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Concorde Crash Cover Up  
User currently offlineDutchflyer From Netherlands, joined Feb 2004, 169 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15608 times:

Just watched a documentary on Discovery on the Concorde crash. In the official report the piece of metal from a Continental Dc10 is said to be the cause of the crash. But investigations showed that two firefighters saw smoke coming from the Concorde before the plane reached the piece of metal. From where the firefighters stood they could only see part of the runway. They were unable to see the part of the runway where the piece of metal was located. Therefore the makers of the program concluded that the Concorde must be on fire before reaching the piece of metal.

It was suggested that the bad state of the runway caused the rupture of a tire. Why no other planes suffered from this I wasn't explained. But maybe the much higher take off speed of the Concorde and the fact that it was a bit overloaded contributed to that. Rubber from the tire hit the fuel tank and set it on fire.

After the tire rupture or the lack of a front center bogey spacer resulted in the Concorde deflecting from it's course almost hitting a B747, with the French president on board, which was holding in front of the runway.

Is this a cover up by the French investigators (=French government) to clear CDG or Air France from any blame.

Anyone with additional info or thoughts on this.

[Edited 2004-02-28 18:52:22]

68 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFritzi From United Arab Emirates, joined Jun 2001, 2762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15468 times:

piece of metal from a Continental MD11

It was a DC10.

It was suggested that the bad state of the runway caused the rupture of a tire, which debris hit the fuel tank and set it on fire

It was a piece of rubber that hit the aircraft, not debris. The cut in the tire fit the shape of the metal perfectly.
And why did the bad state of the runway, which is utilized by 100s of airplanes dialy, not cause anymore accidents?

I believe that this conspiracy is just plain old bull$hit


User currently offlineACEregular From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 676 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15455 times:

Probably as they are a very proud nation. I know that the plane was being worked on before departure which delayed its departure. Any factor may have contributed.

User currently offlineSafetyDude From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3795 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15452 times:

Hmm, this seems a bit unlikely. About the piece of metal, I am not sure how two firefighters could have known the exact location of the piece of metal (or how anyone knew the exact location) or if what they saw really was smoke. It could have easily been the fuel that if the weather was a bit funny, could easily look like smoke.

About the diversion, I never heard anything about the French president being on board a plane close by - but I would imagine that ATC would not let a plane know about it - and Concorde diverted so as to minimize the amount of damage on the ground.

If the runway was in fact bad, would another plane or planes not have been affected? And if it was in fact in bad condition, it should have been noted on the accident report if it was not.

This just seems like trying to present the "whole" view of what happened, trying to take in all sides.

 Smile
-Will



"She Flew For What We Stand For"
User currently offlineMaersk737 From Denmark, joined Feb 2004, 710 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15325 times:

Cover up!!!

I have watched a documentary on Discovery, about the pyramids in Egypt. They said the pyramids was made by aliens...

Don't believe everything you see on the little screen Smile/happy/getting dizzy


Cheers

Peter



I'm not proud to be a Viking, just thankfull
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15291 times:

You're missing the main point.

The source of the conspiracy rumors is the fact that AF didnt have a wheel spacer on F-BTSC's left main bogie.


View Large View Medium

Photo © Laurent Herjean



The unrestrained tires-- combined with the excessive speed of Concorde takeoffs, the weight imposed therefrom, the rough condition of 26R, an aircraft two tons overweight, and a tailwind takeoff-- is what killed the bird.

Many believe that these factors alone led to the accident, and that the fuel tank rupture occurred before the aircraft even encountered the FOD from the DC10.

AF, being Government owned, would always be looked upon with extreme external scrutiny after the results of any investigation which absolved it.


[Edited 2004-02-28 19:09:40]

User currently offlineFly2hmo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 15103 times:

what I've heard is that the so called piece of metal was ran over by the tires, then the metal punctured and blew the tires up, and those pieces of rubber penetrated the plane's outer skin and perforated the fuel tanks. I don't have any problem believing this.

Conspiracy theories are only good for the T.V. networks, they sell well...

ohhh.. and keep cool, don't make this thread bound for archiving...

regards  Smile


User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7415 posts, RR: 57
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 15019 times:

It is true that French President J.Chirac was on board an AF B744, flight AF275 from NRT. The Jumbo landed few minutes ahead of schedule on Rnw 26L and was holding to cross 26R after flight AF4590 Concorde take off.

The crew of F-BTSC was not of course, aware that the President was in this plane, the theory that Capt. Marty pulled up Concorde to avoid a collision with the Presidential plane is just pure hysteria !

The tail wind was insignificant (5 to 8 knots), even for a full load Concorde.
The plane was at the maximum take-off weight, with full load of fuel, slightly overweight because they burned "only" 800kg of fuel during taxiing.
Both BA and AF Concorde took off overweighted hundreds of time during they "career". I experienced it myself on many flights, especially during charters flights or World Tour... As for all a/c in service there was a quite large security margin between the MTW authorized "on the paper" and reality...

Concerning the missing spacer, it has never been proved that it affected, or could have affected the aircraft integrity.
Until now, all this is pure speculation, by people who want to find responsibilities where they are not, and refuse the "simple" yet tragic reality


User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 14951 times:

Concerning the missing spacer, it has never been proved that it affected, or could have affected the aircraft integrity.

The aircraft's integrity was never in question so far as the spacer is concerned.

And it would be utterly asinine (not saying that you are, just saying that you'd have to be) to argue that a misaligned wheel, on any vehicle, doesn't contribute to excessive tire fatigue.


User currently offlineMrwayne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 14868 times:

concorde boy is the only one that makes any sense on this subject.
He is spot on when he talks about the wheel spacer on the concordes.
BA have always been very strong on this; AF where not ,plus the load factor and weight make a big disturbing accident become reality.


User currently offlineDutchflyer From Netherlands, joined Feb 2004, 169 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 14834 times:

Taking off with an overweight airplane is simply not done. MTOW = MTOW and not MTOW = MTOW + 10%.

"The tail wind was insignificant (5 to 8 knots), even for a full load Concorde."

An overweight plane, tailwind. I can't call that insignificant. It will greatly contribute to a much longer take off roll and a a much higher take off speed. A higher speed combined with a misaligned wheel contributed to excessive tire fatigue.


"The crew of F-BTSC was not of course, aware that the President was in this plane, the theory that Capt. Marty pulled up Concorde to avoid a collision with the Presidential plane is just pure hysteria !"

He didn't take off to avoid an collision. He corrected his course, aligned with the centerline and then took off.

"Concerning the missing spacer, it has never been proved that it affected, or could have affected the aircraft integrity."

Never been proofed, don't know that, but it is so obvious it hasn't to be proofed.


User currently offlineMartin21 From Netherlands, joined Aug 2001, 347 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 14753 times:

Fritzi

Where do you see Dutchflyer mention about a Continental MD11 ??
Read carefully before u attack someone !

Martin21



At 30.000 feet, the sun always shines !
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13141 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 14739 times:

If I am correct, the high loads and the high take-off and landing speeds on the tires of the Concorde required a/c specific tires, but even then had high failure rates. How much did this contribute to the crash, assuming the generally accepted view that the tire was damaged by the CO debris? Why wasn't there some kind of visual observations of every take off and landing to see if any such debris problems, or problems with the runway? I am quite sure this wasn't the first time an a/c had a part come off it during rotation or landing that could cause flight and runway problems.

User currently offlineDutchflyer From Netherlands, joined Feb 2004, 169 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 14679 times:

Martin,

First I said MD11, I edited after Fritzi's post. So he's was right at that moment.

But thanks anyway.


User currently offlineFlyingColours From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2315 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 14600 times:

There are some pictures floating around which were taken from someone inside the AF744, they clearly show Concorde charging in her direction with the fire streaming out behind her, a truly daunting image.

BA Concordes had mudflap type things on the gear because of our climate, AF did not. Although I am not leading anywhere with this, perhaps if they had them fitted they could have prevented this, not that it matters now.

How did the legal case between the victims families and CO end?, I sure as hell would not hold CO liable since parts always come off, although if the case was to be held in France.....

To clarify, there was indeed no spacer on F-BTSC and in the Discovery documentry which I have watched it does go in depth into the disaster. There were marks on the runway which were slipping out to the left of the centreline, and then came the scraped marks from when the tyre blew. IIRC the runway was resurfaced pretty quickly after that too.

To be honest I don't believe a thing that the BEA come out with, I just go with facts presented by others and draw up my own conclusions.

As long as there are Air Accidents there will be cover ups, maybe not big ones but there will always be small ones such as crews & airlines messing with documents and equipment, manufacturers tampering with things, governments making a sick mockery out of investigations. I am truly afraid to say that this will just be a fact of life which we all must learn to put up with because right now it is not going to change.

Philip Cribbin
FlyingColours



Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7415 posts, RR: 57
Reply 15, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 14530 times:

AF Concordes were fitted with the "mudflpa type things", just like BA's.

User currently offlineSolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 854 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 14500 times:

It´s a MAJOR cover up from the french politicians and AF!!!
* my $ 0,002 *

Michael//SE



Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlineFritzi From United Arab Emirates, joined Jun 2001, 2762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 14483 times:

Martin21,

analyze all possible options/reasons before you start your counter-attack...

ps: I wasnt attacking him, just correcting a small error.

[Edited 2004-02-28 21:20:26]

User currently offlineFlyingColours From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2315 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 14447 times:

FLYSSC - Thanks for the correction, I was sure that BA had had them a long time and was unsure if AF had either fitted them later or left it.

Phil
FlyingColours



Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
User currently offlineGLA MD11 From France, joined Mar 2000, 277 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 14374 times:

All this is ridiculous. What if the same accident had happened in JFK or with a BA Concorde? What would you say?
For every crash, there are theories developped but there is no reason to believe all of these urban legends.
As for the Concorde fatal accident:
If the aircraft was suffering from a loss of power or of a problem with a tire, it is normal that it was diverting on one side (heading to the AF744). The pilot putting the aircraft back in line and taking off is then no surprise.
As for the fume before hitting the CO part, let me remember you that lots of Concorde take offs were really smokey (esp. when afterburners were on). Go to the photo section and check it for yourselves.
As for the overweight and tailwind: Concorde was, before that incident, the safest aircraft: it is difficult to imagine that these factors, relatively common, caused the accident.
As for the bad shape of the runway: were there other incidents occuring on this particular runway? I have flown a certain number of times to developping countries and let me tell you the CDG runways are in excellent shape compared to most of the stuff around (try La Habana runway with a DC10 if you want a real rollercoaster ride).

Respect and RIP to all victims, passengers, crew and people on the ground.


User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3702 posts, RR: 34
Reply 20, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 14324 times:
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The burst tyre debris didn't rupture the tank directly. The impact of the tyre debris initiated a shock wave in the tank which, as it bounced around, increased in intensity until it broke out.

User currently offlineDutchflyer From Netherlands, joined Feb 2004, 169 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 14285 times:

Ridiculous? Maybe, but some facts are still unclear or un-investigated.

Why was the runway surface resurfaced just weeks after the incident?

Why were the remarks about the smoke/fire made by the firefighters left out of the official report? They should have seen numerous Concordes taking off, so they should be able the differentiate between a normal smoky take off and a take off with one engine/fuel tank on fire.

Why no critical questions about the exceeding of MTOW, taking off with tail wind?

It smells like a cover up, to say the least.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17069 posts, RR: 66
Reply 22, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 14245 times:

Perhaps, but TV documentary filmers have more of an interest in ratings than in the "truth".

Also, isn't there a simpler solution than a cover-up? Most often, what you see is what you get.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2514 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 14143 times:

It is undisputed that the tyre blow up caused the puncture of the integral wing/fuel tank. Fuel streaming out in huge quantities ingested into the engines and ignited by the engines caused a huge fire trail which began to eat away a considerable part of the aft wing structure including control surfaces. If the aircraft did not stall, it would have been lost through lack of functional control surfaces. This warranted the suspension of the Certificate of Airworthiness of Concorde.

The "cover up" is indeed about the wheel spacer which apparently was not installed on this Concorde. This caused misalignment of the bogey, which got aggravated over the next couple of flights after the maintenance performed on the gear, until the crash itself. The misalignment caused some more friction on the gears and caused the aircraft off-centre during the take-off roll. The "cover up believers" claim that the misalignment was so large that it actually reduced acceleration, and caused the aircraft to drift severely off the runway centreline, which they believe was the reason that the PF [pilot flying] had to pull it up early, at a speed which was below the recommended V2 speed. Since they had now one engine out [flamed out due to fuel ingestion], and were below Vr for their weight and wind conditions, basically they were doomed. Concorde has a large coffins corner in the speed/drag curve [typical for the delta wing configuration], meaning that in this slow speed regime, any reduction in airspeed would result in even more drag, reducing speed even further. Only 4 engines had sufficient power to overcome the negative drag regime at this low speed. Concorde ultimately crashed because it airspeed dropped below stall speed, and stalled out way before they could reach a runway.

Concorde also lost a second engine, which they claim was a result of the aircraft hitting runway edge lights, debris of which entered the engine. They believe that if the spacer was installed, the aircraft would never have drifted off centre to such a degree that it would hit the runway light. The official report refutes this and claims that the aircraft went off centre due to the huge tyre blow out. The official report also goes on to explain that by the time the aircraft stalled, the crew were also about to loose control over the aircraft due to the damage to the wing and control surfaces as a result of the huge fire.


MY CONCLUSION:
While the missing spacer is very bad and would warrant criminal investigation [I think it is that serious], and it certainly did not help in Concorde chances of surviving, I don't believe it was the critical factor although it could have been a contributory factor. If the spacer had been installed, maybe there was a slight change that the aircraft would have lifted off at higher speed, thus reducing the negative part of the drag curve they were in, and just maybe the crew could have hold on for a little longer. They would have lost control over the aircraft due to the fire damage. We'll never know.
However it all comes down to the fact that Concorde did had one single failure mode that brought it down [or at least had the potential to bring it down – for the non believers]: the blown tyre. Every aircraft is tested and goes through an exhaustive certification program, which basically has to prove that the airplane can be operated in such a way that there is no single failure mode that can bring it down. Concorde did have one: the tyre.

Regards,
PW100


PS. I'm delighted that I had the opportunity to shoot these photos just a fortnight before Concorde's retirement:
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Harm Rutten


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Harm Rutten


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Harm Rutten


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Harm Rutten




Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 14067 times:

Bear in mind that the AAIB contributed to the report, and while it had some concerns relating to their access to wreckage being blocked by the French police and the nature of the rupture (the AAIB were fairly certain the rupture was caused by shockwaves in the fuel, as VS-10 described. The BEA couldn't decide between that or between the rupture being caused directly from tire butter), but the AAIB did agree with the BEA report.

25 Post contains links DAirbus : Here is a link to the actual crash report. Feel free to read it and draw your own conclusions. http://www.bea-fr.org/docspa/2000/f-sc000725a/pdf/f-sc0
26 GDB : We always had real problems with the BEA, the initial report in August 2000 had glaring omissions and looked like a rush job. There was so little know
27 L-188 : I have a feeling that this accident will go in the same file that other famous, "cover up" crashes have gone into. KLM and Pan-Am at Tennerife US Air
28 Starlionblue : While I don't know enough to conclude much, it seems that, as usual, it was a combination of unfortunate circumstances that caused the accident, not a
29 Post contains links GDB : This press report, from 2001, caused mixed emotions with us when it appeared, on the one hand, we were sort of glad that issues we had known about for
30 Dutchflyer : Thanks for the links GDB. After reading the article I can only conclude: Faulty maintenance by Air France (forgot to put the spacer in) which lead to
31 FLYSSC : Here we come ! again and again every two months... "These stupid arrogant French and their crap National airline, incapable & incompetent to maintain
32 AOMlover : Pffff... your "I can only conclude" makes me laugh hard. You're not a specialist and there are many things that us, poor aviation enthusiasts, don't k
33 Dutchflyer : Killing the KLM is not a criminal act by the French, it's a stupid action by the Dutch government to sell the KLM, but that besides this topic. I'm no
34 GDB : I think a determined attempt at a cover up is most unlikely, but the reservations that the AAIB had were real, though that was more about access and p
35 Post contains images EK413 : Fritzi piece of metal from a Continental MD11 It was a DC10. Ummm,where abouts in this POST did you read Continental MD-11 Just adding to this POST wh
36 LTBEWR : Whenever there is not one, absolute, crystal clear, provable factor in an event like aircraft accidents, conspiracy claims are bound to follow. Conspi
37 Shamrock_747 : EK413- After the loss of F-BTSC Air France suspended Concorde flights, but British Airways continued daily LHR-JFK flights for another three weeks unt
38 Ant72LBA : Princess Diana was supposed to be on the flight...............The US Navy shot the plane down with an errant SAM................It was a Libyan plot..
39 Post contains images Flyingbronco05 : Here is why it crashed:
40 Post contains images ConcordeBoy : Whatever, I'm sure that it was an accident. No one is suggesting that it wasn't. The argument is whether abject negligence on AF's behalf was the prim
41 Babybus : I think it was the same people what bumped off Lady Di that dun'it. Piece of metal on the runway? Has anyone heard anything so absurd? It doesn't make
42 ConcordeBoy : From being a young a/c to being totally unworkable so quickly. Can anyone explain that? Easily enough: It crashedIt was groundedIts core patronage nev
43 EK413 : Shamrock_747 EK413- After the loss of F-BTSC Air France suspended Concorde flights, but British Airways continued daily LHR-JFK flights for another th
44 Shamrock_747 : Concorde was retired because of commercial and maintenance issues, not because of the crash four years ago. The US boycott of France meant AF were get
45 GDB : We understood the core market indicated in the run up to the 2001 re-launch would likely lose some 5% of pax, based on extensive market research. Then
46 N6376m : Couple of questions: 1. Does a civilian aircraft with the french president on board carry a special call sign (e.g. Executive 1 in the US)? If it is a
47 FLYSSC : Shamrock 747, The supposed "boycott" of France bY the US doesn't have anything to do with Concorde retirement : AF flights were not affected by this s
48 GDB : The problem with that is that AF Concorde pilots and Engineering managers told their BA counterparts that they were being hit with some fallout from t
49 FLYSSC : GDB, I know some AF Concorde pilots made this kind of declaration, that AF's flights were "victims" of the political situation. It also made the big t
50 GDB : Thanks for the clarification, however if it's true that AF never really intended to operate it for any length of time post 2001, it would have been ni
51 Fritzi : EK413 you newbie, you are the second one to point that out in this thread. Please bother reading all posts before playing Mr. Wiseguy... (especially r
52 Post contains images Leezyjet : Most accidents are the result of a chain of events. Break one of the links in the chain and the accident might be averted. The Concorde crash has many
53 GDB : Leezyjet has excellently described the factors behind this appalling accident. However, though it's true that one T/Rev bucket could be locked out if
54 EK413 : Fritzi EK413 you newbie, you are the second one to point that out in this thread. Please bother reading all posts before playing Mr. Wiseguy... (espec
55 Bellerophon : FLYSSC I realise that you probably knew many of the crew who lost their lives in the Concorde accident, and can imagine what a deeply upsetting time i
56 GDB : Nice to see you back on here Bellerphon, thanks for the additional detail from a crew perspective. I think it's fair to say that while BA lost no one
57 FLYSSC : Bellerophon, I maybe didn't express my mind correctly in english, and you misunderstood what I meant. Working for Air France didn't make blind...and I
58 Post contains images ConcordeBoy : But I deny the right to anybody, especially people chatting on this forum, to affirm that this missing spacer has any part of responsibility in the cr
59 Richierich : Just because Concorde flew safely for 30 years with no crash and then the unthinkable happens, do you pull the plug? EK413, I think pulling Concorde's
60 Post contains images Chrisdigo : ConcordeBoy: to argue that a misaligned wheel that a misaligned wheel, on any vehicle, doesn't contribute to excessive tire fatigue. The tire blew up
61 Dutchflyer : "You're arguing about AF maintaining their aircraft..... why don't you argue about CO maintaining theirs?" What a nonsense. Just a small piece of meta
62 GDB : If the AF4590 crew had reacted to the change in wind, they would not have even encountered that piece of metal, had no.2 engine not been shut down ina
63 Post contains images ConcordeBoy : The tire blew up because it was misaligned? BEA believed it blew up because of a piece of metal from a CO DC10 perhaps you missed the lower half of re
64 Post contains links and images Chrisdigo : Dutchflyer : What a nonsense. Just a small piece of metal fell from the CO engine. Oh yeah just a small piece fell off.... That happen every day to ev
65 Post contains images ConcordeBoy : Who should I trust the most? You or the BEA? ...hmm, I'm wondering if I should really answer that question; or was it simply rhetoric
66 Post contains images Leezyjet : "IIRC, BA had a sweeping conducted before every SST takeoff, no? What sort of compensation did the airports expect, or was it something of a "courtesy
67 GDB : Yes, from the accident to the grounding, BAA conducted extra runway sweeps, as well as tightening the restrictions on tyre state (we were always cauti
68 Post contains links and images ConcordeBoy : Even so, no one in 40 years of jet aviation, military or civil, had ever seen a blow out like that Perhaps your colleagues at MX would beg to differ..
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