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Old 27th Feb 2014, 12:01
  #559 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dortmund
Age: 50
Posts: 63
Originally Posted by gums
Why did you not practice one or two times for the demo? Sheesh. The T-birds and Blue Angels come in a day or two earlier and do two or more practice demos for the particular venue. Same for the Red Bull and other acrobatic pilots at an airshow. Called professionalism, airmanship, and more. You just don't improvise, period.
An explanation for this puzzling lack of preparation is, once again, in Asseline's book, p. 22 - 26.

The year before, the Habsheim flying club had chartered an Air France Concorde for roughly the same job: A sightseeing round trip from and to Bâle-Mulhouse, including a flyby over the Habsheim airfield. This Concorde crew arrived a day early, parked their bird at Bâle-Mulhouse, picked up their rented car, drove out to Habsheim airfield, had a look at the grounds and chatted with those in charge, then drove back to their hotel. That's not exactly "practice", but far better than nothing, and probably would have saved the day for Asseline. He wasn't given such an opportunity, because everyone in his flight division was on a tight schedule, working to put the A320 into service.

Then the book has some written statements (made in the context of the internal investigation at Air France) by Monsieur R. Simon of AF flight operations, tasked with the preparation of the charter flight, and Captain André Groppo of the A320 flight division, to whom he presented the results of his work. Captain Groppo says (my translation): "Feeling M. Simon slightly worried about the fact of not having gotten into contact with the captain of the flight, I recall telling him that this crew was particularly qualified for this kind of flight and that there was no reason for him to worry." On which Asseline himself comments: "Alas! No way were we particularly qualified for flight shows."

Btw., the flight presentation as envisaged by M. Simon would have been first a flyby at 600 ft in clean configuration, then at 100 ft in landing configuration.
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