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Dream Land
12th Mar 2008, 03:40
Here's the Link (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/mar/11/concorde.theairlineindustry)

I seem to remember some information on a TV program about some problem in the wheel assembly being a part of the problem on this accident, also remember pictures that seemed to indicate the aircraft departed the left side of the runway prior to take off, anyone with more information to share?

Cheers, D.L.

sevenstrokeroll
12th Mar 2008, 04:24
I seem to recall that a piece of metal fell off the continental jet and that the piece may have been a counterfit part.

Volume
12th Mar 2008, 07:08
Like on every flight taking place, not everything was perfect that fateful day. Details like exceeding tailwind, aircraft out of weight and c/g limits, missing part in the left landing gear.... were found during investigation, but are all not rated to be significantly contributing to the accident (by BEA (http://www.bea-fr.org/docspa/2000/f-sc000725a/htm/f-sc000725a.html)).
A court may judge the contribution of those details differently.

Ovation
12th Mar 2008, 07:36
An accident that should never have happened.

My understanding is the Concorde tire damage was caused by foreign object on the Runway. Contributing factors were the reduced level of RWY inspection at CDG (although it might not have been detected).

The foreign object came off an earlier departing DC-10, and that strip of metal was part of a temporary away from base repair that should have been made a permanent repair at the earliest opportunity.

Unfortunately it was overlooked until it fell off and spiked the tyre. The Concorde seemed vulnerable to fuel tank damage from burst tyres, although none of those incidents was catastrophic.

There were many other factors as mentioned by Volume, but the foreign object started the entire chain of events.

aviate1138
12th Mar 2008, 07:59
From the Independent some years ago....

"Concorde incidents with burst tyres date back to 1978. In 1993 a tyre burst on landing at Heathrow, puncturing the right wing and damaging an engine. After that, BA - but not Air France - modified the tyre design, and a fibreglass fitting that fits between the tyres."

AirwayBlocker
12th Mar 2008, 08:19
The article quoted in the first link is dated back to 2005 so its not like that is a new developement.

However there do seem to conflicting ideas as to what actually happened on that day.

Let me quote Ovation:


There were many other factors as mentioned by Volume, but the foreign object started the entire chain of events.


That is the official BEA version of the accident.

However as Dream Land states there was a tv documantary that raised a different version of events. The documentary claims that the BEA ignored much of the evidence. The documentary made the claim that the piece of metal that the concorde ran over was way to the left of the usual part of the runway that the main gear should have been on. Their claim is that the aircraft had a faulty wheel assembly that caused it to deviate to the left during the takeoff roll. This resulted in the wheel then running over the offending strip of metal. There were, according to the documentary, two firemen who were watching the takeoff who reported smoke from the aircraft long before it ran over the metal strip.

It also raised issues as to whether the British investigators were allowed proper access to the wreckage to conduct their own investiation.

I don't claim to know which version of the events is true. But the documentary did raise a whole lot of questions for me personally.

Arkroyal
12th Mar 2008, 08:56
This could be a very interesting development.

From all I've managed to put together, it would seem that the missing spacer in the MLG was likely the major cause, allowing the main wheels to run out of line and subsequently overheat and cause failure of the tyre.

I said once before on a thread about this accident:

Funny how, out of all the contributing factors, the only one homed in on by the French investigators was the only one which could be laid at someone else's door. The metal strip.

Maybe it's time for an unbiased and forensic search for the whole truth.

Ultralights
12th Mar 2008, 09:14
the metal strip was just one of the many holes in the cheese that lined up that fateful day. i dont see how pressing charges will do anything other than make a few more lawyers richer.

bsieker
12th Mar 2008, 09:27
I have performed a Why-Because-Analysis of the Concorde Accident in my diploma thesis, available on the RVS website (http://www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de/) under Publications/Theses (Direct Link (http://www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de/publications/Diplom/sieker.pdf)).

Part II (p. 49ff) deals with Concorde. Based on the facts (in particular, the FDR graphs), acceleration and trajectory of the aircraft were normal up to the point where it ran over the metal strip (see sections 10.2, 10.4.1, 10.4.2). No unusal use of rudder was recorded which would have been a tell-tale sign of asymmetric forces from the landing gear.

One has to choose which sources to take more seriously, but having to decide between FDR graphs and the BEA report on the one hand, and TV "documentaries" on the other hand, the choice is easy, unless you're a conspiracy theorist.

The above notwithstanding, accident reports sometimes aren't all they should be, but factual reporting is usually excellent in western countries.


Bernd

rodthesod
12th Mar 2008, 09:40
ArkRoyal


Funny how, out of all the contributing factors, the only one homed in on by the French investigators was the only one which could be laid at someone else's door. The metal strip.



I quite agree. It looks like the French could shoot themselves in their feet with this new order. Hopefully there will be a fair, unbiased investigation which should lay the blame, where I believe it belongs, with Air France.
Others have mentioned contributory factors such as overweight, wrong 'downwind' runway, missing mlg component (far too large to be missed on a cursory external inspection), veering off runway due to mlg/tyre problem (prior to contacting metal strip) and consequent early rotation etc. I remember reading, shortly after the accident, that the FE had shut down the thrust-giving #2 engine at 40ft agl (recommended minimum 200ft) and that the engine was not actually on fire.
Don't hold your breath though folks, the French will probably, as they ALWAYS do, find someone else to blame. If it had been a Boeing, the equipment would have been faulty.

rts

forget
12th Mar 2008, 10:03
Does anyone have the aerial photograph of the runway which shows skid marks from the left tyres dragging?

ampan
12th Mar 2008, 10:43
One problem with accident investigation is that everyone expects NTSB standards. Unfortunately, the NTSB can only get involved when they have jurisdiction, or when their assistance is requested (which it often is).

Have always had problems with that stray piece of metal flashing from the Continental DC10. There must have been more to it than that.

forget
12th Mar 2008, 11:09
Have always had problems with that stray piece of metal flashing from the Continental DC10.

Me too. :hmm: Exactly 8 weeks before Concorde – intersection to same runway.

Shorts SD-330. Streamline Aviation. 25/5/00. Struck by departing MD-83 (F-GHED) of Air Lib after it (330) was cleared to enter runway. 1 pilot died. MD-83 aborted takeoff.

A cynic would say that the ‘bent metal’ may have come from the 330’s windscreen pillar. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this discounted.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b270/cumpas/330.jpg

p7lot
12th Mar 2008, 11:09
My thoughts are with Captain Christian Marty and the crew and pax on that fatefull day.
I had the pleasure of right seating Christian in my days on the A340.
I can see no usefull purpose in anything a magistrate might achieve in any subsequent action.
May they rest in peace.

asuweb
12th Mar 2008, 11:15
Does anyone have the aerial photograph of the runway which shows skid marks from the left tyres dragging?

The final report is avaliable on the AAIB website under foreign publications.

You'll find the photograph in there.

bsieker
12th Mar 2008, 11:23
For reference, here is the Final Report (http://www.bea-fr.org/docspa/2000/f-sc000725a/pdf/f-sc000725a.pdf) by the BEA (http://www.bea-fr.org/).



Hopefully there will be a fair, unbiased investigation which should lay the blame, where I believe it belongs, with Air France.

(a) how do you conclude who to "blame"?

(b) what is blame supposed to achieve?:confused:

Others have mentioned contributory factors such as overweight, wrong 'downwind' runway,

Factors, none of which the investigation missed.

missing mlg component (far too large to be missed on a cursory external inspection),

The missing component, a spacer to hold shear rings in place, is inside the main landing gear bogie assembly. Its absence cannot be determined during the walk-around, only by disassembling the structure.

veering off runway due to mlg/tyre problem (prior to contacting metal strip)

This is pure fantasy. It simply did not happen.:=

and consequent early rotation

Rotation was slightly early, but it was also slightly slower than normal. Possible reasons for this include PF awareness of overweight condition, and an attempt to ease tyre rolling strain. (Concorde is particular in that rotation-initiation creates considerable downforce due to the small distance between elevator and mainlanding gear, and due to the delta-wings producing almost no lift before rotation)

I remember reading, shortly after the accident, that the FE had shut down the thrust-giving #2 engine at 40ft agl (recommended minimum 200ft) and that the engine was not actually on fire.

Well, of course he did. The crew got a fire warning for engine 2! Engine 1 lost a bit thrust, and recovered to almost full thrust, engine 2 lost thrust almost down to idle, recovering very slowly, and was thought to be on fire. It was not, at that time, significantly thrust-giving. (It would very likely have sucked in fuel/air mixture or flames through the auxiliary intake, preventing normal engine operation; Engine 2 is the left inboard engine, engulfed in flames in this accident)

Don't hold your breath though folks, the French will probably, as they ALWAYS do, find someone else to blame. If it had been a Boeing, the equipment would have been faulty.

I don't know what you're trying to say, but it stands to reason that Concorde could not develop a very high proven safety record due to its very limited number of fleet total flights.

I'm not talking blame, but there are a significant number of causal factors that are inherent in the design of Concorde, such as layout, tank properties, tyre strain, tyre pressure, etc., that are unique to this type.

And when they find a piece fallen off another aircraft due to sub-standard maintenance on that craft, in what way is Air France to blame? Or should they hide that evidence in order to put the blame on AF, because, according to your belief, "it belongs there"?:(

There is no indication that the (admittedly also sub-standard) maintenance of the Concorde left MLG was causal to this accident, so why put "blame"?

Point out what's wrong with using wrong procedures and tools, and make appropriate recommendations, by all means (all of which the BEA did), but always stick to the facts, and separate causes from other findings.

As to it being a Boeing, don't get me started on the Boeing SST, the most expensive mock-up in history :ugh:


Bernd

asuweb
12th Mar 2008, 11:27
Excellent post bsieker

Slim20
12th Mar 2008, 11:32
Thank you Bernd for highlighting the difference between "investigation" and "prejudicial muckraking"

SPA83
12th Mar 2008, 11:48
more information about Concorde crash HERE (http://henrimarnetcornus.blog.20minutes.fr/) (in French only sorry)

Volume
12th Mar 2008, 11:52
missing mlg component (far too large to be missed on a cursory external inspection)
The spacer is located inside the landing gear truck, so you cannot see it during an external inspection.

One problem with accident investigation is that everyone expects NTSB standards
Like on TWA 800 ???

I think the BEA is typically doing a very good job, and even in this report, there is a huge ammount of facts invastigated. The conclusion for sure is questionable.

John CC
12th Mar 2008, 12:47
'A cynic would say that the ‘bent metal’ may have come from the 330’s windscreen pillar. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this discounted.'

Try reading the BEA accident report. It also contains images of the metal strip found on the runway with holes matching the location on the DC10 where it came from. No need to discount the possibility of it coming from the incident eight weeks earlier is there?

Dream Land
12th Mar 2008, 13:34
Question What does a current finding by a judge about the Concorde disaster have to do with aviation nostalgia?:ugh::ugh::ugh: Why don't you just throw it in Jet Blast. :mad:

visibility3miles
12th Mar 2008, 14:10
Bernard Farret, a deputy prosecutor in the city of Pontoise, outside Paris, said he had made the charges request in an effort to bring the airline and four individuals to trial...

A judge is expected to decide in coming weeks whether to accept the request.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7291269.stm

History seems like the appropriate forum. I did a double take upon seeing this as headline news nearly eight years after the fact.

May the passengers and crew rest in peace, but why is a prosecutor filing charges now???

captplaystation
12th Mar 2008, 14:20
As dear old Margaret Thatcher used to paraphrase, not "lying", just "economical with the truth", a common trend in any BEA report involving Air France / Air Inter / Airbus / Concorde ie. . anything French owned/operated/designed/registered . . . quelle surprise n'est pas ?
Strikes me that there are an awful lot of proven/unproven/ignored (testimony of firemen etc) factors that were conveniently ignored to present AF in a less unfavourable light.
Future partial privatisation of AF and the size of "payout" required to pay-off/ shut up most of the victims could not have influenced the Govt owned /regulated BEA to "carefully balance" their apportioning of importance of all "zee little problems" when we all know it was " zee nastee American Dee Cee Dix zat caused all zees merde".
Mais Franchiment, do you really expect another French court to come up with a different conclusion ? Unless there is some political revenge/ back stabbing/ change of order required in the background, they will just say the same thing and make lots of extra work for the highly paid French judiciary wallahs.
The engineer fouled up. . .Continental, but more importantly Air France. . .
The Crew (God rest their souls) fouled up. .(and were then left holding the still-born baby)
The Tower( how long did it take them to notice the fire/smoke) fouled up. .
Designers/Regulators fouled up by failing to react to the very near misses which had previously come close to similar disasters ( read the reports, look at the pictures if you think I overstate this one)
But of course the overiding cause was a bit of DC10 on a bit of R/W that a serviceable aircraft would not have been on.

Dick Whittingham
12th Mar 2008, 17:58
No! It wasn't Margaret Thatcher who said "economical with the truth" It was a weasly civil servant.

Dick

mason
12th Mar 2008, 18:25
French judges have been asked to put Continental Airlines on trial for manslaughter over the crash of an Air France Concorde in 2000 that killed 113 people

http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0312/concorde.html

Dogma
12th Mar 2008, 18:36
This is complete lunacy.

So what if a part falls off an aircraft!!! The runway should be inspected more frequently and should an aircraft sustain damage from a foreign object.....its design should prevent it from plummeting from the sky! Its Perf A :eek:


Rant over :mad:

keepitflying
12th Mar 2008, 19:14
I think we must remember that the piece of metal that fell onto the runway was non-standard, non-compliant and should not have been there in the first place. If I remember correctly, the engineers fabricated this piece in their workshop i.e. it was DIY and not approved by any regulatory body.

I agree that the concord had a flaw with it's tyre design before the accident, but regular runway checks are carried out (not too sure about the day in question though). To be 100% safe would require inspections after every landing and take off.

Should charges be brought about?? I don't know. I think the engineers were very silly and short sighted, but they never intended to harm anyone. Will be interesting.

glad rag
12th Mar 2008, 19:18
Should be very interesting indeed

DILLIGAFF
12th Mar 2008, 19:36
Also wasn't there a spacer missing from one of the wheels on Concorde causing it to bind. Dragging the aircraft to one side and slowing the rate of acceleration. This combination forced the pilot to lift off at a slower than normal airspeed to avoid running off the runway, which must have given the crew less options in the air when things started to go badly wrong. Can't blame Continental for that can they?
D

Mercenary Pilot
12th Mar 2008, 19:40
"Wasn't Concorde overweight?"

"Did it not have a known problem of fuel tank damage caused by tyre failures (which was common place before the mod)?"

"Was the aircraft outside the envelope due to fuel distribution?"

All questions Continentals legal team will be considering I'm sure.

I'll be watching with interest but I think the only winners here will be the lawyers.

"Taylor"
12th Mar 2008, 19:50
Fuel distribution should have been spot on on Concorde as she used this as a way of trimming the aircraft. CofG was especially important on Concorde due to the high angle of attack the delta wing needs to acheive lift at low speeds. Fuel management and balance was the flight engineers primary role, such was the importance.
Agree with you that the lawyers will be the only winners if this goes to trial. :ugh:

icarus5
12th Mar 2008, 20:08
I agree the only winners will be the lawyers but this is politics by the government wishing to be seen to be doing something and finding someone foreign to blame.They had better be careful.
When it arose that "fod" was the cause of the accident a colleague who flew F100s into CDG in those days, on his pre-flight walk-around collected a bag of 35 separate items followed by the next day on a different stand of 38 items (all were mostly metal). These were photographed and e-mailed to Air France. Response, nothing.
Clearly this amount of fod on aircraft stands is entirely the fault of the airport authorities.It was little wonder there was fod on the runway.
If I were a Continental lawyer I would be chasing that up.

Mercenary Pilot
12th Mar 2008, 20:32
Fuel distribution should have been spot on on Concorde as she used this as a way of trimming the aircraft.

It should have been but IIRC it wasn't.

lomapaseo
12th Mar 2008, 20:32
If this is a Continental caused problem than why was the Concorde grounded?

captplaystation
12th Mar 2008, 20:55
I stand corrected, it was a while ago (he says trying to defend onset of senility).

pontifex
12th Mar 2008, 21:22
Concorde was grounded because Air France couldn't make a profit flying it to NY out of Paris but BA could out of London. (A hundred miles closer but it made all the difference to the chances of making it without having to stop en-route for fuel). The technical support was from Airbus and guess who owns that?

Incidentally, the piece of rubber didn't pierce the fuel tank. The design called for an air gap between the fuel surface and the top of the tank. This gap was expected to be created by fuel usage during taxi. Since short taxi to the downwind runway the aircraft arrived not having used this fuel and so took off overweight and with no air gap. The rubber hitting the wing caused a shock wave to be reflected from the top of the tank which then burst the tank from within. All links in the chain perhaps, but dreadfully unnecessary ones. This info sourced from very senior ex Concorde captains.

Peter Fanelli
12th Mar 2008, 23:28
There were many other factors as mentioned by Volume, but the foreign object started the entire chain of events.


Hardly, I think the foreign object was the final straw that broke the camels back, certainly not the start of it. After all a couple of feet either way and the aircraft would have missed it and probably had a successful flight until having to land with that dodgy landing gear it started out with.
Then it may have been a whole different incident.

Ovation
13th Mar 2008, 05:52
Hardly, I think the foreign object was the final straw that broke the camels back, certainly not the start of it. After all a couple of feet either way and the aircraft would have missed it and probably had a successful flight until having to land with that dodgy landing gear it started out with.
Then it may have been a whole different incident.

I don't quite understand this comment. The landing gear spacer itself was not a catastrophic event nor likely to be one. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand the spacer was missing prior to the final flight.

Had the tyre not exploded the crew might have put an entry in the maintenance log at their destination to the effect that the A/C was steering L or R and the U/C needed inspection.

The swiss cheese as I see it:

Runway Inspection (or lack of)
Foreign Object
Burst Tyre
Skin Damage
Fuel leak
Fire
Early Rotation

and:

Crew overwhelmed by multiple unexpected failure indications and an aircraft that could have or might have flown had they acted differently.

Speculating, had the crew got a fiery aircraft into the air, would it have suffered structural failure before it could be landed and they would have crashed from a greater height?

I'm an armchair commentator as I expect many of the readers here are, but I recently met a retired BA Concorde Flight Engineer who was also involved in bringing them back into service after the accident. He gave great detail of the chain of events and why the accident happened (from his perspective).

Volume
13th Mar 2008, 07:19
The landing gear spacer itself was not a catastrophic event nor likely to be one. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand the spacer was missing prior to the final flight.

Correct, the spacer was missing for some flights. The bushings that should be held in place by the spacer were migrating flight by flight, until one of them finally lost it´s function that special flight. It is hard to say, whether the abnormal load due to the tire failure gave it the final kick.

Saintsman
13th Mar 2008, 08:05
If I remember correctly, the engineers fabricated this piece in their workshop i.e. it was DIY and not approved by any regulatory body.


It is not uncommon for parts to be manufacured 'DIY'. The aircraft's Structural Repair Manual allows for parts to be made in certain circumstances. Its not a big issue.

Capot
13th Mar 2008, 13:10
It is hard to say, whether the abnormal load due to the tire failure gave it the final kick.

....or whether the lost function was the primary cause of the tyre failure?

Didn't some video, from the side, appear to show that the fire started before the aircraft reached the place where the FOD was found?

mironez
13th Mar 2008, 13:55
1. The runway inspection before every concorde takeoff wasn't compulsory before the accident it was imposed after it.
2. The Continental metal piece was made out of titanium, had it been made out of aluminum it wouldn't had pierced the tire in such a way that a aproximately 2m chunk of tire separated and impacted the fuel tank. It was a way more catastrophic event than a tire burst because of the piece being titanium.
3. The piece was illegal among other things because it was made of titanium.

So methinks CO has a significant role in the accident, being that an illegal piece of equipment triggered the events. And that illegall nature of the piece worsened the outcome of the posible tyre burst. I have read that if the piece would have been aluminum a tire burst was unlikely.

Skystar320
13th Mar 2008, 23:20
Typical French, blame someone else.....................

When will they learn????? :=:=:=:=:=:=:=

YRP
14th Mar 2008, 01:24
One has to choose which sources to take more seriously, but having to decide between FDR graphs and the BEA report on the one hand, and TV "documentaries" on the other hand, the choice is easy, unless you're a conspiracy theorist.

It's pretty easy if you are a conspiracy theorist too :).

Dream Land
14th Mar 2008, 09:22
being that an illegal piece of equipment triggered the eventsWell I'm not pretending to know much about this terrible accident but after reading the thread so far, I'm not entirely convinced this is true. Others may disagree.

forget
14th Mar 2008, 09:46
Typical French, blame someone else.....................

From the technical conclusions reached by the French BEA on the circumstances and causes of this accident.

Presumably the UK AAIB insisted that this be included in the report.:bored:

The French judicial authorities conducted a separate inquiry into the accident in parallel with the BEA investigation. The manner in which the judicial investigation was conducted presented major impediments to the AAIB’s participation in the technical investigation. The difficulties encountered are listed below.

The French judicial authorities did not allow the AAIB Investigators to examine all items of the wreckage (Annex 13 Chapter 5. 25b) or to participate in component examinations (Annex 13, Chapter 5. 25g). For example, the judicial authorities:

a. Did not allow the AAIB investigators to examine the strip of metal
which burst the tyre, except very briefly.
b. Did not allow the AAIB investigators to examine that part of the tank
5 lower skin which was found on the runway, except very briefly.
c. Did not allow the AAIB investigators to participate in the
examination of most of the flight deck controls and instruments.
d. Did not allow the AAIB investigators to be systematically involved in
the examination of evidence.

The French judicial authorities did not allow the AAIB Investigators full access to all relevant evidence as soon as possible. (Annex 13 Chapter 5. 25d).
For example, the judicial authorities:

a. Severely restricted access of Investigators to the crash site.
b. Withheld photographic evidence of the runway surface for 6 weeks.
This evidence later proved valuable in understanding the events on
the runway.
c. Significantly hindered the prompt examination of evidence. This
introduced significant delays to necessary safety actions.

The French judicial authorities specifically prohibited Advisors to the UK
Accredited Representative from participating in the examination of major
components for which the United Kingdom had primary airworthiness
responsibility. (Annex 13 Chapter 5. 25). For example,

a. The judicial authorities prohibited examination by the AAIB Advisors
of the engine bays and wing equipment bays (wing dry bays).
b. The judicial authorities prohibited examination by the AAIB Advisors
of the landing gear selector mechanism.
c. AAIB Investigators and their Advisors were offered access to a
limited number of examinations on the condition that they signed a
commitment to the judicial investigation. This confidentiality
agreement placed unacceptable restrictions on the use of the
subsequent evidence and was therefore not signed.

These obstructions to United Kingdom participation were in contravention with the State of Occurrence’s obligations under the Chicago Convention (Annex 13). It is also in contravention of the European Council Directive 94 / 56 / EC which states “investigators should be able to complete their tasks unhindered”. Furthermore, the restrictions and procedural delays imposed by the judicial authorities subverted the Directive requirement that “air safety requires investigations to be carried out in the shortest possible time”.

Utrinque Apparatus
14th Mar 2008, 10:44
Whose responsibility is it at CDG to ensure that runways are clear of debris, no matter what it's origin ?

Arkroyal
14th Mar 2008, 12:55
Bsieker:in what way is Air France to blame? Was it not they who put the main landing gear together with a spacer missing?

In my view the prime cause of the accident.

Jet Blast? Come on Mods. This is serious debate

Dream Land
14th Mar 2008, 13:03
It belongs in Rumours & News , but hey, this is much better than Nostalgia! :ok: