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French Concorde crash

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French Concorde crash

Old 6th Dec 2010, 12:42
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Entirely predictable, but ultimately someone is to blame for everything that goes wrong other than a Tsunami, and even then it's their own fault or the authorities for allow them to live near water!!

Bits fall off aircraft and CDG is amongst the worse in terms of ramp and taxiways for rubbish, i have seen dogs running around for 5 hours with no one doing anything about, i have very nearly taxied over suitcases shed from speeding baggage trucks, even if a whole flap section fell off an aircraft 50% of the pilots would be unaware because they use French & English in equal measure, so half the time you don't have a clue whats going on!!

Even if you report something the best you'll get is "I call you back"
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 12:47
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The holes lined up

This ludicrous verdict certainly raises questions about French jurisprudence and, sadly, the ability of the relevant French aviation authorities to conduct apolitical, fact based, aircrash investigations.

This smells worse than a piece of camembert cheese.
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 12:53
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A French operated, French owned, French crewed, French designed and built (partially) aircraft crashes on departure from a French airport.

I am therefore at a loss to understand why anyone might think that the French could in any way be at fault. They never are.

I am not making light of this tragedy but it does once again prove the utter contempt with which the Gallic nation treat the rest of the world.
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 12:53
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Titanium turtle

This is an outrageous decision. Just show a material link with an event and you can be made responsible. I am guilty because I did slam the door and my scarred neighbor upstairs dropped the pot of hot tea onto her cat, scalding it…

Who to blame if it were a turtle crossing the runway that made the tire burst?

And now, of course, legal appeal …
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 13:13
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They did, however, in this instance, turn over the correct CVR and flight recorder to the courts. There is some progress.
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 13:29
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This is an outrageous decision. Just show a material link with an event and you can be made responsible. I am guilty because I did slam the door and my scarred neighbor upstairs dropped the pot of hot tea onto her cat, scalding it…
This reminds me of the use of the coutroom argument "because of" or "if not for" used to find blame enough to claim damages.

However, in aviation one does not begin to prove negligence until considerations of design mitigation are examined such as "in spite of" which presume many of these so called minor incidents occurring over the life of the fleet and actions taken to mitigate their effects since it is impossible to eliminate all such intiating events.

Courtroom arguments have no measurable effect on aviation safety processes since their objectives are not the same.
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 13:43
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So Sad

Whose runway was it?
Who is responsible to clear it?
Who said Ok to take off?
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 13:47
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Why blame the Mechanic & Airline for an Indirect cause.
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 13:47
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Courtroom arguments have no measurable effect on aviation safety processes since their objectives are not the same.
Wise words.

Sadly though, the litigators do not accept this. They believe they are crusaders for a safer world by fighting negligence wherever they find it (sadly often finding it in legal precedence with little or no use of inconvenient facts).
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 13:49
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Valvanuz,

You would be surprised how people can make others responsible. I live in South Korea and just last year they passed a law that said if a driver honks at a pedestrian, then causing the pedestrian to jump in fright and hence get hit by a car, it is the fault of the person who honked. Stupid@!
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 13:50
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Why blame the Mechanic & Airline for an Indirect cause.
They aren't French.
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 13:54
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They may leave trash all over the airport, have bizarre taxi signs - if any, confusing taxiways, collapsing terminals, "security" whereby the arriving transit passengers from an un-named but suspect continent (hey - I did learn my PC lesson!!) and airline are allowed to mingle with passengers and crew ALREADY cleared through (in other words - anything including a howitzer could be passed on), Captains are addressed as Mister if you are not French, the protest strike du jour, and the rubber gets removed from the runways once a decade only if required.

BUT>>>>>

Try to call ground before your entire aircraft and your trailing kerosene exhaust has cleared the inboard runway. THEN you will encounter some real Gallic ire.
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 14:00
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re: Honking in South Korea



much the same as if you hit a Cow in India, and it used to be if a sheep wanted to commit suicide on the Isle of Skye and chose to jump in front of your car, that was your fault as well (although I think this law was changed in the 70's/80's)

We all know the BEA is a complete joke along with most of the French Court system. They ignore almost every law that doesn't suit them in the EU and we all just stand by and let them get a way with it.

I don't buy ANY French products and the closet I ever come to its corrupt shores is when I fly across it on my way to Madrid!
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 14:16
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1st post from SLF here. I'm not a journalist.

Neptunus Rex:

The aircraft was overweight, C of G outside the aft limit, taking off downwind, a 10 inch spacer missing from the main undercarriage
But it took off and flew.

1. Would it have continued to do so in this state had there been no fire?
2. If the aircraft had only lost 25% of its thrust, would it have continued to fly?
3. Would the airframe damage from the fire have knocked it down anyway, even were it within weight, CG, etc.?

and eyewitnesses reported that it was already on fire before it hit the titanium
I've never seen a reason given for why it might have been on fire before hitting the strip. Is there one?
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 14:19
  #35 (permalink)  
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I am not expert on legal matters, but for those - unfortunately many - contributors who seem to have no clue at all, some observations.

It was observed at a meeting of the RAeS Law Group earlier this year, reported in Flight International, on the criminalisation of aviation accidents, that the French legal system does not have the mechanism of the English legal system, the inquest, to determine what went on in an accident. So in France, for the state to determine what indeed went on, there must be a criminal trial. First point: it's a shame for all that they don't have inquests. I am sure many French people agree.

Second: why do you need an inquest? Amongst other things (and "gaining closure", being a US import and to me unwelcome, is not one of them), it is to help figure out who should ultimately pay. For there is am ancient general principle of compensating victims of mishaps and this should not only follow rules but also be seen to be "fair", adjudicating amongst competing claims.

Third: this isn't a "bonanza for tort lawyers". The airline (that is, the airline's insurance company) has already paid to settle most or all tort claims, as is by now the rule in commercial aviation. The cost is reported to be in the realm of €100 million, relatively low for such accidents (Concorde did not carry so many passengers).

Fourth: the ruling is Continental 70%, EADS 30%, everyone else (Air France, DGAC, Paris Airports Authority, etc) 0%. That means that the insurance company will be negotiating with those parties to recover the relevant proportion of its costs. Since there is now a legal ruling which will act as precedent, there is little point in disputing it in court. (I guess the discussion would be something like Continental pays €70m, EADS €30m.)

Fifth, what is this ruling based on?

The ruling is based on the obvious physical ABC of the accident occurrence.

The report said: titanium strip fell off Continental onto the runway; Concorde ran over strip; strip sliced into tire and caused tire burst of unprecedented form and strength; large tire fragment hit tank; impact shock wave caused tank to explode from within; resulting hole allowed fuel to stream out in large quantity; fuel was ignited (not completely sure how, but probably by reheat); fire engulfed critical wing structure and contributed to critical performance degradation of two engines; Concorde cannot accelerate after TO on two engines alone (BTW, there is no evidence that Concorde was overweight at TO) and went down.

That's what the court found also. People have said "missing spacer". Our work on that said: not relevant. People have said "overweight at dispatch". Yes, but not at TO, as far as anyone can tell. People have said "airport should have swept runway better". Yes, but that wasn't a direct contributing cause in the intuitive sense of the above sequence of physical events. It would be like blaming the police for Fred's broken jaw in a street fight because they weren't there at the time. Thousands of years of legal tradition says the person responsible for the broken jaw is the person who threw the punch. So here: the court said that the entity responsible for the burst tire is the entity that left the titanium strip on the runway; and, further, as I understand it, the person who mounted that titanium instead of an aluminium part; as well as, to some degree, the people responsible for the aircraft design, even though (and others here will agree with me here) the airplane was a triumph of aeronautical technology. Other people (Continental) said the plane was on fire before it encountered the strip. The report, as well as all of the people I know who know about Concorde, indeed, physical common sense given the undisputed evidence of what happened, have no explanation at all of how that could possibly have been the case. The only evidence is circumstantial - eye witness testimony from witnesses who were far away from the scene. There is no physical explanation of the accident which coheres with that testimony at all, after ten years of thinking about it. So, reasonably, that testimony was (I take it) rejected.

Now, that all seems to me, given the system, appropriate, fair, and straightforward. What is not appropriate, in the minds of many including myself, is that it seems to need a criminal trial, rather than an inquest, to serve this necessary legal function of apportioning the enormous costs of compensation.

PBL
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 14:29
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To come up with a verdict of 'criminally responsible' rather than 'civil liability' (even if that were justifiable) is verging on the unbelievable.

Are we to read from this that a criminally responsible mechanic deliberately set out to sabotage one of his own employer's aircraft in such a way that the damage would deliberately cause catastrophic damage to another company's aircraft. Utter, utter nonsense from the Paris court.

Mind you, that 1.3 Bn Court ruling in favour of Air France will get the French Govt nicely off the next bail-out / banned EU subsidiary for the national carrier.
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 14:55
  #37 (permalink)  
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Do the French have that departed a view of "Criminal" Responsibility? Here, it requires a very complete proof of Intent to do Harm.

I was only half kidding when I posted that the "Smelterer" would be found Liable.

Good Grief. How can this culture keep a straight face?? And I say that coming from America, for goodness' sake.

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Old 6th Dec 2010, 15:02
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Concorde ran over strip; strip sliced into tire and caused tire burst of unprecedented form and strength; large tire fragment hit tank; impact shock wave caused tank
So should we ignore the fact that in the previous 24 years of Concorde flights prior to July 2000 there were 65 burst tyre incidents of which 6 events led to the perforation of fuel tanks? Even if you dispute these numbers surely even one previous fuel tank breach would be one too many?

The fact that an inquest as we know it here in the UK was not available to the French authorities does not justify a criminal trial nor the apportioning of criminal guilt in this way.
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 15:23
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Serious question.

Does anyone recall where a French court proceeding involving aviation where guilt was found to be a French company, French national or member of the French government when there were non-French defendants available?
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Old 6th Dec 2010, 15:31
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mssrs Montgolfier??

Didn't they light off a milking barn, whilst heating the envelope? I think some Americans were in attendance, whose glances upset the brother with the match?
 

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