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How Safe Were The Concordes?  
User currently offlineCaptjetblast From Argentina, joined Aug 2001, 281 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4584 times:

Air safety is measured in terms of statistics. It's been told that the Concorde was one of the safest plane, but no doubt it didn't fly as often as many other types of aircrafts.

The ratio sucessfull flights / accidents gives any type of aircraft a nice reputation, what about Concordes?



31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4559 times:

Perfect record - apart from a bit of debris left on the runway by another carrier!




Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4510 times:

I imagine 'statistically' it was the UNsafest aircraft ever built...(in total hull loss over production or deaths per thousand carried).

But then..that's statistics.

Aircraft hit debris daily on runways..it's unavoidable. Shame on the designers to skimp on such think skin in a sensitive area where tires or other schrapnel could propel into a fuel tank.


User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4486 times:

In terms of statistics, Concorde was not one of the safest planes -- quite the opposite.

http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/rate_mod.htm

That said, I would have had no more hesitation boarding one than any other commercial aircraft. Fatal events are so uncommon and so unlikely and almost always the result of a complex chain of unpredictable events. The chances of one affecting you personally are slim to say the least. Plus, Concorde has/had the virtue of truly top-flight flight crews, maintenance programs and personnel.



New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineSccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5618 posts, RR: 28
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4466 times:

Perfect record - apart from a bit of debris left on the runway by another carrier!

Concorde was (and still is) a technological masterpiece, and the successful operation of the aircraft in revenue service by BA and AF (and Braniff International) is a testament to the aircrafts generally good design.

But to attribute the AF crash to "runway debris" is nonsense.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 4416 times:

Have a word, if you can, with Mike Bannister about the incident, and the recovery.




Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineSetjet From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 4416 times:

How come you are asking how safe the Concorde WAS when there is still one flying at that moment?

User currently offlineGoldenTale737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 4366 times:

Username: Carduelis:....and I quote:

"Perfect record - apart from a bit of debris left on the runway by another carrier!"


Well, at least you know your English. Congrats on getting through that sentence without a grammatical nightmare. On a side note -- The Concorde does not and never will have a perfect record. You need to say that over and over. There was a design flaw in the airplane.....There was a design flaw in the airplane.

I don't care what kind of crap was littered on the runway, that accident should never have happened. Let me ask you something. What kind of things were done after the acciedent to get Concorde back into the air? Did they redesign all OTHER airplanes to ensure that parts NEVER fall off??? or did they make, in part, the fuel tanks in the wings of the Concorde a little less vulnerable?

I understand that you are passionate about your Condorde, but come on. Why blame the other guy? Please tell me you don't see this as entirely someone else's fault?

Sheesh...




User currently offlineFritzi From United Arab Emirates, joined Jun 2001, 2762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 4321 times:

"Why blame the other guy?"


Because if "the other guy" hadn't forgotten something on the rwy, then nothing would have penetrated the fuel tank...


User currently offlinePositive rate From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 2143 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 4310 times:

Considering Concorde's fuel tanks were so vulnerable it's surprising the Air France type crash didn't occur years before it did. It had to happen sooner or later with tanks that thin.

User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12898 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4244 times:
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Well IMHO, in terms of safety, it was a bit of a nightmare. The AF crash was not the first time a burst tyre punctured the wing. Bits were always falling off - especially round the tail and rudder if I'm not mistaken. That there was only one fatal crash is probably down to luck as much as judgment.

It was though, the only plane that absolutely 'forced' people to watch it as it flew overhead.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana! #44cHAMpion
User currently offlineAirxliban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4518 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4218 times:

concorde was very safe, you would not have crashed on it unless you happened to be on that one flight.

anyway, we need to cut it some slack. its the only supersonic passenger jet in the world and her initial design stages started in the 1950's!! its an amazing piece of work.




PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 4129 times:

you would not have crashed on it unless you happened to be on that one flight

That couldnt be further from the truth  Sad

As much as I love Concorde, she was (in her past state) one enormous disaster waiting for a time to happen.... and that time was July 25, 2000


Have a look at F-BVFC's wing* in 1979, two decades before the crash:



Two tires blew into the wing and tore it, it's hydraulic lines, and its circuitry to shreds. Fuel streamed out in gushes... only by the grace of God did the wires/thrust not ignite it, and bring about the end of supersonic flight twentyfour years before its time  Sad


*photo courtesy of www.ConcordeSST.com


User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 13, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 4126 times:

Concorde burst tyre. From 1976 to 2000.

AIR FRANCE :

F-BVFB : 6 : 02/15/76, 09/23/79, 06/30/82, 08/04/82, 05/09/83, 05/18/86
F-BVFA : 4 : 07/22/77, 12/10/78, 12/12/78, 08/14/90
F-BVFC : 6 : 02/04/79, 03/15/79, 06/02/79, 06/14/79, 07/16/80, 07/28/93
F-BVFD : 2 : 07/21/79, 10/31/79
F-BVFF : 6 : 07/13/81, 02/20/85, 09/04/92, 01/16/93, 07/22/98, 01/22/00
F-BTSD : 3 : 02/19/81, 09/10/87, 04/10/88
F-BTSC : 3 : 09/19/82, 03/27/92, 07/25/00

BRITISH AIRWAYS :

G-BOAA : 2 : 10/06/79, 08/14/84
G-BOAB : 5 : 12/21/79, 11/15/85, 10/27/93, 07/21/95, 07/14/00
G-BOAD : 4 : 08/02/78, 02/05/80, 09/20/81, 07/11/84
G-BOAF : 5 : 09/16/80, 04/30/82, 01/29/88, 07/15/93,
G-BOAG : 2 : 08/09/81, 02/13/92
G-BOAC : 4 : 12/14/81, 03/08/84, 08/11/87, 03/09/88
G-BOAE : 5 : 12/26/81, 04/29/84, 02/27/85, 11/14/85, 08/28/98

These are facts. Explosion and destruction of one (or more) tyre(s) on Concorde during Take off or Landing.


User currently offlineCaptjetblast From Argentina, joined Aug 2001, 281 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 4065 times:

So, FLYSCC, the danger was not only potential but also a fact. 50+ tyre burst-related incidents in a 24 years interval for the same type of aircraft.

It doesn't sound quite safe!

What about other types of aircraft?



User currently offlineVS340 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 4020 times:

Perfect record - apart from a bit of debris left on the runway by another carrier!

Fair enough, if they hadn't run over that piece of metal then they wouldn't have crashed.

However if the wing hadn't been so susceptible damage, as it was, then they wouldn't have crashed.

And if AF maintenance had properly installed the seperator in the left main landing gear after the last maintenance check, then the aircraft wouldn't have so easily veered off the runway causing an abnormally slow take off which thus caused the aircraft to become extremely difficult to control. If this hadn't happened then they probably wouldn't have crashed.

And if the ground crews had properly loaded the plane and not overloaded it like they had, then you wouldn't have a second factor contributing to the abnormally slow takeoff, and then the plane probably wouldnt have crashed.

And if the flight engineer hadn't shut down the number 2 engine then they may have had enough power to pull out and they probably wouldn't have crashed.

There were numerous factors that led to the crash of F-BTSC. The piece of metal that came off of the CO DC-10 was simply "the straw that broke the camels back". This was an accident waiting to happen and AF is as much to blame for this as CO is for leaving the piece of metal on the runway and Aerospatiale's design flaw in the wing.

The Full BEA accident investigation report can be viewed at
http://www.bea-fr.org/docspa/2000/f-sc000725a/pdf/f-sc000725a.pdf


User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 4018 times:

Tyres have always been a problem for Concorde, from the very begening, especially because of the high speed of Concorde during the T-O roll (most of the incident occured during T-O ) AF and BA changed the manufacturer of Concorde tyres during the 80's from Dunlop to GoodYear but the problem was never really solved until 2001 after AF crash, with the new Michelin NZG tyre.

All aircraft burst typres. It is true that it was something more frequent on Concorde, but no one could imagine that it could have these terrible consequencies on F-BTSC in July 2000, even if a similar incident occured in IAD in 1979, on Air France F-BVFC.


User currently offlineCapital146 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 2125 posts, RR: 43
Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 3966 times:

Concorde went 24 years in SUPERSONIC passenger service before it suffered its first, and only, tragic fatal accident.

There were many factors in its only fatal crash and these were by no means solely down to some sort of 'design fault' of the aircraft.

So it didn't fly as many cycles as most commercial aircraft, SO WHAT!

This aircraft was designed, tested and safely flew over 100,000 supersonic hours in BA service alone! No other airliner can claim that!

So on its final day of commercial service, PLEASE let us salute Concorde for the immense technical achievement that it is rather than picking faults with it.



Like a fine wine, one gets better with age.
User currently offlineB2707SST From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 1371 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 3895 times:

I wouldn't say Concorde was ever "unsafe," but as ConcordeBoy points out, the tire issue was a serious design flaw not truly corrected until after AF4590. Pictures such as the one above show that a frightening degree of damage could be and was inflicted by bursting tires, and it's a little disconcerting if the good people at BAe and Aerospatiale could not imagine a major incident resulting from such damage. Continental was negligent with their faulty repair work, but past tire busts showed that Concorde didn't need runway debris to get into trouble. All aircraft, especially one so revolutionary, have design problems; it's just that this particular problem should have been fixed years before the crash.

Despite the highly inaccurate and sensationalistic Discovery "Anatomy of a Disaster" program, which apparently did not consider that simultaneous loss of two engines on one side of the aircraft could case a yaw, the official report concluded the spacer absence and slightly overweight takeoff condition did not materially affect the results of the accident. The report states "In theory, the absence of the spacer could have instigated an asymmetrical trajectory, tyre overheating, and slower acceleration than normal. Study of the marks on the runway as well as calculations of the trajectory and accleration made on the basis of the data from the flight recorders show that this was not the case" (1.18.2.5). Several evidentiary facts are presented, including that the aircraft stayed on the runway centerline until after the tire burst and thrust loss. Absence of the spacer constituted negligence on the part of AF maintenance, but it did not contribute to the crash.

At maximum gross weight (408,000 lbs.), V1=139-162 kt (150 kt was selected), Vr=199 kt, and V2=220 kt. The report found that "For all these values, the influence of an increase in weight of one ton was examined and found to be negligible." In any case, Vzrc with two engines out and gear extended was more than 300 knots; with three good engines, it was 205 kts. Given the condition of the aircraft, with one failed engine and one intermittant engine and the gear stuck down, there was no way stable flight could have been maintained.

They key factors were loss of thrust due to FOD and hot gas ingestion and damage to control surfaces and airframe components due to fire. Even if engine two had not been shut down, the aircraft probably would have been lost because it become uncontrollable.

--B2707SST



Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.
User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 19, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 3881 times:

I've been flying Concorde for years until July 25th 2000.
My last flight on duty on Concorde was AF001 JFK-CDG on F-BTSC, on July 22nd 2000.
On July 25th 2000 I greet the Crew of F-BTSC leaving AF Building to go to prepare the plane for their flight. Of course I knew all of them (we were only 90 Flight Attendant to work on Concorde).Some of them were good friends.

Concorde is a passion. I love Concorde more than anybody else on this forum. Concorde brought me the biggest happiness and pride in my career, but also the biggest sorrow and pain.

But my love is not blind. And it is not insulting anybody to say that Concorde was not perfect, and always had recurrent problems with tyres, and engines, though Concorde was a safe plane.

Concerning the Concorde crash, please, stop with all these insane rumors, hidden proof, delirious scenarii, putting the blame on this, or that, just because it seems too simple that a piece a metal, lost by a DC10 could cause such a disaster.


User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 3824 times:

a piece a metal, lost by a DC10 could cause such a disaster

...when combined with: a tailwind, missing spacer, roughly paved runway, premature/drifting rotation, and a plane nearly 2tons overweight attempting to climb out on three engines while a fire is melting its airfoil-- of course  Big grin


User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 21, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 3765 times:



- Roughly paved runway ??? : Where did you get that !? Hey, I know we are the "old Europe" but CDG is one of the busiest airport in the world and its runways are certainly in better conditions than many "BIG" US hubs ...

All the rest are exactly the kind of "sensational" but also insane and defamatory arguments people just keep on mentioning all the time, without bringing up any new proof...

Just like the "missile" that destroyed TWA B747, or the "assassination" of this poor Lady Diana...


User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 3709 times:

Roughly paved runway ??? : Where did you get that !?

just found it interesting how 26R was initially labled as not in need of resurfacing... only to be promptly resurfaced once the first two (unofficial) independent releases claiming that the tire blew before FOD contact were released  Big grin



its runways are certainly in better conditions than many "BIG" US hubs

why said they weren't?



insane and defamatory arguments people just keep on mentioning all the time

...all of which also happen to be in BEA's final report  Laugh out loud





User currently offlineVS340 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 3676 times:

Concerning the Concorde crash, please, stop with all these insane rumors, hidden proof, delirious scenarii, putting the blame on this, or that, just because it seems too simple that a piece a metal, lost by a DC10 could cause such a disaster

As with most all accidents there are a number of factors that lead up to the end result. Accidents are rarely the result of a single incident, but rather the result of numerous incidents falling into a chain of events which eventually lead up to the catastrophic final one. It is foolish to believe that a single incident was the one and only reason for the demise of an aircraft. All parties responsible for any occurence relating to a final catastrophic incident, no matter how minor they may seem, must be investigated, and those who, in some way, contributed, must be held responsible. Wether the accident results from several poor decisions by FO's, to shotty maintenance practices or any number of other possiblities, you would be hard pressed to find any accident that didn't involve more than one mistake being made. Concorde was no different.


User currently offlineVS340 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 3654 times:

FLYSSC,

In defense of ConcordeBoy's statement, I refer you to my earlier post where i placed a link to the BEA report which mentioned all of these findings in its investigation. If you don't feel like going back to look, here it is again.

http://www.bea-fr.org/docspa/2000/f-sc000725a/pdf/f-sc000725a.pdf

Before you continue to label people's comments as "sensational", "Insane", "Defamatory", and "without proof", you should consider reading the "Proof"


25 ConcordeBoy : precisely VS340... very well said!
26 FLYSSC : VS340, I agree completely you position. Of Course ALL accidents are the results of numerous incidents, or coincidences, call them whatever you want. O
27 Post contains images ConcordeBoy : even with 3 engines... Actually, it was akin to having only 2 in operation... as superheated air continually stalled #1 until the rollover with what t
28 Chrisdigo : VS340: Before you continue to label people's comments as "sensational", "Insane", "Defamatory", and "without proof", you should consider reading the "
29 VS340 : First of all I never once said that the accident WOULD have been prevented i said it Probably MAY have been prevented, after the initial tyre burst, h
30 Qantasguy : Was the Concorde safe? Every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Just as safe as your average 747. I think the point to concider here is that whether
31 GDB : Remember that 5 tank was NOT penetrated, a shockwave in the fuel caused the failure, as the tank was very full. Had the crew acted upon the change of
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