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Old 3rd Dec 2012, 13:39   #61 (permalink)
 
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Before the France-trashing gets out of hand, it's worth remembering that France had the UK government over a barrel in the 1960s and stopped the project from being cancelled several times. So without them, there might not have been Concorde at all.

And again worth remembering the contribution made by Airbus after the accident to get the aircraft back in the air. You might also factor in the fact they wanted to divert engineering resource away from Concorde and towards the A380 which at that point was two years from first flight.
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Old 3rd Dec 2012, 17:05   #62 (permalink)
 
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From the AF lawyer with the smile : "That spacer was useless anyway"

Not exactly clear since when designers add useless parts and weight on aircrafts ... ?

Last edited by CONF iture; 3rd Dec 2012 at 17:17.
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Old 3rd Dec 2012, 17:26   #63 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Before the France-trashing gets out of hand, it's worth remembering that France had the UK government over a barrel in the 1960s and stopped the project from being cancelled several times. So without them, there might not have been Concorde at all.
Actually you can thank Julian Amory for that (a Brit politician). He inserted the clause into the contract that committed both sides to meet the costs even they pulled out, because the Brits thought the French would renege. In fact it was Harold Wilson who wanted out!

Quote:
And again worth remembering the contribution made by Airbus after the accident to get the aircraft back in the air.
It should never have been grounded. At least the BA ones shouldn't have been. They were using an improved tyre and following correct operating techniques.

Quote:
You might also factor in the fact they wanted to divert engineering resource away from Concorde and towards the A380 which at that point was two years from first flight.
Indeed, so why not stick the price of maintenance up until it becomes unsustainable to keep the bird flying? Especially after AF had ducked out.
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Old 3rd Dec 2012, 17:30   #64 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
From the AF lawyer with the smile : "That spacer was useless anyway"
Not exactly clear since when designers add useless parts and weight on aircrafts ... ?
It is to be nicer
Concorde is a nice aircraft ....

Last edited by jcjeant; 3rd Dec 2012 at 17:33.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 00:41   #65 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
Quote:
And again worth remembering the contribution made by Airbus after the accident to get the aircraft back in the air.
It should never have been grounded. At least the BA ones shouldn't have been. They were using an improved tyre and following correct operating techniques.
So, in your mind, a BA Concorde taking off - off course following correct operating techniques - and rolling on the (in)famous titanium strip would have been safe?
Why? In what way were BA tyres sufficiently improved (??) to be immune to that strip?
I'm aware the water deflector were better secured on BA fleet, but that's not the point. There was no NZG tyre on any Concorde in fleet at the time.
OTOH, BA & AF Concorde had numerous tyres bursts, not only in their first years of exploitation. In fact, from 1990 to the accident, 7 tyres events were recorded for each of the 2 companies.

Overall, AF certainly was more laxist than BA, given the recorded evidences (and others events), and for that the company (and the country) could be blamed.
But that's no sufficient reason to assess that BA Concorde were safer regarding to the danger of such a FOD on the runway.
Hence, while the problem was being worked on, I think grounding both fleets was a correct decision. Once again, I stand to be corrected if need be (keeping in mind that I suffer from a very Cartesian mind).



Quote:
Originally Posted by CONF iture View Post
From the AF lawyer with the smile : "That spacer was useless anyway"

Not exactly clear since when designers add useless parts and weight on aircrafts ... ?
Of course the spacer had a raison-d'être. Now, lawyers being lawyers, if the absence of said spacer had no influence on the events, then you can say (being a lawyer, remember) that it was useless.
And what said the technical report about that topic? Let's see:
Quote:
1.18.2.5 Study of the Beginning of the Flight
In theory, the absence of the spacer could have instigated an asymmetrical trajectory, tyre overheating and slower acceleration than normal. Study of the marks on the runway as well as calculations of the trajectory and acceleration made on the basis of the data from the flight recorders show that this was not the case:
• During the takeoff run, the aircraft would have had a tendency to deviate to the left if the left main landing gear had created abnormally high drag. However, its track was straight before the loss of thrust on engines 1 and 2 and there are no observable right rudder inputs. On the contrary, some slight actions to the left are even noticeable before V1.
• Such abnormally high drag could also have led to an abnormal use of the brakes during taxiing to get to the runway. However, the crew performed the pre-takeoff checklist and, in accordance with this, announced the brake temperature, which was 150°C (the temperature must exceed 220°C for there to be an alarm).
Furthermore, it was the same for the left and right bogies. The temperature of the brakes was therefore not at all abnormal.
• The acceleration recorded by the flight data recorder is 0.268 G, which is the normal value for the Concorde when it is at its maximum weight. Furthermore, 34 seconds after the beginning of the takeoff run, the aircraft had rolled 1,200 metres and reached a speed of 151 kt. At MTOW, and with conditions as on that day, the Concorde must roll 1.150 metres and reach a speed of 150 kt in 33 seconds.
Aircraft performance was thus entirely in accordance with the design values up until the damage to tyre No 2 by the metallic strip. Furthermore, takeoff
performance on the flights that preceded the accident (but after the bogie replacement work) was in accordance with published norms. There is no significant difference compared to takeoff performance on other Concordes.
• Up until the time the aircraft ran over the metallic strip, no remarks or reactions by the crew indicate any abnormal aircraft behaviour.
The first tyre marks noted on the runway after the accident were those of tyre No 2 after it was damaged by the metallic strip. There were no identifiable Concorde tyre marks before this point.
In addition, a change in bogie perpendicularity might have occurred, preventing gear retraction. As shown in paragraph 1.16.10, this did not happen.


In conclusion, nothing in the research undertaken indicates that the absence of the spacer contributed in any way to the accident on 25 July 2000.
.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 01:24   #66 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
In conclusion, nothing in the research undertaken indicates that the absence of the spacer contributed in any way to the accident on 25 July 2000.
BEA is short of words ...
For a complete conclusion about the spacer problem .. this was to be add
"but however demonstrate the incompetence and lax of the Air France technical crew in charge of the Concorde maintenance"
Wonder if the chief of this technical crew (the one with the stamp) remained on the pay list of AF ...

Last edited by jcjeant; 4th Dec 2012 at 01:30.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 08:31   #67 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Air France failed to produce the "Fuel Loading Sheet" and "Aircraft Loading Sheet". Documents that legally should have been retained.
So just how overweight and overfuelled the Aircraft was will remain a matter of speculation.
if the aircraft was overweight for T/O, it should never have begun its take off roll. ergo, then the metal strip is also irrelevent.

unusual that loading sheets, suddenly failed to be be produced.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 09:51   #68 (permalink)
 
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AZR - no Zero Growth tyre, but an inmproved design over that then still being used by AF. But that's not the real reason I'd say BA was safe. The real reasons I think a BA Concorde running over the strip would have (probably - we can't be sure) have survived is because:

They'd have used an into-wind runway

The undercarriage would not be missing a vital component

It would not have been overweight

Most important of all, the tanks would not have been over-full (with no air gap to compress!)

In the event of engine damage, the FE would not have closed down a power-producing engine at that stage of flight
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 10:23   #69 (permalink)
 
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SSD

It may be different on Concorde but from my Military days the first priority was "fly the aircraft."
The FE should not have attempted to shut down anything until the aircraft was safely clear of the ground.

From my Tornado days. Engine Fire Warning at Rotate.

First action. Throttles (plural) to Combat Power.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 12:40   #70 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
AZR - no Zero Growth tyre, but an inmproved design over that then still being used by AF. But that's not the real reason I'd say BA was safe.
OK thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
The real reasons I think a BA Concorde running over the strip would have (probably - we can't be sure) have survived is because:

They'd have used an into-wind runway
Granted, that's more than probable. But it won't have prevented the crash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
The undercarriage would not be missing a vital component
As demonstrated above, not vital. Argument dismissed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
It would not have been overweight
Granted, that's probable. But it won't have prevented the crash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
Most important of all, the tanks would not have been over-full (with no air gap to compress!)
I agree that this is the most important of all.
That leaves my question unanswered: what is the "normal" fullness of tank 5 on that phase of flight?
- if less than 94% (estimation of AF accident Concorde) then I'll accept that a BA Concorde (or any not "over-filled" Concorde) would have been safe;
- OTOH, if this tank was meant to be that full on perfectly normal operations, then the argument must be dismissed, and one can only conclude a BA (or any not "over-filled" Concorde) would not have been safe.
My understanding of BEA's final report §1.6.3 is that the "overfill" was in tanks 1, 2, 3 and 4. Not in tank 5.
The same § indicate there was a procedure for overfill, allowing up to 1630 liters. The accident aircraft used "only" 300 liters, less than 20% of the total overfill capacity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
In the event of engine damage, the FE would not have closed down a power-producing engine at that stage of flight
Granted, that's more than probable. But it won't have prevented the crash.


Now, my point is: as soon as the massive leak occured and took fire, the aircraft was doomed. No matter what the crew could do right or wrong (and AF personnal certainly did a number of mistakes on that day/a little before).
Then a BA Concorde rolling on the strip, if subject to the same "tank #5 fullness", would not have been safer than its AF counterpart.
Why? Because of the intensity of the fire, which was quickly destroying the left wing and its flight control surfaces. See chapter 1.12 of the final report, and particularly §1.12.2 (debris between the RWY and the crash site) and §1.12.4.6 (study: structure vs fire).

All that is by no mean an excuse for AF people mistakes (even if, of course, their lawyers will try to push that way), but what is important (IMO) is that the aircraft itself (and not AF aircrafts only) was subject to a high risk from specific FODs.
Such risk was assessed after the crash (new tyres "NZG" + liner in tanks), and I think Concorde was safer after 2003, and that the grounding of both fleets was the correct thing to do (another interim solution would have been to make runway inspection mandatory before each take-off, but I'm not sure it would have been practical?)
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 12:44   #71 (permalink)
 
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It's not different for Concorde. Having spoken to many Concorde FEs, P1s, and P2s, they are increadulous that anyone would shut down an engine during take off, especially after V1 but before a safe rate of climb (or even lift-off in this case!) had been acheived. And even then, maybe they wouldn't depending on other factors!
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 15:00   #72 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZR
Of course the spacer had a raison-d'être. Now, lawyers being lawyers, if the absence of said spacer had no influence on the events, then you can say (being a lawyer, remember) that it was useless.
Sorry, but his words leave no space to interpretation :
"The spacer appears to have no utility"
I would like to see him arguing with the engineering team who decided to put that spacer in the first place ...

I take note of the technical report quote.
In the meantime, let me quote the following :
Quote:
Originally Posted by Final Report P182
The judicial authorities did not allow the AAIB investigators to be systematically involved in the examination of evidence.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 15:46   #73 (permalink)
 
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AZR - you cannot simply dismiss the downwind takeoff, the overweight, and especially the missing spacer as irrelevant to the crash. They were all factors, and if any one (never mind all) had been absent it might have changed the outcome. Especally the spacer (it wasn't designed by the manufacturer to be there just as added ballast!).

The overfilling of the tanks so that there was insufficient air space to allow some compression and therefore obviate the hydraulic overpressure is a crucial factor.

If the FE had not shut down No.2, they'd therefore have a lot more power and less drag as they'd have got the gear up. That might have enabled them to attempt some sort of landing (Perhaps at Le Bourget) before the wing burned through. Or the fire might have got them first. We'll never know.

Either way the inexplicable FE's action raises questions in one's mind about AF's operation of this complex and demanding airliner.

The post return-to-flight near loss of another Concorde (Halifax NS) and AF's decision shortly after that to ground their fleet reinforces that question.

I am confident, having spoken extensively to BA crews who express similar views to the above, that no such situation existed in that airline.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 17:07   #74 (permalink)
 
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For documentation
Another analyze of the Concorde crash (unfortunately no translation in english)
Crash du Concorde: la loi de Murphy

Google translation
Google*Traduction

Last edited by jcjeant; 4th Dec 2012 at 17:10.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 17:11   #75 (permalink)
 
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Titanium Strip

The conclusion the authority made in their report exudes a skill in legalese. It is conclusive, and defensive. This is not in the mission statement, and reminds one of the ad hoc release of a memorandum exonerating Airbus from "additional" mechanical issues with 447.

Be that as it may, the photography post crash shows me no aggressive abrasion from the concrete on the Strip. It is unlikely the strip pierced the tire, then encountered no further contact with the runway such that it was not grooved, and beaten up with extensive deformation. It looks rather pristine having survived what is proposed.

As to the spacer, i need to read some metallurgical forensics of both the axle and hub to conclude there was no result from a missing thrust bearing. I would be looking for signs of friction heat, loss of surface metal, etc.

If the lawyer concluded the spacer was redundant, unnecessary, then there would need to be proof of same. Not so sure the fire might not have originated with sparks from the 'H' frame, or Hub..... How is it the tires were recovered intact, were they thrown clear of the fireball?

Last edited by Lyman; 4th Dec 2012 at 17:13.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 18:07   #76 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CONF iture View Post
Sorry, but his words leave no space to interpretation
If your read precisely what I wrote, you must have noted that I'm not trying to justify the lawyer's words. In fact, I'm not interested in lawyers fights.
I'm concerned, however, about aviation safety.
One can say (and be right about it): BA was more serious about procedures than AF.
One cannot stretch to the point of saying: BA aircrafts were not at risk.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CONF iture View Post
I take note of the technical report quote.
In the meantime, let me quote the following :
Yep, I know that last quote too. What about the entire chapter? The comment from the BEA about that point is interesting, too:
Quote:
BEA Comment: after an aircraft accident in France a judicial inquiry, separate from the technical investigation, is usually conducted by one or more examining magistrates. The constraints of this procedure did not, however, prevent the BEA from carrying out a full investigation, in association with its foreign counterparts. The BEA nevertheless regrets the difficulties encountered by the AAIB investigators and their advisers.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
AZR - you cannot simply dismiss the downwind takeoff, the overweight, and especially the missing spacer as irrelevant to the crash. They were all factors, and if any one (never mind all) had been absent it might have changed the outcome.
It's not me who dismisses anything. I do no more than quoting the BEA, here. And my reading of the BEA final report is precisely that: those "factors" being absent would not have changed the outcome.
Of course, you can always argue that "we'll never know for sure", and be right about that. But that's not my point.
My point is the strip/tyre interaction alone was enough to put the aircraft at risk. Be it an AF incorrectly operated Concorde or a BA perfectly operated one. Hence the grounding of both fleets was justified (and both countries certifications authorities could be regarded as guilty for not having exiged modifications sooner, if one wants to stretch the point).

May I aslo remind what was the first Preliminary Recommendation following the accident? (my bold)
Quote:
Consequently, without prejudice to further evidence that may come to light in the course of the investigation, the BEA and the AAIB recommend to the Direction Générale de I'Aviation Civile of France and the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom that:
• the Certificates of Airworthiness for Concorde be suspended until appropriate measures have been taken to guarantee a satisfactory level of safety with regard to the risks associated with the destruction of tyres.
Ref: §4.1 of the final report, reproducing Preliminary Recommendation from earlier interim report.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
The overfilling of the tanks so that there was insufficient air space to allow some compression and therefore obviate the hydraulic overpressure is a crucial factor.
I'll say it again: Until proven wrong, I consider that the #5 tank was full (94% = full) but not overfilled as per the BEA report.
What's more is that an overfill procedure existed (was approved, I assume) and F-BTSC was fueled according to that procedure. Once again, if that procedure is deemed wrong, then surely it applies to both countries/companies aircrafts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
I am confident, having spoken extensively to BA crews who express similar views to the above, that no such situation existed in that airline.
I don't share that confidence regarding the specific and very important issue of the #5 tank filling, as written above.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 19:08   #77 (permalink)
 
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AZR, you seem to saying that 'the BEA report says XYZ, so XYZ was the cause'. I think a few of us on this side of the channel, including perhaps our own AAIB, would't consider that BEA report even good enough to be used as bog paper!
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 19:49   #78 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Consequently, without prejudice to further evidence that may come to light in the course of the investigation, the BEA and the AAIB recommend to the Direction Générale de I'Aviation Civile of France and the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom that:
• the Certificates of Airworthiness for Concorde be suspended until appropriate measures have been taken to guarantee a satisfactory level of safety with regard to the risks associated with the destruction of tyres.
This is a very good recommendation indeed
Unfortunately, this recommendation would be made ​​already after the Washington incident
This neglect or lax of BEA was paid cash at Gonesse

Last edited by jcjeant; 4th Dec 2012 at 19:50.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 22:54   #79 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
AZR, you seem to saying that 'the BEA report says XYZ, so XYZ was the cause'.
Yep, that's it. Until proven otherwise, of course: Errare humanum est, BEA is composed of human beings (I think).
It's not about blind confidence, it's because the report is the most detailled work about the accident I've come across to, and because its conclusions seem accurate & logical (damn my Cartesian mind, once again).
Now, if you want to convince me that BA's Concorde were safe and should not have been grounded following the 2000 AF accident, there is a simple thing to do: to demonstrate that BA's Concorde never took off with 94% full #5 tank (or that RWYs were inspected/wipped before every such take-off).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
I think a few of us on this side of the channel (...) would't consider that BEA report even good enough to be used as bog paper!
I'm aware of that. My problem is when those people - from whatever side of whatever sea/border/planet (we have such people here too) - fail to bring anything consistent (in my eyes) to support their theories. So far, I acknowledge question marks alot, but few (if any) definite/hard evidences answers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
(...) including perhaps our own AAIB (...)
Uh? I'm not aware of the AAIB having such a negative PoV about the whole report. Remarks they made, yes. Some specific points of analysis differed, and were dully noted. But disagreement on the facts or conclusions/recommendations?

BTW, I feel useful to also remind that I'm perfectly OK with your comment here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver View Post
The court has rightly pointed the finger of blame for Paris back where it belongs.
Yes indeed. Whatever specific role the (in)famous titanium strip played on this sad day of summer 2000, that should not be an excuse to forget or dismiss AF (french) other faults/mistakes when operating that wonderful aircraft. It feels right that the court - finally - acknowledged that.
Nor should OTOH those other - and numerous - faults/mistakes be an excuse to forget or dismiss the inherent risk (which is no more french/AF than british/BA or Kinglon for that matter) of the strip/tyre/tank interaction.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jcjeant View Post
This is a very good recommendation indeed
Unfortunately, this recommendation would be made ​​already after the Washington incident.
This neglect or lax of BEA was paid cash at Gonesse
Even with the intense political pressures at that time, recommendations were made after Washington. And after other occurences, in both AF & BA fleets.
What wasn't "imagined" is the massive leak resulting from the 2000 specific scenario (it was significatively different from the Washington and other incidents, as already said here). Measures were not taken to contervene an unkown risk. Is it a fault? A neglect? Perhaps.
Perhaps it's also a bit "too easy" to say so... afterwards.

Last edited by Jetdriver; 9th Dec 2012 at 14:57.
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Old 5th Dec 2012, 00:03   #80 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Measures were not taken to contervene an unkown risk
You are kidding I suppose ?
Leaks of fuel are unkown risk ?
Fuel is not a combustible ?
Fuel can't burn ?
Check the Concorde design
F.O tanks , gear and engines locations .. and you will understand why the risk was know already when for the first time the Concorde shows his Achilles heel ( tires )
On the many other incidents .. this was a luck factor working
You can't expect this will work fine everytime ...

Last edited by jcjeant; 5th Dec 2012 at 00:06.
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