAO PAULO (AFP) - The plane crash that claimed the life of Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos last August was the result of a succession of human errors, Estado de Sao Paulo reported Friday.

An air force investigation unearthed no mechanical failures, the paper said in publishing several extracts of the report into the August 13 crash in the southeastern port city of Santos in which all seven on board died.

Campos, 49, was killed just two months before the presidential election in which the socialist candidate had hoped to deprive incumbent Dilma Rousseff of a second term.

After his death, his runningmate, environmentalist Marina Silva, took up the Socialist Party baton.

But after briefly leading opinion polls, she fell away and did not reach the second ballot as Rousseff went on to victory, defeating social democrat Aecio Neves.

A former governor of the northeastern state of Pernambuco seeking to offer a "third" way between the leaders of parties who have monopolised power in Brazil for two decades, Campos had been heading for a campaign event from Rio when his Cessna 560XL jet came down.

Flight captain Marcos Martins had not been trained to fly the aircraft in question and the Estado report indicated there was no evidence he had trained on a flight simulator replicating the plane's controls.

The report also indicated Martins had posted to social media sites in the days preceding the crash that he was "very tired," while his co-pilot, Gerardo Barbosa, asked not to fly alongside him, though ultimately he was on the flight.

Martins aborted the landing in bad weather and on his second attempt, he became disorientated about the aircraft's position.

He apparently engaged full throttle while flying at a 70-degree angle in the apparent belief the plane was climbing.

Investigators examined the plane's turbines found at the crash site and found them to be in good condition with no mechanical failure apparent, Estado reported.

The paper added they also found the poor weather and state of the piste to be "contributing factors" in the accident, while suggesting Martins did not fully follow landing procedures.

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