Hole_Courtney
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 1999 12:51 am

Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Wed Sep 27, 2000 9:00 pm

Check out all the major news sites.

It's silly if you ask me. Concorde should have been able to withstand such a blow. But that's my uneducated opinion.

Air France is probably loooking for a scapegoat....too bad it's an airline that they have a mini alliance with.

"[He] knew everything about literature, except how to enjoy it." - Yossarian, Catch 22
 
mirage
Posts: 3612
Joined: Mon May 31, 1999 4:44 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Wed Sep 27, 2000 9:12 pm

Based on the legislation, Air France can in fact sue Continental "every airline is responsible for damage caused by any piece of its own aircrafts", but I think the airport authority should also be sued because they are responsible for keeping the runway in full operational conditions (there was no runway inspecction before the Concorde take off).

Luis, Faro, Portugal
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Wed Sep 27, 2000 9:16 pm


That's right Mirage but you also can't expect that the airport authority checks the runway all the time.
I know it sounds stupid but they can't do it.
Shouldn't the controllers have seen the piece ?? I mean it was pretty big.

B737-700
 
mirage
Posts: 3612
Joined: Mon May 31, 1999 4:44 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Wed Sep 27, 2000 9:22 pm

I know they can't check the runway all the time (I work with that) but they are responsible and I think before any Concorde take off it was a procedure to check the runway.
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Wed Sep 27, 2000 9:34 pm

They're looking for a scape goat. Maybe I'm just ignorant, but I don't see how a busted tire could have caused the accident. I haven't paid much attention to the investigation process though, so I probably missed the sound explanation.
 
flashmeister
Posts: 2671
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 4:32 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Wed Sep 27, 2000 9:59 pm

They are DEFINITELY looking for a scapegoat. Come on...

The bottom line is that for all its grace, the Concorde has a serious, dangerous design deficiency. IMHO, the airworthiness certificate should have been pulled when it was. Think of it - if 757s or some such plane started falling out of the sky because one tire ruptured, there's not a chance that the FAA would look the other way.

Air France is not an airline that takes blame or any fault easily. Look at the A320 test pilot situation. All AF wants to do is point the finger and come out looking like another one of the victims here.

I know there are AF supporters on this forum, and I don't want to start a war, but AF needs to grow up and behave like an airline rather than an image company.
 
akelley728
Posts: 1965
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 1999 12:35 pm

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Wed Sep 27, 2000 10:19 pm

B737-700:

The strip of metal was only ten inches long; there is no way the controllers could've seen it.

It's really unfortunate that Air France decided to do this; like everybody is saying, they're simply looking for a scapegoat. If they want to sue anybody they should sue the manufacturers of the Concorde (BAe and Aerospatiale) for making an aircraft that is inherently flawed; that is, it's extremely vulnerable to FOD damage such as this. Or maybe Goodyear, for making a tire that can't handle running over a 10" piece of metal.


 
ContinentalEWR
Posts: 3619
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 2:50 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Wed Sep 27, 2000 10:26 pm

Air France can certainly sue Continental Airlines but they will have to prove that Continental demonstrated
proximate cause in contributing to this crash and this
will be difficult, if not impossible.

While it is becoming increasingly clear that the metal
strip, most likely from the Continental DC10-30 that
took off moments before the doomed SSC has been
the culprit in a catastrophic chain of events, there
have been prior incidents involving Concorde tires
being sensitive. At takeoff speeds of 550 mph, it
would seem natural that the tires should be able
to withstand forces within reason. There had been
prior incidents of tire blowouts, including one on
an AF SSC at IAD in 1979. The plane was able to
land safely. This points to a design flaw on the
Concorde and its manufacturers are therefore to
be considered involuntarily negligent, as is ADP
for not adopting safety standards to ensure that
a runway is cleared of debris prior to a SSC take-
off roll and Air France itself. After all, the 1979
incident points to the fact that extra care should
have been taken on those tires.

As for Continental, well loosing aircraft parts,
even those not deemed critical for the safe
operational of an aircraft is not commendable
and is somewhat negligent, but Air France
would have to prove gross negligence and
that will be very hard to do. Those DC10's
need to be retired soon but I still don't
think you can ultimately prove Continental
responsible for this crash. It was a
contributing factor (maybe even the cause)
but it was just bad luck, not negligence on
the part of the airline.

What if the AF4590 had not been delayed?
Then it would have taken off before the
Continental DC10.....It's just bad luck.

ContinentalEWR
 
flashmeister
Posts: 2671
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 4:32 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Wed Sep 27, 2000 10:34 pm

The thing that really stinks about this is that AF and it's moron attorneys will probably be successful in milking at least some money from CO for this, and if they win, it could really zap some financial momentum from a carrier that has done such an astounding job of turning itself around.

For all the nasty things I've said about CO over the years, they've done a great job and I would like to think at least that gross negligence would be the last thing to expect from them.

AF and its insurers should be ashamed of themselves. Rather than fault their precious beauty, they want to be martyrs at the hands of a Yankee fault. They're exploiting the lives lost on that flight to save their own face just as shamelessly as a greasy lawyer chases an ambulance.
 
AF-A319
Posts: 567
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 1999 3:18 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Wed Sep 27, 2000 10:59 pm

Flashmeister,

Don't be supid. This is a business thing. Not something which concerns any "hatred" against the yankees.
I'm sure that Continental, or any other airline, would have sued Air France, if they were in the same situation. I would agree with that.


 
Guest

Flashmeister

Wed Sep 27, 2000 11:00 pm

Please Flashmeister,

cut the "poor yankee victim" crap. If a CO DC-10 crashed because of a part left on the runway by an AF aircraft, you know very well that CO would have sued AF from day one.


mls737

 
ILUV767
Posts: 3035
Joined: Mon May 29, 2000 2:21 pm

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde..

Wed Sep 27, 2000 11:08 pm

Crashes happen. Let the investigation take place, and put the whole thing to rest. I doubt that this will hold up in court.
 
morecy
Posts: 205
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 4:07 am

RE: Flashmeister

Wed Sep 27, 2000 11:15 pm

Give me a break on the yankee bashing already. This is just business and in today's environment an incident like this sets off a chain reaction of lawsuits; you haul out the lawyers, go for the deep pockets and play the game. It's unfortunate and it's ugly but that's the way it is.

Guess the AF/CO "alliance" isn't going to last long now.
 
ewr757
Posts: 354
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2000 8:47 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde..

Wed Sep 27, 2000 11:28 pm



If the strip of metal "caused" the crash, why is the airplane still grounded?

Are they finally looking at the real problem here?
 
JetService
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Wed Sep 27, 2000 11:29 pm

Was the 10" strip of metal thrown into the fuel tank/engine or did the resulting tire failure cause the engine fire? I could see cause on Continental's part for the strip blowing the tire, but a blown tire bringing a plane down sounds like a design flaw to me. Geez that a scary thought. Like the experts say, rarely does one event cause a fatal crash, it's usually 2 or 3 things going wrong at one time. So Continental may or may not be the cause of one of those factors, but who's to blame for the other(s)?
"Shaddap you!"
 
killjoy
Posts: 601
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 1999 6:00 am

Crash Lawsuits In General

Thu Sep 28, 2000 12:14 am

I agree with the people who said that the yankee-thing isn't relevant. I *don't* think that any other airline would've done the same, however. At least I hope not... Anyway, the others haven't really gotten a chance to do something like this, so they're innocent until proven guilty...

And about crashes in general: Why is it that airlines get sued immediately no matter if it was just bad luck or not? And usually they lose, too, which I find even more disgusting.

The usual argument by the people who are trying to regain some of their dignity after jumping on the get-rich-quick-wagon is that the loss of money will make the airline more careful about losing airplanes. Do these people know what heavy jets cost??? There's no way an airline can be complacent about hull losses even without the lawsuits.

The only reason I'd ever sue an airline for is if they killed someone thanks to direct incompetence/ignorance and could prove it beyond doubt (to myself, that is, since courtrooms these days seem to need much less to persuade them).

Now that I think about it, I can't understand (or approve of) most of the lawsuits *outside* the aviation business either, but that's another story...
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 12:19 am

"That's right Mirage but you also can't expect that the airport authority checks the runway all the time.
I know it sounds stupid but they can't do it. "

We're not talking about what they can or can't do. We're talking about legalities, and when you talk about legalities you talk about what they should do. So there is some responsibility there.

Air France is definitely looking for a scapegoat, in my opinion. I think part of it has to do with the fact that Continental is a US carrier and an easy target when it comes to the injured patriotic pride of the French, and part of it is that doing this gives the image around the world that Air France is absolved of any fault in this issue.

The fact is, the Concorde is an extremely fragile aircraft. This accident just exposed a major design flaw in the Concorde that had gone unnoticed for thirty years! Continental isn't to blame here. Neither is Air France. This was just one of those things that happen. But Air France, in the eyes of industry professionals, is crying foul when there is no foul.

Pat
 
jaysit
Posts: 10186
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 11:50 pm

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 12:51 am

Has it been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the 17 x 1 inch strip caused the tire burst? Or is it merely a theoretical premise? Have investigators conducted analyses on the burst tire (if it wasn't completely destroyed in the crash)?

But even if the strip did cause the tire burst, this would bring up a full scale analyis of whether the Concorde was or should have been designed to withstand such physical damage. Also, did CDG contractually agree to examine the runaway before any Concorde take offs? It appears that there are way too many issues to consider before any liability actions can be taken.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
Delta777-XXX
Posts: 940
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 3:50 am

AF-A319 And Mls737

Thu Sep 28, 2000 1:08 am

AF-A319 and Mls737,

Well said!


   
 
Delta777-XXX
Posts: 940
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 3:50 am

AF-A319 And Mls737

Thu Sep 28, 2000 1:09 am

AF-A319 and Mls737,

Well said!


   
 
Avilitigator
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2000 12:29 pm

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde

Thu Sep 28, 2000 1:20 am

Hi,

We had a long discussion on CO's possible liability a few weeks ago (search for "Piece of CO DC-10 caused Concorde Crash"), so here's a sample to bring this discussion in context:



Gerardo,

I agree that my original post was unclear whether CO could
be held liable for the crash as a third party, or whether
there are causes of action separate from the Warsaw
Convention whereby AF could sue CO for a contribution.
Again, the answer lies in French law, which I am not
familiar with so if anyone out there has any knowledge on
this, please contribute.

Based on my knowledge of American law, however, I believe
that it will be highly unlikely that CO can be held
legally or financially liable for the Concorde crash.
Under American tort law, which differs slightly between
each state and in federal law, the main issue of liability
is causation. There are two types of causation: (1)
causation in fact and (2) causation in law. For liability
to ensue the aggrieved parties (AF and the familes of
those killed in the crash) would have to prove both (1)
and (2). If they prove only (1) but not (2), CO would not
be held liable. Let me explain the difference between (1)
and (2).

(1) Causation in Fact.

This is the "original" event that causes a chain reaction
of events leading to the ultimate event at issue. For
instance, let's say a button falls off my suit sleeve onto
the floor of a busy subway, causing somebody to slip on
the button and fall onto the tracks, thereby prompting the
subway operator to slam on the train's brakes, leading to
the derailment of the train and the injuries and deaths of
many train passengers. The button from my suit would be
the cause in fact of the train accident. However, it would
not necessarily be the legal cause of the train accident
because there were independent incidents that were not
forseeable or broke the chain of causation. What then
would allow for a finding of causation in law?

(2) Causation in Law.

Let's alter the facts now to say that I lost a button from
my suit the week before, and somebody slipped on the
button and broke his leg. If the second victim could prove
this, I would be liable for that person's injuries because
as a matter of law, I knew from the previous week's
incidents that if I didn't check my buttons, one may fall
off in a busy place and cause someone to slip. However, if
I can show that it is the duty of the subway maintenence
crews to sweep the floor of the subway platform for debris
and that they failed to sweep for debris, I can bring in
the maintenence crew as third party defendants in the
lawsuit. I could then argue that the crews were liable
because they broke the chain of causation by their failure
to sweep. Let's say that the maintenance crew could show
that they did everything possible, according to industry
standard, to check for debris (let's assume that the
industry standard is to check for debris 3 times a day
rather than after each train leaves the station). In that
case, I would be held liable for the injuries to the
person who slipped on the button. However, there is
another chain of events to consider: whether it was
forseeable that the person would fall onto the tracks and
cause the train's derailment and passengers' deaths. If a
party could prove this, then the chain of causation would
be complete and I could be held liable for the damage to
the train and the deaths of passengers, as a matter of
law. This is the weakest link of the chain.

Now let's apply these scenarios to the real life incidents
that took place on that fateful day. CO is the person
whose "button" fell off his suit. If you can prove that CO
knew from prior incidents that its engines' "buttons" came
off during takeoff and caused damage to another plane,
then you would have your first step in causation. Many
forumites have suggested that CO should have completed a
more thorough check of its DC-10 prior to takeoff.
However, there is no evidence so far that the part that
fell off its engine had ever fallen off before on other CO
DC-10s (or any other airlines' DC-10s for that matter),
and no evidence that a part like that caused any damage to
another airplane. Evidence that other parts of the DC-10
are flawed are largely irrelevant. The question should be
what was the industry standard for maintenance checks on
DC-10s? If the airline personnel and ground crews
performed up to industry standards and checked what needed
to be checked (please, if the relevant people on this
website could provide information on what the "industry
standard" is, that would be helpful), then CO would be
absolved of liability. If CO's maintenence personnel
didn't perform up to industry standards, then it could be
held at least partly liable for the damage to the
Concorde's burst tire, assuming that the airport runway
maintenence crews also performed up to industry standard
by checking for runway debris on their regular schedule.

Now follows the weakest link in the causation chain that I
mentioned earlier. AF and BA both knew from prior
incidents that the tires of their Concorde jets were
susceptible to damage from runway debris, or even without
debris but from the inherent nature of the high pressure
tires themselves to explode on takeoff. However, up to the
day of the AF crash, there had never been a Concorde that
had crashed as a result of runway debris or tire parts
damaging its fuel tanks. This is where all the speculation
begins because all the facts and reports are not yet
available. AF and BA both maintain that, prior to the AF
crash, tire blowouts were non-catastrophic and survivable
events.

Thus, to hold CO liable in law for the AF crash, you would
have to prove several things: (1) CO knew or should have
known, based on prior incidents, that the part that fell
of its engine was likely to fall off upon takeoff; (2) CO
did not meet industry standard in its regular and
pre-flight maintenence checks; (3) the runway maintenence
crews met its industry standard in checking for runway
debris; and (4) it was forseeable, based on prior
incidents, that a Concorde would not survive a tire
blowout upon takeoff.

If the final reports indicate that the DC-10 part flew up
from runway after contacting a tire, then punctured a fuel
tank, causation would still be a problem because there is
no evidence that runway debris in the past have ever
punctured a Concorde's fuel tanks.

I apologize if I have any facts wrong regarding the
Concorde crash (please correct any mistakes, my friends),
but I stand by my legal reasoning.

Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to this topic.

Avilitigator
 
D L X
Posts: 11655
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 1:31 am

If it wasn't the fault of the plane, the plane would still be flight-legal. It is not. Had any other jet ran over this piece of metal, the worst that would have happened is a blowout. The fact is, this plane has proven it is too fragile to fly under anything but the most pristene conditions. I doubt this lawsuit will get very far.
 
Guest

RE: Avilitigator

Thu Sep 28, 2000 1:36 am

Have you ever tired a personal injury suit? Your sum of causation is good, but let me tell you in practice it's a different ball game. The four steps you outlined are open to much litigation and that's where a large bulk of discovery would occur (if in the US). You didnt mention the other important factors for a tort claim, injury and duty. Co. has a duty to ensure their aircraft are free from defects. Having a piece fall off an aircraft is a major breach of duty and many cases are not won on the causation issue. You can link causation to any fact pattern. The bottom line comes down to what a jury believes, no matter how clear-cut the case is. Also, you didn't factor the evidence problems that may arise in the case. That's a whole other ball of wax for another day. It should be interesting to see what happens though.
 
Avilitigator
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2000 12:29 pm

RE: Legalman

Thu Sep 28, 2000 2:13 am



Thanks for providing more information on how this case would be tried in the US. You're right that I've never tried a personal injury case -- my background is appellate (work at the US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit) and securities law (worked at a large silicon valley firm). The reason I didn't talk about injury is that it seemed pretty obvious that there was injury in this case. I talked obliquely about duty when I mentioned industry standard, but didn't use the "duty" buzz word because when I posted that particular message, I was considering the audience (predominantly non-legal) and the topic (Piece of CO DC-10 Caused Concorde Crash), which emphasized the word "cause". It was CO's "industry standard duty" to check their planes regularly and before each flight, which I mentioned in the post, and that's why I admitted in that post I didn't know what that standard was and that others with such knowledge should chime in with information on what such maintenenance/checks involve. Thus, no need to get nasty with me. What your post points out though, which I totally agree with, is that there are many unresolved issues and many legal opinions, but the court of public opinion will have the final say in this matter.
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 2:23 am

FACT: A piece of metal was found on the runway after the crash "probably" from a CO DC10.

FACT: With even the best maintenance, bits fall of aircraft.

FACT: Airport runways are supposed to be swept regularly and inspected even more regularly for FOs.

FACT: ADP (Aeroports de Paris) admit omitting a sweeping operation due to a fire practice but this does not seem to have any bearing on the case as the Continental DC10 took off after this should have taken place.

FACT: Concorde tyre problems were well known.

OPINION: ADP and Air France should have arranged a runway inspection before every Concorde take off.

OPINION: Air France is clutching at straws BUT, given the French legal process, this could run for years and really cost Continental.

OPINION: Any thoughts of this being a way to get at the Americans is just paranoia on the part of US participants on this site - AF would have sued anyone whose aircraft had shed a piece of metal.

OPINION: They should also sue ADP, but they won't, that just isn't playing Boules.
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 2:39 am

It's ridiculous that AF is going to sue CO, absolutely ridiculous!!!! The Concorde in my opinion is already living a "borrowed" life. this aircraft should have been retired long ago. It's an ilogical aircraft and the only customers for the Concorde are the 2 countries who built it!!! Why is this??? Another thing is why in God's name is AF repairing tyres instead of replacing them!!! Yes the Concorde has an extreme take-off speed (550mph is perhaps a "little" exagerated) so it's absolutely insane to repair tyres instead of replacing them on this type of aircraft!!! I say retire it now while it's still ahead. The safety record of it is not all that good. Yes people say that this is the first ever crash for a Concorde in about 30 years. Sounds good, but when you compare hours of flight or cycles to the crash, the record becomes worse than most of the airliners out there!!!!! Any impartial judge will see this and rule against AF.
 
mls515
Posts: 2954
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2000 5:56 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 2:43 am

The Concorde sure is an eggshell client!
 
Guest

RE: Avilitigator

Thu Sep 28, 2000 4:07 am

I didnt mean to sound nasty, I didnt have alot of time to write so I had to do it fast. 9th circut,eh? Is Ponser there or is that 6th?
 
LHMark
Posts: 7048
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 2:18 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 4:12 am

Would this case proceed in the US or France? How similar are the French legalities in this matter to the US legalities?
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
Avilitigator
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2000 12:29 pm

RE: Legalman

Thu Sep 28, 2000 4:51 am

Hey, no problem, apology accepted. Judge Posner works for the 7th Circuit (Indiana). The 9th Circuit (SFO, western states) gets all the airplane crash cases from the Pacific Rim (Korean Air 007 shooting and the Guam crash; USAir runway crash at LAX; Aeromexico crash over Cerritos; Thai Airways in Kathmandu, etc.) so there's a lot of action here. 2nd Circuit (New York, eastern states) will get the TWA and EgyptAir litigation/appeals.
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 5:06 am

Gyro,

your opinion re Concorde being retired doesn't hold water. The airframes are good for 40,000 hours currently. The lead ship has a little over 23,000 and the average is 18,000.

The aircraft is still at the cutting edge of technology regarding supersonic flight and always was going to be a compromise (which aircraft isn't?).

In its time, Concorde was only as illogical as sending men to the moon, building enough nukes to destroy the world many times over or, come to that, the miniskirt having been pioneered in a wet and often windy United Kingdom.

It was a child of its time. Had the fuel crises of the early 1970s, plus the rise of the environmentalists in the USA not happened when they did; had the 747 not opened the skies for the masses (it was built as a stopgap until the Boeing 2707 was ready), Concorde would have succeeded, the problem of the weak fuel tanks and tyres would have been solved in about 1978 and the incident rate would still have been as great a proportion as it is today, with probably 150-250 aircraft flying.

In all of this Air France are grieviously culpable and it does them no credit to pursue CO
 
flashmeister
Posts: 2671
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 4:32 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 5:10 am

Look, I apologize for what was probably a passionate post. I don't think that AF has it in for Americans per se, but they are pointing the finger at anybody but themselves. If this had happened at JFK, and it was an Air France plane that preceded Concorde, then the Port Authority would be knee-deep in litigation. Anything to channel blame to someone else. That may be an opinion that is pervasive across the industry or industries as a whole, but that doesn't make it right.

It is true, however, that Concorde has a serious flaw. Rather than BA, AF, and/or BAe/Aerospatiale (or EADS now I suppose) admitting that there is a design flaw or at least investigating it, they are asserting that CO is completely to blame for the accident. (Remember, AF wants CO to pay for all costs associated with the accident.) Common practice or not, that's just plain wrong.

The fact is that BA, AF, and BAe/Aerospatiale knew for years that this was a problem with the tires, and especially the possibility of significant structural damage if a tire burst. At one point, the US FAA issued a warning about the problem.

If anyone is negligent in this matter, it's the manufacturers and/or operators of Concorde, not CO.

What's important to realize is that it's doubtful that anyone from any of the companies involved actually did a cost-benefit analysis and determined that it would be cheaper to expend these lives than to fix their airplane. It was just a series of unfortunate, tragic circumstances, any one of which would have probably not even raised an eyebrow, that happened to form a chain with a terrible conclusion.

The shame here is that these coincidences end up in court...
 
Avilitigator
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2000 12:29 pm

RE: LHMark

Thu Sep 28, 2000 5:12 am

This is from the CNN.com website:

"The lawsuit was filed by Air France and airline insurance consortium Reunion Aerienne at a court in Pontoise, outside Paris, which is handling the legal side of the disaster."

Does anyone with knowledge of French law have any info on what to expect?
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 6:04 am

Well, from the articles I've read, the lawsuits are based on the French Civil Aviation Code that say that "an airline is fully responsible for objects that fall from it's aircraft." I have an idea that this particular piece of the code was really written with the intent of holding an airline liable for something, lets say, a wing flap, that falls to the ground in flight and damages property. But, they may try to apply it to a runway as a way of keeping the airport in the clear.

The preliminary report is interesting reading, and does raise a few questions. The runway is supposed to be checked 3 times daily. The report states:

At around 14 h 30, a partial inspection of the runway was performed by a flyco vehicle in the vicinity of taxiway W2 following suspicion of a bird strike.

The Concorde was cleared to take off at 14:42, yet the report continues and states that "Between 14 h 35 and 15 h 10, an exercise with several fire service vehicles took place on runways 26 right and 26 left. To allow for this exercise, the runway inspection planned for 15 h 00 was delayed.".

So, you've got a "partial inspection", then a fire service exercise on the very runway that the Concorde was using, and in the middle of all that, the Concorde takes off. Yet a "partial inspection" was ordered because of a suspected bird strike. Given the problems with FOD suffered by other Concordes, one has to wonder why a Concorde movement wouldn't warrant a full runway inspection rather than a partial inspection.

I don't know. It sure doesn't seem to be too cut and dried that CO is "clearly at fault", and there was enough "unusual" activity on the runway's prior to the departure that it would seem to warrant an inspection, particularly with an aircraft such as the Concorde waiting to depart.
 
LH423
Posts: 5868
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 6:12 am

How is Continental responsible? Pieces fall off planes quite frequently, either tyre pieces, or otherwise, these do happen. Even if the Continental pilot knew about the piece, he probably coudn't have realised the piece was missing in time to radio the tower before the Concorde was cleared for take-off. I think this is bs, and I hope Air France goes down in flames (no pun intended)

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 6:19 am

LH423, " Pieces fall off planes quite frequently ". Do you have any backup for this statement ?
 
clipperhawaii
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 3:35 pm

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 6:26 am

Well, well, well, It looks as though the Americans are going to get the blame yet again! When this tragedy occured I said someway, somehow, the Americans are going to get the blame. And Voila! Aircraft that can not take a catostrophic tire explosion are UNAIRWORTHY according to the FAA and CAA as well as numorous other operating authorities. Air France needs to look internally at their own operations and stop trying to put blame on others! I am sick of it!
"You Can't Beat The Experience"
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 6:33 am

PhilB

What I mean is that the Concorde is and was an ilogical plane, just as ilogical as sending men to the moon. The Concorde to it's operators presents nothing but a symbol, it sure doesn't present profitability to the airline. O.K. maybe the Concorde with the most hours right now is 23,000, but if I show you a Bac 1-11 with 15,000 hours, does that mean it should still fly? No. It's old... and maybe it's only had 23,000 but it's still been around for 30 years!!! An airplane that flies in such extreme conditions can not be 30 years old. Every maintenance check will cost more money. Why does BA still have it? Wouldn't it be the first thing to scratch if they want to cut expenses? And why are BA and AF the only operators of this aircraft. Why didn't other airlines buy it? Because it would have meant losses from day 1... That's why I say retire it now, let it go with all it's grace and beauty into the books. Why keep it flying?
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 6:46 am

Me again, so O.K. it's only accumulated 23,000 hours in 30 years a little over half of what the airframe is certified for (40,000 hours). But does this mean we'll have the Concorde for another 30 years.... Let me tell you that for something flying Mach.2 at that altitude, I'd feel more comfortable if the aircraft, at least, were younger than I am!!!!
 
ryanair
Posts: 646
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 1999 1:41 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 6:54 am

I second everything Phil B says.

Sadly, I know a bit about what happens after fatal plane crashes. The legal matters are dealt with by the Airline in Questions insurance consortium, not the airline. So in practise this is Af's insurance company suing Co's insurance company, because sooner or later Af will it's self be sued and their insurers want somebody else to pay.

I think CO is probably not blameless, although their role will be exagerated. Yes bits fall off planes as a matter of routine and sometimes they're much bigger than this. People think plane crashes are caused by grand things, often it's a tiny little slip up somewhere along the line, all quite innocent. However they know they're responsible for anything that might happen when it does. The fact is a CO maintaince failure, enabled by other factors, is at least partly responcible for 113 deaths. I can't feel too sorry for them.

It isn't however, the job of CO ensure the runways at CDG are safe for other airlines to use, that's ADP's job. AF won't touch them, both are effectively State Owned Sister Companies. It would be interestingto find out who insures ADP, both are state (or public/private partnership) French Air Concerns, wonder if it's the same insurance people.
Why did AF not modify it's Concordes as BA have, or ensure the runways inspected before each Concorde movement as BA does? This as has been said is not a new problem.

It is worth pointing out though, the 747 and 737, Boeings big stars, have both got serious safety concerns at present, following TW800 and the Rudder Problems. i doubt Concorde is safer or less so than either of them. Difference is if 747's and 737's were grounded it would cause chaos.

Never mind the stiffs, the all mighty dollar, franc, mark or euro must prevail.
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 6:57 am

I'm not going to go through the age versus hours versus cycles discussion, which I have repeated ad nauseam on this and other groups..

BA and Air France make OPERATING profits (doesn't include development/purchase costs) on Concorde and can afford to keep it flying if not subject to major upgrades.

And yes, there's nothing wrong with flying in a 30 year old 15,000 hour BAC1-11, I'll do it tomorrow so long as its certified by either the CAA or FAA. There are plenty of 30-40 year old aircraft in the skies of Europe and the |USA today hauling freight, packages and the odd passenger
 
cba
Posts: 4228
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2000 2:02 pm

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 7:33 am

This whole Concorde accident seems like one of those "shit happens" accidents. What are the odds that a piece of metal will fall off a plane, and that piece of metal will burst a tire on another aircraft, and the tire will fly into the engine and cause the plane to crash?
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 7:42 am

Seems like PhilB and Ryanair are pretty much agreeing on this... by the way Ryanair, I hope you didn't mean the 113 innocent people that died a horrible death when you said:

"Never mind the stiffs, the all mighty dollar, franc, mark or euro must prevail"

Apart from not making any sense, I think your reference to "stiffs" is very uncalled for...
 
Peter
Posts: 549
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 6:08 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 8:55 am

If its true that the crash was caused by a part from a Continental plane, I agree with Air France. Continental may have caused the Concorde to crash, and Air France is smart to sue them.
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 9:00 am

Why didn't Air France make the wing modifications to its aircraft like BA did many years ago. I think CO and the passenger's family should sue AF for negligence since the tire burst issue was not unknown to AF at all.
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 9:25 am

Does BA check the runway immediately before every concorde movement or did I not understand that correctly? If they do, hard questions will land on AF as to why they don't do the same.

Lets not forget the 113. May they rest in peace.
 
LH423
Posts: 5868
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 9:50 am

How about the A320's little problem in which on two different planes, with two different carriers, the cowling locks?? have released causing the horizontal stabilisers to be replaced. Tyres burst fairly frequent. I was on a plane that was delayed due to a burst tyre upon its previous landing. I may have imbellished on "quite frequently", but the fact is, it does happen, and probably more than you think.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 9:55 am

BA's modification involved some kind of structural modification.

Not sure at all if the check the runway before each SST departure. Considering there are only 2 per day, this would not be too much of a problem.
 
Guest

America's Top Exports...

Thu Sep 28, 2000 1:21 pm

...Boeing jets and "litigious nature". It been cited (Wall Street Journal, others) that American-style litigation is fast becoming the norm world-wide. However, this is one export that may come back to bite us (and Continental) in the ass.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if it were revealed that Air France's Dream Team is primarily composed of American litigators. "If the (metal) strip did slip, you must ..."

Sadly enough, Continental Airlines knew the moment that this piece was found that it would be involved in substantial lawyering whether AF sued them or somebody else did (or will). Today's lawsuit (or its origin) is not a surprise to the folks in Continental Center I–Houston, Texas.
 
Guest

RE: Continental Sued By Air France Over Concorde....

Thu Sep 28, 2000 1:30 pm

I wonder if Air France has ever lost a part off an engine in 67 years of service.

I'm sure its happened!

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