DutchFlyer
Posts: 159
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Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:35 am

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]
 
fritzi
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:41 am

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
 
ACEregular
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:42 am

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.
 
SafetyDude
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:42 am

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"
 
Maersk737
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:56 am

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
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 3:01 am

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]
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 3:33 am

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
 
FlySSC
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 3:44 am

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
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 3:53 am

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.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
mrwayne
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 4:02 am

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
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 4:06 am

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.
 
martin21
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 4:25 am

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 !
 
ltbewr
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 4:27 am

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.
 
DutchFlyer
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 4:38 am

Martin,

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

But thanks anyway.
 
FlyingColours
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 4:58 am

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
 
FlySSC
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:13 am

AF Concordes were fitted with the "mudflpa type things", just like BA's.
 
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solnabo
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:17 am

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

Michael//SE
Airbus SAS - Love them both
 
fritzi
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:19 am

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]
 
FlyingColours
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:24 am

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
 
GLA MD11
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:49 am

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.
 
VC-10
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:58 am

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.
 
DutchFlyer
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:04 am

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.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:13 am

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." - John Ringo
 
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PW100
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:34 am

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!"
 
777236ER
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:00 am

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.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
dairbus
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 10:34 am

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-sc000725a.pdf



PW100

According to the report, the most probable source of ignition of the leaking fuel was damaged wiring in the left main landing gear bay, not the engines. This is thoroughly explained in the report and backed up by tests done by the investigators.

"I love mankind. It's people I can't stand." - Charles Shultz
 
GDB
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:17 pm

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 knowledge about Concorde that BA personnel had to assist in reconstructing the wreckage, (AF could not for legal reasons), Marc, one of our guys out there in December 2000, found that a spacer was missing.
I agree that the spacer was probably a marginal factor, that the shockwave in the No.5 tank
theory makes sense, however EADS, despite months of testing with a mock up, could not replicate it, in the end, computer modeling was used.
But, last year we heard from a source in the investigative area, that no fragments of rubber were found on the 5 tank panel that was found on the runway.
If this is true, that changes everything, we asked the question, 'can you confirm this?'
'No' we were told, 'the BEA won't let us see it', (a clear contravention of agreements with the two national investigative agencies).

As to the undercarriage water deflector, after a chunk of one hit the lower wing after a multi tyre burst on OAB in 1993, BA fitted a metal retaining strap to it, the fibreglass deflector were supposed to shatter on impact with the wing should they be badly damaged by a burst, but the mod was not made mandatory, so AF did not do it.
This was ruled out, but if it is true that rubber from the burst tyre was not present of the piece of 5 tank, (was any other non rubber material found? If so, what was it?) this should be revisited.

The AAIB, while agreeing with the main thrust of the report, publicly complained about lack of full access to the investigation and the slowness of the investigation in the first few weeks.
For us, the revelation that the crew ignored a runway change request, were overweight, seemed not to have accounted for this, is very concerning.
Look, BA did Concorde charters like AF4590, I can personally remember pax/baggage being taken off if we were not happy with the weight and C.G.

We'd loved to have seen AF4590's loadsheet, despite the cockpit not burning, despite the several copies of each loadsheet, AF 'lost' it.

As for tyres, well from 1993 to 2000, hardly any significant incidents, a gap from the mid 80s to 1993 too, these were the result of work to rectify issues from the 1979-81 incidents.
And we operated Concorde, up to 2000, at nearly twice the flying rate of AF, (at the end, the hours/cycles on our 'youngest' OAG, was around the same as AF's 'oldest' VFA).

But for us, the worst was the shutting off of 2 engine just after rotation, it had a fire warning but the flying manual states that in this instance that such an operation cannot be done under 400 feet, and then it is a series of checklist items.
With no,1 engine running up and down as fuel vapors were ingested, you needed all the power you could get, quite apart from the fire.
No.2 engine was found to be OK, some hard material (runway light?) had been ingested but it was not on fire.
That move, sealed F-BTSCs fate.

Explanations as to how SC got to be on the runway edge (causing a rotation 25 kts below minimum), just do not ring true with ALL of the Concorde engineers and flight crew we know.
In 2002, when BA were still hopeful of an upturn allowing increased services, looked at returning a 6th aircraft to flight, (OAB).
We were informally told by the CAA that additional information since 2000 led them to consider if a tank mod would be needed now, the NZG tyres were considered enough.
Though the tank mod was a success and a real tribute to EADS, in late 2000 it was the only game in town.

Back to late July 2000, we were very aware that the UK was coming under great pressure from France to ground Concorde, after the accident BA carried out extensive extra checks and changes to operational procedures, which the UK authorities were happy with, that's how BA flew for 3 weeks after the accident, which AF were not happy with, (so when AF lose an aircraft of any type, does the rest of the world have to stop flying it? Of course not, impractical, only grounding the tiny Concorde fleet WAS practical).

Some of you may have seen ex BA Concorde Capt John Hutchinson, who flew Concorde for 15 years until 1992, make a lot of noise about the accident, AF called him 'irrational'.
Really? Well John had some extra first hand experience, in 1968 he was one of the crew of a BOAC 707 that had an incident with stark parallels to AF4590, both involved a fuel fed fire on a wing at around the same phase of flight, the 707 got back to LHR, LeBourget from CDG was probably easier to get to for AF4590.
The 707 made it, was a write off, but most survived, Concorde, with way more power than a 707-436 did not.
Now of course big differences too, but this informed Hutchinson's concerns in 2000.

Deep down, I think that another factor was involved, 'go' fever.
AF4590 had been much delayed, including an aircraft change, it had to get pax to meet with a liner in NY, so they were racing the clock.
Could it be that the frankly rather sloppy attitude to procedures, with regards to weight, balance and not changing the runway used after the tower informed them of a change of wind direction, clouded the judgment of an experienced crew? It's happened before.
Changing runways would have prevented the accident, the fuel used during taxi and the different take off direction would have avoided the metal fragment.







 
L-188
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:29 pm

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 737 at Pittsburg
American Eagle at Roselawn
TWA 800 at Long Island
Air France Concorde at Paris.

All of them have questions that apper to have been missed or not asked during their investigations, or have had a party that did not want a conclusion to be reached.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:47 pm

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 single factor.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
GDB
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:51 pm

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 months were going public, on the other hand, would it cause a rift with France at a vital stage of the return to flight programme?

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/focus/story/0,6903,490018,00.html

This book is short, brisk, flies through Concordes service history, but goes into great detail about the accident.
After BA retired the aircraft, I had a chance to meet the author, he asked me some rather angry questions about BA's rationale for retirement, then we moved on to other issues.
He was very well informed about issues surrounding the accident, but I could help him privately, with issues around the near loss of an AF Concorde on Feb 19th 2003, with the warning that the final report had not been published, this incident was seen as a factor in AF retiring the aircraft, thus forcing BA to do the same.
I had seen an early R/R report and had spoken with BA flightcrew about it, as we all had.
Prior to meeting him, I had a chance to get a pdf of the original draft of the book, prior to publication, and was able to make recommendations for changes and corrections in some historical areas of the book;

http://www.supersonicsecrets.com/



 
DutchFlyer
Posts: 159
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:15 pm

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 the skidding of the plane and the early rotation

Caption taking off well over the plane's RTOW and with an tailwind

Pilot shutting down Engine no 2 before reaching 400ft and without permission by the caption

BEA neglecting those three aspects and put all the blame on the blown tire.

A shameless effort by the French to cover up their own mistakes and trying to defend their own reputation. A criminal act IMO, but not the first time the French did so.

In comparison with the other "cover ups" mentioned in post 28 I feel this is actual a cover up. In the other cases there were conflicting reports by the different investigating parties.
 
FlySSC
Posts: 5192
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:41 pm

Here we come ! again and again every two months...

"These stupid arrogant French and their crap National airline, incapable & incompetent to maintain and fly this Concorde Jewel, trying to hide the one and only truth everybody else knows, of course..." while "those virtuous, intelligent, and humble British kings of the sky, are fighting for truth against the french mafia..."

AF crashed Concorde, France & AF killed Concorde...

Of course Journalist and the media know always better than anybody else what happened...

You are pitiable...
 
AOMlover
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:43 pm

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 know and will never know, "cover up" or not.

"A shameless effort by the French to cover up their own mistakes and trying to defend their own reputation. A criminal act IMO, but not the first time the French did so."
Next criminal act by the French: kill KLM. That's what you wanna hear from us don't you ?
 
DutchFlyer
Posts: 159
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:54 pm

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 not a specialist, true, but with the knowledge I have and the articles I read, I can make a conclusion. So, what makes you laugh? That is make a conclusion, that sounds stupid. I bet you make conclusions too without knowing every detail and fact.

I don't hate the French and don't think AF is crap, but their actions are questionable from time to time (I also believe that the Dutch Tenerife report was faulty). I'm trying to be as objective as possible, giving arguments before I make a conclusion. Maybe you should do that too, FLYSSB and not just venting some public opinion on the French (true or false), that doesn't make your remarks stronger and trustworthy.
 
GDB
Posts: 12678
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:02 pm

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 procedure.

I don't know enough about the nature of the relationship between AF, government and the BEA, to know if there was any favours or improper elements to it.
We are talking about a major, pioneering, aviation nation in the first world, not some dodgy carrier in a third world failed state after all.

However, I can say that BA Engineering had some questions about some AF maintenance on Concorde well before the accident, I remember hearing this first hand.
Partly this could have been different cultures, for instance BA had a large dedicated team purely on Concorde, AF had a smaller 'core' Concorde team, which the rest of the manpower also working on other types, something that we'd have found difficult as Concorde was challenging to even the most experienced people.
In the late 70's the opposite was true, AF had a full dedicated team so had much better serviceability at the start, these positions flipped a bit later, and BA found the benefits to be significant.

It's no good for the BEA to say that breaking established operational procedures, which AF4590's crew did, is not important, at least that's how we saw it.
That for me is the real debate, these things did occur, but how important were they, they cannot be dismissed.
 
User avatar
EK413
Posts: 4391
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 10:33 pm

Fritzi

piece of metal from a Continental MD11

It was a DC10.


Ummm,where abouts in this POST did you read Continental MD-11 Confused

Just adding to this POST which is very interesting....
Can someone ANSWER this QUESTION??? Confused

The Concorde has been flying for 30 odd years (until 24th October 2003 correct me if I'm wrong) without incident!!! All of sudden AF & BA decide the aircraft is'nt safe to fly any more due to one fatal accident Confused

Any comments?  Confused



Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment!
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12495
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:36 pm

Whenever there is not one, absolute, crystal clear, provable factor in an event like aircraft accidents, conspiracy claims are bound to follow. Conspiracies are further encouraged by: 1) the lack of all the info from a/c recorders and other devices, 2) the damage, total destruction or no access of the materials necessary to more absolutely answer the question, 3) inaccurate visual observations, 4) governmental and corporate politics influencing investigations due to fears of lawsuits (especially in the US), national and airline pride and marketing fears, 5) additional costs to prevent such a problem, 6) the balance of how a critical part was designed, and if lower costs goals more important than higher safety need. 7) limits on the technology of the time the aircraft was built or when the accident happened. Look at how DNA testing has affected criminal investigations and 8) fear of anyone wanting to take partial or total blame for their causing the event.

With this accident, we had involved a rare, exotic, very specialized aircraft, with French pride involved and was 30 years old. This accident ended the pratical operation of Concorde as was further compounded by the drop in demand for this service after 9/11/01 and this accident, the costs to maintain this aircraft with limits to what fares could be charged and the decline in need for such flights due to other technical communications improvements (tele-conferencing, the internet). Of course conspiracy claims as to accidents, or what is/has happened to an aircraft or airline are part of the reason for this sites existence.
 
Shamrock_747
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Mon Mar 01, 2004 1:00 am

EK413-

After the loss of F-BTSC Air France suspended Concorde flights, but British Airways continued daily LHR-JFK flights for another three weeks until the Certificate of Airworthiness was withdrawn.

Neither airline decided Concorde was no longer safe to fly. Both co-operated with organisations such as EADS and the CAA to get Concorde back in the air.
 
Ant72LBA
Posts: 374
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 7:42 am

RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Mon Mar 01, 2004 5:05 am

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.................

Whatever, I'm sure that it was an accident and no amount of rumour will change things.
 
flyingbronco05
Posts: 3484
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 11:43 am

RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:13 am

Here is why it crashed:

Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:25 am

Whatever, I'm sure that it was an accident.

No one is suggesting that it wasn't.  Insane

The argument is whether abject negligence on AF's behalf was the primary contributing factor to the crash... and not just the freak series of circumstances that the accident is most often attributed to.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
babybus
Posts: 2379
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:07 am

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 sense that Concorde became so financially irretrievable so quickly. From something that had a long service in front of it, suddenly everything needed to keep it in the air dries up and disappears. It seems unbelievable that even one plane couldn't be kept airworthy for airshow fly bys etc.

From being a young a/c to being totally unworkable so quickly. Can anyone explain that?

I guess I just can't get over the fact that I never flew in it. My therapist says that may take some time.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
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RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:16 am

From being a young a/c to being totally unworkable so quickly. Can anyone explain that?

Easily enough:
  • It crashed
  • It was grounded
  • Its core patronage never returned to pre-grounding levels
  • 9/11 stunted the aviation market
  • Airbus raised price on spares
  • AF says F.U. to Airbus
  • BA cannot justify the cost of maintaining the birds alone
  • Concorde service is no more
  • Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
     
    User avatar
    EK413
    Posts: 4391
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    RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

    Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:42 am

    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 until the Certificate of Airworthiness was withdrawn.

    Neither airline decided Concorde was no longer safe to fly. Both co-operated with organisations such as EADS and the CAA to get Concorde back in the air.


    I understand that the concordes of AF and BA had been grounded after the incident with AF F-BTSC BUT what I dont understand is the fact that after 30 years of service with AF & BA all of the sudden they decide lets pull the plug on it???
    I understand 110 passengers died on F-BTSC BUT how many people have died on normal civilian aircraft such as the 707,727,737,757,767,747 AND the list goes on and on!!! I wanna make it clear "THE CONCORDE FLEW FOR 30 YEARS WITHOUT A INCIDENT"!!!


    Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment!
     
    Shamrock_747
    Posts: 1499
    Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 3:25 am

    RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

    Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:33 am

    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 getting very poor loads on their flights, also they came very close to losing another Concorde last year. Air France were keen to stop because of these reasons and the costs for BA carrying on alone would have led to huge losses.
     
    GDB
    Posts: 12678
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    RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

    Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:55 am

    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 Sept 11th happened.
    The costs of the grounding and return to flight almost certainly ended the 'Re-Life 2' project, which had been approved by the BA Board in July 1997, re-life 2 would take the aircraft to 2013-2014.
    In late 2001 it looked like the fleet would run to 2007, AF's long stated retirement date, (in the late 1990's BA would have been lobbying AF to go with re life 2, but AF's much lower hrs and cycles on their fleet meant that they did not have to make a decision for years anyway).
    Shamrock_747 has pointed out what happened next.



     
    N6376M
    Posts: 2310
    Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 12:54 am

    RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

    Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:00 am

    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 military aircraft does the answer change (e.g. AirForce 1)?

    2. I was actually in Paris (on vacation when this happened). The newspapers made a big deal about the fact that under French law, if something fell off your aircraft, you were strictly liable for any damage it caused. If this is the case, has AirFrance sued Continental? If so, what is the status of this action?

    Thanks.
     
    FlySSC
    Posts: 5192
    Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:38 am

    RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

    Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:11 am

    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 so-called boycott, nothing else than a media invention. AF recorded last year on its CDG-JFK route one of the best load factor in its history...and, believe me, the US passengers who were traveling on AF's Concorde were not very sensitive to this kind of political considerations...

    EK413,

    Concorde was retired because it was old and not anymore profitable because of the ever increasing maintenance costs.

    Concorde always had technical problems, before and after the crash, both at AF & BA.
    Everybody in the aviation industry, at AF & BA, knew that tyres & wing design were the weakest part of Concorde. Both airlines & manufacturer tried their best to improve its safety on this point all along Concorde history.

    On July 25th, just a few minutes after the crash, some journalists called on the phone a French Concorde Captain, Mr. E.Chemel, who was famous because he was THE Captain of former French President F.Mitterrand.
    When they asked him what could happen to Concorde, he answered :

    "Of course, I don't know yet exactly, but the cause of this crash will certainly be found in the tyres of the planes". This was less than 1 hour after the accident.
     
    GDB
    Posts: 12678
    Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

    RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

    Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:56 am

    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 the political situation in early 2003.

    AF had at best, only ever made small profits on Concorde.
    But we never knew where we were with AF, in 1998 I remember a statement from AF's Concorde Engineering manager that AF intended to operate it well past 2010, which we thought a challenge, months later AF started making noises about an early retirement.

    'Old'?,Well as we age aircraft in hrs and cycles, AF's were much 'younger' than BA's.

    Sure we had no end of challenges right up until the end, but for the most part, we were doing OK, at least from what I saw of the last 7 years.
    certainly no major safety issues, at least at our end.

     
    FlySSC
    Posts: 5192
    Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:38 am

    RE: Concorde Crash Cover Up

    Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:28 pm

    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 titles in the newspapers here. It is not because they say that, that it is true ! You know perfectly that very often, Pilots think they know everything about everything but sometimes they should rather keep their mouth shut and do want they are here for : piloting.

    Concerning AF's results with Concorde, This plane was never considered by AF like a "normal" plane, in an economical point of vue, I mean. For years, it was not important to make money or not with Concorde. It became profitable with the Charter flights, world tour etc...which started with AF much later than with BA, as AF refused for years to use its "jewel" for such low marketing and commercial operations. They finally accepted when they found out it was inevitable if they wanted to be able to continue to operate Concorde.
    Moreover, There is a much bigger "natural" market on the route LHR-JFK than on CDG-JFK...
    In 1999, LHR-JFK was about 12 millions PAX/year (all airlines), while CDG-JFK was "only" 4 millions PAX/year.
    1 Daily Concorde CDG-JFK-CDG for a 4 Millions PAX market was a bigger challenge to fill it in than 2 Daily LHR-JFK for a 12 millions PAX market, and remember that AF's Concorde fare were always lower than BA's one.
    AF's Concorde was lightly profitable on the CDG-JFK route. It has NEVER been profitable on the JFK-CDG route...

    I know that Concorde was not "old" in terms of cycles / hours of flights, and AF's ones were much "younger" than BA's ! but it needed anymore much more maintenance than any other aircraft, and it needed more and more these last months as it was getting "older" particularly in terms of spares needs.

    The Concorde crash had a terrible impact on all the Air France staff. For most of us, Concorde died on July 25th. Of course everybody hoped that it would re-start, and people worked hard for the re-start, but it was more a symbole for us, and for France and French people.
    As AF's CEO J.C Spinetta said : "Concorde doesn't belong to AF or BA. It belongs to the collective memory, to our history. That's why we must do our best to let it fly again".

    After the re-start in November 2001, everybody knew that it would not last longer than just a few months, whatever could be the financial results.
    The crash was so present in everybody's mind, that everybody was so tensed at CDG every morning at 10:30 for the take off of AF002, and it was a real relief everyday to hear that "Concorde arrived safely".
    The performance was there. But the "heart" and the "pride" was not there anymore...

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