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LAX772LR
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The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:38 am

Tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of that horrific day in Paris that claimed ship F-BTSC, her precious souls aboard, and several innocents on the ground.



Concorde F-BVFC was at JFK at the time; she was grounded and placed into long-term storage until September of that year, where she was repatriated to a rainy and somber welcome.

Here's my friend Paul's video capture of that evening:
If you look closely at both 1:34 and 1:49 respectively, you'll see that not only has traffic in/near CDG came to a halt in order to see her arrival, but all the ground workers stopped what they were doing and lined up to salute her as she passed by-- as many thought it would be the last time that a Concorde ever moved under its own power again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA5eYdwC8o4


It was the beginning of the end. The aircraft would return in November 2001, to soldier on for another two years, but things would never be the same.  
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Photo © Bernard Charles (Art-Avia)
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Photo © Michael F. McLaughlin


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Photo © Alain Iger
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Photo © Roozbeh M. Davoodi


RIP Sierra Charlie, and all who died with you that day.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
bunumuring
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:35 am

My son was born on the day that Concorde crashed in Paris.
For an aviation fanatic like me, it was certainly a very weird thing. I learned about it from family and friends whom I rung to tell them the good news about my son's birth.
As I prepare to celebrate his birthday, as I do every year, I will place my model of an Air France Concorde in a special place in my home, with a lit candle alongside it, as a little personal tribute to those who so tragically died.
RIP, all those who died and my heartfelt sympathies to the families who are still mourning their loss.
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:41 am

This world is a sadder place without the Concorde. May those souls rest in peace.

TRB
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airportugal310
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:49 am

I was sitting at my Grandmother's kitchen table in Mangualde, Portugal when that happened...happened to be watching SIC at the time I think as it came over as breaking news. I remember a terrible feeling in my stomach at the time
“They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash.”
 
solarflyer22
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:52 am

That was a immense tragedy. I was thinking of that just last month as I flew threw CDG. It is always beautiful in summer and that was a sunny wonderful day 15 years ago too. Concorde and CDG are fine operations and the Concorde was one of the few types of airplanes that had never suffered a fatal crash at that time. My friends and family that flew it raved about Concorde. I thought it would go on for another 15 years incident free and it might well have if that accident had not occurred.

It's just such a sensless tragedy that all happened over a strip of metal that fell on the runway. 9 times out of ten that strip doesn't fall or hits an area of the plane that can take it. Just amazes me that it hit a sensitive fuel storage location like that. It just goes to show that even with the best equipment, great crews and clear weather, tragedy can strike any moment. I count my blessings each incident free minute that goes by up there. You wont hear me complain much about delays, bad food and rude people.
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:23 am

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 4):
9 times out of ten that strip doesn't fall or hits an area of the plane that can take it. Just amazes me that it hit a sensitive fuel storage location like that.

Not really. Concorde had a real history of this... and while BA took several measures against it over the years, AF mostly dealt with it by ignoring it.

The BEA (aka Blatantly Excusing AirFrance) might want to lay all the blame at the feet of CO, but no amount of French protectionism can cover up the fact that Concorde had **MULTIPLE** prior incidents of tire blowouts causing significant structural damage to the wing and/or tanks, stretching over a period of 22yrs.

This includes an incident with F-BVFC at IAD where the blowout was so bad that the shrapnel went completely through the wings, tanks, and part of the hydraulic system... then blew out above. Picture below:

http://www.concordesst.com/accident/pictures/wing.jpg


So yeah, unfortunately it's not just some 1-in-a-million freak random type of incident. In all likelihood, if it hadn't been then at CDG, it would've just been somewhere else in due time.  

It also had a talent for its rudder disintegrating during flight... though interestingly enough, it appeared to shake it off and fly relatively fine in that condition:





[Edited 2015-07-24 22:35:21]
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
cedarjet
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:19 am

T'was I who broke the story on here. I was sitting at my desk in my home office and it popped up in a newsfeed, switched the radio on and the BBC were announcing it. Posted this and spent the rest of the afternoon watching TV news.

https://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo.../general_aviation/read.main/260923

I do reluctantly agree with LAX772LR, this crash was in the works for a long time. Google "Normalisation Of Deviance".

[Edited 2015-07-25 01:22:28]
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
Max Q
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:36 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 5):
Not really. Concorde had a real history of this... and while BA took several measures against it over the years, AF mostly dealt with it by ignoring it.

The BEA (aka Blatantly Excusing AirFrance) might want to lay all the blame at the feet of CO, but no amount of French protectionism can cover up the fact that Concorde had **MULTIPLE** prior incidents of tire blowouts causing significant structural damage to the wing and/or tanks, stretching over a period of 22yrs.

This includes an incident with F-BVFC at IAD where the blowout was so bad that the shrapnel went completely through the wings, tanks, and part of the hydraulic system..

Couldn't agree more.


BA treated the Concorde with kid gloves, no aircraft in civilian operation was maintained to the degree their Concordes were from an operational and potential threat standpoint.


In fact their maintenance operation for this legendary aircraft was so highly thought of that NASA sent a team to study and use many of BA's practices in their space shuttle maintenance.


Air France just wasn't in the same ballpark.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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reltney
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:27 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 5):

Add to that, the Plane was 6000lbs over its takeoff weight for the runway(not a big deal) but the flight engineer shut down an engine producing thrust which left them with 2 engines . True , if the metal wasn't there..........

However, the plane was flyable until he shut down a thrust producing engine and without the report in front of me , there was no fire waning on the engine he shut down, if I remember correctly. Also, as most engine fire procedures in the jets I fly and company procedure, you don't shut engines off until your at a minimum safe altitude and the flying pilots consent. These are 2 things the report said the engineer did. As bad as the photos and film look, the fire was not inside the jet, it was outside. We will not know if it would have blown out at a higher speed or when the pilot pulled the 3 good engines out of burner. (Afterburner or reheat to the British folks). We need to move forward and learn.

As a pilot, we Monday-morning quarterback all accidents. True, it wasn't me in that cockpit, however , we always look at mistakes so we can learn what not to do and hope it's never our turn in the hot seat.

Truly a sad day. One link in that chain of events removed would have saved everyone.

Cheers.
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Aesma
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:36 pm

One year ago Air Algérie crashed and all indications point to lessons not learned, as for shutting down the wrong engine (on a two engines plane no less) it just happened too.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
ThirtyEcho
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:03 pm

The post-Concorde era is the first time that aviation deliberately moved backwards and stayed there. Absent Concorde, cruising speeds halved, altitudes were cut by one third and flight times doubled. It is the same as if the jet age had faltered and we went back to piston powered flight.

Even if Concorde had never flown, it would have made one hell of a gorgeous statue somewhere. That, and the Clovis point, are two of the most elegant things ever shaped by the hand of humankind.
 
diverted
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:52 pm

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 10):
The post-Concorde era is the first time that aviation deliberately moved backwards and stayed there. Absent Concorde, cruising speeds halved, altitudes were cut by one third and flight times doubled. It is the same as if the jet age had faltered and we went back to piston powered flight.

Even if Concorde had never flown, it would have made one hell of a gorgeous statue somewhere. That, and the Clovis point, are two of the most elegant things ever shaped by the hand of humankind.

The same can be said for lots of things. It's been nearly 50 years since Apollo 11, and as of 2012, the US can't put a man in space.

Look at military aviation as well...SR-71 first flew over 50 years ago.

F1/Indy/etc are no longer about ingenuity and trying different things to go faster. They're castrated versions of themselves.

I think we're the first people in history to regress like this. We no longer aspire like we once did, instead focusing strictly on costs.

Can you imagine if Christopher Columbus had never set sail because, well, Europe was pretty nice, and building a ship to transit the Atlantic is expensive, and dangerous, and there was already an Easterly way to get to Japan.
 
ltbewr
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:14 pm

Sadly, the cause of this disaster is still debated here and elsewhere, blaming CO, blaming AF, blaming the pilots, blaming CDG's operations, the structure of the Concorde, but really all of them in a terrible mix came together, as in too many deadly or near deadly plane crashes. I was at work in NYC when this happened and had just brought up a news website. I followed it for days thereafter on line and on TV news programs.

While the Concorde did return in late 2001, shortly after 9/11, the end of Concorde service was pretty much going to end anyway which it did in 2003 due to age, expense, fuel burn, high fares and declining demand.

The good news is that we can see the now decommissioned remaining Concordes in the USA and Europe, I have seen them in DC and Seattle. I have yet to go on the one here in NYC at the Intrepid museum, but have seen it from the roadway and across the Hudson.
 
trnswrld
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:03 pm

Interesting read and this has me thinking. I know this is a what if scenario, but I'm truly curious to what some of you think about this. So what if the flight engineer did not turn of any engine and the aircraft had 100% power available? Even with the severe extent of the fire does anyone think the aircraft could have flown on and continued to land? I'm not sure if that fire would have continued burning fuel pouring out as shown in the picture, or if it would have eventually caused catastrophic failure shortly into the flight.
I have not read any reports, but the actual crash of that airplane was the lack of power because of a shut down engine (or two) correct? So theoretically with all power available that aircraft should have flown relatively normally as long as the fire remained contained to the fuel pouring out of it right?
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:16 pm

Quoting reltney (Reply 8):
Add to that, the Plane was 6000lbs over its takeoff weight for the runway(not a big deal) but the flight engineer shut down an engine producing thrust which left them with 2 engines

I've tried to avoid mentioning the crew, as I know people who knew Capt. Marty, and every single one of them agrees that he was a class act, and among the best of his kind.

But since it's been brought up now: yes, there was a complete breakdown of CRM, and the planning and mtx of this flight were **highly** questionable.

Two things you didn't mention:
Not only was it several tons   overweight, but it also took off into a (IINM) 14kt tailwind, which further exacerbated that situation.

And on top of that, the aircraft had been missing its auto-alignment spacer on that landing gear bogie for more than a month!
Was it illegal? No. Was it unreasonable, irrational, and plain goddamn STUPID? Yes.
I mean, it's not illegal to drive your car without changing the oil for a year, but it ain't wise!
......and the craziest thing of all? The BEA found that all of the above was not contributory to the incident. WTF?? There went its credibility.   




Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 10):
The post-Concorde era is the first time that aviation deliberately moved backwards and stayed there. Absent Concorde, cruising speeds halved, altitudes were cut by one third and flight times doubled. It is the same as if the jet age had faltered and we went back to piston powered flight.
Quoting diverted (Reply 11):
Look at military aviation as well...SR-71 first flew over 50 years ago.

As an aviation fan, I hate to say this.... but those perspectives are in a vacuum.

Yes they're true, so far as aviation is concerned; but unfortunately, both Concorde and the SR71 were the answers to questions that we no longer had.

Just like aircraft had replaced ships as the optimum and economic choice for crossing the Atlantic; the internet replaced the need for an SST, and spy satellites replaced the need for an ultra-fast spy plane.

Concorde and SR71's speed was untouchable by other mechanical objects, but it was holistically dwarfed by the speed of an electronic signal.

No longer was a courier with a stack of contracts aboard Concorde, the only way to get documents signed on both side of the Atlantic within a single day. A simple PDF can do that now, at 1/100,000th of the cost, and several million times the speed.

Why bother losing a spy plane over the USSR, when you could position a few satellites and snap pics all day long as they go by?



Quoting trnswrld (Reply 13):
I have not read any reports, but the actual crash of that airplane was the lack of power because of a shut down engine (or two) correct?

Yup. The aircraft stalled, and fell straight down, almost inverted and upside down to the left.

The irony of Concorde (and anything with an ogival-delta wing with no slats) is that the slower it goes, the more it needs to pitch up in order to generate lift. Immediately before F-BTSC stalled, it was pointing almost straight up to the sky... they would've need a significant increase in air speed in order get the nose down and even see where they were going, much less navigate properly to the airfield.

The aircraft never really had a safe speed throughout the entire doomed flight. I remember an interview with Capt Hutchinson where he stated the speed they took off at was only 15kt above Vmu for the aircraft, and two reasons cited for this are 1) it was already veering off the runway due to the blowout, and 2) it was headed straight for a 744 that had landed as was waiting to cross the runway.

The aircraft's trajectory on the runway can be seen here, it had already left the pavement before liftoff:





This famous picture was taken from a Japanese passenger on that 744.
IINM, French President Chirac was aboard that aircraft as well.



[Edited 2015-07-25 13:33:55]
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
reltney
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:06 pm

Lax772LR.


I heard GREAT things about the capt also. I left out those small things as we just add to the chain of things and it was a long time since I red the report. Great additional info to a terrible day. Thanks.

Cheers!
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prebennorholm
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:39 pm

Quoting reltney (Reply 8):
Add to that, the Plane was 6000lbs over its takeoff weight
Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 14):
Two things you didn't mention:
Not only was it several tons overweight, but it also took off into a (IINM) 14kt tailwind, which further exacerbated that situation.

These are clear examples of how figures often get "inflated" over time here at a.net.

The truth is that it was 1790 lbs overweight (not 6000 lbs).

It Means that the calculated TOW was 411,790 lbs (based on average pax and bag weight) against MTOW = 410,000 lbs.

The wind was as follows: (from the report)
This slightly subsiding intermediate zone had a weak pressure gradient. Consequently, it produced variable winds of less than 10 kt, locally calm.
The average wind at the threshold of runway 26 was 090°/3 kt and 320°/3 kt at the threshold of runway 08.
At 14 h 44, the average wind at the threshold of runway 26 was 020°/3 kt and 300°/3kt at the threshold of runway 08.
Between 14h and 15 h, the surface wind varied in strength at the two thresholds between 0 and 9 kt and between 300° and 170° from the north in direction.
Note: wind measurements are taken every half a second and averaged over two minutes.


Leaving the ramp the wind was reported as calm. While taxiing the tower informed 8 kt tailwind, meaning that it was the strongest tailwind component which could be expected.

Fact is that it was calm to almost calm with winds from shifting directions due to thermal activity - 2/8 cumulus covered the blue summer afternoon sky. Perfect flying weather in which no airport changes runway direction every five minutes.

How that over time got inflated to 14 kt tailwind. Well, it happens all the time here at a.net. This isn't the first time I have posted a "reset to reality" of inflated figures, and I'm not naive enough to imagine this to be the last time.

It doesn't mean that it is OK to take off overweight, or that taking off in tailwind is adviceable. It is only for giving correct figures to those who care.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
AR385
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:19 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 5):
The BEA (aka Blatantly Excusing AirFrance) might want to lay all the blame at the feet of CO, but no amount of French protectionism can cover up the fact that Concorde had **MULTIPLE** prior incidents of tire blowouts causing significant structural damage to the wing and/or tanks, stretching over a period of 22yrs.

CO dropped a bogus part on the runway. A part that should have been made of Aluminum, not Titanium. Had it been made of Aluminum, it would have flattened as the Concorde´s tire passed over it. But not Titanium. The Titanium blew the tire apart, and in such big chunks that when one hit the wing tanks it made them rip open from the INSIDE-OUT. The rubber did not perforate the wing. This was not your average Concorde tire blow out. Why did CO allow a bogus part on one of its DC-10s?

Quoting trnswrld (Reply 13):
Interesting read and this has me thinking. I know this is a what if scenario, but I'm truly curious to what some of you think about this. So what if the flight engineer did not turn of any engine and the aircraft had 100% power available? Even with the severe extent of the fire does anyone think the aircraft could have flown on and continued to land?

The inability to put the gear up was already limiting the climb performance mightily. And the intensity of the fire was seconds away from destroying the structural integrity of the wing. It was going to end up the way it did one way or the other.

Quoting trnswrld (Reply 13):
I have not read any reports, but the actual crash of that airplane was the lack of power because of a shut down engine (or two) correct? So theoretically with all power available that aircraft should have flown relatively normally as long as the fire remained contained to the fuel pouring out of it right?

As said above, the shutting down of the second engine, just sped things up a little bit. Concorde that day was not going to make it to the ground safely.
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:31 pm

Curious, where are you getting any of those figures from??

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 16):
These are clear examples of how figures often get "inflated" over time here at a.net.
The truth is that it was 1790 lbs overweight (not 6000 lbs).

Section 1.6.5 of the BEA report shows that the aircraft was 1,371kg over the flight paperwork's calculated figures. That's 3,023lbs.


Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 16):
It Means that the calculated TOW was 411,790 lbs

Also, the calculated takeoff weight was 184,880kg; that's 407,591lbs.


Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 16):
MTOW = 410,000 lbs.

MTOW was 185,070kg; that's 408,010lbs.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 16):
How that over time got inflated to 14 kt tailwind. Well, it happens all the time here at a.net.

Ya know, if you want to pointlessly nitpick, then perhaps a tribute thread isn't exactly the optimal place to do so... it's as though you think that the obvious "If I'm Not Mistaken" in front of "14kt" in Reply#14 is just there by random coincidence.  

And as we've clearly seen above, it's not as though you have ANY room to be admonishing ANYONE else about "inflating numbers."

Good lord.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:39 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 17):
This was not your average Concorde tire blow out.

Nor was it the worst, in a long history of them. The 1979 blowout at IAD caused a far larger fuel leak than the 2000 incident. It however didn't ignite nor cause FOD ingestion.

Blame CO all you want, as they are indeed a contributory part to the negligence equation; but doing so does not negate the fact that the aircraft had a significant structural/design issue that left it wide open to this type of damage with extremely high risk of critical failure.

There's no getting around that, no matter how much denial to the contrary or blame-shifting that one chooses to assert.

[Edited 2015-07-25 16:42:44]
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
Viscount724
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:04 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 7):
BA treated the Concorde with kid gloves, no aircraft in civilian operation was maintained to the degree their Concordes were from an operational and potential threat standpoint.

In fact their maintenance operation for this legendary aircraft was so highly thought of that NASA sent a team to study and use many of BA's practices in their space shuttle maintenance.

Air France just wasn't in the same ballpark.

Even so, there were dozens of Concorde incidents involving both BA and AF, many involving tires and landing gear, often resulting in other damage. Examples of some of the BA incidents. There must be close to 100 incidents involving burst tires affecting both BA and AF.

http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146995
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146992
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147036
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147033
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147032
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147030
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147028
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146977
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147023
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147026
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146990
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146956
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147046
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147045
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147002
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147041
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147009
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147044
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147037
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146975
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147004
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146964
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146951
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146960
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146984
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146974
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146962
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146965
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147018
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146976
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146979
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146967
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147014
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146998
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146985
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147019
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146959
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146983
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146982
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=146958
 
AR385
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:44 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 19):
Nor was it the worst, in a long history of them.



Must have been, I reckon, given the fact that the plane actually fell from the sky and killed many.
 
bueb0g
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:05 am

Quoting reltney (Reply 8):
However, the plane was flyable until he shut down a thrust producing engine and without the report in front of me , there was no fire waning on the engine he shut down, if I remember correctly. Also, as most engine fire procedures in the jets I fly and company procedure, you don't shut engines off until your at a minimum safe altitude and the flying pilots consent. These are 2 things the report said the engineer did. As bad as the photos and film look, the fire was not inside the jet, it was outside. We will not know if it would have blown out at a higher speed or when the pilot pulled the 3 good engines out of burner. (Afterburner or reheat to the British folks). We need to move forward and learn.

Er... I think you are seriously confused. The whole "engine shutdown" thing has become completely mythologised. Here is the actual sequence of events:

-Fire begins
-Engine 1 and 2 surge and lose power
-Engine 1 power recovers
-Engine 2 fire warning, commander calls for fire drill, F/E shuts down engine
-Aircraft lifts off w/ 3 engines running, but with the gear stuck down and progressive damage done to the airframe - warping of the wing which would lead to a loss of control, even with all 4 engines running
Engine 1 surges again and fails - no recovery

Lesson here is... read the report. From page one:

"Problems appeared shortly afterwards on engine 2 and for a brief period on engine 1. The aircraft took off. The crew shut down engine 2, then only operating at near idle power, following an engine fire alarm. They noticed that the landing gear would not retract. The aircraft flew for around a minute at a speed of 200 kt and at a radio altitude of 200 feet, but was unable to gain height or speed. Engine 1 then lost thrust, the aircraft’s angle of attack and bank increased sharply. The thrust on engines 3 and 4 fell suddenly. The aircraft crashed onto a hotel."

(Engines 3 and 4 were retarded at the last minute to try and correct the thrust asymmetry which was rolling them.)

The crew did nothing wrong from the initiation of the fire - there was nothing they could do to save the aircraft, and they certainly did not shut down the wrong engine/s.

[Edited 2015-07-25 18:10:34]
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
bueb0g
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:08 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 9):
One year ago Air Algérie crashed and all indications point to lessons not learned, as for shutting down the wrong engine (on a two engines plane no less) it just happened too.

Yeah because an icing accident is obviously comparable to the Concorde crash...? And see my post above, the crew did not shut down the wrong engine.
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
kiwiandrew

RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:41 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 20):
Even so, there were dozens of Concorde incidents involving both BA and AF, many involving tires and landing gear, often resulting in other damage. Examples of some of the BA incidents. There must be close to 100 incidents involving burst tires affecting both BA and AF.



It also has to be borne in mind that these incidents arose from an extremely small operational fleet with very low utilisation levels ( I have seen one source, but cannot find it again, which suggested an average utilisation of only 3 flying hours per day per aircraft- I would be interested if any insiders can provide confirmation or refutation of this) . If the originally anticipated volumes of orders had eventuated, and if the aircraft had actually achieved normal commercial levels of utilisation, many more incidents would have been likely, and it seems reasonable to think that some of those may have also resulted in hull losses.

Don't get me wrong, Concorde was a beautiful aircraft, and an amazing achievement, but with hindsight, it appears that it was only a matter of time until a disaster of this nature occurred ( regardless of whether or not a nonstandard part had fallen from a CO DC-10).
 
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:33 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 21):
Must have been, I reckon, given the fact that the plane actually fell from the sky and killed many.

Worst aftermath? Obviously. Worst actual blowout per se? No.


Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 24):
Don't get me wrong, Concorde was a beautiful aircraft, and an amazing achievement, but with hindsight, it appears that it was only a matter of time until a disaster of this nature occurred

Agreed. While I realize that the probability of a crash isn't dependent on any particular precursory element... with only 20 commercial units produced and only 16 of them to see actual service, there really shouldn't have been a crash.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:39 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 25):
Worst aftermath? Obviously. Worst actual blowout per se? No.

That makes no sense at all. Unless the blowout ocurred with the tire not on the aircraft, but when it was being stored or worked on somewhere else, sure.

Up until that blowout, none of those preceding it had caused a hull loss with total loss of life, with an entire building on the ground along with some of its occupants being lost too. So I cannot see how another blowout could have been WORSE, even if "per se". None of the other blowouts per se caused so much damage that the plane was destroyed. So I just don´t get your logic. But if what we are arguing is about semantics, then whatever.

[Edited 2015-07-25 23:47:00]
 
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:27 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 26):
That makes no sense at all.

Sure it does. It's not difficult, at all.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:48 am

I always shut down 24 hours every 25 July.

25th July 2000
RIP ‪#‎AF4590‬
RIP Concorde F-BTSC
RIP all crew and passengers on board the aircraft
RIP ground victims

A freak accident.
They happen. There's nothing we can do.
Think Jules Bianchi at Suzuka.

Freak accident. by the time it happened it was all too late.

When the White Delta beauties were put back in service very few wanted to fly (at least AF side) that was the time one could fly cheap - discounted Business fares would get you on Concorde TATL. Still people did not want to fly.

We know what happened 3 years later. They were taken out of service. Not even one or two frames left to fly "experimental". Airbus (Noel Forgeard) wanted to get them out of the way.

That's what's even more sad. They could have kept a couple of frames in flying condition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRFJdtQ38Qg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMZk-cHU6Zk

For once you have tasted Concorde you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.


        
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
gzm
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:55 am

I read carefully all the replies.One thing you forgot to mention is that the specific aircraft was the one that was used in the film "The Concorde,Airport 1979". Google "film Concorde" and you will be able to watch the "historic" film. And what a prophetic end!....
 
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:21 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 19):
Nor was it the worst, in a long history of them. The 1979 blowout at IAD caused a far larger fuel leak than the 2000 incident. It however didn't ignite nor cause FOD ingestion.

I remember a documentary on Smithsonian Channel about the AF Concorde crash and the one
thing they mentioned that I have never gotten over is that they came up with a design to
retrofit Concorde's fuel tanks with kevlar lining after that IAD blowout incident but somebody
decided the ROI wasn't worth the expense.

If I had lost a friend or relative in that crash, I would consider that decision unforgivable
 
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par13del
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:56 pm

Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 24):
If the originally anticipated volumes of orders had eventuated, and if the aircraft had actually achieved normal commercial levels of utilisation, many more incidents would have been likely,

.........or a redesign of the a/c would have happened to prevent damage or eliminate the issue altogether.
A larger deployed fleet creates greater economic incentive for the OEM to spend development funds, a smaller fleet may economically be resolved by greater inspections etc.
 
EMAman
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:34 pm

I cant believe how quickly 15 years can go by. RIP to all victims.

It was a dreadful day for aviation.
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:59 pm

Quoting EMAman (Reply 32):
It was a dreadful day for aviation.

Agreed.

Any crash is such, but this one (at least to me) seemed to be far worse... it's as if part of the "dream" of aviation, with it.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
Pihero
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:17 pm

Quoting reltney (Reply 8):
Add to that, the Plane was 6000lbs over its takeoff weight for the runway(not a big deal) but the flight engineer shut down an engine producing thrust which left them with 2 engines . True , if the metal wasn't there..........

Aren't you tired of this uninformed load of untruths ?

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 16):
This isn't the first time I have posted a "reset to reality" of inflated figures, and I'm not naive enough to imagine this to be the last time.

But it will happen, again and again... and again... after countless threads and discussions

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 14):
But since it's been brought up now: yes, there was a complete breakdown of CRM, and the planning and mtx of this flight were **highly** questionable.

Prove these points.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 14):
Two things you didn't mention:
Not only was it several tons overweight, but it also took off into a (IINM) 14kt tailwind, which further exacerbated that situation.

From the report : TOW was either :
"186,251 (3) or
185,757 (4)
(3) By applying the fixed average for passengers: one passenger = 84 kg, one child = 35 kg.
(4) By applying the fixed average for men and women: one man = 88 kg, one woman = 70 kg, one child = 35 kg.
Note: for holiday charter flights, it is also possible to use a fixed average of 76 kg per passenger. "


Applying this note, TOW = 185 607 kg.

That's 537 kg over MTOW = 185 070 kg... Where are the several TONS of overweight ?
AS for the 14kt tailwind, that's another A.net myth : the wind was calm, even with a nose component. Normal conditions for a hot-ish day with thermals.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 14):
And on top of that, the aircraft had been missing its auto-alignment spacer on that landing gear bogie for more than a month!
Was it illegal? No. Was it unreasonable, irrational, and plain goddamn STUPID? Yes.

From the report :
" A first shift (A shift) undertook removal of the bogie on 17 July from 6 h 00 to 18 h 00. A second (B shift) undertook the reinstallation of the bogie from 18 h 00 on July 17 to 18 h 00 on July 18.
The personnel concerned possessed the requisite qualifications and authorisations
...Note: it appears that Concorde is the only aircraft whose bogies are designed with shear rings and a spacer...
"
So it was in fact a week had elapsed since the bogie maintenance...
Have you read how the BEA tests were conducted ? .. I guess not.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 14):
The aircraft stalled, and fell straight down, almost inverted and upside down to the left.

From the report :
"The loss of thrust on engines 3 and 4 was caused by a combination of deliberate selection of idle and by a surge due to excessive airflow distortion. This allowed the aircraft bank to be reduced.
...The aircraft crashed practically flat, destroying a building and was immediately consumed by a violent fire."

So, it appears that the pilot elected to keep the airplane upright, by reducing the thrust / roll assymetry... Last ditch manoeuvre from someone who still had his wits about him.


Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 18):
Ya know, if you want to pointlessly nitpick, then perhaps a tribute thread isn't exactly the optimal place to do so

Nor is it the place for muddying dead people's memory.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 22):
Lesson here is... read the report. From page one:

   Can't agree more.
Contrail designer
 
trnswrld
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:21 pm

Thanks for all the info and corrections to some possibly false information. Basically what I'm gathering is after the point that debris was hit and punctured and ignited the fuel that aircraft was doomed pretty much no matter what. I have a feeling that even if the pilots were able to reject the takeoff and safely stop the aircraft that there would have still likely been significant loss of life just from the sheer severity of the fire.
RIP and I also can't believe it's been 15 years since this happened.
 
Armodeen
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:39 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 6):
T'was I who broke the story on here. I was sitting at my desk in my home office and it popped up in a newsfeed, switched the radio on and the BBC were announcing it. Posted this and spent the rest of the afternoon watching TV news.

https://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...60923

I just read that thread for the first time. Shocking and saddening at the same time.

RIP.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:16 am

Here is what I wrote on the first AF4590 thread 15 years ago, a few hours after the accident:

I am afraid that this is the end of it. Even if the fault is found (must be a double engine failure), and the remaining twelve Concordes are allowed to fly again, then both AF and BA will see that the market has evaporated.
The luxury charter market disappeared completely in the flames in Paris this afternoon.
The scheduled market will shrink dramatically.
The reason is that the Concorde has never really been a needed plane like the ordinary subsonic airliners are.
It is even less needed today than when it was new. It was built for busy business executives. Those people today rely on video conferencing and instant transfer of any documents via email and file sharing on international company data networks. The executives don't have time to travel much these days, not even on a Concorde.
Another obstacle: The environmentalist groups in New York will be ready again - as they were 20 years ago - the same second rumours tell that a Concorde may fly again and describe for us another crash down 5th Avenue in NYC.
It's a very sad day in aviation history. The Concorde was a great plane. I never saw a take off or landing, and now I am sure that I never will. The closest I ever came was watching a Concorde in queue on the taxiway at LHR from a BA 757 window last summer. My 757 took off first.
Any more or less realistic plans for a next generation SST will also be set back dramatically by this tragic accident.


My prediction in the first two lines came extremely close to reality. The Concorde did fly again. Some of the 12 planes were modfied with Kevlar lining and improved tires, and flew a reduced schedule for a couple of years. But the customer base, at least for AF, had evaporated.

Airbus pulled the final plug. For economic reasons they said. I don't doubt that economics went south with only BA as operator.

But I am convinced that Airbus, having inherited technical support, was very concerned about their future reputation. Nobody knew better than Airbus what massive, and unrealistic modification it would take to bring the Concorde from 1960'es/70'es certification standards up to standards of 21st century.

The Concorde was such a marvelous icon of the most optimistic part of second half of 20th century. But as a noisy and expensive fuel guzzler it had no business in the 21st century where all important things travel, not at Mach 2, but at speed of light.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:29 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 19):
Blame CO all you want, as they are indeed a contributory part to the negligence equation; but doing so does not negate the fact that the aircraft had a significant structural/design issue that left it wide open to this type of damage with extremely high risk of critical failure.

Don't forget the airport decided it was just to lazy to do the sweep it was supposed to do before every Concorde flight. This is where I get the most angry at the French ignoring their role in this. If the sweep of the runway had been mandatory and carried out, The CO plane could have dropped a whole engine and a few tons of luggage with no ill effect. It could have dropped anti-tank mines and had no effect.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:51 am

Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 24):
It also has to be borne in mind that these incidents arose from an extremely small operational fleet with very low utilisation levels ( I have seen one source, but cannot find it again, which suggested an average utilisation of only 3 flying hours per day per aircraft- I would be interested if any insiders can provide confirmation or refutation of this) .

Search no further. Have a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concorde_aircraft_histories

Deep down you find a table with flight hours of all 20 Concordes including utilization of the 14 production planes # 203 to 216.

If we assume average 23 years in operation (excluding the 1,5 yr while grounded) and exclude #211 taken out of service in 1982, then:
Average BA utilization just under 3 hours/day
Average AF utilization just over 2 hours/day.

F-BTSC, #203, the accident plane, was the very first production plane to get in the air. Anyway it logged the lowest amount of hours of all Concordes when excluding the scrapped #211. In its time it flew on average some 1 hr and 20 min per day. It makes one imagine that maybe it was considered sort of lemon in the fleet.

[Edited 2015-07-26 18:52:24]
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
Nouflyer
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:59 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 37):
The Concorde did fly again. But the customer base, at least for AF, had evaporated.

In many ways this is the key to the demise of Concorde. And as someone who is half-French and half-English, I'll give you my opinion on why Concorde died.

Yes, she was an elderly bird, but the BA ones were supremely maintained and probably had a decade of life left in them, or near enough.

But the British and the French simply viewed Concorde differently, and the success of the London-Barbados flights really highlights that.

For the French, Concorde was a symbol of national triumph. A beautiful aircraft. Like a diamond necklace that you would never take out of the safe at the bank.

For the British, Concorde was a symbol of national triumph too, but a different sort of national triumph. It was a magnificent but rather impractical machine like the Comet or the Vulcan or the Lightning, but also for boys who had been to private schools it was the culmination of a glorious tradition of industrial genius going back to Isambard Brunel.

The difference is that those British people desperately, desperately wanted to fly in it, rather than have it as an abstract national triumph as their French peers held it. It's the same reason why grown men across the UK are going to furtively weep in the next few weeks when the Vulcan takes its final bow.

BA could probably have maintained high load factors for years on Concorde. People were willing to pay their own money to Barbados or on Goodwood Travel's charters and companies were willing to let senior executives use the company's funds to and from New York.

Travelling on Concorde was something British people aspired to do. It was never my experience that the same applied in France.

And the different ways in which the two nations embraced the aircraft probably led to the accident happening as and when it did. I suspect that at Heathrow no trouble was too much in terms of sweeping the runway, and the accident was that much less likely to happen there as a result. It was always going to happen at CDG because there wasn't the same visceral love and care for the aircraft. And once it did happen, fear wrecked the remaining market in France.
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:09 am

Quoting trnswrld (Reply 35):
I have a feeling that even if the pilots were able to reject the takeoff and safely stop the aircraft that there would have still likely been significant loss of life just from the sheer severity of the fire.

Yup.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 34):
Where are the several TONS of overweight ?

You're the one inserting MTOW. My statement was that it was several over the calculated weight, which it was by 1.6tons.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 34):
the wind was calm, even with a nose component

8kts

Quoting Pihero (Reply 34):
So, it appears that the pilot elected to keep the airplane upright, by reducing the thrust / roll assymetry... Last ditch manoeuvre from someone who still had his wits about him.

As I told you the last time you wrote this, and got it deleted for both of us (yeah, way to go there Sparky)... several sources, ranging from BBC, to PRNews, to Flight International, specifically wrote that it was pointed straight to the sky at the time of stall and impact.

So excuse the hell outta me for the fact that they were all wrong in unison.




Quoting Pihero (Reply 34):
Nor is it the place for muddying dead people's memory.

Ya know dude, I don't care who you are nor what you do... you're out of line.

I'll admit to a mistake, but I'll be damned before I let the likes of you impugn me in such a manner uncontested.


Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 38):
it was supposed to do before every Concorde flight

Were they though?
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
prebennorholm
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:32 am

Quoting Nouflyer (Reply 40):

Dear Nouflyer, thanks for your insight, being half and half French/British. It explains why BA was reluctant to retire the Concorde, and why they stretched operation as far as they could, six months after AF retirement.

Fifteen years ago I was pretty convinced that the end of the line had been reached. But then I had no ideas about the very special feelings about the Concorde, especially in Britain.

And yes, I agree, the Concorde could easily have flown another ten years.

On the other hand, I am convinced that Airbus was happy to find a relevant opportunity to be relieved from their support. If there had been another serious incident, not necessarily a fatal one, and fingers would for valid or invalid reasons be pointed against Airbus, then the reputation damage would be totally out of proportion to the few pennies they could make on support.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:38 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 41):
Were they though?

Yes they were. The runway check was in the operating procedure for the airport, however They were not *required* to do so. Which was 1/2 the problem. They *KNEW* tire blow outs could do severe damage. They *KNEW* debris causes punctures. But no, they had other stuff to do later so totally fine to blow off a safety procedure. Not mandated and they already did work that day so...
 
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:04 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 42):
If there had been another serious incident, not necessarily a fatal one

Almost was. AF came close to putting one in the drink, off the coast of YHZ. Limped into Canada. Think it was F-BTSD, but not sure off hand.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 43):
however They were not *required* to do so

That's my point though, it was practice, but not a requirement.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:08 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 44):
That's my point though, it was practice, but not a requirement.

It was practice because it was in the written procedures that they should do so. It failed to require they do so. They failed to do so this time for the laziest of reasons.

Yet, the investigation didn't care. nope, it was some mechanic in america who fired the golden bullet from 6K miles away.
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:51 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 12):
Sadly, the cause of this disaster is still debated here and elsewhere, blaming CO, blaming AF, blaming the pilots, blaming CDG's operations, the structure of the Concorde, but really all of them in a terrible mix came together, as in too many deadly or near deadly plane crashes.

  

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 16):
These are clear examples of how figures often get "inflated" over time here at a.net.

  

Quoting AR385 (Reply 17):
It was going to end up the way it did one way or the other.

  

Quoting Pihero (Reply 34):
Aren't you tired of this uninformed load of untruths ?

  

I think this thread is more of a sad memory to the Internet discussions and very one-sided views (or even in some cases incorrect views) people have, than an AF 4590 in memoriam thread.

The most believable version of reality can be read from the accident report. IMHO, of course. And that reality is a combination of factors; the CO part, Concorde's design, the conditions that day, ... and the bad luck of of running over that part and the damage causing an ignition. It was not survivable, no matter what.

What a beautiful aircraft, what a sad loss of life.
 
questions
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:08 am

Changing the direction of the topic...

BA seemed to have done a great job branding and marketing the Concorde product and service, especially making it standout from its other mainline offerings.

How did AF position the Concorde.

How did the overall Concorde experience compare between BA and AF?
 
LovesCoffee
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:11 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 41):
As I told you the last time you wrote this, and got it deleted for both of us (yeah, way to go there Sparky)... several sources, ranging from BBC, to PRNews, to Flight International, specifically wrote that it was pointed straight to the sky at the time of stall and impact.

Call me old fashioned, but wouldn't the accident report be a better source for the aircraft flight/attitude than news sources?
Life is too short for cheap coffee.
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: The Tragedy Of AF Concorde 4590, 15yrs Later.

Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:38 am

Quoting questions (Reply 47):
How did the overall Concorde experience compare between BA and AF?

Don't think it was just the experience and marketing... London seemed better positioned for the market, with plenty of business that might require the quick trip. A tad less in Paris...

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