DoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3656 times:
Tks very much!
Are you aware that last night the Discovery Channel screened a programme on the AF Concorde crash. Quite interesting in that they interviewed a number of people claiming the real reason for the terrible tragedy wasn't revealed, and that the French accident investigation authority was, at times, surprisingly secretive & uncooperative about its findings.
It may be repeated tonight or at a later stage. I found 2 things quite interesting: one was that 2 firemen that had watched the Concorde's take-off roll on that day (the runway that was used passed right next to their station) claimed they observed that one of the engines had caught fire at a fairly early stage, possibly (and I can't remember the exact details) at a point on the runway before the tires hit that piece of metal. The French authority in charge of the accident investigation dismissed their observations as "irrelevant".
The other was that the AF Concorde was apparently very close (~7 metres) to having collided with a company 744 that had just vacated the runway inbound from Tokyo with President Chirac aboard, returning from a summit. (Some of the photographs of the concorde taking-off were taken by a passenger on this flight).
Tuesday 7th October, 21:50
On the 25th July 2000, 113 people died when a Concorde plane crashed after take-off in Paris. The official investigation of the only Concorde crash in history pinpointed the cause as a piece of metal littering the runway, but this programme investigates how this may be only part of the truth.
The victims' relatives were paid unusually high compensation and the search for the real causes behind the disaster remains mysteriously incomplete. According to a former British Concorde head pilot and two colleagues of the French Concorde crew, the Concorde had exceeded its maximum take-off weight by six tons that day, its take-off speed was too slow and it was overburdened by undeclared luggage and extra fuel.
As Concorde goes out of service this month, Concorde: Anatomy of a Disaster explores the actual causes of the tragic accident.
DoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3481 times:
The narrator of the programme stated that Chirac and his wife were aboard the 744 that had just vacated the r/w 26L which the AF concorde was rolling on. Apparently they were returning from a G7 summit in Tokyo. Of course, that's what the programme says, I cannot be sure myself.
Anyway, here is what the programme had to say:
- shortly prior to departure, about 1.2 tonnes worth of extra fuel + about 0.6 tonnes of extra luggage were loaded into the aircraft; this was not accounted for in the crew calculations.
- there was a tailwind that day, and the Captain requested the longest runway (26L); a part of the surface of that runway was in bad condition that day; it was subsequently improved after that day
- the engineer shut down engine #2 without consulting the Captain, and at a speed that was 20kts below the minimum safe engine shutdown speed
- the crew rotated the aircraft at 183-4 knots; for the circumstances, the VR should have been 198 knots.
- during the climb, it is likely that the centre of gravity shifted, and this contributed to the loss of control
- 3 firemen observed that the aicraft was on fire at a point on the runway that came before the location of the piece of metal from the Continental DC-10. However, the BEA claims these observations are 'irrelevant'
- a piece of the undercarriage equipment called a 'spacer' (a mechanism that keeps the wheels in alignment) was missing. After the crash, the missing 'spacer' was found in a hanger at CDG.
So basically, the programme accuses the BEA, the French Govt & Air France of covering up the real cause of this accident.
Captaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 56 Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3407 times:
"That's true, the Chirac on a 747 bit was false"
Are you sure GDB? I don't deny you are the prime source for the Concorde here on airliners.net, but I have seen from numerous other sources that Chirac was in fact on a 747 vacating the runway. What I do not believe at all is that the Concorde came within only 7m from crashing into the 747, that sounds very hard to believe.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12948 posts, RR: 79 Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3333 times:
We heard that the famous photo of F-BTSC on fire was taken from a pax on that 744, which had Chirac on board, but that was strongly denied.
Something like that is fairly easy to check, however it is not really relevant to the accident.
On the other hand, a lot of things denied at the time or soon afterwards have been revisited recently, the full investigation is not over.
For instance, after it was retired, some taxi tests were done on an AF Concorde without the spacer fitted, this was deemed to be irrelevant just two years ago.
The other points above have been known to us for over 2 years, were reported in an article in the Observer in May 2001.
Some BA engineers discovered the missing spacer on the wreck of F-BTSC in December 2000.
More recently, it has emerged that the authorities now suspect that a lump of tyre carcass may not have hit the underside of 5 tank, apparently they think a piece of 'alloy' may have done so, no further explanation of that as yet however.
DoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3250 times:
Thanks for that extra info GDB. I must have missed that Observer article; I have to be honest, I haven't been following the investigation (or what emerges from the investigation in the press) closely, so the details mentioned in the programme were somewhat of a revelation for me personally.
I hope they get to the bottom of this; at the very least, I think the relatives are owed the truth.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12948 posts, RR: 79 Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3188 times:
Here is the article, it is two and a half years old, AF and the BEA have in the past refuted the claims made in it, Capt Hutchinson himself was judged to be 'irrational' by a AF Flight Crew manager when some of this was aired on a Channel 4 programme in August 2001.