captjetblast
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How Safe Were The Concordes?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 9:58 pm

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?

 
carduelis
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 10:00 pm

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!
 
Greg
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 10:26 pm

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.
 
n844aa
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 10:37 pm

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
 
sccutler
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 10:40 pm

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...
 
carduelis
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 10:53 pm

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!
 
Setjet
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 10:54 pm

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

RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 11:10 pm

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...


 
fritzi
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 11:24 pm

"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...
 
POSITIVE RATE
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 11:30 pm

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.
 
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scbriml
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 12:27 am

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. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
airxliban
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 12:44 am

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.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:26 am

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
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
FlySSC
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:29 am

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.
 
captjetblast
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

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?

 
VS340
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 4:12 am

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
 
FlySSC
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 4:15 am

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.
 
Capital146
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 4:37 am

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.
 
B2707SST
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:10 am

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.
 
FlySSC
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:16 am

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.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:40 am

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
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
FlySSC
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 6:41 am



- 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...
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 6:55 am

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



Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
VS340
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 7:04 am

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.
 
VS340
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 7:10 am

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"
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 7:16 am

precisely VS340... very well said!
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
FlySSC
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Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:38 am

RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 7:35 am

VS340, I agree completely you position. Of Course ALL accidents are the results of numerous incidents, or coincidences, call them whatever you want.
Of course F-BTSC took off at the maximum weight, and maybe more, but it happened many time in the past, both with AF and BA : MTOW was 185,1 tons. SC used "only" 800 kg taxiing, and took off with an excess weight of around 900kg witch is NOTHING for an aircraft...! even for Concorde, even with 3 engines... !
How can you be sure to say that at a weight of 180 Tons, Concorde would have been saved ? How can you be sure to say that if the Crew aborted Take-off after V1 they would have save the aircraft and its PAX ?
And if they had aborted the Take-off, and run out the runaway and burst into flame, people would say " Oh !! do you realize what the crew did ? What a mistake ! abort a take-off after V1 ? Those French pilots are so stupid and incompetent !"

The Crew did what they could...with what they knew about the incident... I knew the F/O Jean MARCOT very well, he was one of the most experienced Concorde pilot in activity and if he didn't save SC,NOBODY could have saved it; I can't accept reading here and there "Oh !!! the Crew took wrong decisions..." " They made terrible mistakes..." etc... !!! How can people know what they should have done instead ? It's easy to criticize... after...

If If If If... If Continental DC10 were maintained correctly, they would not loose pieces on runways, Concorde would not crash...and we would not be there tonight crying because of its premature retirement....

If If If If....
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 8:00 am

even with 3 engines...

Actually, it was akin to having only 2 in operation... as superheated air continually stalled #1 until the rollover  Sad


with what they knew about the incident
very true


If Continental DC10 were maintained correctly, they would not loose pieces on runways, Concorde would not crash

  • If the F/E had waited for the Captain's permission to shut down #2...
  • If the tire hadn't warped, pre FOD, due to spacer not being in place....
  • If Captain Marty had decided against a tailwind takeoff....
  • If the fuel stream hadn't ignited e.g. circa 1979....

     Sad
  • Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
     
    chrisdigo
    Posts: 179
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    RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

    Sat Oct 25, 2003 11:44 am

    VS340: Before you continue to label people's comments as "sensational", "Insane", "Defamatory", and "without proof", you should consider reading the "Proof"

    Thanks for the links.


    "3.2 Probable Cause:
    High Speed passage of a tyre over a part lost by an aircraft that had taken off 5 minutes earlier and the destruction of the tyre"

    These are the initial facts and after that, like FLYSSC said, If Continental DC10 were maintained correctly, they would not loose pieces on runways, Concorde would not crash.

    POINT! That's it!! no more IF!

    ConcordeBoy:
    1. when combined with: .... and a plane nearly 2tons overweight attempting to climb out on three engines ....

    2. it was akin to having only 2 in operation...

    3 or 2 when it's at your advantage... even 1 if you want.

    With all your comments about it, it seems that the incidents, the crash and the last flight makes you happy.
    PS: what is the origin of your username?

    Chris
     
    VS340
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    RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

    Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:13 pm

    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, had proper protocol been followed by Air France in its maintenance and ground handling procedures. Like I said before the piece of metal dropped by the CO DC-10 was the initial incident that caused a chain of events leading to a final catastrophic end. Essentially it was "the straw that broke the camel's back". If you read beyond just the probable causes you will see that the initial incident set off a chain of events which led to the loss of the plane. No one is denying the fact that had that piece of metal not been on the runway that day the plane wouldn't have crashed, and no one is trying to absolve the blame on CO, all we are saying is that AF is partially to blame to for what they did wrong.
     
    qantasguy
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    RE: How Safe Were The Concordes?

    Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:40 pm

    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 it was a piece of DC-10 Debris or in fact a tire, anything at that velocity would do significant damage to any aircraft. Ever seen that demonstration of the piece of wood shot out of a canon to simulate a tornado. At 100 miles per hour it went right through brick and cinder blocks. My point is: it's a shame that there was a catastrophic chain of events and it's a shame the concorde's fuel tanks were not protected well enough that day, but she was fixed, and had a couple of years of smooth operating 'till she retired today. Isn't it interesting that whenever Concorde blew a tire, or had an engine failure, it was always reported, whereas the last engine failure on an ERJ was probably never mentioned. May She Rest In Peace!!
    Airplanes Flown on..B-727-100, B-727-200, DC-9, F-27, B-707, B-717, B-737, B-747SP, B-747-100, B-747-200, B-747-300, B74
     
    GDB
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    Issues

    Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:43 pm

    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 wind direction during the taxi, they would have taxied back down the runway, recalcuated he C.G. and never hit the piece of metal as well as burning off some more fuel.
    No.1 engine was running up and down due hot gas ingestion, No.2 engine was shut down by the E/O some 25 feet off the ground with no regard to the minimum height and the procedure that governs this action.
    The aircraft rotated 25 kts below minimum speed.
    No one I know who was involved with the aircraft thinks the missing spacer had no bearing on what happened.
    That aircraft was pulling to the left, no Concorde pilot I've spoken to thinks anything else but the faulty L/H gear had anything else to do with it.

    As to the previous incidents, changes to the wheels, procedures and addition of the flat tyre detection system prevented any really serious incidents until 2000.
    If no action had been taken after these incidents the FAA would probably not allowed Concorde into the US.

    Note the list of tyre bursts, most were not a danger to the aircraft, note also that BA had around the same number of incidents, though none of them were anything like the 1979 and 1981 AF incidents, yet BA had some 40-45% more flying hrs.