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News

Concorde crash blamed on metal from Continental jet

Reuters : 04 January, 2005  (New Product)
A metal strip that fell off a Continental Airlines jet and a design fault in Concorde led to the supersonic jet's crash outside Paris in 2000, which killed 113 people, according to an official report.
A metal strip that fell off a Continental Airlines jet and a design fault in Concorde led to the supersonic jet's crash outside Paris in 2000, which killed 113 people, according to an official report.

Public prosecutor Xavier Salvat said expert testimony had shown 'a direct causal link' between the bursting of one of the Concorde's tyres and the crash, which happened after the supersonic jet ran over a titanium alloy strip which fell off a Continental Airlines DC-10 that took off minutes before.

Salvat told reporters in Cergy-Pontoise, just outside Paris, that the metal strip had played a 'major role' in the bursting of the tyre, fragments of which punctured the fuel tanks on the Concorde.

His 237-page report also highlighted a 'serious fault' in the design of the supersonic jetliner, whose fuel tanks did not have sufficient protection from debris in the event of a burst tyre.

The Air France plane crashed in a ball of flame soon after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris on July 25, 2000, killing all 109 people on board and four people at a hotel in the outer suburbs of Paris.

Most of the passengers were German tourists on the first leg of a planned Caribbean cruise vacation.

Salvat cited a US probe into the disaster which showed that the replacement titanium alloy strip fitted to the DC-10 had not been authorized by the U.S. Civil Aviation authorities.

He said Continental had failed to respect the rules governing metal fixtures used in building aircraft, and that the characteristics of the titanium alloy strip 'played a major role in the process of cutting the Concorde's tyre.'
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