Dutchflyer From Netherlands, joined Feb 2004, 169 posts, RR: 1 Posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 15746 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.
Fritzi From United Arab Emirates, joined Jun 2001, 2762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 15606 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
SafetyDude From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3795 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 15590 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.
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.
Fly2hmo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 15241 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...
FLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 7, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 15157 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
Mrwayne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 15006 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.
Dutchflyer From Netherlands, joined Feb 2004, 169 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 14972 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.
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13200 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 14877 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.
FlyingColours From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2315 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 14738 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.
Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
GLA MD11 From France, joined Mar 2000, 277 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 14512 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.
Dutchflyer From Netherlands, joined Feb 2004, 169 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 14423 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?
PW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2589 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 14281 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.
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.
PS. I'm delighted that I had the opportunity to shoot these photos just a fortnight before Concorde's retirement:
777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 14205 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.
: 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
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: 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
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: 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
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