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Concorde's Bad Safety Record  
User currently offlineB741 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 716 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 10816 times:

I hate to raise fellow members blood pressure, but looks like Concorde had a rough safety record with British Airways. According to the safety database, 56 out of 69 total BA safety incidents were related to Concorde, none fatal. I want to say that BA in itself has an admirable safety record.


Being Bilingual, I Speak English And Aviation
73 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 10775 times:

http://aviation-safety.net/database/dblist.php?Type=081

In almost 30 years of service, there was only one fatal accident, and yet you say that it has a bad safety record?

Incidents such as pilot error or poor landing conditions and design problems that were later addressed and fixed are part of any airliner's life. The DC-10 had several catastrophic problems, and yet the type continues to fly today.

I would also argue that the reason the Concorde is not flying today is not a flawed design but rather operating economics of so few of one type of plane and no real viable replacements.

Sorry, I have to respectfully disagree.



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User currently offlineHardkor From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 10757 times:

I think that one has to compare the amount of flights/incidents ratio. Yes, Concorde flew for 30 years, but with only limited aircraft on a few routes, 1 accident seems a lot worse than compared with other types of aircraft

User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 10716 times:

Quoting Hardkor (Reply 2):
Yes, Concorde flew for 30 years, but with only limited aircraft on a few routes, 1 accident seems a lot worse than compared with other types of aircraft

I presume you are a statistician or an accountant to be if "let the numbers do the talking" is your reason for this rather silly thread.

Concorde went from being the safest aircraft on record in terms of fatalities over 25 years in service to being one of the worst in a matter of 3 small minutes.

There's a great deal more to safety than statistics and playing games with numbers and your heading is offensive to the people who built, flew, maintained and, yes, those who died in the type.


User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7401 posts, RR: 57
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 10710 times:

Quoting B741 (Thread starter):
looks like Concorde had a rough safety record with British Airways.

What does it mean "rough safety record" ?
And why with British Airways ?

BA and AF had to face the same technical problems with Concorde all along the career of the Supersonic. The weak points of the White Bird were known, well known : tyres, air intakes, etc ...

The only problem BA had much more than AF was the loss of pieces of rudder inflight.

Now if you want to talk about the Safety record of Concorde, because of the crash of F-BTSC, that's another story.
And I don't think there is a need to start over again a 100000th topic on this subject.


User currently offlineVc10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1406 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10637 times:

[quote=Philb,reply=3]
There's a great deal more to safety than statistics and playing games with numbers and your heading is offensive to the people who built, flew, maintained and, yes, those who died in the type.

Whilst I agree with your statement regarding "there is more to safety than statitics", however I thought the heading was quite acceptable, as when you look at the list it does not look good

My only statement here would be that many, but not all, were minor technical problems which prevented the aircraft going supersonic, but were not really a safety issue whilst it was still subsonic. It all depends how you interpret the word safety .

littlevc10


User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10593 times:

The interpretation of the word "safety" in transportation terms was told to me by a certain Captain French of BEA who, in the 1960s, was BEA's senior Viscount Captain at Manchester.

I think it is as valid now as it was then.

"Safety is the absence of injury or death. It is found where the construction, operation, maintenance and structural integrity of a form of transportation is such that, even when damaged by failure or outside intervention, the conveyance used reaches its destination without injury or a fatality."

Now old French was a bit of a pedant but then he'd done many a trip over Germany with 6 or 7 passengers and a great deal of one way freight, had once limped a Viscount into Nice on 2 engines and had more hours hand flying passengers than most of the multi thousand hour vets who are coming up to retirement today.

I guess he'd have thought Concorde the nearest thing to a safe aircraft we've developed, not because it was intrinsically safer than any other aircraft but because it was over engineered to come up to the expectations of the time it was built, it was operated in a very careful manner and, even in its fall from perfection generated a major effort to ensure repetition didn't occur, far beyond economic wisdom.


User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1797 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 10376 times:

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
Incidents such as pilot error or poor landing conditions and design problems that were later addressed and fixed are part of any airliner's life. The DC-10 had several catastrophic problems, and yet the type continues to fly today.

Well, I do believe that it had a bad saftey record in terms of incidents. As an example, back in 2000 or 1999 (I think), my parents experienced an engine faliure and shut-down. That was the second time they experienced that in Concorde!



لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 10318 times:

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 7):
Well, I do believe that it had a bad saftey record in terms of incidents. As an example, back in 2000 or 1999 (I think), my parents experienced an engine faliure and shut-down. That was the second time they experienced that in Concorde!

Did your parents die? Were they injured?

Last time I looked, Concorde was designed to fly safely on 3 engines, It is known as redundancy.

Whilst the aircraft could not perform as efficiently on 3 engines it was designed to perform safely with one engine out.


User currently offlineChiGB1973 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1613 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10283 times:

Jeez, the plane was not economical just in replacing rudders and tires.

I wish I had the chance to fly on it.

M


User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1797 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10231 times:

Quoting Philb (Reply 8):

Did your parents die? Were they injured?

Thank God they were not injured.  Wink But, I wasn't talking about crashes for God's sake. I am talking about incidents inwhich a problem occurs with the engines and therefore requires a priority/emergency landing...

Some people here seem to think that incidents mean accidents.



لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10209 times:

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 10):
Some people here seem to think that incidents mean accidents.

I've been around aviation since 1956 and KNOW the difference between incidents and accidents.

I also KNOW that aircraft are designed in such a way that, given good maintenance and correct operating procedures, incidents don't become accidents.

A safe aircraft is one that can survive an incident due to its structural integrity and in built redundancy, just as your parents found out.

By your way of assessing safety, every type that has had an engine out in flight is unsafe.


User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3697 posts, RR: 34
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 10146 times:
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Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 7):
I do believe that it had a bad saftey record in terms of incidents

Have you put it into perspective by comparing to other a/c types?


User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1797 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10059 times:

Quoting Philb (Reply 11):
I've been around aviation since 1956 and KNOW the difference between incidents and accidents.

Hi, actually I didn't mean to insult your intellegence. Sorry buddy if you misunderstood me   I am sure you know a lot more than me on the topic of aviation.

Quoting Philb (Reply 11):
By your way of assessing safety, every type that has had an engine out in flight is unsafe.

Actually, what I believe (an correct me if I am wrong) every type that has had an engine out in flight is categorized as incident--not unsafe. An engine out can still be safe, but, still I wouldn't like to be in a plane with one engine out. Would you?

[Edited 2006-11-02 13:36:16]


لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3527 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10047 times:

The statistics on this database, seem at first glance to be weighted against Concorde, as every engine problem and every tyre blowout is listed for them, but not for any other plane in the fleet.

The database does not list any BA incidents since 2002, which is definitely untrue. One example being the much publicised engine failure shortly after takeoff from LAX which eventually resulted in a diversion.

Statistics can be wonderful things, provided there is consistency in the information listed; if however they do not list every incident of a particular type that occurs to every plane in every airline they are worse than useless.

IMO the concorde problem in this matter was that due to its high profile, every diversion and minor incident was rigourously reported in the national press.

The media rushed to report every late/non arrival of Concorde due to it being the preferred transport of the rich and famous. If however Mrs Jones's holiday flight is delayed its only news if the passengers start fighting with the airline staff in the departure lounge.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10036 times:

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 13):
Actually, what I believe (an correct me if I am wrong) every type that has had an engine out in flight is categorized as incident--not unsafe. But, still I wouldn't like to be in a plane with one engine out. Would you?

Oh my god, hurry, ban Pratt engined 747s, I was a pax in one with an engine out incident in about 1989. This thread is crazy.


User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9965 times:

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 13):
An engine out can still be safe, but, still I wouldn't like to be in a plane with one engine out. Would you?

I've been on twins and quads with an engine out.
When I was in the ATC, 44 years ago, I was in a Chipmunk in a dead stick situation.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 14):
IMO the concorde problem in this matter was that due to its high profile, every diversion and minor incident was rigourously reported in the national press.

....and also Concorde, even at the time of retirement, was so very different in technology and operation to any other airliner.


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9523 posts, RR: 42
Reply 17, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9865 times:

Quoting Philb (Reply 3):
Concorde went from being the safest aircraft on record in terms of fatalities over 25 years in service to being one of the worst in a matter of 3 small minutes.

Exactly. Another way of looking at it is that it was only one accident away from being completely accident free throughout its entire service.

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 13):
still I wouldn't like to be in a plane with one engine out. Would you?

No, because I'd be delayed, due either to a diversion or a slower cruise.


User currently offlineAKelley728 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2184 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9809 times:

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 7):
Well, I do believe that it had a bad saftey record in terms of incidents. As an example, back in 2000 or 1999 (I think), my parents experienced an engine faliure and shut-down. That was the second time they experienced that in Concorde!



Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 13):
Actually, what I believe (an correct me if I am wrong) every type that has had an engine out in flight is categorized as incident--not unsafe. An engine out can still be safe, but, still I wouldn't like to be in a plane with one engine out. Would you?

You just contradicted yourself...


User currently offlineManu From Canada, joined Dec 2004, 406 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9791 times:

Quoting Philb (Reply 8):
Whilst the aircraft could not perform as efficiently on 3 engines it was designed to perform safely with one engine out.

From my understanding, if an engine goes out the opposite engine is automatically disengaged as well to avoid issues with structural integrity at supersonic speeds.


User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9739 times:

I don't think that is correct. If I remember correctly (and I've not read up on this for years) the procedure was, if in reheat, to cut all reheat, perform the engine shut down and fire drill on the disabled engine and, if above Mach 1, throttle back the opposite engine until the speed met the 3 engine operating speed.

The engine configuration on Concorde was such that an engine out did not cause too many assymetric handling problems (the original TU-144 engine layout was even better still) and 3 engine handling was never a structural issue.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9704 times:

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
In almost 30 years of service, there was only one fatal accident, and yet you say that it has a bad safety record?

One fatal accident which, had the Parisian airport authorities been on the ball, wouldn't have happened. Debris on a runway I suppose could be fatal to any airliner if it was struck in the right (or wrong) way.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
The DC-10 had several catastrophic problems

Yes, one of those DC-10 'problems' was, ironically, the cause of the demise of F-BTSC.....

Let's not forget that Concorde was not a regular airliner, and it goes without saying that the rules of supersonic flight left it more vulnerable. You can't realistically compare the safety record of Concorde with that of a 737, because they're simply not in the same league. It's like comparing the safety of a Mini tootling along at 20mph with that of a Formula 1 car doing 100mph round a bend - the latter is far more at risk, yet that doesn't mean that the F1 car is a poorer design. Let's not forget there was another supersonic jet around at the same time as Concorde, which had a far, far worse safety record. And if someone else somewhere had built another one - Boeing or Lockheed, for example - it would not, in my opinion, have been any safer than Concorde due to the above relative facts.

Karl


User currently offlineVC10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1406 posts, RR: 16
Reply 22, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 9685 times:

Quoting Manu (Reply 19):

From my understanding, if an engine goes out the opposite engine is automatically disengaged as well to avoid issues with structural integrity at supersonic speeds.

If an engine failed there were no restrictions whilst airbourne as to the use of the other 3 engines.
The old girl might have looked slender but she was quite tough really.

littlevc10


User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 9665 times:

Was that always the case? My post above is based on memory - perhaps from the early years of line ops or from pre-airline flying.

The main thing is that an engine out - whilst headline grabbing, was no big deal


User currently offlineB741 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 716 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9550 times:

Yes, the database is misleading in that it doesn't list other aircraft type incidents. It is a huge discrepancy comparing Concorde incidents to others.


Being Bilingual, I Speak English And Aviation
25 Bellerophon : Manu ...if an engine goes out the opposite engine is automatically disengaged as well to avoid issues with structural integrity at supersonic speeds..
26 Jetfuel : FACT - Concorde was the safest Supersonic Airliner EVER
27 Post contains images David L : And the most successful EVER. A lot of people seem to forget that small detail.
28 Philb : Thanks for that.
29 QatarA340 : I said I believe Concorde has a bad saftey record; but a plane with a blown out engine (not working or broken) is not unsafe. Two differnet things! C
30 Philb : What does that mean?
31 Scarebus03 : I do believe Concorde was one of the most beautiful airplanes to ever grace the skies and it was definitely a marvel of engineering however I do not b
32 Philb : Well that's just stating the obvious and is as true for any aircraft as it is for Concorde except to say that the probability doesn't increase but th
33 Post contains images Jamman : I think we have to give Concorde its due, it was a very complex aircraft that probably required more brain power putting that thing in the air than pu
34 Vc10 : It is nice to see a level headed posting on this subject, but you are slightly wrong in saying no modifications were done. From almost the start of p
35 ConcordeGBOAD : There are inherent risks with any type of flight, as we all know. We also know that 'non events' were always greatly publicized in regards to Concorde
36 Diesel1 : What's the point of the thread? Just flame bait...? If you were discussing a current a/c carrying passengers today, then fine, but when it is an obso
37 Baroque : I think it means that if only you knew the proportion of undetected crime on this thread that I know ....... Perhaps Rummie is now a member of a.net
38 Scarebus03 : Phil, having read some threads that you have participated in regarding the Concorde I appreciate and have enjoyed learning a bit more. But the idea i
39 Baroque : No, you cannot make that extrapolation. With additional Concordes it it possible that the event that did cause the fatal crash would have been preced
40 Scarebus03 : I believe that is exactly what I said. And yes the event that caused the fatal loss in Paris was preceded by numerous more minor events relating to t
41 David L : But the event that brought down the AF Concorde was not a simple fuel tank puncture caused by a shred of tyre. It was caused by a huge tyre section (
42 Scarebus03 : David L, Yes I agree and I would like to know the types of mods carried out between the first such incident and prior to the crash. I was reading the
43 Post contains links PanAm747 : Well, technically, no. The TU-144 was. http://aviation-safety.net/database/...474%&cat=%1&sorteer=datekey&page=1 The joy of statistics... In terms of
44 VC10 : You are correct that there were other cases of tyre break up puncturing fuel tanks but the punctures were very small. There was no strengthening modi
45 Post contains links GDB : Though posted elsewhere here recently, I'll link this again. Since in telling the story of the 2000/1 return to flight effort, this article also goes
46 Scarebus03 : Yep after reading the BEA accident report no reinforcing of the tank structure was performed. In 1980 it was decided that it was not necessary. The r
47 Post contains images David L : The AF crash was the first "such incident". It was very different from the earlier incidents. Yes, very true.
48 Philb : I was away yesterday so didn't get to reply: The previous tyre bursts started off as just that and, as tyre burst happen every day you need a pattern
49 FlySSC : The difference is that Concorde was successfully operated commercially during 27 years, carrying Millions and Millions of Passengers with BA & AF. Th
50 Baroque : How about the baggage doors on the DC10? IIRC two fatal crashes and at least one incident where the pilot got the thing down without most/any hydraul
51 Philb : Which was the second fatal DC10 crash to do with a cargo door?
52 Post contains images Scarebus03 : Quoting Philb In real terms, with the handful of Concordes that were flying the risk, after the first fatal accident, were deemed too great to continu
53 Baroque : Sorry, none is the answer, I managed to conflate two into three. Possibly because I still twitch a bit about the Chicago one - I had taken off about
54 Philb : It was. Totally agree - been done to death as has Concorde and the 737!! Just one final comment - and I appreciate your quoting the French report - t
55 AvObserver : [ " target=_blank>http://aviation-safety.net/database/...age=1 Though the sole Concorde crash had dezens more fatalities than the two TU-144 crashes,
56 Scarebus03 : Agreed. I think the statement in the post above taken from the report adequately reflects what we are both saying and it's time to put it to bed. Brg
57 Post contains images Garri767 : i am NOT against concorde whatsoever.....i am just curious..... what was the saftey record of its russian countpart, the TU-144? [Edited 2006-11-04 1
58 GDB : Firstly, I'm gratified that this thread has been sensible and level headed. Some points; Absolutely true that the tiny fleet did impede, what is for m
59 Philb : Phil's definition of Concorde "Celebs": Media, sports and showbiz people, business leaders, high profile academicians, politicians and top bureaucrats
60 B741 : Someone once told me if they put the money that went into Concorde to eliminating poverty in England, there would be no more poverty. Whether this is
61 Philb : Depends on the definition of poverty. There were a large number of anti Concorde statements over the years along similar lines, most wildly inaccurate
62 GDB : B741, what do you think-was it a partial or even level headed source. The Social Security budget is currently some £90 Billion a year. The percentage
63 B741 : My source on this was someone that studied political science. And one to advise a young chap on politics. But every nation has a different way of orga
64 Philb : Most business leaders and bureaucrats aren't but nonetheless are celebs (or VVIPs if you like) to the airlines and the companies and governments that
65 GDB : Yes, of course we were an effectively 100% 1st Class operation. With all that entailed. Hence the provision of a standby aircraft for scheduled servic
66 Post contains links Baroque : And irony one is that it is much easier to design and fly the incredibly complex Concorde successfully than to do something really simple in concept
67 Post contains images EGTESkyGod : I agree with Philb's reasoning in this thread, good to see a level headed Irishman (said very tongue-in-cheek!!!) Two points. 1) It seems you ae impl
68 Philb : I'm English
69 Post contains images EGTESkyGod : Guess I shoulda looked at your profile before posting, huh....!!!! It doesn't say it on there but still shoulda looked.
70 Philb : No problem. Just updated the profile!!
71 GDB : Even before service entry, Chief UK test pilot Brian Thrubshaw, was forced to give numerous press conferences. On one, someone from The Times, asked h
72 David L : I didn't know that - interesting.
73 EGTESkyGod : Ansolutely correct. The piece of titanium (which is notoriously hard and strong) that fell off the CO DC10 was a part that should have been made of a
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