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French Concorde crash

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French Concorde crash

Old 7th Dec 2010, 05:37
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Cool

Hi,

The epitaph that can be read on the tomb of the Concorde

I was born disabled with a delicate landing gear ..
The doctors could do nothing .. and this failure has caused my death and that of those I carried
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 06:11
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Would anyone hazard an opinion that, had this accident not occurred, Concorde might still be flying?
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 06:34
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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.
Titanium strip



Tyre remains



CONCORDE SST : Accident Report
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 08:48
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SLFinAZ

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.
I don't doubt the expertise of the witnesses, although it is well known that memory is imprecise and can shift subject to "expectations". Might they have conflated their memory of seeing reheat with the fire they subsequently saw?

If the aircraft was on fire prior to the tyre burst, what might have caused it? Were there any indications of fire on the FDR prior to hitting the strip?
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 09:13
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Concorde doomed

There is no way that Concorde could have continued in service any longer than it did. Quite apart from economics and the Paris crash it could not comply with aging wire rules.
It's widely overlooked that after Concorde returned to service, on 13 June 2003 a BA Concorde had an undetected fuel fire! Plane was flying LHR to JFK when a fuel gauge failed. Defect persisted as an allowable deferred defect for 3 more flights until investigation on 23 June belatedly found that aircraft had suffered in-flight fire. Fuel had leaked into wing to body fairing and been ignited by chaffed, shorting wire. Miraculously the fire self extinguished.
AAIB Report at http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources...pdf_029047.pdf gives details and has pictures showing extent of undetected fire damage.
That fright was the true end of Concorde because the cost of checking and refurbishing wires would have been prohibitive.

Last edited by ozaub; 7th Dec 2010 at 20:53. Reason: Link to AAIB report added
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 09:59
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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Faulty Fasteners, Rough Tarmac

Perhaps the court could have had some regard for the roughness of the French tarmac/runway that caused the titanium strip to come off.

After all, it had remained in place for many hours after it was attached.
And perhaps the fasteners were faulty and failed early. Not the problem of the engineer who applied the strip.

FN
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 10:34
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Perhaps the court could have had some regard for the roughness of the French tarmac/runway that caused the titanium strip to come off.

After all, it had remained in place for many hours after it was attached.
And perhaps the fasteners were faulty and failed early. Not the problem of the engineer who applied the strip.
You're kidding..........right?
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 10:36
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I really do recommend to anyone wishing to comment on the details of the accident that they read the report, which has been available on the BEA WWW site for nine years now. Before you write your opinions, please!

I am surprised to find people admitting that the word "unprecedented" makes no sense to them. Dictionaries are available on the WWW.

I have it on authority that none of the tire-burst incidents, which are a common-enough occurrence and obviously were explicitly considered during design and test, had shown any problem with the lower wing skin. It was not penetrated in any of them. This includes the Washington Dulles incident. [Edit on 13.12.2010: This is incorrect. As stated by others, the lower skin was penetrated in 6 previous incidents.] Indeed, I don't believe it was penetrated from the outside in the Gonesse accident either. It was penetrated from the inside, by a shock wave in the liquid fuel punching out a roughly 32cm-square portion of the tank wall/skin. Such effects were known to the military through battle damage, but knowledge had not made it into civil aviation. Associates of the BEA were able to create a comparable effect using a 4.5kg rubber chunk travelling obliquely (apparently round about 30 is optimal) at about 140 m/s. That is somewhat over 300 mph and is thought to be representative of what might be attained by a cleanly cut chunk of rubber of the size found amongst the debris expelled by the tire under circumstances of takeoff.

The BEA performed experiments on Concorde tires and titanium strips to validate the clean-cutting mechanism observed on the recovered debris. It is in the report, with pictures to satisfy every taste. It is titanium that does it, not other metals or alloys.

Such an event has never happened before or since in civil aviation. In 105 years of it. Indeed, I don't know of another occasion when an aircraft tire has been inadvertently cut by a titanium strip during normal operations.

Is it now more clear why the word "unprecedented" is suitable?

ozaub, the reason Concorde flights stopped is that the manufacturer was unwilling to continue supporting the aircraft. This is all known history. BA wouldn't have stopped on their own. They had just paid to refurbish their entire fleet with tank liners.

PBL

Last edited by PBL; 12th Dec 2010 at 04:19.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 10:43
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... a fuel gauge failed.... deferred defect for 3 flights. Investigation found aircraft had in-flight fire. Fuel had leaked into wing/body fairing and been ignited by chaffed, shorting wire... the fire self extinguished.
ozaub, can you point to a report on this? All seems a bit unlikely to me.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 10:47
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@sitigeltfel

You're kidding..........right?
To a degree, yes. Just extending the Cause and Effect already applied in this legal case.

FN
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 10:53
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Originally Posted by pct085
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.
IMO debris like this is pretty much certain to burst a tyre if it is run over, and I doubt you could design a tyre that could survive it.

Other types have had hull losses due to tyre burst on takeoff, and I think it is likely that more (if not most) are actually vulnerable given the right amount of bad luck.

Even if you manage to engineer out (in theory) all directly fatal consequences of a tyre burst, you still have the issue of a burst at or near V1 leading to a high speed RTO with all the risk that entails. Sure, in that case we can all look at it afterwards with benefit of an armchair and hindsight and say "bad RTO decision" and put it down to pilot error, but pilots shouldn't really be having to cope with titanium caltraps falling off the plane in front.

Debris like this is always going to be potentially lethal and should not be on the runway, or bodged onto a plane so that it can fall onto the runway.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 11:02
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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.
Well to achieve 100% safety you would have to perform a check before every take off.
That would mean a take every what, about 10 mins? Long waiting line at the holding point me think.

.if Continental could hold out for a few months, the fine will become minimal as the Euro plummets
You think the Euro will go the way the dollar did?
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 11:14
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Unless my memory has been playing tricks,I was under the impression the Air France Concord that crashed had arrived with a Fuel Pump problem that had meant the Reheat control on one engine could not be controlled properly.I was actually operating an Aeropostale route at the time and was South Side at De Gaulle,but in the Altaea Hotel when it happened.The talk was that the Aircraft had arrived with the Fuel or ?Pump problem,but was required to be dispatched again later that afternoon.As a result the line maintenance apparently changed the problem items,but did NOT move the aircraft over to the area east of the Carrousel,near I think the Sierra Parking ,where full bore runs can be done-there are JBDs there for that purpose as I remember.The was no time to move the aircraft to that point to do full bore runs,as it would mean a delay on the departure slot,so as I was lead to believe, checks were only done with idle ground runs,done presumably on stand!?Furthermore several aircraft reported an engine afterburner fire on the immediate part of the take off run,so there would have been a likely accident before running over the debris,that snowballed the problem into the catastrophe that occurred.With Le Bourget just a short distance away with a runway capable for the aircraft to make an emmergency landing,why a small bank was not made to effect such an emmergency landing,we will never know.BUT the talk at the time was one of incredulity that nothing was done by the Crew or Air Traffic to try to stop the Aircraft as it must have been before V1 that the other pilots reported the Fire from one engine,or was it??I accept that after V1 other issues take precedence and that the Fire has to be taken into the air,but I suggest this would not have happened at other large International Airports.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 11:22
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Originally Posted by SLFinAZ
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.
Multiple eyewitnesses with relevant military experience saw TWA800 get hit by a missile. Guess that must be another corrupt French cover-up inquiry ?

Reality is eyewitness evidence in events like this (matter of seconds) is notoriously unreliable and you should be looking for physical evidence to back it up, or rule it out. No physical evidence backs the earlier fire theory.

2) As mentioned there have been multiple instances of tire failure causing perforation to the fuel tanks prior to this incident (6 I believe).
But not to the same catastrophic extent. There have also been incidents on other aircraft...

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.
The problems all started at the tyre failure. If you think the missing spacer caused the aircraft to go off track, then you need to show a reason why it happened when it did on this flight. The aircraft had already flown without the spacer, without incident. What was different ? The tyre burst. Causitive or massively improbable coincidence ?

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.
So you think runways should be inspected every time before, say, a Lear 60 takes off ?
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 11:31
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Once while playing golf in Singapore at the Laguna National Golf and Country Club, which is right under the flight arrival or departure for one of the runway's, on the Masters Course on hole 2, I found on the green a piece of metal. It had a serial number on it and the only way it got there was by falling of an aircraft. Being in the Airside operations (runway lighting etc) I called Changi and informed them, put on hold, and then told they would call my mobile back. They did, I told then the serial number (which was in full) and then continued my golf game. By this time my putting was off, my drive ruined and my concentration gone. Should I blame Boeing or Airbus for this happening? If I was French, why not, it's their fault. I feel they (the French) have just simply lost the plot. Guess Im not French huh. In Future could all aircraft shedding parts please do so over Batam Island like Qantas who has the courtesy to do this, that way my golf will improve!

Keep swinging

Paul
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 11:56
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Paulftw
If you want to propose that the French have "simply lost the plot" then at least get your facts straight. The titanium strip should not have been fitted to the DC10. In fact the part should have been aluminium which being a lot softer might well have not cut the tyre.
Enjoy your golf
Nick
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 12:06
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I am surprised to find people admitting that the word "unprecedented" makes no sense to them. Dictionaries are available on the WWW.
I appreciate the suggested use of a dictionary but I am well aware of the usual definition of the word 'unprecedented'.

The truth is that a tyre blow out (of which there were 65 over the life of the Concorde) had become an all too familiar event. It seems specious to argue that an explosive blowout could not have been foreseen and the risk analysis undertaken to look at the likely scenario/s that might and finally did transpire. (I appreciate the detailed analysis in your post).

There had been sufficient previous evidence of the likelihood of damage for this event, violent as it was, not to be regarded as 'unprecedented'.

The fact that it was caused by titanium and not a mechanic's screw driver or a sharp piece of swarf or even a common or garden nail is ultimately irrelevent to the fact there was a definable risk of puncture on a runway (and this risk is increased on a runway that is is not cleared and surveyed regularly).

Some punctures certainly are worse than others given factors like speed, size of the object etc. but to say that contact with a sharp object and consequent tyre destruction of this magnitude could not have been foreseen just pushes the boundaries of credibility.

What was unprecdented was that this particular blowout (whatever the cause) caused the aircraft to crash which should not have been possible!

Still, like the French lawyers, we are tilting at windmills. The sad fact is that the accident did occur, people still grieve and Concorde is gone.

Last edited by Cacophonix; 7th Dec 2010 at 12:17.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 12:08
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BA wouldn't have stopped on their own. They had just paid to refurbish their entire fleet with tank liners.

PBL
Why did BA do that ?


... [BA] engineers have begun fitting [Concorde] with new linings to its fuel tanks and shielding wiring in the undercarriage areas.

The new fuel tank liners, (which are similar in appearance to seed trays) - manufactured by EADS, the former Aerospatiale, in Toulouse - are made of a kevlar-rubber compound and cost around 17,000 Each. They have been designed to contain the fuel should the wing skin be punctured,
hmmmmmm
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 12:33
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Cool

Hi,

A little of topic (but is about money .. so not too much far from one of the trial objective )

You think the Euro will go the way the dollar did?
Sure he will .. after the bankrupt of Portugal and Spain (Spain will be the big bail out too far !)
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 12:38
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It seems specious to argue that an explosive blowout could not have been foreseen and the risk analysis undertaken to look at the likely scenario/s that might and finally did transpire.
It does happen to be the consensus view of everyone I know working in and around the aircraft at the time, as well as that of the investigators, as I understand it.

PBL
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