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French Concorde crash

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French Concorde crash

Old 6th Dec 2010, 23:51
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I think more likely it's an attitude that's been pervasive in the Daily Telegraph for years. Do you think for one minute that if Mr President and Michelle had wanted to visit the Taj on his recent trip to India it wouldn't have been similarly cleared, causing similar "anger and panic"?

Eisenhower had his problems with DeGaulle in WWII
...not exactly breaking news, so did Churchill and if you know your French history you'll know DeGaulle wasn't popular with a a significant portion of the French population, both during and after WWII....

Friends of mine just returned from a visit to France and tell me they loved everything about it except the French.
Umm, two questions, did they venture beyond the tourist traps and can they speak French?
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 00:35
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Personally I think there are 3 issues that come to mind when looking at the "verdict"....

1) The witnesses to the possibility of a fire before the Concorde encountered the titanium strip are the on duty fire fighting crew at the airport. So not only do you have multiple witnesses but they would qualify as testifying in an area of professional expertise.

2) As mentioned there have been multiple instances of tire failure causing perforation to the fuel tanks prior to this incident (6 I believe).

3) The cause of the fire is not necessarily the same as the tire failure. Even if we discount the eyewitness testimony some combination of tire failure and an another event is needed to cause the actual fire. It is my understanding that the Concorde took out multiple runway lights during its takeoff run and that the "tracking" problems were not specific to the tire failure.

This leaves the distinct possibility that the final "hole in the cheese" was in fact the missing spacer or other technical deficiency that caused the plane to strike the runway lighting....

This is all separate from the obvious common sense that a plane with a demonstrated history of potentially catastrophic damage due to tire failure needed not only design modification but common sense safe guards like runway inspections prior to take off.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 00:37
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Hazards of FOD on runways

All aviators and all those in aviation must take FOD hazards very seriously. At the high speeds the airliners can sustain lethal damage to the undercarriage and the control surfaces when impacted by FOD. Any small pieces of material sucked into engines running at high rpms are going to be catastrophic. I am also amazed at the laisse faire attitudes when aircrafts have engine pod contacts with the runway or tailstrikes.....the cursory inspections done by the safety vehicles can easily miss tiny metal pieces that come off on impact.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 00:48
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Bear
I wonder if you would be kind enough to expand on your comment "given the moment and the idiocy afoot in France"
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Nick
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 00:58
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I remember at the time of the crash a Captain whilst doing his walkaround at CDG came back to the UK with a sick bag that contained 36 metal items of litter (or FOD) which he had found. The next day having done another walkaround on different apron at CDG he had collected 38 items.
As these flights were being conducted for AF the items were photographed and emailed to AF, allegedly so that they could raise this issue at CDG's monthly safety meetings. Nothing was ever heard again by way of feedback.
For someone to be found guilty of a criminal offence the evidence should show guilt beyond reasonable doubt. How was it proven that that particular piece of titanium was the cause of the burst tyre? Given that the runway at CDG was usually only inspected/swept once early in the morning and again late in the day, how can anyone say there was not another piece of metal which caused it (bearing in mind the exceptional amount of FOD that was clearly everywhere on the apron) or that the tyre simply shredded itself (assuming this was the sole cause of the fire/failure)?
A runway is not a public road but owned and controlled by the Airport Authority. Airlines must pay to use it.The Authorities therefore owe a duty of care to ensure that it is not dangerous to operate off it.I would argue that only two such inspections comes nowhere near this requirement.
It would appear that this prosecution gets an awful lot of people off the hook, including the airport, AF, ATC, the manufacturers, the DGAC and the crew.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 00:59
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wiggy

I think more likely it's an attitude that's been pervasive in the Daily Telegraph for years. Do you think for one minute that if Mr President and Michelle had wanted to visit the Taj on his recent trip to India it wouldn't have been similarly cleared, causing similar "anger and panic"?
Read the article!
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 01:26
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As I understand it the shape of the titanium strip matches the profile of the cut in the burst tyre. Therefore it may well be reasonable to assume that this strip caused the tyre burst.
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Nick
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 01:28
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Nick

"Heat of the moment"

idiocy: criminal trial? not by any acceptable standard.

"The purpose of this investigation is not to assign fault, but to identify.....etc."

Criminalizing this accident is a farce, imo.

cheers bear
 
Old 7th Dec 2010, 01:29
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As a matter of personal interest who was responsible for the runway inspections at CDG at the time of the incident?
Has there been an improvement in the FOD situation airside since the incident?
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 01:30
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Engine & tail scrapes

It is imperative that pilots not only log in onto their maintenance log these misadventures BUT REPORT TO ATC ASAP so that runway inspection can be done! Neglecting to do so is CRIMINAL!
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 01:37
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icarus5 - even the discovery documentaries about this crash show enough details to show what happened with respect to the strip found. The form and shape of the titanium strip found match exactly the tyre cut pattern on the burst tyre for a very large 70lb chunk of rubber that also matched the indentation on the wing.. They put the strip up against the rubber and it followed it exactly. That evidence is pretty clear in that regard.

This was not normal FOD - it was a roughly cut, jagged extremely stiff chunk of titanium instead of a properly manufactured aluminium strip. It was sharp and hard enough to slice a pretty substantial aircraft tyre on contact, where as the specification strip would have been crushed by the tyre.

Like any disaster, there is more than one aspect that contributes to the end result, but this strip is a major factor and in my view the critical one. Dismissing it and the raft of physical evidence relating to it is not rational. The legal and blame games are another matter, but don't just dismiss a critical fact because it disagrees with a jingoistic view of the matter.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 01:38
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Bear
Thanks for your prompt reply.
Regards
Nick
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 01:38
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How on Earth were the pilots to know that a strip of titanium had come off their aircraft?

It's just the same as repairing a wing item with Speedtape, you'd never knew it had come off. Can you really assign blame for that?
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 01:41
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ECC - I don't think anyone is blaming the Continental pilots. The maintenance worker who made and applied the strip and airline management who approved its use are the ones under charges.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 02:07
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ECC - I don't think anyone is blaming the Continental pilots. The maintenance worker who made and applied the strip and airline management who approved its use are the ones under charges.
Have a look at the Sunny Boyle post a few up.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 02:30
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Titanium focus misses the point

The wrong question appeared to be asked here. The simple question to ask is whether a plane ought to be able to survive running over a piece of metal on the runway of that type and size. I don't think it reasonable to assume the runway is clear of debris like this.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 02:56
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The info must be around somewhere, and I haven't found it... but I have yet to see the dimensions of the titanium strip, and any pictures of the Concorde tyre that came into contact with the strip.
The information I have gleaned, is that the investigators report that the strip profile matched a massive slash in the tyre, and was undoubtedly the item responsible for the blowout.

As always, there is never one exact, precisely-responsible cause, for a disaster. It's always an escalating chain of events, with an amazing line up of those events.

One has to question how Concorde survived numerous (figures range from 57 to 65) previous tyre burst events.. yet this particular one was so catastrophic. Surely Concorde blew tyres previously, fully loaded, on TO? ... yet survived to continue flying?
Was it that the titanium strip provided a far more EXPLOSIVE burst, than a regular tyre burst, caused by overheat, overload/other factors?

I have no doubt the tyre burst event was THE crucial factor in the crash. To my mind, runway checks for debris, must be an equivalent factor to Continental negligence, that must also occupy a high level of responsibilty for the crash.

If the titanium strip was found, prior to the Concorde departure, it's reasonably obvious that the Concorde would have flown. Thus, in my view, there has to be equal responsibility shared between Continental and CDG management for the disaster.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 04:24
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Was this verdict ever in question? I'm sure I, and many others predicted this years ago. French law is obviously a joke..on the bright side..if Continental could hold out for a few months, the fine will become minimal as the Euro plummets

On the other hand..Poor Mr Taylor..stitched up..there must be some Air France Engineers shifting uncomfortably in their beds tonight

Shame!!
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 05:53
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I notice that accusations of 'French justice' have reared their ugly heads already as if the French somehow don't adhere to 'proper' standards of justice. Continental themselves are peddling that line though they didn't dispute the negligence charges. However, given the evidence, one finds it difficult to see how the French court could have ruled any other way. I seriously doubt any court in any country with a reasonable system of justice would have ignored the evidence presented.
The question that interests me is whether the court should have been involved in the first place. No blame reporting certainly leads to the truth coming out quicker but is it appropriate in a case where lives are lost? I put this as a question for serious consideration - shouldn't a seriously negligent (if that proves to be the case) individual or organisation be punished for their casual attitude to important matters? No blame can lead to no responsibility which is not where we want to go. In fact the unedifying thing about this business is not the conduct of the court which was exemplary but the efforts of all those involved to deny or mitigate their responsibility in this issue (and this includes the French participants as well as the Americans).
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 05:59
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Loose bogie

All the info "onetrack" needs is in the BEA accident report. Google it.
Concerning the missing spacer the accident report clearly illustrates it and clearly shows how omission of the spacer caused the MLG bogie to be misaligned. It seems to me that without the loose bogie Concorde would have followed a different path along the runway and would not have hit the debris!

Last edited by ozaub; 7th Dec 2010 at 06:01. Reason: Clarification
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