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French Concorde crash

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French Concorde crash

Old 7th Dec 2010, 17:18
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Originally Posted by lomapaseo
The trial was unfair in that it failed to consider probabilities and sellected only a single probable contributor for blame.
Agreed but for that last one - it seems they actually did do more than blame the repair and the engineer.

Continental were found guilty as a corporate entity, plus the individual engineer who did the repair. The head of Continental's maintenance was found not guilty as an individual. Concorde designers (and I think a regulator) were also found not guilty of manslaughter as individuals.

However, (and not as widely reported) the court also assigned responsibility for damages - 70% against continental and 30% against EADS as the manufacturer. In doing this they are clearly assigning some of the blame to the Concorde design.

What I do think is unfair, is that this court has (I think) only been able to look at the defendants before it - I don't think they were procedurally able to assign any blame to AF (for example), whatever the evidence, because someone previously decided not to prosecute AF.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 17:19
  #142 (permalink)  
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wings

You make a conclusion that "There should not have been a trial".

One cannot know that without the Trial taking place. An indictment is not a proof, and no finding can prevent a Trial from occurring, that is up to the Jurisdiction, (French, in this case).

If you don't like uncertainty, you should practice in Appeals!!

So, on the contrary, I believe wholeheartedly in the Trial's necessity.

bear
 
Old 7th Dec 2010, 17:29
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bearfoil,
I think we went through this before.... there IS a difference between a trial and an inquest.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 18:13
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post 75
NO runway inspections were evident before the accident.
May be they were done when you weren't there?
I know they have been doing three inspections a day for quite a long while, sometimes only two when they had exercises.
Have heard of airport certification
A nation of cowards and liars, I am afraid, with little honour to their name, and little sense of shame.. My personal indictment covers French aviation, and this shameful verdict is in perfect fitting with the French way.
...and you had to work for them for six months !
In your place, I would have voted with my feet a lot earlier.
So who is a coward for not being able to back up his very strong ideas with very strong attitudes ?
Pathetic !
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 19:22
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In many countries there is a general principal of law that says that you must take victims "as you find them" (sometimes refered to as the "eggshell skull principle"). Basically it means if you shout BOO at someone and it turns out they have a weak heart and drop down dead you are still considered guilty of manslaughter even though you had no way of knowing that they had such a weakness.

Take Your Victim As You Find Them | ICBC Personal Injury Claims Lawyer Erik Magraken | Victoria & Vancouver Island BC

Obviously you can claim you didn't intend to kill them and that should be considered in mitigation but you are still guilty. It's not the victims fault that they have a weakness.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 19:47
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Try getting the French responsibles to investigating or admitting to this. Not a chance. A nation of cowards and liars, I am afraid, with little honour to their name, and little sense of shame.. My personal indictment covers French aviation, and this shameful verdict is in perfect fitting with the French way.
My experience too. I have also worked with these people and to the above delightful characteristics I would add that they are lazy and devious, and that's without even discussing some of their endearing personal traits. And I got a ban from JetBlast for saying so but it seems freer speech is allowed on this forum.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 19:47
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Originally Posted by jcjeant
That demonstrate they where full aware of the danger represented by the problems in case of fuel tanks puncture ...
Hate to break it to you, but the Kevlar liners were *designed* and fitted *after* the Gonesse crash as part of the return to airworthiness programme applied to Concorde. EADS, being the parent company of Airbus - which at the time held assets of the former Aerospatiale and BAC - would therefore be the logical supplier.

The redesigned tyres actually made the Kevlar liners redundant, but they'd been front and centre of reports into the work done, so they were kept as an extra safety layer.

I've kept my mouth shut on the wonderful Concorde thread in Tech Log, but some of the invective here really upsets me, so forgive me if I repeat what has already been stated but I want to make a few things clear.

Assertion : The court found no blame attached to any French organisation - FALSE.

As has been stated, EADS (as the parent firm that subsumed Aerospatiale and part of BAC) were found partially responsible.

Assertion : There is still reasonable doubt as to whether the titanium strip was the first link in the chain - FALSE.

Every test run indicates that the logical progression of events starts with the strip piercing the tyre. Every potential alternative cause (including the wheel spacer) was run and the chain of events did not fit.

Assertion : Concorde's design was fundamentally flawed - FALSE

Concorde was designed in the 1960s, and indeed was one of the first airliners to have aspects of systems safety incorporated into the design (see the Tech Log thread) - the airframe was as safe, if not safer than any other aircraft of that vintage.

I'm deeply saddened that some of the comments seem to have been written without even a cursory read of the findings, seemingly based on prejudice against the French justice system and French aviation. This feeds into the conspiracy bumpf and doesn't become a forum that prides itself on the professionalism of the pilots and crew that have made their home here.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 20:15
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Could somebody please confirm/clarify: was an engine(s) shutdown that was still producing significant thrust during this emergency?
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 20:20
  #149 (permalink)  
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A very stringent effort to merge Concorde with existing technologies and geographies was undertaken, and for the most part quite successful. The Convair B-58 had weenie tyres and quite high launch v's. It experienced, as a military a/c, all that was forties and fifties about aviation.

I am surprised some one takes this trial as an affront to Concorde. I must have been asleep, but how so? She did everything asked, in elegant fashion. Duff tyres, Fred Sanford's aerodrome (s), slop maintenance are not in her quiver, she is the victim of such things, not the accomplice, imo.
 
Old 7th Dec 2010, 20:45
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Titanium fires

Bear
"Are you sure the debris was "burning"? If so, would you be concerned about the part being machined? Could it be atmospheric gases being liberated and then oxidizing?
Would you want an inert environment if "burning" was possible?"

That fine and hot threads from machining of Ti in a lathe will burn in air is well known - much like e.g. magnesium, zirconium, uranium and plutonium. Cooling liquid is normally applied to the tool edge to prevent this. These fires almost never spread to more massive parts of the metal. The reactions behind is a mixture of oxidation and nitriding of hot metal. All rather well investigated.

Regards
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 21:14
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I wonder why people keep focusing on the wear strip being made of titanium and insisting it should have been made of aluminum, when it is quite clearly stated in the accident report that it should have been made of stainless steel.

Let me quote from page 105
1.16.6.2 Manufacturer’s Documentation ...The wear strip is made of stainless steel...
And from page 97
...stainless steel whose mechanical strength characteristics are similar to titanium...
That the wear strip was made of incorrect material was of no consequence.

Last edited by KBPsen; 7th Dec 2010 at 21:27.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 21:41
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KBPSen:

Note use of the word "similar". That word (ir its French equivalent) would be chosen for a very specific legal reason. If the properties were identical, then your point that the material would have made no difference would be fair.

As it is, the tensile and mechanical properties of titanium versus stainless steel must be different enough that it would have made a difference, otherwise the court would not have come to the conclusion that it did.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 21:54
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Did the court concluded that it made a difference, or did it conclude that an incorrect material was used? Tests made at Goodyear using both titanium and SS strips seems to indicate no difference in results.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 21:54
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FAStoat

Furthermore several aircraft reported an engine afterburner fire on the immediate part of the take off run
Looking at the BEA report, it says on P77 that "The primary and secondary nozzles showed no signs of overheat on any of the engines"; on page 122 "It should, however, be noted that no traces of fire were discovered during the examination of the engines" and on page 134 "The observations and examinations carried out on the four engines brought to light no malfunction of any of their basic equipment or components, or any indication of any behaviour outside of the certificated norms. None of them showed any signs of overheat or overspeed prior to the impact with the ground."

I can't find any mention in the report of other aircraft reporting an afterburner fire. Then again, I could have missed it.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 22:12
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Looking at the event from a systems failure perspective, I would imagine that the incorrect fitting of the part was exacerbated by the part being made of the wrong material. Earlier posts indicate that titanium alloys can be worked in the same manner as stainless steel - if the fact that you're working with titanium is known - but it's likely that it probably caused some problems (see : incorrectly aligned drill holes).
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 22:20
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Cool

Hi,

Did the court concluded that it made a difference, or did it conclude that an incorrect material was used? Tests made at Goodyear using both titanium and SS strips seems to indicate no difference in results.
Unfortunately it's in french language ... but this point was subject of a looong discussion between experts , lawers and judge during the trial ........
The complete "minutes" of the trial can be found here:
2 février 2010 Procès du crash du CONCORDE
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 22:42
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I read this:
As it is, the tensile and mechanical properties of titanium versus stainless steel must be different enough that it would have made a difference, otherwise the court would not have come to the conclusion that it did.
Yet this has remained unanswered:
Did the court concluded that it made a difference, or did it conclude that an incorrect material was used? Tests made at Goodyear using both titanium and SS strips seems to indicate no difference in results.
Meanwhile:
There were 70 Concorde tyre burst events between 1976 and 1999. 7 of those events resulted in metallic shards piercing the fuel tanks. The metal came from the water deflectors on the undercarriage. BA added additional deflectors to their Concordes to deflect tyre and water deflector shards... but AF didn't.
The aircraft was overweight and took off downwind, yet the French court has assigned not one ounce of blame with the operator. Also, what is the significance of the missing wheel spacer? Were they located on the same bogey as the unlucky tire that met with the titanium strip?
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 22:53
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Originally Posted by vapilot2004
The aircraft was overweight and took off downwind, yet the French court has assigned not one ounce of blame with the operator.
If I recall correctly, the all-up weight was just outside the recommended numbers, but was within safe limits. Neither the weight nor the downwind takeoff would have changed the outcome, hence AF's actions were not responsible for the accident.

Also, what is the significance of the missing wheel spacer? Were they located on the same bogey as the unlucky tire that met with the titanium strip?
That's a can of worms, because it's central to an alternative theory doing the rounds on the internet, but neither the BEA or AAIB people concerned seemed to think it had any real significance.
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 23:12
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Stanley

Could somebody please confirm/clarify: was an engine(s) shutdown that was still producing significant thrust during this emergency?
Yes it was - according to the tapes the F/E shut down the engine with a fire warning before the Captain asked for the engine to be shutdown.

That engine was producing thrust.

Whether that early shutdown would have affected the final outcome I do not have enough information to make a qualified judgement - but certainly the F/E shut down an engine producing thrust before any command from the Captain.

That action by the F/E was not an action I would have expected from any F/E in another airline that operated the aircraft.


Regards
Exeng
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Old 7th Dec 2010, 23:47
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A piece of stainless steel would have done the same damage, if not more.

It may have ended differently as the steel may have take a different trajectory due to the difference in densities, but I'd suggest that stainless steel hitting a wing would be far worse, as it is much heavier.

This all sounds incredibly iffy, and looks like a French cover-up for something.
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