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UA444
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20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:31 pm

20 years ago today, AF4590, a Concorde, crashed at CDG. The cause of the crash was a tire puncture rupturing the fuel tank and causing a fire. 113 people lost their lives that day, which included 4 people on the ground. The tire puncture that caused the crash was due to a Continental Airlines DC-10 losing a strip of metal on the runway prior to AF4590’s departure. This metal strip came loose due to sloppy maintenance from Continental and was not an FAA approved procedure or certified part. Continental was later fined liable for the cause of the crash in a French court after being sued by the families of those lost in the crash for their role in causing this disaster.

RIP to all of those who lost their lives. Hard to believe it’s been 20 years. This would ultimately lead to the end of Concorde.
 
Starfuryt
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:48 pm

Hard to believe that's it's been 20 years. Rest in peace to everyone who died in that terrible tragedy that ultimately brought the end of the supersonic age.
 
Arion640
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:08 pm

The beginning of the end for Concorde. An end that was probably coming no later than 2007/2008, but still!
 
FlyHappy
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:57 pm

UA444 wrote:
20 years ago today, AF4590, a Concorde, crashed at CDG. The cause of the crash was a tire puncture rupturing the fuel tank and causing a fire. 113 people lost their lives that day, which included 4 people on the ground. The tire puncture that caused the crash was due to a Continental Airlines DC-10 losing a strip of metal on the runway prior to AF4590’s departure. This metal strip came loose due to sloppy maintenance from Continental and was not an FAA approved procedure or certified part. Continental was later fined liable for the cause of the crash in a French court after being sued by the families of those lost in the crash for their role in causing this disaster.

RIP to all of those who lost their lives. Hard to believe it’s been 20 years. This would ultimately lead to the end of Concorde.


I am not disputing the cold facts are you recount them, but to be fair, it should also be noted that the Concorde was over max weight, was missing a tyre spacer, had an unbalanced fuel load - all factors that made for a slower, unstraight and longer take off roll.
AF certainly had a role in responsibility, not Continental alone.
Worse of all, Concorde had quite a few prior tyre burst and subsequent wing and fuel tank puncture incidents, enough to cause an NTSB letter of concern as far back as 1981.

The tyre and wing design of the Concorde were not safe, not by todays standards - hence the Kevlar reinforcement change made after AF4590; something that should had been done long ago. It is misleading to frame one piece of runway debris as a sole cause, and the BEA & Court findings do not appear to be without political taint.
 
QueenoftheSkies
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:18 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
UA444 wrote:
20 years ago today, AF4590, a Concorde, crashed at CDG. The cause of the crash was a tire puncture rupturing the fuel tank and causing a fire. 113 people lost their lives that day, which included 4 people on the ground. The tire puncture that caused the crash was due to a Continental Airlines DC-10 losing a strip of metal on the runway prior to AF4590’s departure. This metal strip came loose due to sloppy maintenance from Continental and was not an FAA approved procedure or certified part. Continental was later fined liable for the cause of the crash in a French court after being sued by the families of those lost in the crash for their role in causing this disaster.

RIP to all of those who lost their lives. Hard to believe it’s been 20 years. This would ultimately lead to the end of Concorde.


I am not disputing the cold facts are you recount them, but to be fair, it should also be noted that the Concorde was over max weight, was missing a tyre spacer, had an unbalanced fuel load - all factors that made for a slower, unstraight and longer take off roll.
AF certainly had a role in responsibility, not Continental alone.
Worse of all, Concorde had quite a few prior tyre burst and subsequent wing and fuel tank puncture incidents, enough to cause an NTSB letter of concern as far back as 1981.

The tyre and wing design of the Concorde were not safe, not by todays standards - hence the Kevlar reinforcement change made after AF4590; something that should had been done long ago. It is misleading to frame one piece of runway debris as a sole cause, and the BEA & Court findings do not appear to be without political taint.


Yes there were other contributing factors. But without a doubt the main event was triggered by the CO debris. Had it not been for that, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
 
FGITD
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:51 am

I'd say the lack of airspeed would be directly attributed to the metal strip/its effects. It's not as if the engineer decided to throttle down 2 engines at v1 just for fun.

It's unfortunate, but this is yet another accident that really solidifies the swiss cheese model. Any one of those things doesn't occur, and there's a strong likelihood the Concorde makes it to JFK that day.

The catalyst and last "hole" to line up the accident just happened to be that metal strip. The plane could take off without the spacer, could fly overweight.

Not that AF can be without criticism, but I recall finding it a bit concerning that the CO aircraft lost a piece on takeoff, regardless of what happened after.

Regardless of opinions and thoughts however, the only official investigation found the weight and spacer to be problems, but negligible in bringing the aircraft down.
 
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moo
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:55 am

20 years on and people still cling to the same ridiculous arguments about this accident to try and absolve Continental of blame...
 
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piedmontf284000
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:47 am

moo wrote:
20 years on and people still cling to the same ridiculous arguments about this accident to try and absolve Continental of blame...


A French appeals court cleared Continental of criminal blame in 2012.

QueenoftheSkies wrote:
FlyHappy wrote:
UA444 wrote:
20 years ago today, AF4590, a Concorde, crashed at CDG. The cause of the crash was a tire puncture rupturing the fuel tank and causing a fire. 113 people lost their lives that day, which included 4 people on the ground. The tire puncture that caused the crash was due to a Continental Airlines DC-10 losing a strip of metal on the runway prior to AF4590’s departure. This metal strip came loose due to sloppy maintenance from Continental and was not an FAA approved procedure or certified part. Continental was later fined liable for the cause of the crash in a French court after being sued by the families of those lost in the crash for their role in causing this disaster.

RIP to all of those who lost their lives. Hard to believe it’s been 20 years. This would ultimately lead to the end of Concorde.


I am not disputing the cold facts are you recount them, but to be fair, it should also be noted that the Concorde was over max weight, was missing a tyre spacer, had an unbalanced fuel load - all factors that made for a slower, unstraight and longer take off roll.
AF certainly had a role in responsibility, not Continental alone.
Worse of all, Concorde had quite a few prior tyre burst and subsequent wing and fuel tank puncture incidents, enough to cause an NTSB letter of concern as far back as 1981.

The tyre and wing design of the Concorde were not safe, not by todays standards - hence the Kevlar reinforcement change made after AF4590; something that should had been done long ago. It is misleading to frame one piece of runway debris as a sole cause, and the BEA & Court findings do not appear to be without political taint.


Yes there were other contributing factors. But without a doubt the main event was triggered by the CO debris. Had it not been for that, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.


There’s no denying that the jet ran over a piece of metal, which caused a tire explosion and hence resulted in a fire, but all of that was very much survivable. The fire likely would have burned itself out in a a few minutes. Not only was it survivable, but it was probably avoidable as well, had it not been for a chain of errors and oversights that sadly were contributing factors. The plane went down because it was flying too slowly, not because of any fire. Also, to dismiss the fact it was several tons overweight and beyond its aft center of gravity limit is mind boggling. At proper weight, the jet would have become airborne prior to the point when it ran over the metal strip. Finally, two of its four engines were damaged or erroneously shut down, which definitely caused loss of airspeed and altitude.
 
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moo
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:40 am

piedmontf284000 wrote:
moo wrote:
20 years on and people still cling to the same ridiculous arguments about this accident to try and absolve Continental of blame...


A French appeals court cleared Continental of criminal blame in 2012.


Oh, right, yup thats all ok then - a *criminal* court absolved Continental of *criminal* blame, so Continental is absolved of *all* blame? Nope, the world doesn't work like that.
 
UA444
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:41 am

moo wrote:
20 years on and people still cling to the same ridiculous arguments about this accident to try and absolve Continental of blame...

It’s absurd. If the debris doesn’t fall off, the crash doesn’t happen. Simple.
 
blandy62
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:18 am

UA444 wrote:
moo wrote:
20 years on and people still cling to the same ridiculous arguments about this accident to try and absolve Continental of blame...

It’s absurd. If the debris doesn’t fall off, the crash doesn’t happen. Simple.


true if the debris doesn't fall, the accident doesn't append. That's indeed a chain reaction. But then debris on the runways is not something uncommon either. So yes the part fell off a Continental bird but from there to say that the crash is because of Continental is still a long shot...
 
blandy62
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:19 am

Arion640 wrote:
The beginning of the end for Concorde. An end that was probably coming no later than 2007/2008, but still!


you are right. It was just the triggering factor but the end way in sigh no matter what
 
PANAMsterdam
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:16 am

Arion640 wrote:
The beginning of the end for Concorde. An end that was probably coming no later than 2007/2008, but still!



With or without the crash, i think 9/11 would have ended the career of the Concorde anyway.
Every country has an airline. The world has Pan Am.
 
jetwet1
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:31 am

PANAMsterdam wrote:
Arion640 wrote:
The beginning of the end for Concorde. An end that was probably coming no later than 2007/2008, but still!



With or without the crash, i think 9/11 would have ended the career of the Concorde anyway.


Except it didn't, it returned to service, then was retired in 2003.
 
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Revelation
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:42 pm

moo wrote:
20 years on and people still cling to the same ridiculous arguments about this accident to try and absolve Continental of blame...

Care to share how you know what motivates other people, presumably people you've never met?
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
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Revelation
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:11 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
I am not disputing the cold facts are you recount them, but to be fair, it should also be noted that the Concorde was over max weight, was missing a tyre spacer, had an unbalanced fuel load - all factors that made for a slower, unstraight and longer take off roll.
AF certainly had a role in responsibility, not Continental alone.
Worse of all, Concorde had quite a few prior tyre burst and subsequent wing and fuel tank puncture incidents, enough to cause an NTSB letter of concern as far back as 1981.

The tyre and wing design of the Concorde were not safe, not by todays standards - hence the Kevlar reinforcement change made after AF4590; something that should had been done long ago. It is misleading to frame one piece of runway debris as a sole cause, and the BEA & Court findings do not appear to be without political taint.

There was more than enough evidence IMO that a tyre burst would eventually cause a major problem.

In October 1993, a burst tyre broke a glassfibre water deflector and punctured a wing fuel tank, causing a fuel leak. Earlier that same year, a tyre burst due to brake seizure caused damage to the wing and hydraulic problems. The No 3 engine was damaged as well, becoming stuck in the reverse position.

Ref: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldn ... k-off.html

IMO the authorities didn't follow up on this major potential issue because it would have added more cost and drawn more negative press to an already struggling program. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the later kevlar fuel tank reinforcement was a de-facto admission that the earlier design was inadequate. CO deserves blame for not supervising its mechanics adequately but that's IMO a different thing than not dealing with a serious design problem. The unprotected fuel tank is a far bigger hole in the swiss cheese, IMO.
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flyingturtle
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:18 pm

Revelation wrote:
It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the later kevlar fuel tank reinforcement was a de-facto admission that the earlier design was inadequate. CO deserves blame for not supervising its mechanics adequately but that's IMO a different thing than not dealing with a serious design problem. The unprotected fuel tank is a far bigger hole in the swiss cheese, IMO.


This begs the question why FAA didn't ask, uh, you had these previous events with the tyres and the tank. We... have... concerns...

...and so we're banning the Concorde from flying to the United States.

When the DGAC says the Concorde is certified and thus safe enough to operate commercially, who is to blame, then? Why should Air France and British Airways pay for costly modifications that are, in no way, mandatory?
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:37 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
Revelation wrote:
It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the later kevlar fuel tank reinforcement was a de-facto admission that the earlier design was inadequate. CO deserves blame for not supervising its mechanics adequately but that's IMO a different thing than not dealing with a serious design problem. The unprotected fuel tank is a far bigger hole in the swiss cheese, IMO.


This begs the question why FAA didn't ask, uh, you had these previous events with the tyres and the tank. We... have... concerns...

...and so we're banning the Concorde from flying to the United States.

When the DGAC says the Concorde is certified and thus safe enough to operate commercially, who is to blame, then? Why should Air France and British Airways pay for costly modifications that are, in no way, mandatory?

FAA/DGAC state minimums.

They are using rules that have to cover a wide extreme of cases and thus are not perfect.

They also allow for things like grandfatheirng and delayed compliance.

As we've learned with MCAS, regulators are quite leery to issue bans.

The FAA is called the Tombstone Agency largely because it writes rules after the fact.

Counting on them to be proactive doesn't seem to be the way to go, IMO.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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PhilMcCrackin
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:49 pm

moo wrote:
20 years on and people still cling to the same ridiculous arguments about this accident to try and absolve Continental of blame...


Trying to solely blame Continental and the piece of metal for this incident isn't any less ignorant. Aviation disasters happen because of several causal factors, not just one. In this case it was a piece of metal coupled with a design deficiency that was known for decades before the crash and was not corrected.
 
ltbewr
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:59 pm

This was probably one of the most live time documented air crashed at the time, recall the video of the truck on the highway parallel to the flight's short path. That video, various pictures were quickly distributed around the world and on high-speed internet available in workplaces and a few homes.
One question I have had with this loss and weaknesses of the Concorde as to FOD is why when this model is going to be taking off or landing that there wasn't inspections of runways for stuff like the part that triggered this loss.
 
AeroLogical
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:06 pm

I think the original poster may be thinking too nationalistically/politically in this scenario. I'm not an expert in French tort law (I do know about it in other countries, however). There is virtually no scenario in this case where Continental would be found 100% at fault in most courts. The swiss cheese model works very well here as it allows us to ask questions about likelihood that would redistribute the fault, and there is certainly room to question what percentage of fault we would put on each party. The previously sent FAA letter on top of numerous scenarios that could have ended in tragedy suggest some amount of fault in this instance...likewise a part falling off a plane is also going to distribute fault to Continental. Again, we can argue about what percentage but we really should admit that there is a distribution of fault involving questionable design along with poor maintenance oversight on Continental's part.
 
Starfuryt
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:08 pm

There is plenty of blame to be laid at the feet of AF and the flight crew specifically (for being overweight). However at the end of the day all of those factors are secondary, just like any other crash there is always a primary cause that starts the chains of events that leads to a crash. Some are human error, some are not. If there is no debris on the runway AF4590 is an uneventful flight to JFK, overweight, without the spacer and taking off with a tailwind.
Yes the runway wasn't inspected, but finding debris on the runway is caused by that debris being on the runway, the primary cause of the crash is still the fact that parts fell off of a preceding aircraft.
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:23 pm

There are some reports that Concorde was on fire before reaching the point in the runway where the Continental part would have been. Indeed, the tire marks on the runway indicate a serious veer was occurring all throughout the takeoff run due to the lack of the tire spacer. I'm not saying that Concorde didn't hit the Continental wear strip. I'm just saying that there were eyewitnesses whose accounts run counter to the accepted, standard viewpoint.

Wasn't there supposed to be a FOD check of the runway before Concorde departed that didn't occur? Just curious why that didn't happen. Does anyone know?
 
FlyHappy
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:38 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
This begs the question why FAA didn't ask, uh, you had these previous events with the tyres and the tank. We... have... concerns...


Seriously? They did. In 1981, no less.

flyingturtle wrote:
...and so we're banning the Concorde from flying to the United States.


Politics, and multilateral trade, ya know? And it isn't like the French and Brits aren't capable engineers and regulators... if they say that they are making improvements to the aircraft, you take them at their word, and in fact - there was a significant drop off in tyre burst events for the next decade.

flyingturtle wrote:
When the DGAC says the Concorde is certified and thus safe enough to operate commercially, who is to blame, then? Why should Air France and British Airways pay for costly modifications that are, in no way, mandatory?


Because the Concorde wasn't in fact "safe enough".
You know, the cost of the Kevlar modifications was about the same cost of a widebody cabin refit. It wasn't exactly back breaking. Its pretty clear in hindsight, that the only delta winged, thin skinned, high v1/v2 speed airliner with tyre burst issues always needed better protection from a fatal runway event.

The Concorde was designed from State funding, purchased with State money, certified and regulated under State authority, and flown by a State owned Airline (AF). After AF 4590, the incident was investigated by the State agency BEA. It is hardly surprising that their findings emphasized the culpability of a small strip of metal shed by a foreign aircraft, and minimized the failings of State-owned AF, much less the design issues of the aircraft itself.

Did you know that it was standard procedure to perform a runway inspection for debris before every AF Concorde take off (even beyond normal aerodrome procedure)? Why do you suppose that is? (answer: high takeoff speed/hot tyres/history of blow outs) The inspection was skipped that day.

Despite being commercially flown for about 25 years, the entire Concorde fleet accrued only 250,752 flight hours (sorry, I can't find the cycles) . Compare that to 50 million flight hours for A330, 150 million for A320. Why does this matter? Because the fact is that if there were a large fleet of Concorde flying at high utilization, we'd have seen more fatal occurrences due to its flaws - and not every one would have followed a CO DC-10.

The Concorde was a marvelous technical achievement; but that does not mean it wasn't flawed.
Why there is need to assign blame to a single entity is beyond me.

1 - CO DC-10 shouldn't have dropped a metal strip (but this isn't unusual: see AF A380 dropping a good part of an engine over Greenland!)

2 - AF maintenance should have reinstalled MLG tyre spacer, but they didn't (now the wheels aren't definitely aligned, maybe Concorde is veering, we don't know)
3 - AF/aerodrome should have inspected runway prior to takeoff, per protocol (but AF4590 was already an hour late, can't have that, right?)
4 - AF4590 shouldn't have been over max structural weight (undeclared luggage, more fuel than needed)
5 - AF4590 Captain didn't acknowledge new 8kt tailwind, did not recalculate to consider 6T overweight/bad CG
6 - Concorde was never designed to fly stable with both engines out on same side below v2 (and they were below v1 much less v2)

So I ask: how is it that #1 is the only significant factor in this loss vs #2 - #6 ?
My jaded self says that the obvious answer is hubris, pride and complacency; so much easier to blame the foreigner. Its not any indictment of the French - the same could and has happened in other countries. Its just another reason why conflicts of interest must be removed (I'm looking at you, FAA).

RIP, all those who died aboard, and on the ground.
 
AeroLogical
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:59 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
Despite being commercially flown for about 25 years, the entire Concorde fleet accrued only 250,752 flight hours (sorry, I can't find the cycles) . Compare that to 50 million flight hours for A330, 150 million for A320. Why does this matter? Because the fact is that if there were a large fleet of Concorde flying at high utilization, we'd have seen more fatal occurrences due to its flaws - and not every one would have followed a CO DC-10.


From a civil liability point of view, I think this would factor in hugely. You had an operator who was made aware of a design flaw (or at least a design limitation based on delta-wing aircraft) in the 1980s but chose not to mitigate it through design changes/additions but rather through spot checks of the runway, which they failed to do on that day. I don't think any of us are saying Continental escapes some blame in the tragedy, but there was a reasonable likelihood that another tragic event would happen based on the recurrence of dangerous puncture events throughout Concorde's history.
 
FGITD
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:33 pm

ltbewr wrote:
This was probably one of the most live time documented air crashed at the time, recall the video of the truck on the highway parallel to the flight's short path. That video, various pictures were quickly distributed around the world and on high-speed internet available in workplaces and a few homes.
One question I have had with this loss and weaknesses of the Concorde as to FOD is why when this model is going to be taking off or landing that there wasn't inspections of runways for stuff like the part that triggered this loss.


The fame of the aircraft definitely played a role. Wasn't "just" another crash. Also the fact that there was actual photo and video of it crashing. Usually when a crash hits the news it's some graphics and pictures of torn up earth and burning metal, or some debris and oil slicks on the water. But here you have a well framed, relatively clear photo of the aircraft spewing fire just off the ground, and a video of it struggling to stay airborne. Terrifying.

I personally find one of the greater tragedies of the disaster to be that the death of the aircraft vastly overshadows the deaths of the people onboard.
 
xxD328xx
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:20 am

If you are interested in the German evening news from that day, you can find it here:
Tagesschau, 25. Juli 2000 https://www.tagesschau.de/multimedia/video/video-733343.html
Tagesschau vor 20 Jahren https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/tsvorzwanzigjahren100.html
 
UA444
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:27 am

PhilMcCrackin wrote:
moo wrote:
20 years on and people still cling to the same ridiculous arguments about this accident to try and absolve Continental of blame...


Trying to solely blame Continental and the piece of metal for this incident isn't any less ignorant. Aviation disasters happen because of several causal factors, not just one. In this case it was a piece of metal coupled with a design deficiency that was known for decades before the crash and was not corrected.

It was human error due to the faulty maintenance on the CO DC-10 that caused the crash. Without the strip, plane doesn’t crash. People can speculate all they want about If Concorde was a ticking time bomb or not, it’s just a distraction by some who don’t want to place blame on those responsible. The metal strip the plane lost was also not approved by McDonnell Douglas and due to poor maintenance from Continental. Period.

It’s the same garbage argument people did to MD when AA191 crashed and tried blaming it on the lack of better redundancy in the hydraulic system. Yes, valid. But the cause was AA and several airlines not doing engine changes correctly and had that been done correctly, the crash doesn’t happen. It was also exasperated by the fact that AA cheaped out and didn’t give the FO’s a stick shaker.
 
Arion640
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:57 am

PANAMsterdam wrote:
Arion640 wrote:
The beginning of the end for Concorde. An end that was probably coming no later than 2007/2008, but still!



With or without the crash, i think 9/11 would have ended the career of the Concorde anyway.


Her career was ended as Air France wanted it to end. If you do enough digging, BA were willing to persevere with their flagship.

http://concordecollectibles.net/?p=112
 
cedarjet
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:22 am

First draft of history, as experienced on a.net (note author of OP) viewtopic.php?t=44511

No serious person thinks Continental was responsible. A320s and 777s roll over FOD (Foreign Object Damage — but the acronym is also used to describe the actual object) all the time and don’t crash to earth in flames. The aircraft was overweight, overfuelled (actually the most serious contributory factor, as it caused the fuel tank to catastrophically burst), accepted a serious tailwind, missing a spacer on the main gear, and the flight engineer shut down an engine uncommanded. Watch Concorde captain John Hutchinson explain the accident sequence https://youtu.be/fqOcYhzWUZY
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
csavel
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:43 pm

Starfuryt wrote:
There is plenty of blame to be laid at the feet of AF and the flight crew specifically (for being overweight). However at the end of the day all of those factors are secondary, just like any other crash there is always a primary cause that starts the chains of events that leads to a crash. Some are human error, some are not. If there is no debris on the runway AF4590 is an uneventful flight to JFK, overweight, without the spacer and taking off with a tailwind.
Yes the runway wasn't inspected, but finding debris on the runway is caused by that debris being on the runway, the primary cause of the crash is still the fact that parts fell off of a preceding aircraft.


Analogy: Car A drives over pothole, driver curses and goes the the mechanic to see if car needs an alignment. Car B drives over a pothole and debris from pothole hits gas tank and car B blows up. Sure if there wasn't a pothole everyone in car B lives. You can say the pothole was the primary cause, but if car A didn't blow up and car B did it is fair to ask if car B's design was safe. In that case most people would say the primary cause of the crash was car B being designed so poorly that it couldn't handle what other cars handle every day and NOT the pothole.

Similarly, I have to ask, had it been an A340 instead of Concorde would we even be discussing the 20th anniversary of anything? I think not. If an airliner cannot handle the usual crap that most airliners have to handle while flying around airports then that points to a design fault as well. True no debris, no crash, and the unapproved repair sure gives me pause, but again, I think it is legitimate to ask if the design of concorde was such that the primary cause of the crash was both the debris AND that the concorde was not designed to handle real-world situations that other airliners can handle and that Concorde should've handled. In other words as beautiful and as advanced it was in some ways, it was a poorly designed airliner.
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2eng2efficient
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:29 pm

Does the concept of comparative negligence exist in France? In many states in the U.S. (and elsewhere in common law nations, as I understand it), Continental would likely have been found liable, but damages may have been proportionally reduced to the extent AF’s actions (or lack thereof) contributed to the accident. Which they undeniably did, just like Continental’s engine part undeniably did rupture that fuel tank. Just my two cents; I have been reading the arguments on a.net about this for years.

Pivoting to the day itself, I remember it well. A family friend was studying abroad in Paris and was flying home CDG-CVG that day. She saw the smoke from the accident site and phoned home, rather upset.
 
Interflug74
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:01 pm

Anyone who could ever afford to fly her, knew her advantages, but was not told her disadvantages. The occuring issues again and again, with the tires and tanks, she had to been taken out of the sky much much earlier. To me it was simply deliberately to operate her. A lucky plane over the years, but not a safe one.

The charter flight AF 4590 was on behalf of Peter Deilmann Reederei, a german Shipping company, who once run the tv-Ship "Das Traumschiff" (The Dreamship), so i heard once a guy saying, AF4590 was a late french revenge.. but thats not my oppinion.
 
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:19 pm

2eng2efficient wrote:
Does the concept of comparative negligence exist in France? In many states in the U.S. (and elsewhere in common law nations, as I understand it), Continental would likely have been found liable, but damages may have been proportionally reduced to the extent AF’s actions (or lack thereof) contributed to the accident. Which they undeniably did, just like Continental’s engine part undeniably did rupture that fuel tank. Just my two cents; I have been reading the arguments on a.net about this for years.

Pivoting to the day itself, I remember it well. A family friend was studying abroad in Paris and was flying home CDG-CVG that day. She saw the smoke from the accident site and phoned home, rather upset.


A bit of legal perspective: if we're talking about a tort situation, I could really see it going either way on whether Continental would even be held liable, based on who was adjudicating the case. It's worth pointing out that as I understand it, the CO debris punctured the tire, which in turn send a piece of rubber into the fuel tank and it was the shockwave from the overfilled tank that caused it to rupture. That's a lot of steps to examine. I think you'd enter a situation where arbiters would want to know if another plane operated in a "by-the-books" fashion would have likely experienced catastrophic damage in that instance and, further, how common such debris is on an airfield. That the tanks were overfilled which resulted in the explosion and that the captain knew they were overfilled and that the FAA had warned about such circumstances is some pretty damning information. I don't think CO would escape any fault, of course, but there were obvious serious errors made by many actors.
 
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:31 pm

UA444 wrote:
PhilMcCrackin wrote:
moo wrote:
20 years on and people still cling to the same ridiculous arguments about this accident to try and absolve Continental of blame...

Trying to solely blame Continental and the piece of metal for this incident isn't any less ignorant. Aviation disasters happen because of several causal factors, not just one. In this case it was a piece of metal coupled with a design deficiency that was known for decades before the crash and was not corrected.

It was human error due to the faulty maintenance on the CO DC-10 that caused the crash. Without the strip, plane doesn’t crash. People can speculate all they want about If Concorde was a ticking time bomb or not, it’s just a distraction by some who don’t want to place blame on those responsible. The metal strip the plane lost was also not approved by McDonnell Douglas and due to poor maintenance from Continental. Period.

By this logic there'd be no need for months of groundings and costly kevlar fuel tank linings, it's all CO's fault.

In the real world, the operators were convinced by this accident and the previous ones that they could not operate the aircraft with such a major design flaw of having the fuel tanks directly downstream of the debris generated by a tire and/or wheel failure.
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:33 am

UA444 wrote:
PhilMcCrackin wrote:
moo wrote:
20 years on and people still cling to the same ridiculous arguments about this accident to try and absolve Continental of blame...


Trying to solely blame Continental and the piece of metal for this incident isn't any less ignorant. Aviation disasters happen because of several causal factors, not just one. In this case it was a piece of metal coupled with a design deficiency that was known for decades before the crash and was not corrected.

It was human error due to the faulty maintenance on the CO DC-10 that caused the crash. Without the strip, plane doesn’t crash. People can speculate all they want about If Concorde was a ticking time bomb or not, it’s just a distraction by some who don’t want to place blame on those responsible. The metal strip the plane lost was also not approved by McDonnell Douglas and due to poor maintenance from Continental. Period.
.


Nonsense.

If that had been any other plane other than a Concorde with a substandard design that was known about, it wouldn't have crashed.
 
reltney
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:53 pm

moo wrote:
20 years on and people still cling to the same ridiculous arguments about this accident to try and absolve Continental of blame...



Well, they are correct. Clearly the metal on the runway caused the tire to blow. It’s a CHAIN of EVENTS as they say which cause the crash. Remove one “chain link” and the results would have been way different. What people seem to miss was the flight engineer SHUT DOWN A THRUST PRODUCING ENGINE. One failed on the runway....no biggie but the engineer sealed the fate of all aboard and in the hotel when he “without command from the captain and AGAINST company and manufacture procedures” shut down the other engine on the left wing. I cannot remember if 1 failed and he shut down #2 or the other way around. That was the nail in lots of coffins. It was on fire...so what, let it burn ...it was producing full thrust...you let it burn until you get a safe speed and altitude.every pilot knows that.

Other factors mentioned in the report were mentioned by others but the engineer really screwed the pooch. Also, the runway used had a tailwind which made them 6000lbs over weight with the tailwind, the spacers by the way caused such a misalignment there was a black mark from pushback all the way down the runway.. Yes, that misalignment caused a constant left drift it helped pull the aircraft into the grass BEFORE liftoff the pilot, with the flat tire, engine failure, and misalignment caused the left drift beyond what full right rudder could counteract. At high speeds , the loss of a tire causes very little pull as the wing produces more and more lift. I have had a few... The french report was thorough and mentioned all the factors. Without rereading it I will try and hit all the links.

Misalignment of left bogie.
Overweight for runway due to tailwind
Metal strip off the CAL DC-10
Tire failure due to metal strip.
Tire puncture lower wing/wet wing fuel cell.
Loss of #2 engine.
Aircraft departed left side of runway into the grass
Flight engineer shut down #1 engine below safe speed/altitude without Pilot command to do so, and against procedures...

Horrible.....
The Concord is beautiful. I have visited 9 different airframes and have much Concorde memorbelia I cherish including a 1/50 scale model in prototype colors hanging in my aircraft hangar. One of the most tested and developed aircraft ever built.

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reltney
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:01 pm

cedarjet wrote:
First draft of history, as experienced on a.net (note author of OP) viewtopic.php?t=44511

No serious person thinks Continental was responsible. A320s and 777s roll over FOD (Foreign Object Damage — but the acronym is also used to describe the actual object) all the time and don’t crash to earth in flames. The aircraft was overweight, overfuelled (actually the most serious contributory factor, as it caused the fuel tank to catastrophically burst), accepted a serious tailwind, missing a spacer on the main gear, and the flight engineer shut down an engine uncommanded. Watch Concorde captain John Hutchinson explain the accident sequence https://youtu.be/fqOcYhzWUZY



Very well put. It’s a great YouTube watch. Seems everyone forgets the engineers roll in the chain of events which is what brought the plane down..
It’s tough to swallow but up to that point, they would have made Le Bourget as the captain decided. Once on the ground, it still would have been a disaster of different proportions but we will never know.

Cheers
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:09 pm

cedarjet wrote:
No serious person thinks Continental was responsible. A320s and 777s roll over FOD (Foreign Object Damage — but the acronym is also used to describe the actual object) all the time and don’t crash to earth in flames. The aircraft was overweight, overfuelled (actually the most serious contributory factor, as it caused the fuel tank to catastrophically burst), accepted a serious tailwind, missing a spacer on the main gear, and the flight engineer shut down an engine uncommanded.


And yet, without the titanium strip on the CO plane, this disaster wouldn't have happened.

All the other factors - even if they occurred together - were not sufficient to cause the disaster.

Air France: Operated an aircraft which was deemed safe by the national authority, the DGAC.

Aérospatiale: Built an aircraft with safety flaws, but yet the DGAC issued a type certificate.

Concorde crew: Was trained according to the standards. An error, like shutting down an engine, would still have allowed the airplane to lift off and fly.

And lastly, overweight and overfuelled aircraft don't necessarily result in a disaster. Runway length and tire speed limit...

Conclusion: Any serious person thinks CO was responsible for this disaster.
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:21 pm

I’m not going to engage in the “who is at fault” debate, but I think that Concorde was the most beautiful commercial aircraft ever built. That is what we should be focusing on - the technological beauty that she was. She was also super sexy. Some people complained, but I loved the sound of her 4 engines on takeoff. I miss the fact that there is no supersonic commercial airliner any more between the US and U.K./France.
 
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Re: 20th anniversary of Air France 4590 Concorde crash

Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:24 pm

reltney wrote:
Without rereading it I will try and hit all the links.

Misalignment of left bogie.
Overweight for runway due to tailwind
Metal strip off the CAL DC-10
Tire failure due to metal strip.
Tire puncture lower wing/wet wing fuel cell.
Loss of #2 engine.
Aircraft departed left side of runway into the grass
Flight engineer shut down #1 engine below safe speed/altitude without Pilot command to do so, and against procedures...

The u2b link pointed out a few things that didn't make your list:
  • The airport operator is supposed to do a FOD check before every Concorde operation but because the plane was already delayed due to a thrust reverser problem it was skipped. There was pressure because the pax needed to get to the cruise ship before it departed so short cuts were taken
  • The plane was not just overweight but also was out of CG limits. The captain was persuaded to take extra bags at the last minute, these ended up in the rear compartment, shifting CG aft
  • The captain took 2+ tons of taxi fuel but only burned off 800 lbs. They had more than enough taxi fuel to use the opposite end of the runway and fly into a headwind and be airborne before hitting the FOD, but they were under time pressure
  • The captain ordered the fuellers to fill the tanks to the absolute limit, ignoring warnings about over filling the tanks, and kept the fuel pumps on during takeoff so the rear tank was being kept full by continuous feed from the wing tanks, which is not the normal procedure
  • The tire debris itself didn't puncture the tank, the pressure wave within the tank caused by the strike of the debris cause the tank to rupture at its weakest point. There was no other place for the energy to be released since the tank was totally full to start with and was being kept continuously full by the pumps

flyingturtle wrote:
Conclusion: Any serious person thinks CO was responsible for this disaster.

If that's true then any serious person has to explain why the plane was grounded for over a year and expensive kevlar tank linings were fitted before it was allowed to fly again. Since that's a fact that can't be explained away, any serious person has to realize all the decision makers know the root cause was Concorde's vulnerability to FOD, not that a CO DC-10 dropped some FOD.
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