I had finished an early shift at the BA Concorde Engineering operation. While getting ready to go and see a BBC Comedy show being recorded at the TV studios in London, my Mother rang me. She had just heard on the radio that a Concorde had crashed in Paris.
I must be honest and admit that my first thought was 'we've not done a CDG charter today, so it's not one of ours'. I turned on the TV, nothing yet, rang several work numbers, all busy-no surprise there.
As I had the tickets for the show, and didn't want to let my friends down, I still went out. By the time we were in the reception area at BBC Television centre, the TVs had footage of the wreck. It was a funny show, not that I laughed much.
Next day, I went in to find a hive of activity, doing extra checks on the fleet and preparing that day's BA001. It went without incident, not that the dumb-ass media reflected that.
I was also 'lucky' enough to be on duty three weeks later when the grounding happened, just minutes before the BA001 was due to go.
The day before, our manager had warned that the UK was coming under severe pressure from France to ground them. Of course, in that period all the old opponents of the aircraft came out of the woodwork.
A few days before the crash, some people at work had reckoned that the loss of an aircraft would lead to a grounding, even if it was a mid-air caused by an ATC foul-up.
Concorde's high profile is a double-edged sword.
IKARUS mentioned that structural problems may have caused a crash eventually anyway, well let me tell you that BA's NDT unit, which uses X-Rays and Ultrasound to check all parts of the airframe, spent 30% of their time doing just the 7 Concordes out of BA's entire fleet.
BA's aggressive determination to see the aircraft fly again is what saved it from certain retirement last year.
I note that most postings on this thread are still shocked by the tragic events of 25/7/00. If/when you find out what we know, you might be surprised.
But that's for the official, definitive report. The one on the net has been very superceded by developments in the investigation.