b741
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Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:16 am

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.
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PanAm747
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:39 am

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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Hardkor
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:46 am

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
 
philb
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:54 am

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.
 
FlySSC
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:59 am

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.
 
vc10
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:13 am

[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
 
philb
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:32 am

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.
 
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Qatara340
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:14 pm

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
 
philb
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:54 pm

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.
 
ChiGB1973
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:38 pm

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

I wish I had the chance to fly on it.

M
 
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Qatara340
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:47 pm

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
 
philb
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:58 pm

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.
 
VC-10
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:10 pm

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?
 
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Qatara340
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:18 pm

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
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:24 pm

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.
 
baroque
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:31 pm

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.
 
philb
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:28 pm

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.
 
David L
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:03 am

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.
 
akelley728
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:46 am

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...
 
manu
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:54 am

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.
 
philb
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:55 am

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.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:09 am

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
 
vc10
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:19 am

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
 
philb
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:25 am

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
 
b741
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:55 am

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
 
Bellerophon
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:56 am

Manu

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

No, not correct.

Following an engine failure in super cruise, the other three engines would be left untouched whilst the various checklists were carried out.

Once the engine failure had been dealt with Concorde would decelerate to subsonic speeds using exactly the same procedures as if she had still been flying on four engines.

Only at that point would any of the other three engines have been throttled back.


Philb

...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...

I can’t speak about the early days or during development flying, perhaps they did use the procedure you mention.

In later years, following an engine failure in super cruise, the procedure was for a normal decel in level flight to the 4-eng descent speed (350 KIAS), followed by a descent to the optimum 3-eng subsonic cruise altitude (c FL300), and then a cruise at the subsonic 4-eng cruise speed (M0.95).

The 3 and 4 eng descent speeds were the same, as were the 3 and 4 eng subsonic cruise speeds, only the altitude varied!


Regards

Bellerophon
 
jetfuel
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:30 am

FACT - Concorde was the safest Supersonic Airliner EVER
Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
 
David L
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:33 am

Quoting Jetfuel (Reply 26):
FACT - Concorde was the safest Supersonic Airliner EVER

And the most successful EVER. A lot of people seem to forget that small detail.  Smile
 
philb
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:07 am

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 25):
In later years, following an engine failure in super cruise, the procedure was for a normal decel in level flight to the 4-eng descent speed (350 KIAS), followed by a descent to the optimum 3-eng subsonic cruise altitude (c FL300), and then a cruise at the subsonic 4-eng cruise speed (M0.95).

The 3 and 4 eng descent speeds were the same, as were the 3 and 4 eng subsonic cruise speeds, only the altitude varied!

Thanks for that.
 
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Qatara340
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:27 am

Quoting AKelley728 (Reply 18):

You just contradicted yourself...

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! Corncorde has a bad saftey records because of many things--which I could not know of right now.
لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
 
philb
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:05 pm

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 29):
Corncorde has a bad saftey records because of many things--which I could not know of right now.

What does that mean?
 
scarebus03
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 6:43 pm

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 believe it was as safe as other airliners.
If one looks through the various Concorde incidents it is very noteworthy that on more than one occasion the failure of a tyre resulted in failure, damage and the replacement of one or more engines. This is not normal nor an acceptable flaw for any commercial airliner.
In 1979 an AF machine had a tyre failure which punctured the fuel tanks in several places and that was 14 years before F-BTSC crashed in Paris.
So where is the blame? I think the regulators did not do a particularly good job protecting the aircraft type during it´s service life. Probability suggests that if more were built more would have crashed for any reason not just tyre problems, the same goes for any aircraft type. It is also worth noting for other more popular types that when a particular failure occurs resulting in further damage which could jeopardise the safe operation of an aircraft action is taken by the regulators.
Why not with Concorde as well?

I do realise other types have had tragic consequences due to tyre failures but these have primarily been caused by bad maintenance not by design.

I do know the story of Concorde is long and has quiet a few twists but I firmly believe if more had been built more would have been lost in exactly the same manner as BTSC. But if more had been built maybe the regulators would have done more.........................

A sad end to a legendary machine

Just an opinion, not looking to be flamed!

Brgds
SB03
No faults found......................
 
philb
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:49 pm

Quoting Scarebus03 (Reply 31):
Probability suggests that if more were built more would have crashed for any reason not just tyre problems, the same goes for any aircraft type.

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 the exposure to risk does - and they are two different things.

Quoting Scarebus03 (Reply 31):
I firmly believe if more had been built more would have been lost in exactly the same manner as BTSC. But if more had been built maybe the regulators would have done more.........................

How do you work that one out? Once one had been lost what happened? They designed a fix.

The REAL risks with Concorde which made it more of a challenge to design and operate were at the extreme ends of the operating envelope - supersonic flight and low speed handling. Those area never caused a serious in service problem.

The other incidents, and the accident, could have, and have, happened to many other types.
 
jamman
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:17 pm

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 putting a person in orbit. Yes it was uneconomical yes it had its problems from time to time and yes there was a horrible disaster but put it in prospective to what this aircraft did and meant to the world as far as advanced engineering goes and the pure sprit of human kind pushing the envelope, problems or not I’d have flown on her everyday if I could have afforded it. All we have left now is whale jets, cleaner air systems and bigger windows to look forward to  wink 
Phoning it in from a place with no phones.
 
vc10
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:30 pm

Quoting Scarebus03 (Reply 31):

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 passenger operations, tyres were seen as a problem because as you stated the tendency to be ingested by the engines after tyre failure. This was address as follows :-

1] Tyre pressure warning sysytem which would warn the crew if they had a puncture in any of the 8 main wheels.

2] The restriction that only new tyres could be fitted [no remoulds]

3] Stronger wheels and tyres designed and used.

4] Reinforcing of the main landing gear water deflector.

5] Protective plating around important hydraulic pipes attached to the landing gear, and the fitment of hydraulic flow limiters within the braking system

6] Running a campaign to high light the amount of rubbish that was left on the perking bays and on taxi ways. It was this rubbish that was causing punctures to the tyres and so overloading their axle partner during the high speed take off runs.

With hindsight you might say that still not enough was done , but the problem arose because of tyre failure and after the installation of the above mods and greater attention to FOD, the rate of tyre failures during take off was dramatically reduced, but it would seem that FOD got it in th end.

It always amazed me though that the engines even after ingesting a tyre would rumble and cough as they were consuming it, but afterwards would run it would seem untroubled. It was only when you stopped them that the bent compressor blades would relax an mesh with each other.After looking at the compressor damage afterwards you would not have believed the engine would have been able to run at all

littlevc10
 
concordegboad
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:48 pm

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, however these events happen daily in the world of aviation.

One thing I believe is important to consider is that Concorde wasn't a normal airliner. Short of the TU-144, there isn't another type that is similar as far as layout and capabilities. Comparing a subsonic to a supersonic isn't exactly a direct comparison as the flight envelopes and environments are radically different.

My opinion? Lets just say I had absolutely no second thoughts while I was boarding for my flight. While at any time a certain chain of events that are unforseen could unfold and raise the potential for problems, I believe Concorde's engineering, flight, and operational personnel did everything possible to minimize this risk and was fully confident in the flight crew's ability to address any 'incident' during flight. Concorde was and still is a top notch aircraft, however her 'human factor' was absolutely top notch also.
 
diesel1
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:55 pm

Quoting B741 (Thread starter):

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 obsolete aircraft, long gone from service, (even if it is Concorde...), then why bother?
I don't like signatures...
 
baroque
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:20 pm

Quoting Philb (Reply 30):
Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 29):
Corncorde has a bad saftey records because of many things--which I could not know of right now.

What does that mean?

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 and has brought some of his unknown unknowns while leaving behind his known unknowns.
 
scarebus03
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:58 pm

Quoting Philb (Reply 32):
How do you work that one out? Once one had been lost what happened? They designed a fix.

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 is to design the fix before an aircraft is lost not after. The industry and it´s regulators aim to be preventive sadly this isn´t always successful.

Quoting Philb (Reply 32):
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 the exposure to risk does - and they are two different things.

Exactly why I wrote it, to state the obvious. The intention was not to single out Concorde on it´s own as the same is applicable to all aircraft types. Exposure to risk increases significantly when a design flaw is involved as an uncontrolled tyre failure under normal circumstances by design should not result in the loss of any aircraft. That includes being maintained properly as designed.

Quoting Philb (Reply 32):
Quoting Scarebus03 (Reply 31):
I firmly believe if more had been built more would have been lost in exactly the same manner as BTSC. But if more had been built maybe the regulators would have done more.........................

How do you work that one out? Once one had been lost what happened? They designed a fix.

If you had 2,000 Concordes in service imagine the amount of aircraft movements of this type everyday. This is too say the same design flaw would in all probability would have caused the loss of numerous aircraft. This in turn would have resulted in more pressure on the French DGAC and the C.A.A. to correct the problem for good much earlier in it´s service life like all other types.

VC-10
thanks for the info it´s really interesting. But at any time did they beef up the tanks over the engines and landing gear to prevent punctures or ponder the installation of dry bays?

Brgds
SB03
No faults found......................
 
baroque
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:21 pm

Quoting Scarebus03 (Reply 38):
If you had 2,000 Concordes in service imagine the amount of aircraft movements of this type everyday. This is too say the same design flaw would in all probability would have caused the loss of numerous aircraft.

No, you cannot make that extrapolation. With additional Concordes it it possible that the event that did cause the fatal crash would have been preceded by a more minor version of that event that would have caused either closer adherence to the clearance practices or a fix to allow for the kind of burst that did occur in what could be called extreme circumstances. So it is also possible to argue that with 2,000 Concordes that particular type of failure might have occurred after the problem had been identified and fixed.

What happened, happened, and it is best to remember that the runway was not in the condition for which the plane was designed.
 
scarebus03
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Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 3:14 pm

RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:03 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 39):
No, you cannot make that extrapolation. With additional Concordes it it possible that the event that did cause the fatal crash would have been preceded by a more minor version of that event that would have caused either closer adherence to the clearance practices or a fix to allow for the kind of burst that did occur in what could be called extreme circumstances. So it is also possible to argue that with 2,000 Concordes that particular type of failure might have occurred after the problem had been identified and fixed.

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 tyre failures throughout the service of the Concorde. This includes the puncturing of the fuel tanks on one such event on an AF machine as stated above. VC-10 has very kindly provided us a list of modifications performed to reduce the risk of serious damage to the Concordes in the event of a tyre failure.

Quoting Scarebus03 (Reply 38):
This in turn would have resulted in more pressure on the French DGAC and the C.A.A. to correct the problem for good much earlier in it´s service life like all other types.



Quoting Baroque (Reply 39):
What happened, happened, and it is best to remember that the runway was not in the condition for which the plane was designed.



Quoting Scarebus03 (Reply 38):
an uncontrolled tyre failure under normal circumstances by design should not result in the loss of any aircraft. That includes being maintained properly as designed.

If the tyre has been correctly installed, inspected and serviced as per the Aircraft maintenance manual regardless of how it failed (bad runway, fod etc.)
It should not result in the loss of any airliner full stop.

It was an unfortunate chain of events but a tyre failure is not considered extreme circumstances.

Brgds
SB03
No faults found......................
 
David L
Posts: 8547
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:14 am

Quoting Scarebus03 (Reply 40):
And yes the event that caused the fatal loss in Paris was preceded by numerous more minor events relating to tyre failures throughout the service of the Concorde. This includes the puncturing of the fuel tanks on one such event on an AF machine as stated above. VC-10 has very kindly provided us a list of modifications performed to reduce the risk of serious damage to the Concordes in the event of a tyre failure.

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 (2m long, I think) slamming the underside of the wing in such a way as to generate a shock wave sufficient to burst the tank from within. That type of incident was, as far as I know, unprecedented and, therefore, not the kind of thing that anyone could have been expected to take measures against. Not only was there a chain of circumstances but the incident was unique.

It seems to me that fuel tank reinforcement and safer tyres were introduced as soon as anyone knew this type of incident could happen. I'm quite sure if they'd thought it likely sooner, the modifications would have been introduced sooner.
 
scarebus03
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:57 am

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 investigation report and the fuel tanks were punctured on six different occasions due to tyre failures between '76 and '93 so I assume after 93' some serious modifications were carried out as after there were no more tank punctures. I'm sure if I do a search all of this has been discussed before.

Brgds
SB03
No faults found......................
 
PanAm747
Posts: 4713
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:20 am

Quote:
FACT - Concorde was the safest Supersonic Airliner EVER

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 numbers, only one Concorde was lost, while two TU-144's crashed. In terms of fatalities, the Concorde lost 113, while only a dozen or so lost their lives.

Most statistics are meaningless because they are SO easy to take out of context.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
vc10
Posts: 1339
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2001 4:13 am

RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:41 am

Quoting Scarebus03 (Reply 42):

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 modifications to the tanks as it was seen that if the tyres/wheel were improved then the problem would be cured and I have to say that was case as I do not remember any tyre damaging fuel tanks once the gear mods were incorparated, but the memorary might be failing me on this point. This is of course all prior to the crash.

Remember the Air France crash was not only due to tyre failure puncturing the tank but also due to the tyre debris breaking the electrical line to the brake cooling fans, which apparently then supplied the source of ignition for the leaking fuel.

littlevc10
 
GDB
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:40 am

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 through the process of the accident investigation, with how the findings-almost always still skipped over in much reporting, affected the effort.
http://www.concordesst.com/returntoflight/rts/rtsindex.html

It seems the stats are somehow way slanted, because BA publish-just internally I think, a quarterly publication of safety related articles and a list of incidents over that period.
When Concorde was in service, it did not loom large here, agreed the complexity and unique flight envelope of the type had a higher rate per numbers in service, but also with the context of the rest of the fleet.
These included very minor ones, I suspect that the source for this thread, for whatever reason, leaves out many or all of these for conventional types, yet includes similar for Concorde.

And yes it's true, even before 2000, many minor incidents were blown across the press, when the same would not be true of all other types.
The high profile was a double edged sword.
 
scarebus03
Posts: 231
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RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:10 am

Quoting VC10 (Reply 44):

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 report is very interesting and addresses almost everything covered in this thread.

Brgds
SB03
No faults found......................
 
David L
Posts: 8547
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:25 am

Quoting Scarebus03 (Reply 42):
I would like to know the types of mods carried out between the first such incident and prior to the crash.

The AF crash was the first "such incident". It was very different from the earlier incidents.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 43):
In terms of numbers, only one Concorde was lost, while two TU-144's crashed. In terms of fatalities, the Concorde lost 113, while only a dozen or so lost their lives.

Most statistics are meaningless because they are SO easy to take out of context.

Yes, very true.  Smile
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:56 pm

I was away yesterday so didn't get to reply:

Quoting Scarebus03 (Reply 38):
But the idea is to design the fix before an aircraft is lost not after. The industry and it´s regulators aim to be preventive sadly this isn´t always successful.

The previous tyre bursts started off as just that and, as tyre burst happen every day you need a pattern to induce worry and then action - rather like the Ford company had with tyres on certain trucks and SUVs in the US between 1999 -2000. At first they seeme to be unrelated, later they found that a certain make of tyre and the wheels on the vehicles didn't work well together but it took a great deal of effort to prove it.

Unfortunately both BAE/Aerospatiale and Ford needed fatal events to accept that the tyre problems were more than routine occurences.

The previous fuel tank rupture may well have given much more of a pointer but I've not read enough on this recently enough to comment from memory but I would say your extrapolation regarding the scenario of 2,000 Concordes doesn't hold water.

In real terms, with the handful of Concordes that were flying the risk, after the first fatal accident, were deemed too great to continue to allow it to fly and the fleets were grounded and a fix found. They took notice of history - the Comet 1 problems, with more than one write off, were not replicated.

When the DC10 engine fell off at ORD in 1979, the worldwide fleet - a much more significant contributor to the airline world than Concorde - was immediately grounded until the cause and a fix was found.

The reality is that whilst fatal accidents/hull losses do occur, it has been extremely rare for a particular cause to have been blamed more than once on a given type (pilot error excepted).

The last time I can recall a front line aircraft having more than one fatal accident from a flaw/design fault/engineering error being replicated exactly was the L-188 Electra.

There is an argument that the 737 should have been grounded in the light of the US Air and United accidents in the 1990s which are thought to have shown up a fault in the rudder system.

It could be argued that the regulators should have grounded the type after the first accident when they hadn't found a definitive cause and certainly after the second accident and they only let the aircraft continue to fly because there were so many of them in service that the industry would have been crippled by a grounding - a similar scenario to your 2000 Concordes idea.

That argument doesn't stand up because the rudder fault has never been 100% proved on both aircraft so grounding at either juncture would have been premature. There were a few "uncommanded rudder deflections" reported in the heat of the speculation, mostly in the US, but none were deemed significant. Nevertheless, mods were done to the whole fleet - albeit over 8 years - and, to date, there has been no recurrence, a case of care ful monitoring and precautionary action.

As has been stated, Concorde was always operating at the front edge of the commercial transport envelope and always - if only for the fact of it's celeb passenger lists - in the glare of publicity.

It is ironic that it's only fatal accident was caused by a chain of events initiated by the failure of a very low tech component and that the passenger list that day was not the usual assembly of the rich and famous.
 
FlySSC
Posts: 5179
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:38 am

RE: Concorde's Bad Safety Record

Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:35 pm

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 43):
In terms of numbers, only one Concorde was lost, while two TU-144's crashed. In terms of fatalities, the Concorde lost 113, while only a dozen or so lost their lives.

The difference is that Concorde was successfully operated commercially during 27 years, carrying Millions and Millions of Passengers with BA & AF.
The Tu-144 carried a few hundrers PAX at the most during a few months and was retired from services.

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